Dairy cattle breeds
Conservation breeds


The Bordelaise was a dairy breed from the Bordeaux region that spread out to neighbouring regions from where it was used to provide Bordeaux city with fresh milk and butter.

Today, it can be equally well used for milk and beef production, where it is especially suitable for smallholdings and farm direct sales.

 Bretonne Pie Noir

The Bretonne Pie Noir breed was shaped by the Brittany soil and climate.It developed on acidic, granitic, nutrient-poor soil which make it a hardy breed able to convert rough forage.

This small-frame cows have excellent breeding qualities (early sexual maturity, easy calvings).

The Bretonne Pie Noir produces a highly diversified range of farm products: cream, butter, buttermilk, cheese or local-speciality milk fermented gros-lait made exclusively from Bretonne Pie Noir milk and protected under the “Gwell” label.

The Bretonne is also popular for its as subtle-tasting and tender meat.


Traditionally, the Ferrandaise is bred in two areas of the Puy-de-Dôme département: the Chaîne des Puys and the Ambert area.

With relatively acidic-soil plateaus as its birthplace, the Ferrandaise has evolved a lively temperament and is very robust. Docile yet full of pep, it is large-framed, strong, and a tireless worker.

Ferrandaise milk was used to make cheeses such as Saint-Nectaire or Fourme d’Ambert.

This dual-purpose breed is now used for beef production, as its outstanding maternal qualities make it perfect for nurturing fast-growth, heavyweight veal calves showing good conformation.

 Froment du Léon

The Froment du Léon breed comes from the northern Brittany coast.

As the traditional line was adapted to areas with this type of temperate climate, the Froment du Léon is not a breed for extreme temperatures.

Its slender and classy gait has earned it a nickname as “castles breed’.

It yields a fat-rich milk that provides heavy volumes of cream noted for its deep colour and taste.

Butter from the Froment is rich in beta-carotene, and its deep primrose yellow can even reach shades of orange at certain periods of the year. This breed is well-suited to on-farm dairy processing.

 Villard de Lans

The Villard de Lans is native to the Lans mountain, and spread across the Vercors plateaux and mountains into the surrounding areas.

It is spirited with a lively disposition, has a solid frame-set, and can make excellent use of rough forage.

Its fat-rich milk is ideal for producing blue cheeses such as the Protected Designation of Origin (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée – AOC) Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage.

The Villard de Lans has a profile that is suited to smallholdings looking to sell dairy or meat products at local scale under a quality-oriented system based on using on-farm fodder.


Key figures

  • 101 cows
  • 44 farms
  • Adult cow weight: 600 kg
  • 1,650 cows
  • 350 farms
  • Adult cow weight: 350 to 450 kg
  • 2,150 cows
  • 320 farms
  • Adult cow weight: 700 kg
  • 344 cows
  • 98 farms
  • Adult cow weight: 500 kg
  • 393 cows
  • 88 farms
  • Adult cow weight: 650 kg


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