The Tarentaise originated in the rugged Savoie region of France, in the Tarentaise Valley in the French Alpine mountains (in 1859). This breed is considered to have experienced less mixing with other breeds in the last 100 years than with most French breeds.
Originally they were selected primarily for milk production when making their breeding decisions. Due to the habitat of this breed, it was naturally selected for muscling, hardiness and adaptability in order for them to live under range conditions in the French Alps, the result is a dual purpose breed.
Today, the french use the breed solely for milk production and for the making of Beaufort, a Gruyere-type cheese. The average production is 5,500 kilos (12,199 lbs) of milk in a 305 day lactation with no feed concentrates in the summer.
This breed is distinctive for its abundant muscling in the hip region, and they are exceptionally long from hooks to pins. Climbing at high altitudes is what makes their remarkable natural muscling and marbling, as well as endowing the breed with a very robust cardiovascular system.
The Tarentaise coat is a tan colour with darkening around the eyes and sometimes on the neck of the bulls, they also have a black nose, udder and hooves. They are of a medium build and well muscled.
A Tarentaise cow is universally recognized for her moderate size, early maturity, large volume of milk and ease of calving. The dark pigmentation of the eyes, feet, and udders guard against pinkeye, cancer eye and sunburn.
- Early Puberty
- Good Pelvic Size
- Strong Maternal Traits
- Production Efficiency
- Higher Fertility
- Female Efficiency
- Unassisted calving at two years and on schedule at three years
- Optimum milk production with udder and teat conformation for easy feeding
Tarentaise and Hereford Breed Effects on Cow and Calf Traits and Estimates of Individual Heterosis
Genetic Components for Milk Production of Tarentaise, Hereford, and Tarentaise x Hereford Cows
The Tarentaise has been exported from France to many other countries, which include, Algeria, Morroco, Tunisia, India, Canada and the USA.
References (the above information was cited from the following sites)