The Blonde d’Aquitaine breed are a heavily muscled French breed renown for producing efficient, high yielding beef carcasses.
The Blonde sire is known for producing small slender calves which grow rapidly once born. The calves have a great temperament, are fine boned, and develop a heavy muscle pattern. On first cross mothers Blonde calves regularly achieve weaning weights of 400 to 500kg.
Blondes are a terminal sire best suited to mating with British or British-cross females like Angus, Murray Grey, Shorthorn or Hereford or their crosses. The resultant calves perform well both in the baby beef market as well as the store/feeder market.
Blonde cross calves perform exceptionally well in the feedlot.Some feedlotters claim Blonde cross calves seem to “explode” when placed on the feedlot. With the breeds’ known high feed efficiency as proven by the Vasse Feed Trials in WA, feedlotters are getting more growth and using less grain to finish a Blonde sired animal.
When combining easy calving, rapid growth, feed efficiency and high yielding carcasses, Blondes are the secret for success. Beef producers currently using Blonde bulls underline this fact by returning to purchase additional Blonde bulls. They are experiencing the Blonde impact Blonde with lower production costs combined with increased sale prices both live weight or over the hook.
Blondes are the third largest breed in France and were introduced to Australia via semen and embryos in the 1976. Since then Blonde bulls have been recognised by beef producers across Australia as being a sire that increases their profits.
The Blonde d'Aquitaine breed originates from the south west of France embracing the area of the Garonne valley and the Pyrenees mountains. As their name indicates, they come from the Aquitaine district in France.
Blondes were predominately working animals until the end of the Second World War. This developed their big eye muscles and rump and their long, strong backs, and was an excellent tool for natural selection and genetic superiority. They were always hardy lean animals with light but strong bone structures and as you would expect, very quiet. Blondes show some variation of colour ranging from almost white to tan.
Where the Breed is Today
Blondes today are one of the best and most popular beef breeds in France because of their lean muscling, high growth rate, docility and calving ease due to a high tail setting, large pelvic area and light bone. Numbers in France are growing at about 5% per year. They are the third largest breed in France (with over 480,000 cows) and are quickly catching the Limousin and Charolais breeds. An extensive progeny testing program has ensured continual improvement in the breed, which is reflected in its popularity.
In Australia and New Zealand, Blondes are making a substantial impact in Prime cattle and carcase competitions. There are over 2000 active purebred females spread throughout both countries, and stud calf registrations have been steadily increasing every year. With a growing number of dedicated stud breeders actively promoting the breed and wide spread commercial success, the future of the Blonde breed in Australia and New Zealand looks bright.
Breed Features Detailed
Easy calving - Calves generally have low birthweights, but muscle up at around two weeks of age. Live weight gains of Blonde cross calves are impressive.