Charolais are a large, highly muscled beef cattle which were developed in the Charolais area of Burgundy, France. By the early 1800's the Charolais was prized for its quick growth and for its ability to pass on desirable traits when crossed with other beef breeds such as Hereford and Angus cattle.
Charolais were first introduced to the United States in the 1940s, and soon became a favored breed for producing meat with minimal fat content. The breed is also popular in Australia and Canada.
Appearance / health:
Charolais are large cattle that are typically horned, although polled animals have often appeared from upgraded breeding with polled breeds. They are generally white in color (although red and black variations sometimes emerge) with a short coat in the summer and a thick and long one in winter. Characteristic of the adult Charolais is its well-defined musculature, especially in the loin and hind areas. Mature bulls can weigh up to 2500 lbs.
Like other livestock, cattle require regular vaccinations and inoculations (for example, rabies inoculations) for disease prevention and health management. Similar to other mammals, cows can suffer a variety of ailments and health issues. A veterinarian should be on call and provide regular checkups and monitoring for the entire herd.
Behavior / temperament:
Charolais are considered docile animals by some, especially those who have bred the flighty, aggressive traits out of this breed. Most of the time though, they can be high-strung and flighty animals, this more pronounced if the cattle are not handled in a calm, quiet manner.
Charolais are known to adapt to hot climates, but in most cases require good to excellent quality pasture to subsist on without much additional supplementation. Some cattle of this breed may be able to do well on pasture considered less than ideal.
Housing / diet:
Housing for cattle is essentially to give them shelter from extreme weather conditions. Barns, rub-in sheds, stalls, and other structures like windbreaks, should be available where the cows graze. Aside from manmade shelters, trees and tall bushes can provide resting places for cattle to minimize heat stroke or wind chill.
Shelters will give the cows the option to seek safe haven from strong winds, extreme heat or cold, and heavy rains. Shelters should be strong, stable, spacious, well ventilated, and waterproof. Barns should be provided with water supply, and stalls should be lined with hay. They should also be cleaned regularly.
Sprinklers and other cooling systems are recommended for areas that overheat during summer months. Professional and humane fencing should be provided. All poisonous plants should be removed from the pasture; and hay should always be kept dry (wet hay grows molds, becoming a health hazard for cows).
A good quality pasture for grazing is the basic dietary requirement of cattle. The recommended pasture size per cow is 10 acres, without which, the diet should be supplemented with hay. The recommended quantity of hay is an average of 2% of the animal’s body weight per day (or 2 lbs. of hay per 100 lbs. of body weight). Supplements include grain mixes, protein and mineral cubes, and salt blocks, depending on the type of cow, its uses, and the local climate.
Providing a constant supply of fresh water is essential. An adult cow consumes an estimate of up to 20 gallons of water per day.
high-quality calves, excellent mothers, meat quality, muscle mass, good growth rate
handling, temperament traits, aggression issues, sunburn, hot climates
cattle easy keepers, 4H members, immense frame, profitability Charolais genetics, big continental breed
Serious Attitude Adjustment Needed!
We raised mainly two breeds of cattle Holsteins and Chalet and I have seriously has issues with the chalet. These are undoubted beautiful cattle with a commercial success rate but they are Not looking for friends!
I have been charged uncountable times loading and moving them. I have been charged at the livestock market! They are very skiddish and not people friendly. There are some that have a good temperament but mostly a very skiddish temperamental breed. If you do not mind the bipolar effect when working with these cattle then who am I to judge. Personally I think I lean more toward the Angus for beef and Holstein for dairy.
I am too old to jump fences and dive under moving trucks now!.
From lilbeck82 Mar 1 2014 8:32AM
Charolais - Big Boned Beef
The overall frame of the Charolais, is big. The are a sturdy, well-build animal. Bulky, bony, and very strong. The biggest complaint with the Charolais, when it comes to their market value, is their color. The are white. - Very White.
I've been curious, why not cross Angus/Charolais? Well, it's been done. I'd be curious to study the results.
The Charolais that I have worked with, were well suited to their environment. It was a 400-Acre Horse farm, in Northwest Oregon. The cooler climate, and the lush greenery, seemed to go well with the Charolais. And the bonus was, their bright white profile stands out quickly, in the dark and shaded brush!
One thing they have to contend with, is the heat, and too much sun. They burn easily, and special attention is needed to their eyes. The deserts, or high mountains, would not suit the Charolais.
If I had a ranch or hobby-farm, nestled in the shade of the trees, so to speak.. I would certainly own some Charolais. I love their conformation, and their demeanor. They are just a good animal to work with..
From cloverthegolden Oct 20 2014 1:01PM
Of all the cattle breeds we raised, Charolais cattle were the "lemon."
If you're just starting out with cattle, I would strongly urge against buying Charolais cattle. They're a French beef cattle breed that became highly popular in Texas after the King Ranch began breeding them, but they're incredibly skittish and their bulls also have a nasty temperament.
Additionally, Charolais cattle are plagued with health problems, including eye diseases such as pink eye, sunburn in hot climates, as well as serious calving problems (they're comparable to Herefords in that regard).
One of our females gave birth to a calf and then simply abandoned him, but we were incredibly fortunate to have a mama goat that had lost her kid during birth, so we started roping her and allowing the calf to nurse her while supplementing his diet with formula milk.
I just don't think they're worth the time, money, and hassle to put up with, especially if you're a beginner and don't have a lot of experience with cattle.
They're are famous for their beef, so if you want to buy one and spend a few months finishing it on good feed before putting it into the freezer, then I'd so go for it. But in terms of incorporating them into your herd, there are better breeds out there..
From mshawnkirby Jul 30 2015 2:26PM