Corriente Cattle

The Corriente cattle are a multipurpose breed which descended from Spanish cattle brought to the Americas in the late 15th century. Today some breeders raise them for meat, but they are primarily used as a sport cattle for rodeo events such as team roping and bulldogging.

Names for the breed can vary from place to place. The official breed registry in the United States calls the breed as Corriente cattle, and it is the most common name in Northern Mexico.

It is called Criollo or Chinampo cattle in other parts of Mexico. The breed is closely related to the Florida Cracker and Pineywoods cattle, which are two cattle breeds from Florida and the Gulf Coast.

It also adapted through natural selection to the various regions in which it lived. Eventually, it’s descendants spread across the southern part of the United States and up the coast of California.

European and other cattle breeds were introduced to the Americas in the early 1800s. And many ranchers in the Americas were upgrading their herds with modern beef cattle by the 1900s.

Nearly pure descendants of the original Spanish cattle almost disappeared, but some managed to survive with little human care or intervention in remote areas of Central and South America, and in very limited numbers in some areas of the southern United States. Read some more information about the breed below.

Corriente Cattle Characteristics

Corriente cattle are pretty small animals and both bulls and cows usually have horns. Their horns are long and curving upwards. They are lean and athletic in appearance.

They require less water and can survive on sparse open range like the Texas Longhorn cattle (which many people believe to be descended for the Corrientes). They come in a wide variety of coloration, except white and most of the animals are primarily black.

They have well balanced head, neck, forequarters and hindquarters and are narrow and fine in conformation. They usually have a dense coat and a heavy tail switch that often extends below the hocks.

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The mature cows on average weight under 450 kg. And average live body weight of the mature bulls is up to 500 kg. Photo and info from Wikipedia.


Corriente cattle are multipurpose animals. They were previously used for milk, meat and as a draft animal. But today they are primarily used as sport cattle for rodeo events such as team roping and bulldogging.

Special Notes

The Corriente cattle are very hardy and strong animals. They are known as ‘easy keepers‘, because little human intervention is required in their calving and they require significantly less feed than some big beef cattle breeds.

They are also known as accomplished escape artists, because they can leap a standard barbed-wire fence and squeeze through fairly small openings. So special considerations should be taken for keeping them confined.

The breed is also good for milk and meat production. And currently some breeders keep the Corriente cattle for their meat.

Their meat is significantly leaner than the meat from most other modern beef cattle breeds. However, review full breed profile of the Corriente cattle in the following chart.

Breed NameCorriente
Other NameCriollo or Chinampo
Breed PurposeMilk, meat, draught, sport
Special NotesWell adapted to native climates, very hardy, strong, easy calving, excellent maternal qualities, good quality meat, good for draft and sport
Breed SizeSmall
BullsUnder 450 kg
CowsUp to 500 kg
Climate ToleranceNative climates
Coat ColorCome in a wide variety of coloration, except white and most of the animals are primarily black.
Milk YieldGood
Country/Place of OriginSpain

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