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Breeds of Livestock

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100 to 150 years ago, it was virtually unknown for breeds to be selected specifically for milk or meat. Instead, you could find a multitude of regional types which were used for their milk, meat, manure and, above all, to work.


According to Laurent Avon of the 'Institut de l'Elevage ' (Institute of Animal-Rearing), the Lourdais cow was certainly the best all-rounder of all the Pyrenean breeds, with good physical proportions and good milk production of 20 liters a day after giving birth, without the use of special food rations.


In the 1980s, only 30 cows and a single bull existed. Currently, there are about 100 nationally, of which 22 live at the 'Ferme Conservatoire', acting as a kind of 'nursery' herd. The farm has made an effort to conserve those which are the best milking cows, while taking into account some of their 'natural' behavior. For example, most of the time, the calf stays beside its mother for her to be milked.


The Lourdais is a white to light creamy-wheat in coloration.




Mason, I.L. 1996. A World Dictionary of Livestock Breeds, Types and Varieties. Fourth Edition. C.A.B International. 273 pp.


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