Salers cattle offer:
- Easy calving with quick to suckle calves
- Very fertile males and females
- Long living hardy animals
- Low vet bills
- Excellent foragers
- Milky females producing fast growing calves
- Readily crossed to a ‘terminal sire’ breed
The difficult environmental conditions where the Salers breed originated and developed in France makes it ideal for the poorer areas of the British Isles and today’s beef industry. Salers are generally horned and dark red, though there are a growing number of polled and black Salers becoming available in the pure bred herd.
The breed rarely experiences eye or udder problems due to their brown pigmented skin and pigmented membranes. A good hair coat which becomes thick and curly in winter gives hardiness and adaptability to cold and heat. Having roamed the mountains for centuries, and been draught animals they have developed strong legs and good feet with black hooves. Consequently the cattle can travel long distance over rough ground without developing foot problems and are equally able to tolerate long periods inside on slats.
Salers are ideally suited for crossbreeding programmes, being one of the oldest and genetically most pure of the European breeds, they produce a positive effect on the predictability and consistently increase hybrid vigour.
The French National Institute of Agricultural Research ran trials that show that Salers cows and heifers are able to draw on their body reserves when food is scarce to produce sufficient milk for their calf, building them up again quickly when grazing is plentiful. Suckler cow costs are minimised though the breeds stress free calving, longevity, foraging ability, winter hardiness and minimal feet, eye and udder problems.
Measured on farm
Average weight of mature cows 650-850kg
Average height of withers of cows 144cm
Average weight of mature bulls 1000-1200kg
Average height of wither of bulls 154cm
The Salers female displays exceptional maternal qualities of fertility, milking ability, calving ease, hardiness and longevity. High percentage calf crops resulting from the inherent fertility of Salers are realised through early puberty, quick rebreeding and high conception rates coupled with the breeds predictable calving ease and large pelvic structure.
More live calves per cow put to the bull means more £££’s and it all begins with a trouble free birth. Vigorous calves born with moderate birth weights, about 36 kg for heifers and 38 kg for bulls, and a slender long foetal conformation have gained Salers a proven reputation for easy calving be it on suckler or dairy cattle.
Further maternal advantage is realised through the Salers ability to wean a heavy calf and take care of herself. More kilograms at weaning result from the combination of good lactation and lean growth factors.
Bulls are known for their ability to cover large numbers of females and in the ranching countries bull numbers have been halved and calving percentages have risen, another valuable saving on herd costs.
The Salers influence contributes a large pelvic area to cross bred replacement females and will allow commercial suckler farmers to utilise heavily muscled terminal sires in a cross breeding programme with less concern about calving difficulties.
FEEDING AND CARCASS
The final measurement of the breed’s capability is the economic production of a lean, nutritious and palatable protein product. That is what beef production is all about, Salers consistently produce the product that the industry and consumer demand.
Salers cattle are extremely flexible in the finishing yard enabling fatteners to make the best of the markets highs and lows. The Salers is a carcass breed that calves easily and consistently produces carcasses that are high in quality and lean in composition. Salers are producing an industry preferred product that is making the breeder, the fattener, the butcher, and the retailer take notice.
WHAT THE INDUSTRY SAYS…….
“The maternal attributes of the breed have helped us sell cattle. Salers breed cows with a big pelvis for easy calving, good udders and longevity. We needed a hardy beef cow which would cope with our farm’s tough conditions and were easy to manage. We are pleased that we came across the Salers, now we have about 120 cows run commercially with any pedigree sales an added bonus” – Terence Pye, Rigel Salers.
“Since 2007 we have used a Salers bull on our mixed Limousin and British Blue cross suckler herd. We chose a Salers bull for easier calving and we’ve been delighted. It has made such a difference that we decided to keep the best females as herd replacements” –
Aled and Endaf Jones, Wernol Salers.
“It is very rare to assist a Salers female at calving. Generally I find that Salers Cattle are a tidy breed, they have good udders, excellent feet and are ideal for breeding herd replacements. It offers farmers a good route to keeping a closed herd” – Dafydd Jones, MRCVS
“In a large commercial operation, ease of calving is absolutely essential. The Salers breed offers me easily managed, fast growing cattle that convert feed efficiently” – Alun Jones, Glan Mor Salers
“Salers beef is naturally marbled, hangs and matures well, with just the right amount of fat cover” – Conrad Davies, retailer