We love our Normandes. They are known for both their beef and milk qualities. The milk is also famous in France as a good cheesemaking milk — and I do love to make cheese.
We bought a yearling heifer (bred), her full sister and a half-sister. The full sister will also be staying around. The half-sister is the female half of a male-female twinning. It is said that she only has a 10% chance of conceiving. Well, we bought her because she was a good deal and we needed a beef cow.
Since then Claire has calved. She provided us with a lovely black bull (now steer) calf.
Here is a quote from the Normande Genetics website.
“A sustainable breed for a sustainable agriculture
For several centuries, farmers from Normandy have developed this exceptional breed on the pastures of Northwestern France. Raised on rough forage, the Normande is very well-known for quality in both the dairy and beef productions. Normande milk components are the best for making cheese. Carcass yield and marbling are superior. The Normande is the quintessential cow: unlike specialized breeds, it has preserved hardiness and breeding qualities, such as fertility, calving ease, feed and legs conformation, feed conversion and genetic diversity. From the high plateaus of the Andes, to the tropics, to Brazil, Belgium, Ireland, Japan, Africa and North America, the Normande has proven its adaptability to a vast range of climates. The Normande demonstrates that milk production can be accomplished without losing essential breeding qualities. We are pleased to introduce you to this unique genetics, a perfect fit for the new needs of dairy genetics.”
Our cows are very pleasant to work with and Claire is especially friendly. The others are a bit shy but give us time and we will have them coming up to us for attention. We named her calf Willis. He is growing like a weed.
The breeders we purchased from had bred Claire to an Angus bull. This produces good meat in the offspring. We will likely continue that tradition unless we need to replace our milking cows. Then we will likely use AI to produce another pure bred Normande cow.