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Maine-Anjou Cattle

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The basics:
The Maine-Anjou breed originated in France as a result of crossbreeding the local Mancelle cattle with Durham cattle imported from England. They breed was first called Durham-Mancelle but later renamed to Maine-Anjou after the Maine and Anjou river valleys. The breed became dual-purpose; cows for milk, bulls for meat.

The Maine-Anjou was introduced to the United States from semen imported from Canada in the late 1960s. They are highly regarded for good milk production and feed efficiency. They are currently favored for crossing with the Angus to result in the “black gold” hybrid that is docile and commercially sought after for excellent muscling and marbling.

Appearance / health:
The Maine-Anjou is a large breed averaging more than 2000 lbs. The body coloration is dark red to brown with a white head, belly, hind legs, and tail. As a result of selected crossbreeding, American Maine-Anjous are mostly with minimal white markings and sometimes black in color.

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:
Cattle are docile animals that have strong maternal instincts. They are big and bulky, and could, therefore, inflict harm without intending to. Handling and brushing them constantly while juvenile will help train them to be calm and trusting around humans, which is helpful especially when they need to be attended to by the veterinarian or groomer.

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.