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BELGIAN BLUE Cattle

 

 

Herd-Book Blanc-Bleu Belge, Rue des Champs-Elysées 4, B-5590 Ciney

 

 

Breed information

 

Geographical - historical info 

Between 1840-60 the poor red pied and black pied cattle of central Belgium, especially in the provinces Hesbaye and Condroz, had been improved by the use of Dutch and Durham (Shorthorn) bulls. (...) Belgian Blue cattle (formerly called Central and Upper Belgian) are born not only blue-roan pied, but also completely white or black pied, although the latter coloration is not favoured.  

 

(...) When Caesarean birth had become more widely practised in the years 1960-70, most breeders switched to the double-muscled (=hypertrophied muscles) beef type and in 1983 97% of the breeding bulls represented this type. Because Caesarean birth was considered worth the expense 90% of the herdbook cows are delivered by this method compared to 60% in commercial herds. Heifers give birth at 32 months of age, but with intensive breeding at 25-26 months. Five to six Caesarean births are possible per animal.  

 

In 1991 the Belgian Blue breed, with about 11/2 million animals, of which 400,000 were cows, made up 45% of the Belgian cattle population. A total of 100,518 cows were registered in the herdbook, of which 45,000 were of the single-purpose type. Cattle are exported to France, Germany, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Ireland and Denmark, to Canada and America. In all these countries herdbook societies have been established. In the Netherlands, Great Britain and Denmark the breed is used for cross-breeding with Black Pied and Red Pied cows, where 70% of births are by Caesarean section.

 

Morphological info

Cows weigh 700-800 kg and stand 130-135 cm at the withers, while the figures for bulls are 1,150-1,400 kg and 148-155 cm respectively, calves weigh 42-46 kg at birth. Steers are ready for slaughter after a 14-18 months fattening period, reaching a dressed carcass of up to 70-80% of their live-weight.   

 

Source: Marleen Felius, Cattle breeds - an encyclopedia, Doetinchem, Netherlands : Misset, 1995

 

 

 

Belgian Blue links

 

Cattle Today

Oklahoma University - Animal Science Dept

British Belgian Blue Cattle Society

American Belgian Blue Breeders

Belgian Blue Breeders Czech Republic

Belgian Blue International (BBI)

Belgian Blue Beef Herdbook

Associação Brasileira de Criadores de Blanc Bleu Belge

Canadian Belgian Blue Association

 

 

 

Basic breed info
Name: Belgian (White-) Blue

Origin: Belgium, locally derived breed 

Status: National/ international

Size: Medium

Purpose: Beef (double- muscled)

 

 

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