Parthenais cattle and why you should add them to your Suckler herd


Did you know that Parthenais bulls can weigh up to 1,250kgs and calves display an excellent growth rate due in part to the high-quality milk by cows? Should you experiment with Parthenais genetics in your herd? Keep reading below to find out!

Parthenais cattle and why you should add them to your Suckler herd

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  • 26 days ago

Did you know that Parthenais bulls can weigh up to 1,250kgs and calves display an excellent growth rate due in part to the high-quality milk by cows? Should you experiment with Parthenais genetics in your herd? Keep reading below to find out!

Are you contemplating mixing up the genetic profile of your herd? Ever wondered what benefits using Parthenais straws would have on your Suckler herd? We looked into the desirable characteristics of the breed, to show you what to expect. Keep Reading and find out more!

The Breed -
The Parthenais breed is one originating in Central France and near Brittany. It is thought to be among the oldest breeds in the world. Historically the breed were used as a multi-purpose animal, raised for both meat and milk production, with milk from Parthenais cows favoured for butter production. The superior strength of the Parthenais breed also saw it used as a draught animal.

The breed has become increasingly popular within Suckler herds in recent years due to their excellent carcass yields, the tenderness of the beef and excellent growth rates.

Desirable traits -

  • Double Muscled - Like the Belgian Blue breed, Parthenais cattle are renowned for their double muscling abilities. They do not grow quite as large as Belgian blues, though they have a very high muscle to bone ratio.
  • High Killing out percentage -Parthenais cattle can have a dressing percentage of up to 67% in purebreds and over 77% in full bloods. In fact, the breed has among the highest carcass value of all beef breeds.
  • High-Quality Meat - Meat from the Parthenais breed is famed for its leanness and high-quality. It is also known to have less cholesterol than chicken! Their meat is extremely tender and steaks are taken from the forequarters.
  • Excellent mothers - Parthenais cows make excellent mothers. They not only possess desirable maternal traits, but also produce an abundance of high-quality milk for their calves. This aids in the calves accelerated growth rates. Cows can also calf with amazing regularity and
  • Excellent Fertility - Parthenais cows are generally very fertile and calf with amazing regularity. Bulls are also very fertile and hard working.
  • Strong Calves - At birth, the average bull calf will weigh approximately 44kgs, with heifers averaging 41kgs. Even though calves can be large in size, cows are generally easy calvers and a French survey revealed that almost one third of calving procedures require assistance, 5% are considered difficult and 4% of cases need a caesarean section! This means that 62% of calvings occur problem-free!
  • Efficient feed converters - One highly sought-after trait in the Parthenaise breed, is their ability to convert feed to weight. They do this very efficiently and do not need excessive amounts of feed.
  • Large in size - As mentioned, Parthenaise cattle are large in size. At full maturity, bulls vary in weight from 1,110kgs to as much as 1,250kgs. Cows, meanwhile, average in at approximately 800kgs.
  • Crossbred benefits - When crossed with other breeds, some of the desired Parthenaise traits still shine through. PTX carcasses have high yields and often have a killing out percentage of 66%.
Current ICBF Active Parthenaise bulls - There are currently 8 active Parthenaise bulls on the ICBF active bull list. Check out the top five below!

1) Lisnagranchy Carlo/ LRY - Rank 118: Semen supplied by Bova at a price of €10 per straw and with medium availability.
Terminal; Index - 130€, Reliability - 89 %, Stars W - 3.0, Stars A - 5.0
Calving; Difficulty - 5.2%, Reliability 95%, Gestation - 2.4 days, Reliability - 91%.
Docility; -0.08%, Reliability - 95%.
Carcass; Weight (kgs) - 26, Reliability - 97%, Carcass Conformation (1-15 scale) - 2.23, Reliability - 96%.



2) Kyle Chap/KCP - Rank 196: Semen supplied by Dovea at a price of €10, with high availability.
Terminal; Index - €113, Reliability - 91%, Stars W - 1.0, Stars A - 4.0.
Calving; Difficulty - 8.2%, Reliability - 94%, Gestation - 2.2 days, Reliability - 91%.
Docility; -0.24%, Reliability - 96%.
Carcass; Weight - 26kgs, Reliability - 97%, Carcass Conformation - 1.93, Reliability - 97%.



3) Universel/UNI - Rank 200: Semen supplied by Dovea and NCBC at a price of €12.
Terminal; Index - €111, Reliability - 91%, Stars W - 1.0, Stars A - 4.0.
Calving; Difficulty - 9.7%, Reliability - 98%, Gestation - 1.1 days, Reliability - 97%.
Docility; -0.08%, Reliability - 98%.
Carcass; Weight - 29kgs, Reliability - 99%, Carcass Con - 2.01, Reliability - 99%. '



4) - Benassay/PT2193 - Rank 201: Semen supplied by Eurogene at €13, with medium availability.
Terminal; Index - 111€, Reliability - 63%, Stars W - 1.0, Stars A - 4.0.
Calving; Difficulty - 3.8%, Reliability - 70%, Gestation - 1.5 days, Reliability - 53%.
Docility; -0.28%, Reliability - 61%.
Carcass; Weight - 20kgs, Reliability - 72%, Carcass Con - 2.11, Reliability - 68%.



5) Vulain/VUL - Rank 211: Semen supplied by Eurogene at €13 with medium availability.
Terminal; Index - €110, Reliability - 92%, Stars W - 1.0, Stars A - 3.0.
Calving; Difficulty - 6.7%, Reliability - 97%, Gestation - 2.3 days, Reliability 98%.
Docility; -0.04%, Reliability - 97%.
Carcass; weight - 22kgs, Reliability - 98%, Carcass conformation - 2.14, Reliability - 98%.



Check out the full active bull list for the Parthenaise breed via the ICBF website here.
Main Picture Credit - ICBF.

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