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Breeding Objectives

  • Breed Apricot, Black and Polled Limousin Cows/Heifers and Bulls.
  • Select for natural, gentle temperament/personality.
  • Select for short Gestation/Pregnancy Length – The genetics selected for the Breeding Program must have a gestation length below the Limousin Breed Average, therefore enabling these cattle to be successfully used in commercial Crossbreeding Programs.
  • Select for small/medium Birth Size – The genetics selected for the Breeding Program must produce small/medium sized calves, ie females < 40 kg and males < 45 kg, therefore enabling these cattle to be successfully used in commercial Crossbreeding Programs.
  • Select for high Milking Ability – The cow herd is annually indexed for high milking ability – Limousin cows make excellent mothers. All females are selected to have a large milk navel which supplies ample blood to the udder for milk production.
  • Select for high Fertility – Female cattle are calved at 2-2.5 years and bred annually. Early puberty having a high correlation to ease of rebreeding over time.
  • Maintain longevity – Limousin cows continue to bred up to 10, 15 & 20 years. And, in the case of bulls, up to 10 years. Le Martres has specifically selected Limousin cattle that have outstanding longevity as this is a very important trait for maximising on farm resource efficiency and the optimising of profitability.
  • Select cattle for natural performance and muscling, off grass.
  • Breed ‘Elite’ and ‘Super Elite’ cattle as assessed by the ‘Carcase Merit Index’, producing cattle with carcases of,
    • high meat content(> 60% dressing percentage),
    • adequate fat cover(>3 mm & < 10 mm) for softness and ease of finishing, and
    • marbling(IMF) for taste and tenderness.
  • The Stud has a within herd genetic selection program using live animal scanning and indexing technology for ‘higher meat value’ and ‘variable fat’ content. This system has allowed our stud to locate superior carcase individual cows/bulls and focus our breeding toward these cows/bulls and make exceptional progress on carcase merit.
  • Select for fine bone. All cattle, despite their mature body size, ideally possess fine bone in order that they have an ideal ‘meat:fat:bone’ ratio, resulting in a high ‘Carcase Merit Index’ and meat yield.
  • Breed young Herd Sires are selected from within the herd on the basis of, born early and relatively small(ensuring shorter gestation and small birth size),
    • high ‘Carcase Merit Index’ post weaning(>1000 C.M.I. under 12 months),
    • bred from superior milk performance dams to ensure the cattle carry strong
    • maternal & fertility traits and are very commercial,
    • structurally correct, and
    • carrying large testicles well suspended away from the body.
  • Breed Limousin cattle that readily prove their worth to the commercial cattlemen and, all sectors of the Red Meat Industry involved along the ‘Food Chain’.

Breeding Philosophies

Dominant Females

It is the opinion of Mr Leon Martin, after spending 2 decades of studying the behaviour, physcology and breeding habits of domestic, herding mammals/animals around the world and, wild herding mammals/animals of Southern Africa, that the dominant breeding female(s) for each of these gene pools are the most important individuals and determines ultimately the survival and prosperity of these gene pools, over time.

The dominant female(s) leave the herd and select a mate to breed themselves. And, upon giving birth to sons over time, these sons in turn mate the majority/balance of the herd, effectively line-breeding the entire herd to the dominant female(s).

Hence, we believe that the character, maternal and body traits of the dominant female(s) are fundamental to any successful Breeding Program.

Body Type

As the French Limousin Breeders do, which is the mastering of the art of working between the well recognised ‘Breeding’ and ‘Butcher’ body types, we at the Le Martres Limousin Stud also adopt this same well proven technique, that is the clever engineering of body types.

At Le Martres Limousin Stud, we have combine both of these ‘Dominant Female’ and ‘Body Type’ philosophies.

We achieve this firstly by adopting a natural ‘Breeding Triangle’ involving the selection influential females, then breeding Herd Sires from these females and then engineering/custom mating each female to a select Herd Sire based upon body type in order to produce calves with correct character, maternal and body traits, all the while based upon the line breeding to the dominant female principle.
Then, secondly, we ensure that we interweave the genetics from several Cow Families through the herd over time.

And, by adopting these philosophies, and in this order, we believe we are creating a cattle herd with a very unique points of difference, full of important commercial traits and yet by design stabilised for these traits, and as such ensuring the cattle will breed reliably and well.

We believe our ‘Elite’ & ‘Super Elite’ Limousin cattle should be the best that the breed can offer both the stud and commercial cattle industries, and we look forward to your visit, and an opportunity to show you the ‘Le’ Martres’ Limousin cattle, as we believe they are engineered perfectly for the future.