¬ CRIOLLO cattle  





Criollos can be considered an amercian landrace cattle, more so then a breed. Originally from the Iberian peninsula, these cows were brought with the Spanish in 1493, originally brought to be mutipurpose, they have a long history of being used for milk, meat, leather and draft. Coming from the desert country of Andalusia, in southern Spain these cows had already evolved in a hot, dry climate with scarce feed and less water, for these reasons the Criollo are ideally suited for the desert southwest and over the last few centuries have evolved with their terrain, into the breeds such as the Corriente, Longhorn, Pineywood, et cetera. Since thier introduction the Criollo had been the dominant cattle raised in New Mexico for a long while before the introduction of the european varieties after which their numbers dwindled drastically.

In studies it has been shown that a Criollo require only 1/2 to 3/4 the amount of feed, water, and pasture necessary to maintain ordinary beef cattle. More so the Criollo which grazes more like a bison then ordinary beef cattle, eats more of a variety of forage and spends more time in a herd covering ground exploring the terrain. They spend less time at water and less time grazing the same patches of grass. Because they weigh in at around 800lbs, compared to 1,200lbs, they don’t destroy muddy areas as much. Generally if done right they will have an overall benificial impact on the land. Pinkeye, foot rot, and other common problems are
unusual in Criollo, demanding less time from the caregiver. 

The fertility of a Criollo is unmatched with almost no issues in calving with mothers that are tenacious in protecting and raising their calves. 1 Criollo bull can tend 50-75 cows, instead of 1 beef bull per 25 cows. Average birth weight is 25-45 lbs.

Criollos. Although they are smaller in size than the European breeds, they typically finish out at 850-900lbs. A typical 850lb Criollo steer will yield a hot carcass weight of 500 lbs. You can see it in their manure or just looking at them from up close that criollos tend to be healthier and happier then ordinary beef cattle. “You are what you eat”. And by eating these healthy, strong, virile, sweet, self regulating animals, I can’t help but whole heartedly believe that those energies are transfered. 

We feed ours with only forage from our pastures, clean well water or acequia water, redmond natural salt rocks and the occasional apples left over from apple pressing. These cows have never been treated and are strong, virile, sweet, and resilient. 

Besides being better acclimated to to our arid dry climate, these cows still heard graze, like bison or pronghorn, have smaller hoofs to help airate the soil, don’t overgraze if given proper space to roam, have almost no issues birthing, and with their horns will protect their calfs from predators. These cows with varying histories are the orignial cattle of the american south west and are the best suited for our terrain in northern NM. 


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Team   •  Johnny Adao Ortiz-Concha / Maida Branch 

EMAIL  •  sheddinnerprojects@gmail.com  

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