The Retinta breed evolved from a combination of breeds such as the Andalusian Red, Extremadura Red and Andalusian Blond, it is an indigenous breed to the south and southwest of the Iberian Peninsula. Red skinned cattle, in different shades, have existed in the Iberian Peninsula since ancient times.
Red skinned cattle have evolved from a common ancestry and have been reunited in a selection project called Retinta because of its deep reddish colour.
Spanish Retinta is most numerous in the southwestern region of Spain – Western Andalucía and Extremadura. Many of the so called Creole breeds throughout the Americas are not alien to this breed since they have a distant origin in common. Scarce rain, some 500 mm, extreme temperatures ranging from – 10oC to 44oC in the shade have created a breed of cattle that manages to thrive on rough and woody feed.
Retinta cattle come in varying shades of red with black nose and hooves, white lyre shaped horns, they are strong medium sized cattle.
Retinta cows are typically 136 cm in height and 380 – 590 kg in weight. Bulls are larger and stand 141 cm with a weight range of 660 to 1000 kg.
Their size and development vary substantially from region to region, with light colored animals being found in the coastal areas. The largest variety is the Tamerone, which is selected and bred at Las Lomas Finca in the region of Cadiz.
The selection project Retinta is about improving the beefing qualities of this hardy breed while retaining all of its natural abilities such as heat tolerance, parasite and disease resistance, maternal instincts with adequate milk, calving ease, fertility, longevity.
Its colour and its natural tendency to shed its winter hair in the spring leaving a thin and soft skin, contribute to their tolerance to strong sunlight and high temperatures.
- Good feed conversion
- Calving ease
- Strong maternal instincts
- Parasite and disease resistance
- Good beef yield and quality
Carcass conformation and yield parameters range between an average 57-59%, with individuals attaining over 62%. Length of carcass: 130 cm. Compact ratio in K/cm: 2.1 Depth of chest 60 cm long. Rear end: 79,2 cm; width: 24,1 cm. Perimeter: 111 cm; depth 41 cm. Loin surface at 10th rib: 89 cm.
The Retinta has been bred for centuries in Europe and has lately been exported to Argentina where herds are now expanding.