Maine-Anjou cattle are large, muscular animals that are also called Rouge de Prés cattle. They are known for their fast growth and easy fattening abilities. The cows give birth easily and make excellent mothers. These cattle are used primarily for beef production today. Since they produce high-quality meat and can also be used for their milking abilities, Maine-Anjou cattle are popular choices for farmers who want a dual-purpose breed.

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Quick Facts About Maine-Anjou Cattle

Breed Name:Maine-Anjou
Place of Origin:Anjou Region in West France
Uses:Originally dual-purpose; now primarily beef
Bull Size:2,200 – 3,100 pounds
Cow Size:1,500 – 1,900 pounds
Color:Solid red, solid black, black and white, red and white
Lifespan:15+ years
Climate Tolerance:All climates
Care Level:Easy
Production:High meat production, moderate milk production
Temperament:Calm and docile

Maine-Anjou Cattle Origins

The Maine-Anjou breed originated in Northwestern France. The Mancelle cattle breed was already well-known in that region. Mancelle cattle were large, muscled, and had an easy fattening ability.

In 1839, a landowner, Count de Falloux, imported the Durham cattle breed from England and bred them with Mancelle cattle. By 1850, Durham-Mancelle cattle were winning awards at French fairs. In the years that followed, the Society of Durham-Mancelle Breeders was formed.

In 1909, the name was changed to Maine-Anjou, with the name being a mix of the Maine and Anjou River valleys. In 1969, Maine-Anjou cattle arrived in Canada and were introduced to the United States by way of artificial insemination.

Maineanjou Cattle
Maineanjou Cattle (Image Credit: Cyrille BERNIZET, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)

Maine-Anjou Cattle Characteristics

Maine-Anjou cattle are known for their docile natures, making them easy to work with even for novice farmers. They have long lifespans and high fertility rates. The cattle produce tender, well-marbled, high-quality meat.

These hardy cattle are suited for nearly all climates. They can grow faster than some other breeds, which makes them desired by farmers. Bulls can reach up to 3,100 pounds, and cows can reach up to 1,900 pounds.

The cows produce a good milk supply for their calves, so it’s common to see Maine-Anjou cows being milked on farms. A regular herd usually sees half the cows being used for milk production while the other half raises calves.

The cattle can be horned, polled, or de-horned. If the horns are left intact, they grow outward and curl down toward the face.

In the United States, Maine-Anjou cattle are commonly seen in cattle shows and exhibitions. While the cattle are known for being docile and friendly, the bulls can get aggressive sometimes, especially during the breeding season.

Uses

Maine-Anjou cattle were specifically bred to be dual-purpose cattle that were sometimes used as draft animals. Since the 1970s, they’ve been a predominately beef cattle breed. Some cows are still used for milk production, but the cattle produce high-quality meat and are usually kept for this purpose.

Appearance

Maine-Anjou cattle can be solid red or solid black. The most commonly seen colors are red and white. The cattle are usually red with white patches on the head, underside, rear legs, and tail. The modern-day Maine-Anjou cattle in the United States is made up of a large percentage of solid black cattle.

Population & Distribution

Maine-Anjou cattle are distributed throughout several countries around the world. They are spread across the United States, but the highest numbers are seen in South Dakota, Iowa, and Oklahoma. In addition to the United States, you can find this breed in Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

The total population worldwide is approximately 60,000, with ⅔ of that population residing in France. Around ⅓ of the population is in the United States.

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Are Maine-Anjou Cattle Good for Small-Scale Farming?

Maine-Anjou cattle are ideal choices for small-scale farming. They are good choices for crossbreeding programs for farmers with existing cattle herds. Maine-Anjou cattle are docile and gentle. They don’t get stressed easily. They are an efficient addition to any farm where farmers are looking to maximize their income from smaller areas of land.

Originally bred to be a dual-purpose animal, the Maine-Anjou cattle are primarily used for meat production today. They are gentle cattle with calm temperaments and make good candidates for novice farmers. Their ease of care and calving make them desired additions to any herd. While they are large cattle, they can help farmers increase their income due to their high-quality meat and ability to produce milk.


Featured Image Credit: alexander84, Pixabay