Visiting some heifers in the Aveyron

I went to the Aveyron to see a man about some cows. It is great when you visit someone’s house and look out the window and see things like this:


Since it was all about the cows and not the architechture, here is a photo of one of the heifers I bought. She’s two and a half years old and pregnant.

aveyron heif

Over the last six years our soils have been gaining organic matter as all the grass is recycled into the soil. For four years this didn’t change much but in the last two years it has become obvious that we have a lot more grass than before and we need more cows. So off I went to buy some.

The herd is friendly. This calf wanted to check out my iphone.

friendly calf

In total we bought five pregnant heifers and five 1yo heifers to breed in a year.

7 thoughts on “Visiting some heifers in the Aveyron

  1. Rod Norton says:

    Hello Brent and Jean,

    Off to a good start for 2017.

    Are these French or British, they look like Devonshire.

    Hope they birth well.



  2. grasspunk says:

    Hello Rod,

    They’re Salers cattle, a French breed. They look just like Devons, don’t they. They’re supposed to have some Devon in them (and vice versa) since they imported several British breed cows back in the 1800 to improve the Salers.

  3. Cecilia Mary Gunther says:

    The animals look strong and capable and so wooly. Isn’t it wonderful that you can so glibly say oh yes they added a bit of Devon in the 1800’s. This must be a very old family farm.

  4. grasspunk says:

    Ah I mean the breed added British genetics, not this particular farm. French breeds have central management (of course – it’s France) and back then they imported Devons, Highlands and Durham Shorthorns. The official Salers story is that all the imports died of tuberculosis but if you look at Highland cattle web sites they talk about their genetics being in the Salers. If you mixed Devons with Salers I’d have a hard time telling them apart except I think the French have selected for the big horns.

    The Salers breed has a number of genetic lines they call “souches” from ancient breeding farms. We have a mixture of Calvet and Vantal but the young heifer calves have a line called Brousse in them. I don’t know much about the different souches though. Calvet is good for milk is about all I remember. I trust the guy I buy from to raise highly fertile easy birthing cattle who work well on grass alone.

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