Limousin Cattle Characteristics, Uses & Origin

The Limousin cattle is a breed of domestic cattle originating from the Limousin and Marche regions of France. It is a highly muscled beef cattle and is known as Limousine in France.

The Limousin cattle breed were first exported from France in the 1960s in significant numbers. And the breed is now present worldwide in about 70 countries.

The Limousin cattle are naturally horned, but international breeders have now bred polled (do not have horns) animals. And they naturally have a distinctive lighter wheat to darker golden-red coloring, although international breeders have created black Limousins.

The Limousin cattle were mainly used as draft animals initially. But now they are raised as a source of high quality meat. And interest in Limousins as a source of high quality meat grew about 200 years ago.

In 1886, the first Limousin herd book was established in France for ensuring the breed’s purity and for improvement by only recording and breeding animals that satisfied a strictly enforced breed standard.

It is a very old breed. And it is used for crossbreeding with other cattle breeds mainly because of their ability to contribute hybrid vigour, and improve the yield and feed conversion efficiency. However, read more information about Limousin cattle below.

Table of Contents

Limousin Cattle Characteristics

Limousin cattle are large sized animals. Most of these animals have a coloration that varies from light wheat to darker golden-red.

The coloration is little lighter on the belly, the rear of the thighs, between the legs, around the testicles, on the anus and in the tail tip.

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Other coloration has also been developed, mainly black through cross-breeding and grading up from other breeds of cattle.

These cattle are naturally horned, but their horns have been removed through cross breeding. They usually have broad forehead and muzzle and short head.

They have lighter area around the eyes and muzzle. And have fine horns which are curved forward and slightly raised at the tip (if present). Their chest is broad and rounded and have short neck.

The Limousin bulls on average weight about 1000 – 1100 kg, and average body weight of the cows is about 650 to 700 kg. Info and photo from Wikipedia.


Initially the Limousin cattle breed were used as draft animals. But today they are mainly used as a source of high quality meat producing animals.

Special Notes

Limousin cattle are hardy and active animals. They are very popular throughout the world for many reasons.

They are popular mainly because of their low birth weights, higher than average dressing percentage and yield, high feed conversion efficiency and for their ability to produce lean, tender meat. Review full breed profile of this breed in the following table.

Breed NameLimousin
Other NamesAlso known as Limousine in France
Breed PurposeProduction of lean beef and crossbreeding
Special NotesHardy
Breed SizeHeavy
BullsAbout 1000-1100 kg
CowsAbout 650-700 kg
Climate ToleranceAll Climates
Coat ColorLight wheat to darker golden-red. Black also bred.
HornedYes (polled also bred)
Milk YieldPoor
Country of OriginFrance

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