Principal information

Salers and Aubrac: bovine stars!

by catherine levesque

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Long horns in lyre-shape, mahogany coat for the Salers, dark-rimmed eyes and wheat-coloured fur for the Aubrac. If you were to cross them then you’d have a real sight! Not only are they beautiful, these star-cows, originally from Cantal, have a real strength and maternal instinct in common, only improved upon by rigorous breeding: fertile, they calve with little difficulty and milk their young with out any issue.

These rustic breeds known for their quality meat both carry the name of a village: Salers, located to the west of the Cantalian volcano, and Aubrac, found on the plateau of same name, which rests along the three départements, Lozère, Aveyron and Cantal. And just as the Salers breed has extendend its presence well beyond its historical borders, nearly half of the national herd is found in Cantal and neighbouring départements. The beautiful Auvergnate cow can even be found on each inhabited continent.

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High-quality industries

In their territory, only 5% of Salers cows are used for cheese production: Salers tradition, Cantal, St. Nectaire, and Auvergne blue cheeses. This is primarily explained by the necessity of the close proximity of the calf to the mother during milking.

Mainly found south of the Plomb du Cantal, the Aubrac breed found there counts for 20% of the  national herd of 125 000 heads. Like the Salers, they are available in Label Rougen which guarantees a quality and irreproachable raising based on rigorous standards.

Every year, these divine bovines are celebrated during the transhumance at summer festivals. What an opportunity to get a little closer to these horned beasts with velvety eyes; why not follow them on a hike?