|Title||A phenotypic characterization of Rarámuri Criollo cattle introduced into the southwestern United States|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2020|
|Authors||McIntosh MM, Gonzalez A.L, Cibils AF, Estell RE, Nyamuryekung'e S, Rodriguez A.F.A., Spiegal S|
|Journal||Archivos Latinoamericanos De Produccion Animal|
|ARIS Log Number||381215|
|Keywords||beef cattle, climate change, genetic conservation, heritage breed|
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 (390 kg) compared to the smaller Corriente (300 kg) and larger Texas Longhorn (400 kg) and Florida Cracker cattle (400 kg). 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.