Gascon Cattle is a breed of cow. Two different types of this breed of cattle are: à muqueuses noires and aréolé. These were combined in 1955 into a single herdbook, but in 1999 they were once again made two different breeds.
The Gascon have many characteristics that make them different from any other breed of cow. Hardness to their fur is one. The hardness of the fur enables the Gascon to tolerate cold weather better than other cows. Plus it is very thick meaning it is able to shed water well. The ease of calving is another. Unlike other cows, Gascon cows are in labor for a much shorter time period. Also, cows that have an easy time giving birth will settle to the bull more quickly which would give the mother cow a longer productive life. Another characteristic of the Gascon is that their calves get stronger and gain more weight faster than other types of cows.
Gascon cows don't need to eat as much as other types of cows because they don't usually have many food sources making them adapt to these conditions, but still be able to maintain condition and settle in calf more quickly. Gascon cows have a gray coat, but are born red getting their gray coat at about the fourth month of life. Bulls are gray, but have black shading underneath. Mature cows weigh 550 to 700 kg and stand 135 cm at the shoulder; bulls average 145 cm in height and 800 to 950 kg in weight.
Gascon cattle were originally bred in the French Pyrenees, where the harsh climate and limited resources led to the adaptations found in this breed. Because of these adaptations, Gascon cattle can survive and work hard in basically any condition. Because they spend their winters in the low lands and their summers high on the Pyrenees, they are used to huge changes in the climate.
- "Gascon". Department of Animal Science. Oklahoma State University Board of Regents. 2 September 1997. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
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