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There are 60 cows per farm on average. 93% of the cow feed comes from the farm. 4% of organic farmers in May 2017, 6% by 2018. 100% of the cow feeding is traced 98% of the cow feeding is produced in France. 1 healthy cow produces quality milk. France is the world's 7th largest producer of milk. Milking takes 6 to 9 minutes per cow. 95% of French dairy farmers adhere to the charter of good practices. 99% of the cow's diet is vegetable, 1% mineral. A cow consumes between 50 and 80 kg of feed every day. On average, a cow produces of 24 liters of milk per day. A unique range of 1500 dairy products. Headphones are recommended to take full advantage of the experience.
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French dairy cows

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60

heads of cattle per farm, on average.

10

months of lactation per year.

The breeds of dairy cows

In France, you’ll find three main breeds of dairy cow :

  • Prim’Holstein, the leading French dairy cow, accounting for 66% of livestock.
  • Montbéliarde cattle. Generally found in Eastern France, or in mountainous areas. Accounts for 12% of livestock. This breed is adapted more to mountainous or steep terrain.
  • Normande cattle. Generally found in Western France. Accounts for 17% of livestock. It’s a more rural breed, with more full-fat milk, which makes it particularly suitable for the production of cheeses such as camembert.

Other, more local breeds round out the count of livestock, in particular for PDO regions: Abondance, Tarentaise, the French Brown, and the Vosgienne.

A few examples of milk yield from dairy cows around the world.

  • India: 1,553 kg/year
  • New Zealand: 4,302 kg/year
  • Germany: 7,628 kg/year
  • United States: 10,157 kg/year
  • France: 7,062 kg/year

 

 (source elec 2017)

Why genetic selection ?

Genetic selection started a very long time ago, with the domestication of animals and the beginning of animal husbandry.

Humans started from the natural qualities of certain animals, and attempted to replicate them by mating animals which they selected according to visible criteria (docility, hardiness, milk quantity, horn shape, etc.) This was the beginning of animal husbandry…

 

This process of selection became more and more efficient over time. Scientific advances and the number of characteristics sought after increased significantly. By the 1960s, the selection criteria revolved around the quantity of milk yield, and its fattiness and protein levels.

 

After that, other criteria emerged, with a greater focus on milk quality and more operational aspects of the cattle: resistance to mastitis and diseases; fertility; longevity… These criteria are still prized today, but they can be even more numerous, thanks to genomics.