Froment du Léon
It is an ancient breed from northern Brittany. This breed comes from cross-breeding black Celtic cows and Norman red pied cows. This cross-breeding was made during the beginning of Norman arrival. This breed has the same origin as Jersey cattle. It is believed that Guernsey cattle and Canadienne cattle are descended from the Froment du Léon breed. In 1907, the herdbook was opened.
This breed was twice threatened. During the 19th century, the Froment du Léon was crossbred with Shorthorn to produce Armorican cattle. After World War II, the breed lost in competition with more efficient dairy breeds. Some semen of Guernsey cattle were used to save the breed from consanguinity. In the present, it is a rare breed kept pure by a small group of farmers. There are about 400 animals.
The colour is tan with white spots on the legs. Mature cows weigh about 500 kg and are about 130 cm tall.
It is a multi purpose breed, known for its golden butter (presence of carotene). The cows give about 3500 kg of milk per year and calves grow fast on this high fat milk. The meat has good taste and quality.
Traditionally in Brittany farmers used one or two Froment du Léon to boost the fat percentage of their milk farm.