We raise limousine cattle for more than 30 years

At the very beginning, there were only a few cows, then the herd started to enlarge progressively to achieve the actual size -35 to 40 suckler cows-, in the early 2000s. In our farm, we select for a « mixed type » of animal. In the Limousine standards, « mixed type » refers to animals showing a good balance between skeletal development and muscular development. Two other traits are also taken into account: calves growth and maternal qualities (easy calving, dam’s ability to feed its calf itself before weaning).

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The major part of animals is culled for meat, either for a cooperative (Coprosain), or for direct selling on the farm shop. For cattle feeding, we mostly use farm products. Our priority is to feed cattle with grass (fresh grass on pasture, hay or silage). Since January 1st, 2017, our beef cattle and forage crops are certified as organic products.

All animals are grazing pasture during summertime

The entire grazing area is divided in about 15 pastures during summertime. In order to optimize grazing, a rotation system is set up. To do so, a first herd grazes a pasture during a couple of days and is directly followed by a second herd on this pasture. Animals with higher feeding demands (cows with suckling calves) are in the first herd and animals with lower demands (old cows and heifers) are in the second one. During spring and summer, young bulls also graze pasture, but in a separated rotation system.

During winter, all cattle stay in stables. Cows are fed with grass (stored as hay or silage) and silage made of immature cereals and legumes. In addition to the same feeding, young bulls are fattened with an energy supplement of cereals and broken protein peas.

The Limousine breed comes from Limousin, in the heart of France

This breed is dedicated to beef production and its meat is internationally recognized for its taste. Due to the harsh climate of its original region, rusticity is one of the main advantages of Limousine and is linked to the following traits:

  • strong ability to take advantage of raw and low-cost forages;
  • high longevity and fertility rate: a cow can have more than 10 calves in its entire life (one per year);
  • calving ease: most often, calving does not require human help;
  • dairy ability: a cow keeps feeding its calf up to weaning age (about 8-9 months);
  • adaptation to various environments: Limousine cattle is found in various countries and climates.

Through a dedicated program, cattle performances are recorded on farm by the Belgian Limousine HerdBook and the Walloon Breeding Association. Performances are then used to estimate the breeding value of animals, in order to advise breeders for herd management.