The Ranch
When Las Alturas was bought in 2000 it included the breed of cattle called "DURHAM" that is originally from England. This breed was imported into Costa Rica in the late 1800's and traded for coffee. Although it has been now replaced by more specialized cattle (leaning towards either more milk or more beef), it is the most established and adapted "dual purpose" breeds in Costa Rica.

We like the breed for that very same reason. It has adapted to Costa Rican conditions meaning that they know exactly what to eat out of the jungle. They keep themselves very healthy by supplementing their already very diverse grass diet with roots, soft tender shoots, fruits, etc. This is the beauty of "free range" cattle and especially on a terrain as diverse and ecologically rich as Las Alturas.

Durhams, known in the US as Short Horns, will produce very good quality beef. They are not too large but rather compact and are thus better suited for our very hilly terrain. They produce high quality thick, rich, creamy milk that we convert to exellent cheese, yogurt, sour cream, etc. They are particularly well suited as Ox since their short, strong legs, very hard hoofs, and tame manageable personalities make them the ideal breed to pull oxcarts, plows, etc. This is a facet of the business that we are promoting, giving us a growing reputation among those interested in ox especialle now that fuel prices are sky high.

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