Blonde d’Aquitaine cattle

We have a herd of pedigree Blonde d’Aquitaine (British Blonde) cows which was established in 2002. Cattle are chosen for conformation to pedigree standards, temperament, size, and growth rates. Our bulls make ideal terminal sires, and heifers and cows are also available. All livestock are signet recorded.

Of the farm’s 100 suckler cows, 35 are pure breed Blonde d’Aquitaines: the Heckingham herd is the largest herd of Blondes in Norfolk. The breed originates from the Aquitaine district in south west of France. Three strains of cattle comprise the Blonde d’Aquitaine: Garonnais, Quercy, and the Blonde des Pyrenees. The breed can be traced back to the middle ages, when blonde cattle from this area were used to pull carts carrying weapons and goods. The cattle were valued as draft oxen and for their meat and milk. The Blonde d’Aquitaine muscle development, hardiness and docility are products of its early development as a draft animal. They are large strong cattle and live for a long time. Today Blonde d’Aquitaines are one of the best and most popular beef breeds in France with good reason:

  • lean muscling
  • high growth rate
  • docility
  • calving ease due to a high tail setting
  • large pelvic area and light bone
  • great length, size and depth giving more expensive cuts of meat
  • high meat to bone ratio means less waste

Numbers in France are growing at about 5% per year. They are the third largest breed in France (with over 480,000 cows) and are quickly catching up with the Limousin and Charolais breeds.

For farmers, their easy calving is a big advantage compared with other continental breeds. They have small heads and when the calves are born they are lively and grow well. Bulls have a good temperament and are quiet to handle and they are an excellent option for dairy farmers to cross with heifers. They are excellent terminal sires for suckler herds.

The cows calve in spring and graze the marshes through the summer. The Blondes are turned out on stubble turnips in the autumn and brought in at night from Christmas.

The pure breed Blonde young stock is either sold to breeders or kept in the herd. Any animals that don’t reach breed standard are fattened and sold through Anglia Quality Meats.

High quality store cattle are also available.

Photographs: Karen Davidson White