Bazas, an old town way back in French history, situated between the Bordeaux vineyards and the Landaise forest, has given its name to a breed of cattle known as Bazadaise [pronounced Bas-a-day].
In July 1896, Mr Marcel Courregelingur (1849-1925: Mayor of Bazas from 1895-1925: Senator for the Gironde from 1904 to 1923) founded the HERD BOOK for Bazadaise Cattle with the aim of maintaining the purity of the stock and extending it throughout the whole country.
At that particular time some 300,000 beasts were counted mostly throughout the South Western region. Wars and farm mechanisation lead to a catastrophic decline in the stock available. So, in 1970, an expansion plan was put in place when there were no more than 700 registered breeding stock left.
By 1990 about 2900 cattle were registered in the French Herd Book and in 2006 over 4500 registered cattle were counted.
Known since the middle ages, this grey animal (with a lighter coloured muzzle) was used for all agricultural and forest work. At that time, the cows used to produce one calf a year destined to be butchered, whilst a few males, castrated very young worked until they were seven or eight years old and then ended their life as fat beef.
This suitability for work linked with good fattening qualities lift the Bazadaise cattle into the best of economical producers of fine beef. The unique combination of carcase quality, physical soundness and foraging ability are characteristics well established for this amazing breed.
The Bazadaise cattle breed is part of the regional heritage: a draught animal, it was used up to the end of the 1950’s, for working in the vineyards, hauling wood and all work involving animal traction.
It’s geographical spread comes from these qualities: into wine growing areas, the forests and marshy parts of the Gironde and La Lande. From the south from Charentes to the Spanish frontier, 180 French breeders are working to safeguard this heritage which has such a strong genetic potential.
The Bazadaise cattle breed was one of the very best working breeds because of its toughness and vigour, even in the most extreme conditions (heat, rugged and sloping ground).
Bazadaise cattle have been recognized as a pure breed since the 16th century having been the result of the crossing of various local breeds with stock of Iberian origin. Having developed under natural conditions over many centuries, Bazadaise catte exhibit their survivability in their fine haired steel grey coat, black hooves, long body, fine bones and alert disposition.
Bazadais are a working breed.
So is born this breed whose calves were clothed at birth in a sable coat which, in the months that follow changes to a steely or wheatish grey. The size of the animals and the speed of growth, as a result of the combined effects of selection and the improvement in the way in which they are reared, reach interesting levels.
For centuries it has been famed for its delicate, tender, marbled meat, achieving in France the coveted “Label Rouge” (Red Label) Bazadaise cattle are highly adaptable to any terrain and will extract the best from any type of country. The stature of these animals and their outstanding reaction to less than ideal grasslands is impressive. The Bazadaise breed is clearly well positioned for the future and is gaining a worldwide reputation for its fine flavoured, low fat, but well marbled meat
Since 1989, breeding stock, semen and embryos have been exported to 7 countries: England, Australia, Belgium, Spain, USA, New Zealand and Holland.
The first Bazadaise cattle arrived in Victoria, Australia in 1991.
Since then the breed has spread to all states of Australia through the use of embryo transfer and artificial insemination.
Bazadaise cattle are very much a superior Beef Cattle Breed, renowned for their grass finishing ability, their quiet temperament, mobility, excellent meat yield, resilience in difficult conditions and most importantly their ease of calving. Bazadaise cattle leave their stamp on any breed they are crossed with, passing on sound genetics and good traits. The fertility and mobility of Bazadaise bulls has been well reported within their herds.
Bazadaise cattle are very intelligent and alert, they are easy to manage and have much to offer the Australian cattle industry. Females have good maternal instincts and milking ability. Being fine boned, purebred and crossbred calves are small but grow and muscle up rapidly.
Since introduction to Australia, the Bazadaise cattle breed have proven to be a breed that will excel in all climatic conditions and is thriving from the cold of Tasmania to the extreme heat of the Northern Territory.
The Bazadaise Breeders of Australia Inc was formed in 1994 and offers members registration facilities, information, promotional and mutual support.
The aim of the Bazadaise Breeders of Australia Inc and its members is to actively promote the many exceptional characteristics of this superior beef breed and to focus on increasing Bazadaise numbers throughout Australia.