Limousin cattle are an ancient breed which are native to the regions of Limousin and Marche in south central France. Because of the difficult terrain it originated in, the Limousin developed into an adaptable, hardy breed. Today, the Limousin are both efficient free-range foragers and are also able to quickly convert feed into mass in feedlots. Limousins are known for their muscular build, feed efficiency, ease of management and calving ease.
The Limousin was brought to Canada in 1968, and to the United States in 1971. The North American Limousin Foundation (NALF), founded in 1968 is presently the largest Limousin association in the world.
Appearance / health:
Limousin Cattle are a golden red color, with lighter coloring around the nose, eyes and around their midsections. The coat is short and curly in winter and sleek in summer. They are usually medium bodied and well-muscled. They are massive in the front with a medium shoulder hump and large hind quarters, though narrow through the flank area. The heavy musculature of the Limousin is a highly heritable trait, and they are considered an excellent source for introducing mass into the lighter breeds while maintaining relatively low birth weights.
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:
Since 1968, Limousin have been bred to have a docile temperament, and this is what they are known for today.
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.
Strategic Crossbreeding, Limousin cross calves, beef suckler herd, cold climates, experienced handlers
extreme heat, hot temperament traits, starter breed
lifetime cow productivity, Continental breeds, Limousin Foundation NALF, hardy breed, lean meat quality
Limousins for Beef Crosses
Having a beef suckler herd, based around traditional British breeds (Hereford, Welsh Black and various Fresian crosses in the main) we have always sought to improve the conformation of our calves by crossing with continental bulls. Charolais and Simmentals at first and then Limousins.
Limousins were chosen as the calves tend to be smaller at birth, meaning fewer problems (you still have to watch heifers, but that is the case with any heifer birth). Limousins are also a hardy breed that do much better on marginal land than other Continental breeds, particularly if you have some rich pasture to give them. They are very good at converting even the poorest grass into muscle. In appearance they are almost box-like with well built fore and hind-quarters so you get good quality meat and excellent conformation.
Limousins are naturally lean and if crossed with more traditional breeds you get an optimum level of lean meat and fat marbling for flavour. It should be noted that Limousins do have a reputation for being highly strung, to say the least. We definitely found that to be the case for the cows.
The bulls were aggressive on their own, but very calm in the herd. Their attention is on the cows, so as long as they are in a herd with sufficient numbers of cows around them they are not a problem. Crossbreeds, as might be expected, share the genetics and temperaments of the parent breeds.
In terms of breeding beef sucklers, the numbers speak for themselves and the Limousin cross calves had over 100kg more weight than the uncrossed breeds we were using.
Having reared both Limousins and Charolais I would say that Limousins are slightly more even tempered and easier to handle (but not by much). However, Limousins win hands down due to easier calving and their ability to better convert poorer grazing to meat. Still, this is not a breed for anyone without experience of rearing cattle, particularly if you are going to keep bulls..
From DLlE Sep 15 2012 9:46AM
My show steer "Houdini"
I've owned many cattle over the years, including 5 purebred Limousin. This review focuses on my high school experiences showing my FFA steer that I named "Houdini."
The breed is a beautiful, well composed breed for the commercial market. They are well built muscular cattle that are fairly hearty in the deep South of the U.S. The cows have little trouble calving as they are big framed. The calves grow quickly and large. Most of the focus then was on low birth weights and high weaning weights.
The problem I had with this calf was his temperament. Even as a castrated male, he was not docile. He was very high strung and would try to run at any new stimulation, which did not bode well for his purpose as a show animal. Lots of training hours were put into my showing experience, but they yielded little results as he was still very "spooky" come show time. I would not recommend this breed for new young cattlemen to show. Having said that, experienced handlers may do well..
From nickcostondvm Oct 5 2014 10:02PM