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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #376909

Research Project: Science and Technologies for the Sustainable Management of Western Rangeland Systems

Location: Range Management Research

Title: A preliminary phenotypic characterization of Raramuri Criollo cattle

item MCINTOSH, MATTHEW - New Mexico State University
item Gonzalez, Alfredo
item CIBILS, ANDRES - New Mexico State University
item Estell, Richard - Rick
item NYAMURYEKUNG'E, SHELEMIA - New Mexico State University
item Spiegal, Sheri

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science Supplement
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/12/2020
Publication Date: 7/19/2020
Citation: McIntosh, M., Gonzalez, A.L., Cibils, A., Estell, R.E., Nyamuryekung'e, S., Spiegal, S.A. 2020. A preliminary phenotypic characterization of Raramuri Criollo cattle. Journal of Animal Science Supplement. 98, Supp S3.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Raramuri Criollo (RC) are one of 33 known biotypes of heritage Criollo cattle that exist throughout the Americas today. They have been raised by the Tarahumara peoples of the Copper Canyon in Chihuahua, Mexico, for over 400 years and exhibit remarkable rusticity and adaptation to harsh grazing environments. To date, no quantitative phenotypic description of this biotype exists. Our objective was to characterize RC cattle via 26 phenotype traits to provide a preliminary biotype standard. Twenty-eight multiparous RC cows, 4 primiparous heifers, and 4 bulls were selected from a purebred herd of approximately 200 animals at the USDA-ARS Jornada Experimental Range. These 36 animals were selected by a Criollo cattle expert based on body conformation correctness. SAS 9.4 was used to determine means, SEs or frequency of measured traits. Multiparous pregnant and cycling cows averaged 366.8 ± 9.8 kg live body weight, 121.8 ± 0.9 cm withers height, horn widths of 60.3 ± 1.6 cm, horn diameters of 5.7 ± 0.1 cm, chest girths of 183.6 ± 12.0 cm, hip widths of 44.5 ± 0.5 cm, flank girths of 52.2 ± 0.9 cm, body length of 90.0 ± 1.7 cm, neck lengths of 52.0 ± 0.9 cm, and tail lengths of 83.3 ± 1.4 cm. Bulls consistently averaged higher values for all traits and weighed 618.2 ± 9.8 kg with scrotal circumferences of 36.8 ± 0.7 cm. RC cattle exhibited mostly convex nose bridges (89%), open-back horns (49%), black muzzles, hooves, and eyes (62, 69, and 81%, respectively), small ears (78%), oblique eyes (70%), high-set tail heads (86%), short hooves (95%), and short hair (78%). Our preliminary characterization of RC phenotypes will be useful in selecting RC individuals for genotypic evaluation to eventually maintain a distinct purebred registry of this Criollo biotype.