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Parthenais -cow- France

(transboundary/brand name)

(most common name):
(local/other name):
• Choletais
• Gâtinais
• Gâtine
• Gâtinelle
• La race Parthenaise
• Vendée-Parthenay

When the wetlands of the Pays de la Loire coastline on the Bay of Biscay were drained in the 17th century, cattle from the Netherlands were brought and these breeds are thought to be descended from their crosses with the local cattle:
• Parthenais
• Marchois (extinct)
• Brennouse (extinct)

The Parthenais was originally a strain of cattle found in Deux-Sèvres and Poitou-Charente.

Initially a triple-purpose breed, the Parthenais is named after the French town of Parthenay and its herdbook was established in 1893.

The Parthenais was described as ‘heavy, slow, but tenacious, robust, and good workers’ (US Department of Commerce, 1888a). Parthenais numbers were at their lowest during the 1960s after being displaced by farm mechanization and the rise of specialized breeds. After switching to a beef type, numbers doubled between 1990 and 2010.

The Parthenais coat consists of:
• light to dark blond
• light grey muzzleband
• light grey ‘spectacles’ around the eyes

This page was last updated on: 2023-05-19

You can also go to:

My Daily Cow® France and read about other French cattle breeds.

The Cow Wall® A-Z Cattle Breed Picture Reference to see other breeds of cattle in the world.