The Pajuna cattle are a hardy breed of cattle which are now mainly raised for meat production purpose. They originated from Andalusia, Spain and a pretty rare breed today. Although, it has been suggested that these animals originated in north Africa, and indeed some bulls have a saddle that looks very similar to depictions of north African aurochs. They resemble the extinct aurochs in certain features which are the wild ancestor of domestic cattle.
The Pajuna cattle breed is given special protection in the official Spanish cattle breeds catalogue. Because during the 1980s and 1990s total numbers of the breed have declined rapidly. These cattle are used by the Dutch organization Stichting Taurus in the TaurOs Project, because of their hardiness, wild type color and aurochs-like body plan. The breed is used in this project to fill the ecological niche once occupied by the aurochs.
The project aims to breed a type of cattle that resembles the aurochs in phenotype, ecology and genotype as closely as possible (together with the cattle breeds like Sayaguesa Cattle, Maremmana primitivo, Tudanca Cattle or Limia Cattle). Read more information about the breed below.
Pajuna Cattle Characteristics
The Pajuna cattle are medium sized animals. They have lost their primitive characteristics because they have been constantly crossed with the breeds such as the Retinta or the Murciana after 1950 (such as the long legs, athletic body shape and the wild type coloration). The cows are a much lighter reddish-brown in color. And the bulls are dark brown to black with a light eel stripe. Both bulls and cows usually have horns. And the horns in the bulls face forwards and are light in color with a dark tip.
Average height of the bulls is around 165 cm at the shoulder and their average body weight is about 600 kg. The cows are much smaller than the bulls and reach about 160 cm. Average body weight of the cows is around 375 kg. Photo and info from Wikipedia.
Pajuna cattle are today used as a meat cattle breed. But they were also used as draft animals previously.
As we have mentioned previously, the Pajuna cattle are very hardy animals. They are well adapted to harsh conditions, especially in cold mountainous regions. They require supplementary feeds less than other cattle breeds. They require supplementary feeding only in extreme weather when grazing is not available. Today the breed is pretty rare and mainly used for meat production. Review full breed profile of the Pajuna cattle in the following chart.
Pajuna Cattle | Breed Profile
|Special Notes||Extremely hardy, well adapted to harsh conditions|
|Weight||Bulls||About 600 kg|
|Cows||About 375 kg|
|Climate Tolerance||All Climates|
|Coat Color||Reddish-brown to dark brown and black|
|Country/Place of Origin||Spain|