Rock engravings found in the caves of southern France resemble the present-day Limousin.

These golden-red cattle thrive in harsh, rugged and rocky conditions. These animals where originally used as ‘draught-animals’ and then fattened for slaughter as ‘butcher’s meat’.

The Limousin Herd book was established in 1886 and comprises 1 million animals in France today.

The breed has developed into a highly efficient beef producing animal with a well muscled carcase without excessive fat. The breed is found in 70 countries worldwide and is the number one breed in the United Kingdom.

The first Limousin cattle were imported to South Africa from France in 1974.

The breed has increased in popularity with breeders growing from 7 to 101. There are in excess of 11 000 animals registered in South Africa today.

The Limousin Cattle Breeders’ Society of South Africa became a legal persona in 1986.

Since 1996 the Limousin Cattle Breeders’ Society of South Africa has existed independently, owns its own office in Bloemfontein and operates the Breedplan performance recording system.

Breed specifications and standards

The South African Limousin is well known as the carcase breed, because of its exceptional beefing qualities.

Characteristics of the breed are:

●  Medium framed animal – “middle of the road” average sized animals that adapt well to the environment.
●  Hybrid vigour – with any breed Limousins produce growthy calves for the feedlot.
●  Efficient carcase – high slaughter %’s; meat yields; meat to bone ratios and low fat.
●  Easy calving – at 32kgs on the veld.
●  Adaptability – thrives from the Bushveld, Highveld, Karoo, Namibia and the Cape.
●  Functionally efficient – great emphasis is placed on well adapted, fertile animals with good beefing qualities.
●  Docility – they are easy to work with.
●  Fertility – herds achieve 92% weaning rates.
●  Longevity – cows regularly produce up to 14 calves.
●  Feedlot potential – with excellent feed conversion and average daily gains in excess of 2kgs per day.
●  Carcase competitions – regularly compete and win with high meat yields of 65%.
●  Genetic variation – is wide with new bloodlines from tested bulls in France.
●  Breedplan Performance Recording System – our data base is controlled and great strides have been made with all genetic trends.
●  Interbreed competitions – gold cups are regularly won at major shows.

How is the Limousin breed positioned in South Africa?

The breed is renowned for its easy calving, hybrid vigour in producing growthy, well muscled, well adapted calves that thrive on low palatable sourveld grasses and the cold winters of the highveld – just what the commercial breeder wants.

Limousins have excellent feed conversions and average daily gains and “naturally” grow meat – just what the feedlot wants.

They have the most efficient profitable carcase with high slaughter percentages, meat yields and meat bone ratios, with little excess fat wastage – just what the retailers want.

The meat is tender, tasty and healthy. (No hormones need be fed as it naturally grows beef muscle) – just what the consumer wants.

The Limousin breed is well positioned to cater for the South African beef market needs.


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