Dairy cattle breeds

Summary of the article


Traits and performances

The Pie Rouge has a recent history in France. Originally created by crossbreeding French Armorican with German Red Pied and Dutch MRI cattle, the breed was mainly developed in the Brittany and Normandy areas.

Outside France, it throve in the great north-western European plainland (Germany, Holland, Belgium and Luxemburg).

French selective breeding culminated in large size animals, fairly well suited to specialized dairy farming systems.

Feeding a grass and corn silage-based diet will get the best out of the Pie rouge, with high milk yield and solids content.

Other breed’s quality is the fact that it offers above-average fertility while remaining easy to breed.


The Pie Rouge breeding program aims to preserve the breed’s high milk protein yield while improving its functional breed traits (udder quality, feet & legs)

Every year, 75 young male bulls are genotyped. Genetic evaluations are then calculated, and the results guide the selection of the 15 best animals for subsequent confirmation by progeny testing under a joint French-Polish program.

Other bulls are included to round off the livestock farmers offer through a special partnership with Germany and sales agreements with Holland, forging a system that makes the breeding program even more efficient.


Key figures

  • 18,255 cows
  • 692 farms
  • 10,249 cows under milk recording system
  • 3,950 cows recorded in the Herd Book
  • 37,078 artificial inseminations
  • Height at withers (adult cow): 147 cm
  • Adult cow weight:
    700 to 800 kg
  • Adult bull weight:
    900 to 1,100 kg
  • Young-bull carcass weight:
    300 to 350 kg
  • Milk yield: 9,187kg
  • Milk yield 305 days: 7,773kg
  • Fat content: 4.19 %
  • Crude protein content: 3.43 %

Official milk recording results 2014 - Mature equivalent milk yield - Institut de l’Elevage & France Conseil Elevage