Garvonesa Cows

The Garvonesa Cattle Breed, also known as the Chamusca Breed, is considered by some authors to be a transition from the Alentejana to the Algarvian breed, having developed locally and established its original home in the basin of the River Mira. Over time, these animals spread to the municipalities of Santiago do Cacém, Odemira, Ourique and Castro Verde.

The origin of its name is by association with the Garvão Fair, where they used to be traded. These animals were much sought after for their robustness and because they were good labourers.

In 1994, when the Garvonesa cow was almost extinct, the "Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina" and the delegation of the "Instituto da Conservação da Natureza" initiated the "Projeto de Recuperação e da Manutenção do Bovino Garvonês" (Project for the Recovery and Maintenance of the Garvonesa Cow), with the objective of not only preserving a unique genealogical heritage, but also maintaining and improving extensive and semi-intensive agricultural systems.

Starting in the year 2000, the Garvonesa breed was recognized as an indigenous breed eligible for agri-environmental measures, in the program "Maintenance of Indigenous Breeds", as a breed under serious threat.

The Garvonesa cow is fairly big in size, the females are reddish dark brown and the bulls are mostly black.

Today more than 100 Garvonesa Cows live on Herdade da Mata.