Bretonne Pie Noir

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Bretonne pie noir
two black and white cows in a field
Bretonne Pie Noir cows
Conservation statusFAO (2007): not listed[1]
Other namesMorbihan
Country of originFrance
  • Male:
    600 kg[2]
  • Female:
    450 kg[2]
  • Male:
    123 cm[2]
  • Female:
    117 cm[2]
Coatpied black and white
Horn statushorned
An atypically dark Breton Pie Noir bull

The Bretonne Pie Noir is breed of small dairy cattle from Brittany in north-western France. It originates from Cornouaille and the Pays de Vannes in the départements of Finistère and Morbihan. Due to its small size, modest requirements, good productivity and ability to exploit poor and marginal terrain, it was well suited to traditional Breton agriculture.[3] A herdbook was established in 1886.[4][5] The breed was in the past numerous; at the beginning of the twentieth century there were about 500,000. Numbers fell drastically during that century, and in 1976, when about 15,000 remained, a breed conservation plan was begun, the first such for any breed of cattle.[3]


The Bretonne Pie Noir is pied black and white; a red pied variant disappeared during the twentieth century.[3] Height at the withers averages 123 cm for males, 117 cm for females; average weight is 600 kg for bulls, 450 kg for cows.[2]


The milk yield of the Bretonne Pie Noir is about 3500 kg per lactation. The milk has 4.4% fat and 3.4% protein.[2] Gwell, the traditional Breton yogurt, is made from this milk.[6]


  1. ^ Barbara Rischkowsky, D. Pilling (eds.) (2007). List of breeds documented in the Global Databank for Animal Genetic Resources, annex to The State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. ISBN 9789251057629. Accessed May 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Étude de la race bovine: Bretonne Pie Noire (in French). Bureau des Ressources Génétiques. Archived 1 May 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Jean-Jacques Colleau, Pierre Quéméré, H. Larroque, J. Sergent, C. Wagner (2002). Gestion génétique de la race bovine Bretonne Pie-Noire: bilan et perspectives = Genetic management of the Breton Black-Pied cattle breed (in French). INRA Productions Animales 15 (3): 221–230.
  4. ^ Breed data sheet: Bretonne Pie Noire/France. Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Accessed May 2014.
  5. ^ Pierre Quéméré (2006). La bretonne pie noir: grandeur, décadence, renouveau (in French). Paris: France agricole. ISBN 9782855571355.
  6. ^ "Development of a traditional product from the milk of local cows “Bretonne Pie noir”: the Gwell"