The existence of cattle at Herdade do Pinheiro, untraceable in time, blends with the history of the Herdade itself. With a herd of about 800 heads, Herdade do Pinheiro is rather important locally. With the practical knowledge acquired over the years, we have been looking for the animals with the best adaptability to the edaphoclimatic reality of the estate, the types of soil and its grazing characteristic, since most of the Herdade is used for this purpose.
There are two different breeds at Herdade do Pinheiro. The first is the local Mertolengo breed, a rather small rustic breed less in need of good pastures and yet providing exceedingly good milk for their calves. To increase the quality of the meat, Mertolengo cows are crossbred with Limousine bulls, a French breed. The body of these bulls is less wide than those of the Charolais, and enables the cows to give birth more easily. The crossbreed is nicknamed as F1. The crossing between an F1 female and a Limousine bull is nicknamed F2.
We possess an extensive herd of F1 and F2 cows crossbred between the Mertolenga and Limousine breeds, which constitutes a commercial production unit where the products go straight to slaughter.
The production unit for pure lineage Mertolengos forms the reproduction base for Herdade do Pinheiro - an important genetic repository of the Mertolengo breed - and are available for sale. The cows of this unit also include the F1 cows.
The cattle is raised extensively, limiting the impact of the cows on the young trees thus allowing the regeneration of the natural environment.
The cattle feeds on natural non-irrigated pastures (in Portuguese one says sequeiro), meadows with a base of clover and serradilla (Ornithopus sativus). The hay used for feeding the calves is produced on the property.
Herdade do Pinheiro works with «Promert», the national association which promotes the Mertolengo breed.
With more than 800 heads, our cattle is available for sale to be used for both breeding and meat.