The Gascon cattle are a beef cattle breed which are raised mainly for meat production. The breed is originally bred in the French Pyrenees where the harsh climate and limited resources led to the adaptations found in this breed. There are two different types of the breed which are à muqueuses noires and aréolé. They were combined into a single herdbook in 1955, but were once again made two different breeds in 1999.
Currently the breed is found in the region of Gascony in southwest France and is related to the Blonde d’ Aquitaine and the Piedmontese. The breed has been exported to many countries throughout Europe and available mainly in Great Britain, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Netherlands and Spain. Semen of the Gascon cattle is being exported more and more every year to South America and exports are planned to African countries. Read more information about the breed below.
Gascon Cattle Characteristics
Gascon cattle are medium sized animals and they have many characteristics that make them different from any other cattle breeds. Hardness to their fur is one of the major characteristics which enables them to tolerate cold weather better than other cattle. And their fur is very thick that enable to shed water very well. The Gascon cattle are mainly grey in color, but they are born red and become grey at about four months of age. The bulls are usually grey but they have black shading underneath. Both bulls and cows usually have horns.
Hooves of the Gascon cattle are very strong and this feature enable them to walk long distances. Mature bulls stand about 145 cm at the shoulder, and the mature cows about 135 cm. Average live body weight of the mature bulls is between 800 and 950 kg. And live body weight of the mature cows vary form 550 to 700 kg. Photo and info from Wikipedia.
The Gascon cattle are mainly a beef cattle breed. They are raised primarily for meat production. But the breed is also good for draught purposes.
The Gascon cattle are well adapted to the harsh climate and limited resources. And they can survive and work hard in basically any condition, mainly because of these adaptations. They usually spend their summers high on the Pyrenees and winters in the low lands. They can perform well in huge changes in the climate. The cows are noted for easy calving and great mothering abilities. The calves grow relatively faster and they are stronger than the calves of other cattle breeds. Gascon cattle don’t require much food as compared to other cattle breeds. They are very hardy, and their hardiness enables them to adapt themselves everywhere and producing officially recognized good quality meat. The cows are also pretty good milkers and produce enough milk for their calves. The breed was also used as a draught animal previously. Review full breed profile of the Gascon cattle in the following chart.
Gascon Cattle | Breed Profile
|Breed Purpose||Mainly meat, also draught|
|Special Notes||Very hardy, active, well adapted to almost all climates, good milkers, grow relatively faster, good quality meat, longevity, easy calving, docile temperament|
|Climate Tolerance||Almost all climates|
|Coat Color||Usually grey|
|Country/Place of Origin||France|