A phenotypic characterization of Rarámuri Criollo cattle introduced into the Southwestern United States

Keywords: heritage breed, genetic conservation, beef cattle, climate change


Our objective was to describe key phenotypic characteristics of a population of Rarámuri Criollo (RC) cattle introduced from the Copper Canyon of Chihuahua, México into the Southwestern United States almost two decades ago. We recorded 26 phenotypic traits of 37 RC individuals including mature cows, first-calf heifers, and mature bulls raised at the USDA-ARS Jornada Experimental Range in southern New Mexico. This herd of RC cattle exhibited intermediate body sizes compared to the smaller Corriente and larger Texas Longhorn and Florida Cracker cattle. Coat colors were similar to those described for other Criollo biotypes but horn shape and size of RC appear to be different than that of other US-based Criollo breeds. Though smaller than commercial beef breeds, RC cattle appear to be well-matched to the Southwestern US environments as evidenced by previous studies that evaluated their grazing behavior, weight gains, and carcass quality. Rarámuri Criollo cattle are a genetic resource whose conservation could be critically important for climate change adaptation of ranches in the desert Southwest.  


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How to Cite
McIntosh, Matthew, Alfredo Gonzalez, Andres Cibils, Rick Estell, Shelemia Nyamuryekunge, Felipe Rodriguez Almeida, and Sheri Spiegal. 2020. “A Phenotypic Characterization of Rarámuri Criollo Cattle Introduced into the Southwestern United States”. Latin American Archives of Animal Production 28 (3-4), 111-19. https://ojs.alpa.uy/index.php/ojs_files/article/view/2832.