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Charolais cattle facts for kids

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Vache de race charolaise avec son veau.jpg
Cow and calf
Conservation status FAO (2007): not at risk
Other names French: Charolaise
Country of origin France
Distribution world-wide
Use beef
  • Male:
    1000–1650 kg
  • Female:
    700–1200 kg
  • 135–150 cm
Coat white [2]
Horn status horned in both sexes
  • Cattle
  • Bos (primigenius) taurus
Charolais cattle, Sierra Nevada, Venezuela
Feral Charolais bull in Sierra Nevada de Mérida, Venezuela
Embryo transfered calves
Embryo-transferred Charolais calves with their Angus and Hereford recipient mothers

The Charolais or Charolaise is a French breed of taurine beef cattle. It originates in, and is named for, the Charolais area surrounding Charolles, in the département of Saône-et-Loire, in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region of eastern France. Charolais are raised for meat; they may be crossed with other breeds, including Angus and Hereford cattle.


The Charolais is the second-most numerous cattle breed in France after the Holstein and is the most common beef breed in that country, ahead of the Limousin. At the end of 2014, France had 4.22 million head of Charolais, including 1.56 million cows, down 0.6% from a year earlier. The Charolais is a world breed: it is reported to DAD-IS by 68 countries, of which 37 report population data. The world population is estimated at about 730,000. The largest populations are reported from the Czech Republic and Mexico.

The breed was introduced to the southern United States from Mexico in 1934.

As the cradle of the Charolais cattle, the Charolais-Brionnais Country is applicant for UNESCO's label as a World Heritage Site to preserve, consolidate and transmit this resource.


It is among the heaviest of cattle breeds: bulls weigh from 1,000 to 1,650 kg (2,200 to 3,600 lb), and cows from 700 to 1,200 kg (1,500 to 2,600 lb). The coat ranges from white to cream-coloured; the nose is uniformly pink.


The Charbray, a cross-breed with Brahman cattle, is recognised as a breed in some countries. The Brazilian Canchim is a composite breed with 5/8 Charolais and 3/8 Indu-Brasil. Other derived breeds include Charford and Char-Swiss in the United States.

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