Berrichon du Cher
40 000 ewes,
whose 3289 in monitored performance recording
Prolificacy : 1.624
Average weight at 30 days of male lamb born a twin : 11.1 kg
Ram weight : 100 to 140 kg
Ewe weight : 70 to 80 kg
ADG (Average Daily Gain) between 30 and 70 days of male lamb, born single : 350 g
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Origins and natural aptitudes
A typically French breed, the BERRICHON DU CHER was created at the end of the 18th century to improve meat production. Much work has been done over the years in the breeding programme. Its principal traits are the following :
- Conformation : the majority of lambs are graded « U » on the ‘EUROP’ grid without excess fat.
- Early finishing : the fast growth of lambs, 350g ADG (average daily gain) for single male lambs. Lambs are slaughtered between 100 and 130 days at 35-40 kg.
- Natural year round fertility : 60% of lambs are born naturally from September to November from a natural reproductive cycle which allows great flexibility of production
-Versatility : Frequently reared indoors, alongside arable production, the BERRICHON DU CHER adapts equally well to an outdoor system with spring lambing.
The genetic improvement programme aims to improve the meat production characteristics of the BERRICHON DU CHER : 100 rams, bred strategically from ewes having the best maternal qualities and improver rams, are monitored in the ram evaluation centre every year. The best 10 are assessed on the « meat qualities » of their progeny. The evaluation includes weight gain and carcass quality, in particular the fleshiness and fat distribution.
Since 2014, the accent is on breeding traits linked to maternal qualities in order to maximize performance.
Good conformation, early finishing, a ram which passes down these qualities to its progeny, are the reasons for this breed’s success as a pure bred or for cross breeding. The BERRICHON DU CHER is widely used as a crossbreeding terminal sire on hardy long-limbed breeds or on prolific breeds for the production of heavy lambs without excess fat. For its multiple qualities, there are numerous exports of the BERRICHON DU CHER. It is a familiar breed in the international arena.