Salers cows are red. They look like this, although usually not quite as silly as 33 here:
There’s a rare gene in the herd that gives you black Salers. A lot of the French farmers don’t like the black color, so they don’t breed from it. Jean-Claude, the farmer from which I bought my cows, is the opposite. He has been trying to breed black cows for fifteen years. He has a very good looking black Salers bull, too:
Black cows can be more expensive. He bought two black mother cows recently that cost 50% more than a regular cow. This seems odd to me: if many breeders want to get rid of the black gene then there should be a supply of cull heifers that would lower the price.
The USA likes their cows black and polled, so photos of Salers in the USA are often of black animals, like the ones at Weyer Ranch.
In the fifteen years of his black Salers hobby, Jean-Claude has never sold a black female. There just aren’t that many. This has all changed with the black heifer below.
She’s nearly three and she’s about to have her first calf. The word they use for a first-calf heifer is ‘tersonne’ but that seems to be a word local to the Auvergne since my Gascon cow farmer neighbor don’t know it. Also cows are about three when they give birth to their first calf which is late by US standards.
We’ve just bought set of cows to enlarge the herd, and the black heifer is now on our farm. She’s not a classic beauty – she short and stocky with a broken right horn. She’s an intelligent and curious cow who always seems to be in the middle of things. I like her. She’s now on our farm.
We call her Blackie Onassis, so named to honor the drummer in Urge Overkill.
There’s so much going on at the farm right now between discing and seeding, dealing with the new herd, tagging calves and building the new corral. All three elements of the farm are in major work mode. And just around the corner is hay making.
The story with black Salers is that having one in your herd guards against storms. Thanks, Blackie.