Charolais Cattle


History: White cattle resembling the Charolais have been reported as early as 848 AD but the breed as we know it made an appearance in the 1700s. Charolais are white cattle originally from the province of Charolles, France. Historically they were used for draft work, meat, and milk, typically prioritized in that order. That's what I like to call a triple threat! They were taken in 1773 from Charolles to the Nievre province by farmer Claude Mathieu, where they flourished.


Primarily draft animals, they were bred for size and heft. They are characteristically long-bodied with thick, strong legs. It was only after WW2 that they began to appear in other parts of the world. Notably, Jean Pugibet, son of Ernesto Pugibet, imported Charolais cattle to Mexico after seeing them on his tour in WWI. Industry seems to run strong in the Pugibet family, as Ernesto was also an important figure in Mexico's industrial revolution, establishing a cigarette factory in the 1894.


Between 1940s and 60s, there was an outbreak of hoof and mouth disease that affected nearly all of the Charolais cattle, so importation was cut off. Breeders, not to be deterred, continued breeding, crossbreeding carefully for hardiness from other herds, but managing to stay within "pureblood" rank until the issue was overcome. After 1965, limited import was again allowed into Canada and north America. American Charolais have less than 3% of the original Charolais DNA, and the UK boasts their own proud strain, but they all carry the same general desirable characteristics.


Appearance


These cows are white with generally course, wavy fur. They have since been used for crossbreeding for adaptability, hardiness, and growth with other breeds.


Charolais are one of a handful of breeds prone to 'double-muscling'- a genetic disorder wherein cattle gain twice as much muscle as they should. It is an exploited mutation commonly seen most notably in Belgian Blue cattle- a post for another time.


ART NOTES:

Seeing as he hails from France, this cow is depicted with a classic bowtie colored after the French flag. This little cow is ready for a romantic date with a bottle of fine wine. Wherever one goes in France, they can't go wrong with wine, a taste of local cuisine, and taking in the sweeping landscapes of the French countryside.