are a breed of highly muscled beef cattle
originally bred in the Limousin
and Marche regions of France
. They were first exported in the 1960s and are now present in about 70 countries throughout the world. Limousins have become a popular cattle breed because of their low birth weights, high dressing percentage (ratio of meat to carcase), high feed conversion efficiency, and their ability to produce lean, tender meat. They are especially favoured for crossbreeding with British breed cattle such as Angus
Limousins are naturally horned and recognisable by their distinctive golden-red colouring, although international breeders have now bred graded up forms that are black and polled (do not have horns).
The first Limousin herd book was established in France in 1886 to ensure the breed's purity and to enable the improvement of the breed by certifying and recording only those animals that satisfied a strictly enforced breed standard. The breed was initially believed to have been as old as the history of Europe because cave drawings estimated to be 17,300 years old in the Lascaux
caves near Montignac
, France, depicted aurochs
cattle that resembled today's Limousins. However, DNA analysis now indicates that Limousins have no, or very limited evidence of, local wild aurochs genetics and more likely evolved from an introduced subspecies domesticated in the Near East.
The history of Limousin cattle begins in the period known as... Read More