Sheep breeds
Causse du Lot

Brebis Causses du Lot - Crédit : DR
Brebis Causses du Lot - Crédit : DR
Summary of the article

 Traits and performances

Originating in the Lot département, this breed has developed a high level of hardiness and the ability to walk over long distances. It’s thus very well adapted to free-range as well as sheepfold breeding systems. Its docility and maternal qualities make it possible to operate large flock sizes.

The ewes mature at an early age, can be mated starting at 7 or 8 months and easily adapt to out-of-season lambing without need for hormone treatment. These qualities allow farmers to conduct two matings per year, and accelerate the lambing schedule (3 lambings in 2 years). The suckling abilities of the ewes enable them to produce well-conformed lambs and suckle twin lambs without difficulty.

The Causse du Lot is often crossbred with specialized meat-breed Ile de France or Berrichon du Cher rams to produce better-conformed lambs that better match market needs. Farmers monetize the products of such crossbreeding thanks to the "Agneau Fermier du Quercy" Protected Geographical Indication (IGP), which was granted in 1996.


The breeding program managed by OVILOT is unique in that it is made up of two sections. On the one hand, improvement of maternal traits (prolificacy and suckling abilities) is pursued on a population of purebred ewes by breeding program with on-farm progeny testing.

On the other hand, producing so-called "F1 46" ewes, resulting from crossbreeding Causse du Lot ewes with Ile de France rams, aims at improving breed conformation.

The purpose of implementing this duel-tiered scheme is to ensure the renewal of flocks with purebred ewes presenting the best guarantees from both genetic and health standpoints. This organization makes it possible to propagate 11,000 Causses du Lot ewe lambs and 6,000 F1 46 ewe lambs per year.


Key figures

  • 105,000 ewes
  • 57 flocks under official performance recording system
  • 29,916 ewes under on-farm official performance recording system
  • 5,258 artificial inseminations
  • Adult ewe weight:
    60 to 65 kg
  • Adult ram weight:
    90 to 110 kg
  • Prolificacy after natural estrus: 1.6
  • 30-day weight (singleton male): 11.6 kg

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


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