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Animal Production

Breeds
The cattle raised in Companhia das Lezírias come from indigenous Mertolenga and Black pure-breeds, cross-bred with Charolais and Limousin as well as the offspring from these cross-breeds.

Animal identification
Every cow, bull and steer belonging to Companhia das Lezírias is identified electronically according to the European project “IDEA”, to guarantee the identification of animals and their traceability.

Geographic location
The geographical area of meat production consists of 20,000 hectares of Companhia das Lezírias located in the counties of Benavente, Vila Franca de Xira and Salvaterra de Magos.

Cattle feeding
The cattle graze on open ground, according to organic farming methods. The pastures and the fodder are typical of existing ecosystems (Lezíria and Charneca), and are used all year round.
The natural and improved pastures, the acorn, the cereal stubbles, the hay and the straw produced are all used to feed the cattle at the Companhia das Lezírias. The area of the fodder, pastures and cereal stubble is of about 9,000 hectares, split between the Lezíria, the Charneca and Catapereiro.

Self-sufficiency of fodder
In case of an unexpected shortage of fodder caused by bad climate conditions and to guarantee the best fodder for our animals, Companhia das Lezírias produces every year, hay, cereals (such as wheat, barley and oats) and sometimes stocks up on corn just to feed the animals.

In addition to the pastures, Companhia das Lezírias produces about 3,000 tons of straw and hay each year, including 1,500-2,000 tons of alfalfa to feed the cows of a beef breed.

Calves and rearing cattle
Until the weaning period, the calves always follow their mother in the pastures.

After weaning is over, the males and the females are separated and grouped to strengthen their development according to their future purpose (replacement of another reproductive animal or for beef).

The groups of animals meant to replace others are kept on an extensive feeding regime (with pastures, hay and straw produced in Companhia das Lezírias) and the ones singled out for beef are kept in a different feeding regime, based on hay and straw produced in Companhia das Lezírias but also on mixed fodder especially produced for Companhia das Lezírias according to the law approved by the Ministry of Agriculture.