Camargue Cattle Characteristics, Uses & Origin

The Camargue cattle are a breed of domestic cattle from France which are used for beef, course camarguaise and vegetation management. It is native to the Camargue marshlands of the river delta of the Rhône in southern France.

It is one of the two cattle breeds which is raised in semi-feral conditions in the Camargue. Another breed is the Brava or Race de Combat which is a fighting breed. The breed has been officially known as the Provençal: Raço di Biòu since 1996.

Both breeds are associated with the rural and cultural traditions of the Camargue, including the gardians, mounted herders who manage the livestock in manades, and the small white Camargue horses they ride.

Name of the breed was changed to Raço di Biòu and a herdbook was established in 1996.

Total population of the Camargue cattle breed was estimated at 5,950 in 2004, and was reported to be 5,332 in 2014. Read more information about the breed below.

Camargue Cattle Characteristics

Camargue cattle are small sized animals. They are uniformly black or occasionally dark brown in color. Their mucous membranes are dark. Both bulls and cows usually have horns.

And their horns are large which are grey at the base, creamy white in the middle and dark at the tips.

Average height of the bulls is around 125 cm, and about 115 cm for the cows.

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The mature cows on average weight around 250 kg. And average live body weight of the mature bulls is around 400 kg. Photo and info from Wikipedia.

Uses

The Camargue cattle are principally raised for the traditional sport of the course camarguaise.

They are also used for meat production and vegetation management. They are occasionally regarded as a tourist attraction.

Special Notes

The Camargue cattle are very strong animals. They are excellent grazers and share the wetland environment with the horses, wild boar and flamingoes.

Currently the breed is distributed through the Camargue, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Petite Camargue and Occitanie. Review full breed profile of this breed in the following chart.

Breed NameCamargue
Other NameRaço di Biòu
Breed PurposeMilk, course camarguaise, vegetation management
Special NotesStrong, well adapted to local climates, good for vegetation management
Breed SizeSmall
BullsAround 400 kg
CowsAround 250 kg
Climate ToleranceNative climates
Coat ColorUniformly black or occasionally dark brown in color
HornedYes
Milk YieldPoor
RarityCommon
Country/Place of OriginFrance

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