The Bazadaise Originates from the Bazas town of the South West of France.
Traditionally the breed is a draught breed of the Pyrénées and the Gironde. It is thought that the breed came about, following the crossbreeding between Spanish cattle and local cattle in Aquitaine. Every year, in its hometown of Bazas, a festival is held in honour of the breed.
The breed is used in beef production and is famed for its meats tenderness, flavours and marbling. The breed, historically, was used for hauling tasks, due to its huge size. They were chosen due to their hardiness, resistance to parasites and endurance of fluctuating temperatures.
It wasn’t until the late 1890’s when a herd-book for the breed was first set up, though by 1970, following the second world war, there were only an estimated 700 cattle remaining. Conservation and breeding efforts followed and ensured the breed got numbers back up in excess of 3,500 by three years ago.
The breed is exported to countries around the world, and is either kept as a purebred animal or crossed with other beef breeds. Among the countries known to import the breed, is the UK, Spain, Chile, Belgium, Holland, Australia and many more.
The Bazadaise is generally either dark or light grey in colour, with some variations found. These can be due to both sex and age of the animal.
Their skin is black, whilst the muzzle and mucous areas are a paler colour. The breed has incurved horns, which usually are downward facing, with a yellow base and black tips. Their horns are very sturdy, whilst they have small dark, hooves.
As mentioned above, the breed are renowned for their hardiness, strength, resistance to parasites and their tolerance to fluctuating temperatures. They also have excellent grass finishing abilities, have great mobility and extended muscles.
Mothers are also widely known to be excellent calvers, rarely coming into difficulty and are a very fertile breed. Mothers can even have a calving interval of 370 days. They have excellent conformation and great muscle development, making them perfect for beef production.
They also have excellent live weight gains and can even reach weights of up to 500kgs by 24-months. Mature bulls can reach up to a weight of 1,100kgs, while they can make it up to 145cms in height. Mature cows meanwhile can make up to 750kgs and 140cm in height.
Calves are usually between 35-42kgs at birth, the reason the breed are easy calvers. They are usually born a pale colour, which they will keep until approximately 3months old. Calves can reach up to 200kgs, by only four months old. Their muscle development can be noticed after a matter of days.
The best of South Western France, used to be the go-to breed for heavy haulage duties. Now, the Bazadaise is simply the king of calvers and maybe even the king of French Beef breeds.