Descendants from this cattle breed originally imported by the Viking settlers during the ninth and tenth centuries, the Normandy cattle are bred within the Normandy regions of North Western France for the dual purpose of beef and dairy production with the milk used specifically in the production of cheese.
The first herd-book to effectively register the Normandy breed was established in the year 1883. A large number of the breed however was destroyed during World War II during the Allied invasion of Normandy.
Today there are more than three million Normandy breeds found in France where they are mainly used for their rich dairy produce for cheese while providing an excellent quality of beef.
The Normandy breed cattle can often be seen as a red and white breed occasionally appearing with a widespread area of brown color within the coat slightly longer in length resembling the stripes found on a tiger.
The breed can be found displaying one dominant color within its coat which has resulted in the breed found in France to be referred to by a variation of names respective of the dominant color. Such as Normandy breeds with a dominant white color have been referred to as ‘quail”, and predominantly brown breeds are known as “brindled.”
The Normandy breed cattle have been exported globally over several years during which they have been mainly adopted within South Africa since their introduction since the 1890’s and today are recognized as one of the most highly favored dual cattle breed within the region.
There are currently more than four million purebred Normandy cattle breeds in addition to several crossbred variations. The Normandy cattle breeds found in Columbia number more than one million with the remaining breeds found in Ecuador, Uruguay, Brazil and Paraguay.
The Normandy cattle breed have been found to be an extremely adaptable cattle breed able to flourish within beef operations located within the Andes Mountainous regions well over 13,000 feet able to survive through a vast range of climates.
The thick curly winter coat of the Normandy breed cattle serves as an adequate means of protection against intolerable cold climates with their notable eye rings providing the breed with sufficient protection against the sun during the summer months.
The typical Normandy breed cow has extraordinary built legs and firm feet allowing the breed to travel much further distances than the traditional breed where they can access roughage and pasture areas used for grazing and the production of dairy milk.
The breed’s docile temperament allows handling of the bulls very easy for cattlemen and ranchers.
The Normandy breed cattle due to its well-built muscular mass relative to bone ratio has been found to yield a much higher percentage in beef from carcass.
In France the beef produced from the Normandy breed cattle has been renowned for its unsurpassed marbling quality, tenderness and flavor as the average Normandy bred steer will easily produce a grade choice beef at 1,250 pounds.
Within the United States Normandy bulls have are subjected several growth tests conducted at a variety of stations which has often resulted in the Normandy beef produced within the United States to be among the top ranked quality beef found within the country.
The Normandy breed cow is often referred to as one of the more ideal breeds. Unlike other specialized and some traditional cattle breeds the average Normandy cow has been found to possess a preserved hardiness in addition to certain breeding qualities required by cattlemen and ranchers including ease in calving, high fertility rate.
The Normandy breed have also been found to exhibit a high feed conversion showing outstanding grazing ability and a much desired genetic diversity often demonstrating that milk production can be achieved without sacrificing the essential breeding qualities found within the breed.
This trait has been widely acceptable allowing the Normandy breed cattle to be a favored breed with its unique genetics.
Normandy cows exposed to high forage feeding programs have often been found to produce an average of 14,000 to 15,000 pounds of milk during their lactation period generally consisting of 3.6 percent protein value and 4.4 percent of fat. Most other breeds however have been found to produce between 22,000 to 30,000 pounds of milk per lactation.
It has since been observed that the results obtained were not found to reflect the genetic originality of the Normandy breed as more than 90 percent of Normandy breeds were found to contain the B Kappa Caseine gene with at least 82 percent of the Bulls found with the BB Genotype.
Scientists have found that the levels of caseine beta and kappa found in the milk produced by the Normandy cow favorably impacted the curdling quality of the milk making it ideal for the production of cheese. The Normandy breed cattle found in France are famous for their production of branded cheeses including, Livarlot, Camembert, and Pont-Leveque.
Dairy farmers located within the United States from Texas to Wisconsin, and from California to Vermont are constantly coming up with new and improved ways to cross breed the French Normandy cattle bulls with their local dairy cows with the hopes of making up in lost breeding qualities such as strength and fertility typically not found in the Holstein and Jersey breeds.
The North American Normandy Association found in Rewey Wisconsin aims to provide breeders of the Normandy cattle with an effective association allowing them to register their cattle ensuring the integrity of the Normandy breed is successfully maintained within the United States.
The association additionally promotes the breed in both the dairy and beef industries. Members of the North American Normandy Association are found to enjoy a range of benefits including an upgrading program for Normandy breeds as well as a list of cattle sales by various breeders where members can purchase their seed stock for their herds.
Buyers additionally can purchase Normandy stock from a number of Normandy breeders including:
New Hope Normandes located in Scandinavia, Wisconsin,
Winter Spring Normandes located in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania,