The difficult environmental conditions where the Salers breed originated and developed in France makes it ideal for the poorer areas of the British Isles and today’s beef industry. Salers are generally horned and dark red, though there are a growing number of polled and black Salers becoming available.
The breed rarely experiences eye or udder problems due to their brown pigmented skin and pigmented membranes. A good hair coat which becomes thick and curly in winter gives hardiness and adaptability to cold and heat. Having roamed the mountains for centuries, and been draught animals they have developed strong legs and good feet with black hooves. Consequently the cattle can travel long distance over rough ground without developing foot problems and are equally able to tolerate long periods inside on slats.
Salers are ideally suited for crossbreeding programmes, being one of the oldest and genetically most pure of the European breeds, they produce a positive effect on the predictability and consistently increase hybrid vigour.
The French National Institute of Agricultural Research ran trials that show that Salers cows and heifers are able to draw on their body reserves when food is scarce to produce sufficient milk for their calf, building them up again quickly when grazing is plentiful. Suckler cow costs are minimised though the breeds stress free calving, longevity, foraging ability, winter hardiness and minimal feet, eye and udder problems.
Measured on farm
The Salers female displays exceptional maternal qualities of fertility, milking ability, calving ease, hardiness and longevity. High percentage calf crops resulting from the inherent fertility of Salers are realised through early puberty, quick rebreeding and high conception rates coupled with the breeds predictable calving ease and large pelvic structure.
More live calves per cow put to the bull means more £££’s and it all begins with a trouble free birth. Vigorous calves born with moderate birth weights, about 36 kg for heifers and 38 kg for bulls, and a slender long foetal conformation have gained Salers a proven reputation for easy calving be it on suckler or dairy cattle.
Further maternal advantage is realised through the Salers ability to wean a heavy calf and take care of herself. More kilograms at weaning result from the combination of good lactation and lean growth factors.
Bulls are known for their ability to cover large numbers of females and in the ranching countries bull numbers have been halved and calving percentages have risen, another valuable saving on herd costs.
The Salers influence contributes a large pelvic area to cross bred replacement females and will allow commercial suckler farmers to utilise heavily muscled terminal sires in a cross breeding programme with less concern about calving difficulties.
FEEDING & CARCASS
The final measurement of the breed’s capability is the economic production of a lean, nutritious and palatable protein product. That is what beef production is all about, Salers consistently produce the product that the industry and consumer demand.
Salers cattle are extremely flexible in the finishing yard enabling fatteners to make the best of the markets highs and lows. The Salers is a carcass breed that calves easily and consistently produces carcasses that are high in quality and lean in composition. Salers are producing an industry preferred product that is making the breeder, the fattener, the butcher, and the retailer take notice.