The genetic purity of the Salers breed creates a remarkable degree of hybrid vigour in crossbreeding programmes that correlates to strong increases in weaning and yearling weights. Salers have proved adaptable to New Zealand conditions from Northland to Invercargill.


Salers have been bred for centuries in the Cantel region of South Central France, an area of mountain country with poor soil and a harsh climate. Salers have been selected to perform as providers of milk and meat under tough conditions cold winters and sometimes hot, dry summers.
Introduced in New Zealand in 1987, Salers are taking their place as a unique European breed with a balance of traits ideal for crossing with other breeds of cattle.

Maternal Efficiency

Salers females are extremely fertile. They reach puberty at an early age, conceive quickly, calve easily and breed back readily.

Bred for their rich milk, the Salers female has a tight, well-placed udder that gives an abundance of high-quality, rich milk Salers calves are typically long and narrow with small heads at birth. They are vigorous calves with moderate birth weights (30-40kg normal range).

The Salers females are known for their large well-shaped pelvic area, which accounts for their exceptional calving ease. Research of 59,000 cows of 28 breeds shows that Salers dams weaned the heaviest (200 days) calves of any breed.

Salers ranked top of the Materinal Indexes in Ireland. See for more information on breed percentile basics.

Cross Breeding

The genetic purity of the Salers breed creates a remarkable degree of hybrid vigour in cross-breeding programmes, that correlates to strong increases in weaning and yearling weights.

Salers mature earlier than other European breeds. They produce a high-yielding carcase that shows good marbling and minimum back fat

Advantages of Salers

  • Fertility: more live calves per cow exposed
  • Calving Ease: larger pelvic area than other beef breeds
  • Milk Production: heavier weaning weight
  • Growth Rate: faster finishing
  • Carcase Quality: high yielding, good marbling, minimum back fat
  • Crossbreeding: hybrid vigour genetic purity
  • Vigour: hardiness: survival foraging ability
  • Productivity: low labour inputs
  • Profitability: efficient beef production, maximum weight of beef produced per hectare at minimum cost
  • Objective Quality Measurements: Breedplan, bull progeny trials and Carcase evaluations
  • Commitment to Quality

October 2018 Trip

A group of New Zealand Salers breeders were lucky enough to join an International group on a tour of the Massif-Central region of France-native home of the Salers Cattle breed. We stayed in the delightful medieval village of Salers and viewed both beef and traditional milking herds; pictured is one of the few polled herds, which has Canadian and New Zealand polled genetics. Most French breeders are keeping the typical horned type, wearing heavy leather collars and brass bells while out on grass-delightful to hear, as the cattle move around and graze. Our final tour stage took place at the Sommet-the largest Agricultural Show in France-think Fieldays and a Royal Show in New Zealand, combined! Salers were the feature breed at the Clermont-Ferrand Sommet, with a stunning 400 red cattle ( and a very few black cattle), on display.

For more information contact the Salers Society of New Zealand