Galician Blond, or Rubia Gallega Cattle, have a rather glamorous name but remain quite rustic, native to the rough terrain of Spanish hill land. These indigenous cattle make fine beef and dairy cattle! Galician Blond Cattle are very important in their homeland. They do best in extensive care systems, but can adapt to almost any management system.
They are easy to handle and have been used traditionally as draft cattle! Because they were hill cattle, Galician Blond Cattle are usually weather resistant and can survive even on scarce or poor grazing! At maturity, Galician Blond Cattle have medium sized frames and appear well proportioned. Their bodies are deep, massive, and long, and the hindquarters are very well muscled.
Galician Blond Cattle have thick bones, wide backs, and voluminous chests. They range in color from pale cream to bright golden red. The mucous membranes, hooves, and horns are darker in color, usually a rich red chestnut. These cattle have extremely good legs and feet and can move athletically in rocky territory. Their meat is pink and tender, with nice marbling and a carcass yield of about 62 percent!
At maturity, Galician Blond cows can produce 2,239 kilograms of milk per lactation! It is thought that northern Spanish Cattle are descended from cattle brought into the area by the French Celts! Galician Blond Cattle are native to the Monteroso and Carballino regions, and the indigenous cattle from which they are descended are now nearly extinct.
In the 18th century, Galician Blond meat was highly valued in England! The herd book was established in 1933, and in the late 1900’s, Simmental, Brown Swiss, and South Devon Cattle were all mixed into the Galician Blond pedigree. Today, the Galician Blond remains in use as a beef, draft and dairy breed. Galician Blond Cattle are traditionally kept in an extensive care system known as the “Monte Gallego” system in Spain.
In the spring, Galician Blond Cattle are driven up into the hill country where they remain until autumn. In autumn, they are brought once more into valley country where they are fed on hay grown during the summer. Galician Blond Cattle are valuable crossbreeders, imparting their genetic hardiness to other breeds. They have very easy calvings and it is quite rare that they ever need assistance.
Galician Blond Cattle are natural, attentive mothers and have good milk production. Their calves have a rapid rate of gain and 98 percent of bull calves are weaned. 98 percent of Galician Blond cows are fertile and the calving interval is about 26 months!