Limousin cattle are a breed of highly muscled beef cattle originating from the Limousin and Marche regions of France. The breed is known as Limousine in France. Limousins were first exported from France in significant numbers in the 1960s and are now present in about 70 countries. They are naturally horned and have a distinctive lighter wheat to darker golden-red colouring, although international breeders aswell as south african breeders have now bred polled (do not have horns) and black Limousins.
DNA analysis indicates that Limousins probably evolved from an introduced subspecies of aurochs domesticated in the Near East. Following a period of mediocrity, when they were used mainly as draft animals, interest in Limousins as a source of high quality meat grew about 200 years ago. The first Limousin herd book was then established in France in 1886 to ensure the breed’s purity and improvement by only recording and breeding animals that satisfied a strictly enforced breed standard.
Limousins have become popular because of their low birth weights (ease of calving), higher than average dressing percentage (ratio of carcase to live weight) and yield (ratio of meat to carcase), high feed conversion efficiency, and their ability to produce lean, tender meat. A major multi-breed study reported that Limousins converted feed into saleable meat more efficiently and significantly faster than popular British breeds, and marginally faster than other popular continental European cattle breeds. Conversely, the other cattle breeds produced more low-cost by-product and waste, which resulted in Limousins’ live weight growth being among the slowest. Limousins are especially favoured for crossbreeding with cattle such as Angus, Hereford, Drakensberg, Bonsmara, Brahman, Tuli, shorthorn and many others because of their ability to contribute hybrid vigor, and improve the yield and feed conversion efficiency of these breeds. The Crossbreed will produce higher levels of fat and marbled meat.
There can be no doubt: Limousin crosses are the ideal feedlot animal.
To crossbreed with dairy cows there’s no need to look further then a strong limousin Bull in order to get the best carcass qualities!