The Gascon breed has many characteristics which all add up to a very versatile hardy suckler breed. The cows have a grey coat, although all calves are born red and turn grey around 4 months old. The bulls are grey but shade to black underneath.
Hardiness – the Gascon coat has a short thick hair. This enables them to tolerate extremes of temperature and lets them shed water well.
Ease of Calving – The cow calves easily due to the shape and size of their pelvic opening. They tend to have a slightly lower birth weight for calves which also helps. The cows are also very good mothers and have excellent milk production.
Calving Results for France 2015 (8,571 Recorded Cattle)
Average birthweight for males is 38kg and for females is 36kg.
Calf Growth – Calves are very alert from birth and gain weight on average 1kg per day from birth.
Longevity – Due to the ease of calving Gascon cows settle back to the bull easily and have a long productive life. They have good conformation and strong feet.
Feed Conversion – The breed has a very efficient feed conversion. As a result of originating in the Pyrenees where food could be scarce they have developed to be able to maintain condition without requiring a lot to eat.