Also known by: Basco-Béarnais
Most of this breed of cattle are owned by the Conservatoire des Races d'Aquitaine. The animals are older cattle, bought because of an interest in the breed. They are kept as potential producers of bulls and are either approaching, or past, 20 years of age. A part of this herd used to spend the summer in the Pyrenees, returning to the 'Ferme Conservatoire' only for the winter.
This very special breed is still milked by some mountain farmers. They content themselves with 7 or 8 liters of a milk which is very rich but pale in color. The cheeses (called 'tomes') they make from this milk look similar to the 'tomes' made from sheep or goat's milk (and is in fact often mixed with them).
This is also a very ancient type of cow and it is interesting to note that they were selected for breeding more for their aesthetic qualities (especially their horns) than for any reasons of productivity.
Mason, I.L. 1996. A World Dictionary of Livestock Breeds, Types and Varieties. Fourth Edition. C.A.B International. 273 pp.
Ferme Conservatoire de Leyssart, Theres Kohler & Dominique Massoubre, Leyssart, F - 33660 Puynormand
Phone: 05 57 49 62 82