Charolais Cattle: A French Breed

Charolais cattle originated in the midwest and southwestern regions of France. The Charolais race, in the old ones, was in the French provinces of Charolles and Niemen. The cattle that gave rise to this breed are not known. By the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, this breed became popular in the French markets. The selection developed white animals that as in other parts of the European continent were raised to produce milk and meat.

It was until after World War II that the Charolais calf made its appearance in other parts of the world. Although in fact the former were not Charolais calves but adult bulls and females who traveled to Brazil around 1950. It has traditionally been used in crosses with British breeds, especially Angus. In order to obtain beef with better meat yield from its lower fat content. Due to its European origin, it is cataloged as the “Continental race”.

Charolais Cattle

Characteristics of Charolais Cattle

Charolais cattle are a breed of great capacity to produce meat. It presents a great muscle mass with an abundant mantle of meat in the later quarters. It is there where the cuts of greater qualities of meat flavor are found. These are animals that reach a high weight to adulthood. Charolais animals have a white or creamy white color; the hair can be short in summer, it thickens and lengthens during times of cold.

Most calves are born with horns, although many breeders remove them when calves are young. In addition, the skin and mucous membranes are pink. In the field, they take a straw-white tint. The body is bulky and cylindrical. One of the most remarkable features is the high development musculature.

The musculature is found in the extremities and on the back of the best representatives of the race. Charolais cattle are large. Adult bulls weigh 900 to 1,250 kg while cows reach 560 to 950 kg. Behavior tests report the following yields: Bulls in fattening have a daily weight gain of 1.58 kg. It also has a first-rate food conversion: 1 kg x 7.26 kg of food.

Regarding reproductive efficiency, the Charolais breed has shown: A pregnancy rate of 81%, a survival rate of 96%, as well as a weaning rate of 78%. Charolais crosses with Brahman have reported a weaning step of 268 kg for half-blood. For animals ¾ Charolais, weaning weight was 295 kg. You May Also Like To Read Limousin Cattle.

Their greater use in intensive farms indicates that cows achieve good yields in a wide range of environmental conditions. Bulls have achieved a well-earned reputation when used to improve cattle through crossbreeding. It is also one of the favorite breeds for terminal crosses in not only developing countries but also in the Latin American region for the excellent hybrid vigor of the crosses.


Charolais cattle are a breed that has no food restrictions. Notably, it has a high gain of weight with rough forages. Simply feed them with fodder and water.


Charolais cattle are an ancient race of multiple uses, turn into a race of meat. It is a breed that has a very good meat conformation. This breed is a prize for the quality of its low-fat meat derives from its past as a working breed.

Cows are appreciated for their breeding qualities such as:

  • Fertility and prolificacy (high birth rate of twins).
  • Good production of milk for feeding calves (the best among breeds of meat).
  • Very high growth rate (up to 2.5 kg per day).

Rustic animals, with a good capacity of adaptation to different conditions of breeding. The selection aims to improve birthing capacity. Especially the calving ease for the use of Charolais bulls on dairy breeds (in particular, the breed of Normandy. You May Also Like To Read Simmental Cattle.

Charolais bulls are highly demanded export. Their prices are very high. For it is considered that this breed can transmit to their descendants their meaty qualities.

Special Feature

Charolais cattle have genetic advances, to improve the morphology of the Charolais, has turned this type of cattle into one of the beef that offers the highest yield of meat, because of its fabrics. The reason why many breeders demand this type of animal for their farmers. Charolais cattle have earned their reputation for being herd breeders.

In arid zones of Mexico have been using extensively in the crossing with animals of the Brahman race giving rise to a synthetic race called chambray. And in Brazil, for example, their crossing with Nelore animals has led to the creation of another race called “Canchim”. You May Also Like To Read Dexter Cattle.

These 2 crosses are resistant and rustic in the tropical and arid climates for which they were developed.

Other characteristics of this race are:

  • Precocity in addition to the unmatched maternal ability of females.
  • Rusticity to adapt to conditions of scarcity.
  • Better weight gain and excellent feed conversion.


If you’re looking for a beef cattle breed to raise on your farm, the Charolais may be worth considering. It has been bred in France since the 1600s and is known for its hardiness and high-quality meat. The French government began promoting this type of cow in 1976 as part of an agricultural policy that encouraged farmers to produce more beef products locally rather than importing them from abroad. This article has given some information about how these cows were originally bred and what they are best suited for, so hopefully, it will help you decide whether or not this particular animal breed suits your needs! Good luck with your decision!

As a References: Wikipedia

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top