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‘Limousin’, Pablo Cózar’s Five-Star Cow Breed

Martin Serrano · Photos: Fran Montes

The ‘Limousin’ Cow, Pablo Cózar’s Five-Star Cow Breed at La Hacienda

It’s around eleven in the morning and it’s still quite hot in the village of San Pablo de Buceite, even though September has brought with it the autumnal cool that allows for working outdoors without the not-so-distant oppressive heat of the summer.

We met with Pablo Cózar at Las Cachollas restaurant; Pablo is one of the many important breeders who work in the dozens of farms in the surrounding area. His farm has become a benchmark in extensive cattle farming and organic production.

Pablo Cózar
Pablo Cózar

“La Hacienda”, consisting of 140 hectares, is where he focuses all his efforts on continually improving the genetics of the Limousin cattle breed, with each specimen being listed in a genealogical register under the supervision of the Spanish Federation of Limousin Breeders. This association allows Cózar to take the steps needed to improve the breed by following the procedure that each cow must undergo, such as three weigh-ins, classification, weaning and so on.

We drank coffee and enthusiastically made our way to “La Hacienda”, although the farmer owns another 225-hectare farm he calls “Melilla”, where he runs another, less demanding type of livestock farm.

Limusin Cattle Pablo Cozar

There are only two kilometres of road that draw the border between Jimena and Gaucín, but this short distance allows us to get in touch with this character, an agricultural engineer, who recalled how he inherited his father’s business.

Pablo told us that he started working with cattle in 2001 but didn’t take the reins of the two farms until 2013. The farm we’re visiting is home to about 90 cows and three bulls of an approximate weight of 1,200 kilos each called Liberto and Leopart, both born in 2015, and Martín was born in 2016.

They were acquired with all the guarantees of a genealogical certificate that attests to this breed which originates in France, as well as some of the most select ranches in Spain. Now, the three bulls live apart, inside a fenced area to prevent cows from calving in the summer months, although a good bunch of virgin cows await them in November, ready to give birth to evermore perfect specimens.

La Hacienda

Cózar climbs a hill in his vehicle, up to a fenced area in which his Limousin cows graze in peace and quiet. At around six months, a good number of them will be weaned and then sold for fattening once they reach a weight of around 200 kilos. The meat is of excellent quality, though Pablo Cózar warns us that other calves, which he chose for their quality, are destined to become livestock so that when their cycle has been completed, they are sold to other farmers for replacement and improvement of their heards.

“La Hacienda” is a five-star breeding ground focused on the reproduction and improvement of the Limousin, whose qualities are graded during the weaning phase.

Pablo highlights the importance of animal welfare in his work, to ensure that all the cattle on his farm come accompanied by a genealogical chart and quality certificate. Their wellbeing is essential and includes adequate food, health and management, which means that each cow or calf grazes in a fenced area, even though they have large areas of land to move at ease and without more noise than the wind that blows across the fields, “ it may sound exaggerated, but I always try to keep the controls as soft and calm as possible, not forced. There is no stress here, none.”

A Superior Breed

Limusin Cow Pablo Cozar Martin Serrano and Pablo Cozar
Limusin Cow , Martin Serrano and Pablo Cozar

With over a century of selection, the Limousin breed is spreading all over the world day by day and is becoming increasingly renowned for its qualities and advantages over other breeds within the high-quality meat production industry.

In Spain, as well as other countries such as Canada, the United States, Brazil, France, the United Kingdom, Australia and many others, the Limousin has already established itself as the high meat production breed par excellence.

Statistics show that it is always in the top rankings or in first place regardless of the characteristics or productive factors that are being analysed. It is undoubtedly the most complete breed in general terms, with a great ability to adapt to all types of terrains and climates, as supported by its global implementation.

In summary, we can group the advantages of the Limousin breed into three values: efficiency, comfort of handling and profitability:

Efficiency

Limusin Cattle Pablo Cozar

Allowing for a high and problem free calving-rate which other breeds cannot achieve and provide fertile and prolific animals with a longer productive than most other breeds. This efficiency allows for well-conformed animals that are suitable for slaughter at a younger age than those of other breeds. It achieves excellent rates of transformation from feed into meat and, according to the U.S. Meat Research Center, it gets the best results when measuring the kilos of meat produced against the cost of maintaining the cows.

Ease of Handling

Limusin Cattle

The management of a cattle ranch consisting of cows and bulls from the Limousin breed allow for ease of handling, with the cattle rancher knowing that he will have few or no complications during calving and that their docility will allow him to check and verify the animals’ daily sanitary state in person. This ease of handling also stems from the breed’s adaptability to resources, offering excellent efficiency in terms of biological productivity.

Profitability

Uniformity and quality animals, which provide strong calves from the first day of birth. Limousine breed animals offer one of the highest yield, achieving the highest proportion of prime meat. It is also an improving variety in crossbreeding. The Limousine brings farmers greater profitability.
(Spanish Federation of Limousin Breeders)

The ‘Limousin’ Cow, Pablo Cózar’s Five-Star Cow Breed at La Hacienda

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