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Limousin Cattle

Limousin cattle are a breed of beef cattle originating from the Limousin and Marche regions of France.


Limousin cattle are one of the oldest French beef breeds originating in the region of Limousin in south-central France, as well as in parts of the adjacent Marche region, records date back to the 18th century. They were historically used as draft animals valued for their strength and endurance, but in the late 19th century, they were bred for beef production due to their excellent meat quality.

The exact origins of the breed are not well-documented, but they are believed to have descended from ancient Celtic cattle that inhabited the area. Limousin beef is renowned for its tenderness, flavour, and low fat content, making it highly desirable in the culinary world.



Limousin cattle are known for their distinctive golden-red coloration though black examples do exist, muscular build, fine bones and relatively little fat. They have a sleek, fine coat and short, fine hair, which allows them to thrive in various climates. Limousins are naturally horned, although polled (hornless) strains do exist. They have a deep, broad body and a wide chest, and strong, well-developed hindquarters.

Muscle Development

Limousins with their unique genetic predisposition for lean muscle growth, are renowned for their muscularity high meat yield and high meat-to-bone ratio. This makes Limousin beef particularly desirable for its tenderness and leanness.


A highly adaptable breed, Limousin cattle can thrive in a wide range of environments, from harsh mountainous regions to more temperate climates. They are known for their longevity, hardiness and efficiency in converting forage into meat.

Commercial Importance

Limousins have been widely used in crossbreeding programs around the world to improve the meat quality and muscularity of beef cattle. They are often crossed with other breeds to produce hybrids with desirable traits for commercial beef production.

Docile Temperament

Despite their muscular appearance, Limousin cattle are generally docile and easy to handle, making them suitable for both small-scale and large-scale beef production operations.

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Genetic Selection

Modern breeding programs for Limousin cattle focus on selecting traits such as growth rate, feed efficiency, carcass quality, and maternal characteristics. This continuous genetic improvement has contributed to the breed’s popularity in the global beef industry. Selective breeding has played a crucial role in shaping the modern Limousin breed. As a result, Limousin cattle are known for their high feed conversion efficiency and relatively low maintenance requirements. In recent years, advancements in genetic technologies have further improved the breeding and selection process for Limousin cattle. DNA testing and genomic selection allow breeders to identify desirable traits more accurately and efficiently, helping to accelerate genetic progress within the breed.

International Spread

The popularity of Limousin cattle has spread beyond France to other parts of the world. They were first imported to the United States in the late 1960s, and since then, they have become one of the most prominent beef cattle breeds in North America. Limousins are also raised in various European countries, Canada, Australia, and elsewhere.

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