Limousin Beef

July 2005
Limousin is the top beef breed in the United Kingdom. They are fine-boned, hardy, easy to calve, efficient feed converters producing high quality meat from high yielding carcasses.

President of the Limousin Society, Allan McKenzie says the breed itself is a very old French breed, which they farmed in the hill country, its mountain country, and its used as a draught animal and later as a meat animal. Its farmed in a fairly small area so its fairyly reasonably pure breed.

Today the Limousin breed can be found in more than fifty countries from the northern most herds of Finland and the Commonwealth of Soviet States to countries such as Cuba, South Africa and China.

The Limousin is a rich gold colour, with lighter circles around the eye and muzzle, and shading to a lighter colour on the legs. Limousins can also be black as a result of grading up from black cattle. The head is small and short with a broad forehead and a short neck.

Limousin calves have low birth weights which lead to minimum calving problems when Limousin bulls are used over cows of other breeds. If heifer mating check with the bull breeder for the most suitable sires. Allan McKenzie says the biggest selling point for the Limousin would be that we are amoung the big muscling breeds [but] we retain the easiest calving of he heavy muscling breeds with the finer bone.

The Limousin breed is efficient. They have moderate mature size and are excellent foragers walking long distances for food. They also have above average feed conversion rates. When used in crossbreeding programs, the Limousin stamps its superior carcase characteristics on other breeds.

High meat to bone ratios and low fat leads to outstanding yields of saleable meat from Limousin cross carcases. Taumaranui Limousin farmer, Kevin Walker, says I think its a healthy meat. Its not got a lot of fat its all meat and the yield is there. Were actually cutting from the cattle going to the freezing works, theyre weighing out and killing at 68% of their body weight which is really good.

Allan McKenzie believes the meat is a superior product and with the food industry developing, and becoming more upmarket, we feel there is going to be more demand for higher quality meats.