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The Charolais (French pronunciation: ​[ʃaʁɔlɛ]) is a breed of taurine beef cattle from the Charolais area surrounding Charolles, in Burgundy, in eastern France. Charolais are raised for meat; they may be crossed with other breeds, including Angus and Hereford cattle.

Vache de race charolaise avec son veau.jpg
Charolais cow and calf
Country of originFrance
Horn statusHorned
  • Cattle
  • Bos (primigenius) taurus
Embryo transferred Charolais calves with their Angus and Hereford recipient mothers.



Outside FranceEdit

The breed was introduced to the southern United States from Mexico in 1934. In 1965 it was introduced in the northern New England states from Canada.[1]


The breed tends to be large-muscled, with bulls weighing up to 1,100 kg (2,400 lb) and cows up to 900 kg (2,000 lb). In England, a bull of this breed has reached a weight of 2 tonnes. They also tend to be a skittish breed of cattle.[2]


The Charolais is the second-most numerous cattle breed in France after the Holstein and the most common beef breed, ahead of the Limousin. At the end of 2014, France had 4.22 million head of Charolais, including 1.56 million cows, down 0.6% from a year earlier.[3] The Charolais is a world breed: it is reported to DAD-IS by 68 countries, of which 37 report population data. The world population is estimated at about 730,000. The largest populations are reported from the Czech Republic and Mexico.[4]

Charolais x Zebu crossesEdit

A cross-breed with Brahmans is called Charbray and is recognised as a breed in some countries. [5]

Zebu, which can tolerate extreme heat,[6] were imported into Brazil in the early 20th century and crossbred with Charolais cattle, a European taurine breed. The resulting breed, 63% Charolais and 37% zebu, is called the Canchim. It has a better meat quality than the zebu and better heat resistance than European cattle. The zebu breeds used were primarily Indo-Brazilian with some Nelore and Guzerat.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The Charolais heritage ... a brief history Archived 19 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine. American-International Charolais Association. Accessed May 2015.
  2. ^ "'Monster' two tonne bull is Britain's largest". 27 December 2014.
  3. ^ [1] Infos rapides Bovins : Hausse du cheptel bovin français en 2014. Accessed June 2015.
  4. ^ Transboundary breed: Charolais. Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed May 2015.
  5. ^ Transboundary breed: Charbray. Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed May 2015.
  6. ^ "Food Ark - Cattle Breeds - Pictures, More From National Geographic Magazine". 25 April 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2013.

External linksEdit