Breed Qualities

BREED STATISITCS

  • Calving ease: 97 %
  • Birth weight of calves: 35/40kg
  • 210d. weight of bull calves: 350kg
  • Weight of adult bulls: 850-1100kg
  • Weight of adult cows: 550-750kg
  • Average height at withers of adult cows: 130cm

MAIN QUALITIES

The Aubrac is a well muscled medium sized animal, which feeds well on low cost roughage: grass and hay, thus reducing the production cost of the finished animal. In France they live at an average altitude of 3,000 feet and can stand harsh climates. In summer they forage on poor vast pastures, and spend the winter tied up in sheds on concrete (little straw available). They have the ability to create reserves when times are good and utilise them when needed.

LOW MAINTENANCE COST:

Feed well on low cost low grade roughage (grass, hay). In their part of France fresh grass is only available for a maximum four months. In winter, they are fed on hay with added minerals. The young stock might get silage if available.

EASE OF CALVING:

Excellent pelvic conformation is one of the main criteria in selection of bulls and cows. Cows calve very easily both pure bred and crossed with heavy muscled Charolais, Culard, etc…The Aubrac bulls are used successfully on dairy and suckler herds for ease of calving. Calves are relatively small, weighing 35kg -40kg. They are lively and hardy at birth with high growth rates.

CALVING REGULARITY:

Very good fertility rate, and up to 98% of cows going back in calf.

MILKING ABILITY:

Good quality milk; average 2250kg per lactation at 4.2% butter fat. Tidy udder.

TEMPERAMENT:

One of their main attributes is docility.

MEAT:

Dense, continental type with marbling and good taste. Very high bone to meat ratio and little waist. Details and examples of kill-out results and boning percentage available further in the text.

HIGH LONGEVITY:

Longevity, hardiness and high fertility rates guarantee more calves over the lifetime of the cow.

CONSISTENT GRADING AND KILL-OUT RESULTS:

Lists of E and U grades available for view in Meat Qualities section. A high meat to bone ratio ensures high kill-out weights and very little waste.

IN FRANCE

Cows are tied up in sheds for approximately six months of the year. The calves are separated and allowed to suckle twice a day. The cows are fed on hay and minerals They are fed twice a day a limited ration of hay, just enough to milk well. The young stock might get silage if available. At the end of May the animals are brought up to the mountain pastures where the temperatures can go up to 35°C and plunge at night below freezing. At the end of their second summer, young bulls not needed for breeding are sold to feedlots mostly in Italy where they are finished in 100 days and command a premium price. Heifers not needed for in-herd replacement are sold and bred pure or used for crossing with Charolais.

The average herd size is 60 females, there are no elite herds, instead the whole standard of the breed is raised by culling or cross breeding the lesser cows with terminal sires. Only the very best bulls are kept for breeding and an average of 150 a year are being tested through the Aubrac testing station. In 2002, 76,000 young stock (pure and cross breeds) were exported to Italy (2/3) and Spain (1/3). The Aubrac breed has seen the highest return of young farmers to farming of any French beef breed and it is very noticeable at all shows and sales. They can obviously see a future in their breed.

Aubrac_BreedQualities1Aubrac_BreedQualities2
OFFICIAL STANDARDS OF THE AUBRAC CATTLE BREED ( AS SET BY FRENCH HERD-BOOK)

COLOUR : The coat is fawn with varying shades, it can vary from wheat colour to pale grey. The coat is darker on the shoulders and on the croup. These characteristics are mostly noticeable on non castrated males, where the front end is almost black.

EXTREMITIES : The mucus membranes, the rim of the anus, the lips of the vulva, the tuft at the end of the tail, the cleats, the tips of the horns, and the rims of the ears are black. In the male the extremity of the scrotum is black.

HORNS : pointing obliquely and slightly to the front, then upwards and finally twisting with the tip pointing backwards, they are black at the tip and as white as possible at the base.

HEAD : The muzzle, the rim of the eyelids and the eyelashes are black, surrounded by a white halo. The tongue is slate colour. The eye is lively and kind with a black make-up like outline. The forehead is flat and straight. The brow is square. The top knot is wide and often frizzy. The ears are medium sized, thin and surrounded with black hair. The head is expressive, the muzzle short and wide.

LEGS : short and fine they are of remarkable strength. The hooves are black. The Aubrac has excellent legs. The hind legs have wide and strong hocks.

TAIL : The tail is thin, long with an attachment not too prominent, well set and must end with a black tuft.

BODY : The neck and flanks are somewhat short but the chest and loins are wide. The pelvis and hips are well developed and level. The top line is straight, the chest is deep and the ribs are well sprung. The dewlap is less developed but the croup is muscular. The thigh is thick but not too rounded and very long

HARMONY : standing on four perfect legs, the Aubrac is a medium sized animal solid and sturdy showing characteristics of a robust animal.

  • Aubrac are a dual purpose breed, excellent maternal traits and beefing ability.
  • Very docile.
  • Excellent milking ability.
  • Ease of calving.
  • Short gestation average 281 Days.
  • Small hardy calves- bull average 35KGS.
  • Cows have excellent pelvic conformation with nice, tidy udders but still have a plentiful supply of milk.
  • Tops for feed efficiency.
  • Very hardy breed and easily maintained.
  • Bulls and steers perform well and finish at young ages with excellent grades.  See kill-out results here.
  • Progeny sought after by live exporters and feedlots.