This coming Friday should see the arrival of 15 more young heifers and four older cows. The heifers will form the core of our breeding herd and the cows will provide calm leadership while the heifers grow. One is also a hand milker, so maybe we’ll give that a go.
Salers (pronounced Sal-Airs) are great at growing on grass and thrive in the harsh conditions of the Massif Central. They should do well in the Gers winters. They have a red coat and big horns. Here is an example, although her horns aren’t that big.
Salers are dual-purpose cows that provide a lot of milk. They make Cantal cheese from Salers milk. While this isn’t of great importance for beef, it lets the young calves grow very well.
We were looking for cattle with old DNA, that have a long history and that haven’t been modified too much in recent times. Our Mirandaise fit the bill there, and so do the Salers.
The number one reason we bought Salers was for the taste. As part of our search for good beef, we tried some steak from the Salers and it was easily the best tasting steak we have had in France. It was well marbled, and the cooked meat was much more red than I usually see. It will make great ground beef (or steak haché or mince or spaghetti bolognese or meatballs or shepherd’s pie or …).
We liked the steak so much we bought the cows!
They even come in black, although it is the inverse of the USA. Here black cows are discounted since eleveurs prefer the red ones. Here is a black bull from the seller’s farm. He’s kinda curly, but in the flesh that head is absolutely huge.
Right now it is all work as we move the Mirandaise out to one of the main paddocks and get the pens ready for the incoming herd.