Tarentaise Cattle

The Tarentaise cattle are a dual purpose breed of domestic cattle, valued for both milk and meat. They descend from the domestic cattle of the Tarentaise Valley in France.

There the Tarentaise cattle were isolated from other cattle breeds for many thousands of years. The breed adapted in such a way as to be able to range in very steep and rough terrain for foraging and to allow them to exist in high altitudes.

As compared to most other French breeds, the Tarentaise cattle breed is considered to have experienced less mixing with other breeds.

The breed was originally selected for milk production, but due to it’s habitat it was naturally selected for muscling, hardiness and adaptability in order for them to live under range conditions in the French Alps.

The result is now a dual purpose breed. But, now the breed is mainly used for milk production in France. Today, the Tarentaise cattle are found in many countries.

The breed has been exported from France to many other countries. Those countries include India, Canada, Morroco, Algeria, Tunisia and USA. Read more information about this breed below.

Tarentaise Cattle Characteristics

The Tarentaise cattle are medium-large animals with good muscling. Their coat is usually of tan color with darkening around the eyes and sometimes on the neck of the bulls. The color of their nose, udder and hooves is black.

The Tarentaise cattle are actually of a medium build and well muscled animals. Compared to other French breeds, their heads are shorter from poll to muzzle. Their heads can be concave in shape, and the bulls have masculine heads with wide foreheads.

The neck of the bulls is naturally thick and well developed. Both polled and horned version of this cattle breed are found. The cows are comparatively smaller than the bulls, and their udders are strongly attached and evenly sloped with finger size teats with dark pigmentation.

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The dark pigmentation offers good protection from sun-related disorders. The bulls on average weight about 725 to 953 kg. And average body weight of the cows is about 408 to 590 kg. Info from ansi.okstate.edu and photo from Wikipedia.


Tarentaise cattle were developed as a dairy cattle breed for milk production. But now they are raised as a dual purpose animal and kept for both milk and meat production.

Special Notes

The Tarentaise cattle breed is distinctive for it’s abundant muscling in the hip region. And compared to other breeds, they are exceptionally long from hooks to pins.

They have been crossed with indigenous strains of cattle in North Africa and have developed an enviable reputation for improving both milk and meat production in a semi-arid or arid environment.

Tarentaise cattle are primarily used for producing crossbred cows in the United States. Those crossbred cows are distinctly suited for tough rangeland conditions and higher elevations. The Tarentaise cattle breed is also used for the beauty of it’s markings and it’s docile demeanor.

The breed is good for producing high quality meat, and their milk is of excellent quality with higher butterfat content. The Tarentaise cows on average produce about 5500 kg of milk per lactation. Their lactation period is for 305 days. However, review full breed profile of this breed in the table below.

Breed NameTarentaise
Other NameNone
Breed PurposeMeat, Milk
Special NotesHardy, Active
Breed SizeMedium to Large
BullsAbout 725 to 953 kg
CowsAbout 408 to 590 kg
Climate ToleranceAll Climates
Coat ColorUsually Tan with darkening around the eyes
Milk YieldGood
Country/Place of OriginFrance

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