OUR SALERS BREDING FARM

The breed and its qualities

Salers cows have been present for a very long time in the Cantal mountains of the Auvergne. Some historians think that they may have come from the Spanish peninsula. The restoration of the breed is attributed to Tyssandier d'Escous. In the 1850s,  he advocated the English way of inter-breeding the best examples to improve the whole breed.

The Salers cow is noted for its mahogany hair and its light coloured lyre-shaped horns. The adults weigh 750 kg and measure 1 m 40 at the withers. Salers are the only French cows bred both for milk and for meat.

 

The traditional breeding system still in operation in Cantal consists in combining milk and cheese farming with lean calves breeding. Even milking is typical : without her calf with her, the Salers cow will not give her milk.

 

The Salers cow shows particularly interesting breeding qualities :

  • The cow is hardy : Thanks to her black hooves and excellent legs, the Salers cow very seldom limps. She can endure difficult weather conditions and withstand big temperature variations thanks to her long curly hair. Moreover, the brown udder and mucous eye tissue are proof to crevices and infection. Should the food prove scarce, the Salers cow will metabolize her body reserves and ensure sufficient milk yield to feed her calf. She will quickly gain her weight back when the grass becomes plentiful again.

  • She is a good mother : she looks after and protects her calf. Every year each cow produces a heavy calf very easily, without any supplements. The Salers cow often lives for more than ten years, the breed is renowned for the number of weaned calves in a cow's lifetime.

  • But the major asset of the breed is the easy calving. Thanks to slightly tilting pelvis and above all to her unequalled pelvic aperture, the Salers cow does not experience calving problems.

  • Milk production : a milking Salers yields up to 3,000 kg milk per year. The milk possesses exceptional qualities for cheese making. In suckler systems, the milk capacity of the breed saves the farmer having to buy supplements, and makes the Salers the best of suckler cows.

  • The meat is of exceptional quality : this products are in high demand for breeding bull calves in fattening stations. They grow fast, they are appreciated for their colour, the grain and marbling of their meat and they are very popular with professionals as well as consumers.

 

What makes our farm unique

 

On our farm, 'Ferme des Supeyres', the Salers cows are exclusively managed on a suckling mode, with the calves suckling their mothers. Such a system takes full advantage of the qualities of the Salers cow since the calf grows upon its mother's milk only. Calving takes place between January and March, so the calves are strong enough to follow their mothers to the higher pastures for the summer, and we are able to sell some of the calves weaned and already feeding on grass in the autumn.

The cows and calves are turned to the pastures in mid-April, ensuring the firming of the soil, before going up to the mountain pastures in mid-June. Louis then spends part of his time up there everyday, checking that all is well. At the beginning of autumn, the cows and calves come down from the higher pastures and graze on the second growth of grass.

Hay is fed to the cattle for the first time around 10th November, when the cows return to the cattle shed. Throughout the winter, the animals are kept indoors, tied according to the Auvergne technique.

Our animals come from the best herds in the Auvergne, raised on well-known farms (Eric Brihat, Jean-Pierre Roussel)

 

Our herd is regularly inspected by Bovins Croissance technicians. Our animals are registered in the Salers Herdbook.

Spending the whole year at between 1050 and 1350 m of altitude, our animals are used to harsh conditions and will be able to develop to their full potential wherever you take them.

Our animals are free from IBR (A qualification), and we are especially careful about sanitary quality. Therefore we do not allow any contact, or visit, by non-professional people in the animal world.

Being a small farm, we can afford to spend quality time with each animal. In short, we love our animals and we believe they love us in return. Louis, who is in charge of the breeding side of the farm, completed a further education breeding management diploma. He has studied the breeding methods in the Salers region extensively since the area is the cradle of the breed.

New :

Of course, we sell breeding animals.

But since 2016 fall, we also sell our Salers meat

on some occasions in the year,

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