History of the Maine Anjou
The Maine Anjou breed or ‘Rouge De Pres’ as they are known in the north west of France, was founded in 1839. This was the result of the cross between the French Mancelle and the English Durham breeds.
The Mancelle Durham breed was not officially called Maine Anjou until 1909. The name was derived from the river valleys of ‘Maine’ and ‘Anjou’ in the Mayenne district. The combination of the Mancelle and Durham breeds created a versatile dual purpose animal. The Australian Maine Anjou retains these dual qualities of high milk production and muscle growth proving it to be a valuable beef producer.
The first Maine Anjou’s were recorded in Australia in 1972.
Maine Anjou cattle are generally identified by their orange, red or burgundy colouring with white patterns uniquely covering their body. Further clues in identifying the Maine Anjou are their traditional characteristics like their white socks, underbelly, blaze, white tail ending and unique shaped ears.
Maines can appear fully red without markings or even white with red markings. Popularity of black cattle in Australia means that the Maine Anjou would not be complete without a black variety of the breed, which was introduced into Australia in the 1990’s. The black Maine Anjou has very little to no white markings on its body. The Maine Anjou breed can be Horned, Polled (no horns) or Scurred (small stubs).
Maines have beautiful temperaments which is an advantage in the stock yards. The cows are easy calving, with calves doing well because of the cow’s great milking capacity which is a contributing factor to the calves fast growth rate, making them ideal for the yearling and vealer markets.
Maine Anjou are an adaptable breed coping well with a variety of environmental conditions, from the cold temperatures in the Snowy Ranges to the heat or humidity of the northern states.
The Maine crosses well with other breeds. The submissive red colour gene allows cattle with dominate black genes to produce black offspring. Additional benefits from the Maine Anjou are improved frame size, high meat yields and improved muscling.