The Saosnois Breed

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Vaches saosnoises

Saosnois cattle take their name from the region through which the river Saône flows, nestled between the Perche and lands north of Le Mans.

It is a versatile breed, renowned for both the quality of its meat and its milk production. Saosnois breeders distinguish four types depending on the colour of the hide : Manceau, Durham, Caille-Blond and Percheron. Although a Saosnois can weigh up to a ton, they have relatively light bone structure.


The Saosnois Breeders Association was founded in 1939 and a breed standard was established. However, the race had not yet been officially recognized when war broke out, and subsequent government policies to encourage intensive farming led to its decline.


Thanks to research by postgraduate students and the desire of farmers in the region to preserve the breed, a syndicate was formed in 1997 to save and promote the Saosnois. Other partners joined the campaign and in 2000 the breed was finally recognized by the Ministry of Agriculture.


The main aim of the syndicate is to increase the breeding population. By 2010 the breed had grown to more than 1,500 females, including nearly 1,000 adult cows in 80 herds with 20 bulls available for artificial insemination. Collection of semen continues in order to maintain and improve the genetic diversity of the breed.

Vaches saosnoises 2

Learn more about the Saosnois cattle here: