The Parthenais breed

 

Parthenais is a beef breed from the Deux-Sèvres department in France, named after the town of Parthenay. The breed today is exported throughout European countries like Ireland, United Kingdom, Belgium, Swiss and the Netherlands. Exports to other countries like Canada, United States, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand, remain modest. After nearly vanishing twenty years ago, the size of the French herd quadrupled. Thanks to its breeding and high meat qualities, many farmers were charmed by the Parthenais breed.

This ancient multi purpose breed was renowned for its high fat milk, perfect for butter production, and its draft animals. Today, Parthenais cows are no longer primarily used for milking but are rather used for suckling. The transformation into a beef breed is quite successful due to the breed’s high capacity to produce meat. 

The breed is large and heavy with a long body and muscular rump. Heavy farm work has shaped a strong animal. The coat is a beautiful wheat to light brownish colour bordered by grey. The muzzle, eyelids, eyelashes, ears and tuft at the end of the tail are black. A cow weighs an average of 800 kg and a bull more than a ton to a weight up to 1200 kg.

Its qualities

With an excellent conformation, low fat meat and fine bones, Parthenais beef has a high carcass yield with prime cuts for grilling (which is what the customers want).  Parthenais meat is appreciated for the palatability of its fine-grained vermillion red meat, dominated by high tenderness and juiciness.

This breed also has an excellent reputation thanks to its high quality meat appreciated by the finest gourmets.

Breeding

Parthenais breeders are mindful to give their animals optimal breeding conditions. They are fattened slowly and raised in accordance to natural and good breeding practices. The well-being of the animal is taken into account throughout its growth. Natural farming tradition, pasture-fed cattle, without chemical fertilizers and pesticides, give this high-quality meat all its richness of taste and improve its nutritional value. Calves are fed with milk from their own mother, tender grass and forages. This balanced diet helps them keep a good health which provides the meat an exceptional taste.