If you are interested in raising cattle, it can be helpful to learn about different breeds before choosing one for your farm. There are several ways to sort them, so they are easier to learn about, and one of the best ways is by the location of their origin.

Below, we are going to look at several breeds that come from France. French breeders have been in the business a long time and have created several notable breeds that we will look at right now. We’ll give you a short description of each one and provide you with a picture so you can see if it’s right for your farm.


Top 12 French Cattle Breeds:

1. Abondance

Abondance cow
Image Credit: ventdusud, Shutterstock
Weight:1,250–1,800 pounds

The Abondance is a medium-size cow that is usually golden brown. It produces high-quality milk with plenty of fat and protein, and farmers often use the milk to create cheese. It’s able to withstand extreme temperatures and has a long lifespan.

2. Aubrac

Aubrac cow
Image Credit: Frederic Hodiesne, Shutterstock
Weight:1,400–2,100 pounds

The Aubrac is a large breed with a wheat-colored coat and dark hooves. It started in the early 19th century as a meat producer, and it’s still a common breed today. The modern Aubrac still produces meat, but farmers also use the milk to create a Laguiole French cheese.

3. Bazadaise


The Bazadaise is a large cow that weighs 1,600 pounds or more, with the males reaching 2,200. Farmers originally used it as a draft horse to pull carts, but modern farmers typically use it for beef because it’s heavily marbled and tender. It has a grey coat, black skin, and horns that point down and in.

4. Betizu

Betizu cow
Image Credit: d.umbre, Shutterstock
Weight:750–1,100 pounds

The Betizu is a small, endangered mountain cow that is one of a small number of feral cow populations in Europe. In 2013 there were only 254 remaining Betizu cattle. Conservation efforts are in place.

5. Bretonne Pie Noir


The Bretonne Pie Noir is a small dairy cow from northwestern France. It’s small, easy to maintain, and produces a large amount of milk, so it’s well suited for beginners. It was once much more popular with numbers around 500,000, but since the 1970s, the number has been closer to 15,000.

6. Ferrandaise


The Ferrandaise is a large cow with a pied red and white coat. Since it is so large, it is a triple-purpose cow able to give milk and meat and pull carts and plow fields. It’s popular among new owners, though its large size can be hard to manage. It’s also a great choice for farmers who live on rough or poor terrain as these cows can make it work.

7. Gascon

gascon cow
Image Credit: arenysam, Shutterstock
Weight:1,200–1,500 pounds

Gascon cattle were once two breeds that became one in 1955. These cows have an easy time giving birth, and the calves grow and mature quickly. They tolerate cold weather well, so they are perfect for farms in the northern United States.

8. Montbéliarde

Montbeliarde cows
Image Credit: Clara Bastian, Shutterstock
Weight:1,300–1,500 pounds

The Montbéliarde is a milk-producing cow that the French primarily use to make cheese. These cows are red pied with whiteheads and small horns. Farmers export these cows to many cultures where breeders use them to create new mixes that can help improve the breed or make something unique.

9. Normande

Weight:1,500–2,500 pounds

The Noramade is another milk-producing breed that creates milk high in fat and is perfect for making butter and cheese, though farmers sometimes use it to produce meat. It’s a large cow that can weigh more than 1500 pounds, and it has a black pied coat that makes it look speckled. It adapts well to many environments and has good resistance to sunlight.

10. Parthenaise

Parthenais Cow
Image Credit: Pitamaha, Shutterstock
Weight:1,700–2,500 pounds

The Parthenaise is a large cow that can weigh more than 1,700 pounds. It was originally a triple purpose breed that farmers used for pulling and plowing as well as giving milk and providing meat, but today we usually use it for meat. Its color can range from light to dark wheat, and it has black skin and hooves.

11. Salers Cattle

Salers cows
Image Credit: Fabien Monteil, Shutterstock
Weight:1,500–2,500 pounds

The Salers cattle is another large cattle breed, and farmers originally used this one as a work animal to pull carts and plows. Farmers noticed that it also produced large amounts of milk as it became more popular, which became its primary task. It also withstands extreme temperature fluctuations and is easy to breed.

12. Tarentaise

Weight:1,150–1,600 pounds

Tarentaise cattle are from the Tarentaise valley, where they were isolated from other breeds for many thousands of years. These cows have exceptional mothering capabilities and produce fast-growing calves, making them a favorite among new owners. They have dark pigmentation; it helps prevent them from getting sunburned, and farmers typically use them for milk production.



As you can see, there are several French cattle breeds available to purchase for your farm, and there are plenty suitable for milk production and meat. In addition, you can buy several varieties that will help you pull carts and plow your field, making them extremely useful as multi-purpose animals. If you intend to be a cattle breeder, there are several breeds with fast-growing calves that can lead to more profit.

Featured Image Credit: Daboost, Shutterstock