This week we delve into the sought-after characteristics of another powerful dairy breed, the Pie Rouge des Plaines, with bulls weighing up to 1,110kgs and cows producing an average of 8,000kgs per lactation. Learn all about the breed below.
Did you know that Pie Rouge des Plaines cows can produce an average of 8,000kgs of milk per lactation? Making them one of the world’s most productive dairy breeds!
The Breed -
This French breed was first developed in the early 1970’s, through the crossbreeding of Armorican cattle of Brittany with red-pied cattle and German Deutsche Rotbunte breeds. The breed was developed by a small group of farmers, hoping to create a new dairy breed which also holds benefits in meat production.
This led to an intensive breeding programme being put in place and by 1970, a herd-book for the breed was officially opened. The vast majority of Pie Rouge cattle are now found in Brittany, a whopping 80% of all specimens. There are now an estimated 60,000 cattle remaining worldwide.
As the name suggests, Pie Rouge, the breed are a red-pied colour and are a horned breed.
But why use them?
1) Disease Resistance - A very hardy breed by nature, Pie Rouge cattle are also noted for their superior disease resistance. They are also known to have a greater resistance to mastitis than most breeds. The breed is also well-known for their excellent udder quality as well as the strength of their feet and legs. Fewer health problems means more money saved for farmers.
2) Milky benefits - An excellent producer of milk and one of the world’s most productive dairy breeds, Pie Rouge des Plaines cattle can produce up to 8,000kgs of milk per lactation (329days). Their milk is of excellent quality also, with an average Butterfat content of 4.3% and a Protein content of 3.4%. Feeding Pie Rouge cattle with a grass and corn silage-based diet will lead to higher milk yields and solids.
3) Adaptable and hardy- A breed that can cope with all climates, Pie Rouge des Plaines cattle would have little to no problems coping with Irish weather and would thrive on most pastures. The Pie Rouge des Plaines breed is also hardy in nature, due to an extensive breeding programme in place and their large frame.
4) Beef Benefits - As mentioned, offspring from Pie Rouge des Plaines cattle have value in beef production markets. At full maturity, a Pie Rouge des Plaines bull will weigh up to and over 1,000kgs, with cows averaging 700kgs. Although calves are not necessarily large in size when born, they exhibit excellent growth rates and can reach the ideal slaughter rate much quicker than other dairy alternatives. This is due in part to the high-quality milk produced by Pie Rouge des Plaines cows.
5) Superior Quality - Not only are Pie Rouge des Plaines cattle excellent for use in meat production due to their large size, but the meat obtained from Pie Rouge des Plaines animals is set to be of a higher quality than other dairy breeds and Holstein cattle in particular.