The Maine –Anjou breed was founded in 1839 when the French Mancelle was crossed with the Durham – the purpose to provide an efficient beef breed using the successful traits of the two breeds. In 1908 the success of the breed was assured so the Breeders formed a Society and named the breed Maine-Anjou. The name was derived from the region where the breed was started, which was where the Mayenne and Loire rivers meet in the Anjou Valley in France. Since 1908 the Maine-Anjou breed has made its way to Canada, United States, New Zealand and finally Australia in 1973. Because of its adaptability to Australia’s harsh weather conditions it can now be found in all States and Territories of our vast country.
The breed is renowned for firstly, their exceptional fertility and early maturing traits, so animals can enter breeding programs at an early age.
Secondly, the breed is known as ‘the profit improvers, or by ‘ making money through efficiency’. This is because of their combined hardiness, vigour and great feed efficiency which give them the ability to adapt to climatic conditions throughout this vast country of ours and at the same time improve the producer’s bottom line. In today’s economic and seasonal climate these are very important traits for all cattle producers to consider when selecting a breed for their program.
Thirdly, their docile temperament makes them a pleasure to handle in all areas of farming and this also improves meat quality for the consumer.
Fourthly, the females have excellent milking ability, even under sparse conditions, which allows them to be used for vealer production.
But maybe this last trait is the most unique of all, which is their colour recessive gene. This allows them to be used by commercial cattlemen, who wish to retain the colour of their base herd. Maine-Anjou can be crossed with Angus, Murray Grey, Hereford and Brahman, for example, and not alter the colour of these breeds. You must admit this is a great advantage for the commercial producer as they can gain the advantages of this great breed, such as excellent weight gain, even fat cover and an earlier return, without changing the colour of their base herd.
In conclusion, if a cattle producer is looking for a breed that will give him the following results:-
- does not alter base herd colour
- efficiently increase weight gain
- excellent milking ability
- increase the salvage price of surplus stock
- early maturing
- adaptable to climatic conditions
- produce a quality carcass, with an even and desirable fat cover, that suits the modern day consumer
Then they should consider using Maine-Anjou.