Breed description

Breed description of the Charolais

The Breed
Charolais originally is a French beef breed. From France the largest imports to Sweden came during the end of the 1960s. During the 1990s polled Charolais from Canada were imported to Sweden.
Charolais cattle are easy to recognize, white or creamy white in color, but the skin carries pigmentation. The hair coat is usually short in the summer but thickens and lengthens in cold weather. The main physical characteristics that distinguish the Charolais breed are that it is a powerful animal of great size. With optimal feeding levels the carcass conformation score will be R+ or higher, sometimes U and even E. Charolais cattle are large with mature bull calves weigthing from 2,000 to well over 3000 pounds and cows weight from 1,250 to over 2,200 pounds. Average weight by birth is 108 pounds for bulls and for heifers 102 pounds.

Production ability
Distinguishing for the Charolais is among other things rapid growth, low feed efficiency, high carcass and a very good well distributed meat classification. In other words a breed suitable for an intense and efficient beef production. Charolais is therefore used in a wide range as progenitor in Swedens herd of (crossbreed) beef cattle.
Swedish Charolais has in a successful way concentrated on development of the breeding to improve the capacity of calves and growth predisposition. During the later years the emphasis has been on the enhancement of the genotype for milk production and functional exterior.