Beef breeds

Vache Bazadaise et son veau - Crédit : Excellence Bazadaise
Vache Bazadaise et son veau - Crédit : Excellence Bazadaise
Summary of the article

 Traits and performances

The Bazadaise gets its name from its native home region: Bazas, in the Gironde. Originally a draft breed, the Bazadaise progressively grew out of the Gironde and up to the Pyrenees, and is now mainly used to produce suckling veal and young bulls.

It has gained a reputation for producing fine-flavored, well-marbled meat, and the skilled know-how of Bazadaise farmers is recognized through several official-recognized quality labelling schemes: from the Label Rouge "Free-range suckling veal" for veal calves to Label Rouge "Bœuf de Bazas" and "Bœuf de Chalosse" for bulls, heifers and cows. There is also a Bazadaise breed CQC certification (Certified Quality Criteria) dubbed "La signature du groupement des éleveurs" [farmers group signature beef].

In addition to its beefing abilities, the Bazadaise also demonstrates excellent adaptability to all types of terrain, especially rugged mountain range where it makes excellent use of rough forage.

Bazadaise cows have a good wide pelvic area and birth relatively small calves (35 to 42 kg), all of which makes for very easy calving.

Their good conformation, fine-boned frame and good finishing abilities have created appeal on the export market.

The Bazadaise breed can now be found in England, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland, South America and Australia. It can be used to bring conformation and faster growth rates to local breeds while maintaining easy calving.


The Bazadaise Herdbook, which was established in 1896, has managed to keep the breed’s pure pedigree while improving its natural traits. In 2008, the Breeding organization Excellence Bazadaise took over, and working in partnership with Breeding Company Midatest, a stringent selection and in-breeding management program was introduced.

This program revolves around individual on-station performance testing on around 20 male weaned calves every year, all descended from a set of dams under on-farm official performance recording system, that form the breeding population pool. The best young bulls qualified on-station are sold on at two auctions held every year.

Every year, 1 or 2 bulls are selected to be propagated by artificial insemination: 27 bulls are currently on the artificial insemination catalogue and the farmers receive advice to help them manage the genetic variability and performances of their flocks.

Excellence Bazadaise is also involved in beef-breed genomics research under the French GEMBAL program (multi-breed genomics program for dairy and beef-breeds).


Key figures

  • 3,229 cows
  • 142 farms
  • 1,794 cows under on-farm official performance recording system
  • 695 cows recorded in the Herd Book
  • 4,710 artificial inseminations
  • Height at withers (adult cow): 140 cm
  • Adult cow weight:
    750 to 850 kg
  • Adult bull weight:
    900 to 1,200 kg


  • Easy calving: 94 %
  • Birth weight of male calves: 42.0 kg
  • 120-day weight of male calves: 157 kg
  • 210-day weight of male calves: 247 kg
  • Weight of young-bull carcass:
    450 kg
  • Carcass yield: 61 to 63 %

Results of on-farm performance recording system 2014 - Institut de l’Elevage & France Bovins Croissance