Welcome to the Alentejo


Agriculture in the Alentejo

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Beaf cattle
Beaf cattle
Beaf cattle
Beaf cattle

Beef Cattle

Appropriate Husbandry, ecologic feeding, strict controls, gourmet quality - that is essential!

Herdade da Casa Velha is a farm with exclusive nursing cow husbandry, using Limousin and Charolais breeds. This ensures that the calf grows up on the pasture and feed on bovine milk, hay and grass only!


Breed Origin Limousin originated in the high, rocky Aquitaine region of France. For centuries the area was isolated from the rest of Europe by political strife. As a result Limousin cattle have long been range animals, bred and selected for outstanding meat qualities and have adapted to survive in harsh conditions.

The Limousin should have a large, but fine, and strong boned frame. Mature Limousin females should average 650 kilos and mature males 1000 kilos.

Coat Colour This should be vivid golden-red in colour. Some variation is acceptable, but it should not be too dark or light, and should be lighter under the stomach, inside the thighs, around the eyes and muzzle, and around the anus and end of the tail.

Body The body should have well-fleshed forequarters; a deep, rounded chest with well sprung ribs; a broad, straight, and well muscled back; a large and well rounded rump, with pin bones not too protruding; and deep and well rounded thighs. The belly should be wide but straight, and not too prominent on the bottom line. The hide should be fine and supple.


Origin The Charolais race has its origin in the region of Charolles, located in the county of "Saone-et-Loire", Eastern France.

The main physical characteristics that distinguish the Charolais race are that it is a powerful animal of great size; wide, short and slightly sunk forehead; fine medium size ears; wide nose and heavy lips, the mucous membranes are of pink or meat color; it has great eyes; medium size horns of yellowish/white color; short and heavy boulder over the high thorax area; medium dewlap, showing wide and nonoscillating profile. The body is wide and horizontal; well distributed meat; deep and wide chest; perfectly separated and muscled legs; the curved coccyx, the well developed muscles, and the opened thighs, form a very wide buttock. The tail is thin with silky coat and has very little fat covering the base. The medium size extremities have a well balanced composition and an affluent symmetry, showing clearly the bony structure, with high posture and firm light yellow hooves. Moderately thick, soft, and elastic skin that produces excellent leather. Charolais' hair is homogeneously white or slightly cream, thin, smooth and silky; smoothly stirred up, specially in the head and the boulder.

The distribution of the fatty layer is imminently good, with deep penetration into the muscular layer, appears intermingled in crossed bands, producing a tender, tasty and highly nutritious meat. The aptitude to gain weight is remarkable and few races can compete with the Charolais in this aspect, whether its indoors or outdoors. The great power of the race, accompanied by its adaptability to different environments, allowing it to transmit to its descendants the excellence of its qualities, is the most feasible and practical way of producing meat animals that best meet consumer expectations.


This page shows basic information. There is no guarantee for the correctness and completeness of the given facts. The page is regularly updated.

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