The Charolais originated in west-central to southeastern France and has been bred primarily as a beef cattle breed for over 200 years. Broad-headed and heavily built, the breed was the first of the new wave of continental cattle to arrive in the UK with the first imports occurring in the late 1950s.
Genetic selection developed a white breed of cattle used for draft, milk and meat as typical for continental Europe.
The Charolais is typically creamy white in colour, Its primary role in UK beef production is as a terminal sire in suckler herds, where it has established a reputation for good growth rates, killing out percentage and meat quality. The breed has also proved its flexibility in coping with a wide range of farming systems.
Mature cows average 135 cm in height and weigh between 750-1200kg while males average 145 cm and 1200-1650kg. The Charolais is a medium to large framed beef breed benefiting from a deep and broad stature. Their heads are short and broad and their loins and haunches are heavily muscled.
High growth rates
Excellent muscle and conformity
Intramuscular fat content makes for superior meat eating quality
Strong demand for the breed as a terminal sire in suckler herds