Charolais breed already conquered the hearts of the Moroccan breeders

In the province of Sidi-Bennour (Doukkalla-Abda), known as an important breeding area in Morocco, the Charolais bulls originating from the Genes Diffusion program “Muscularité Précoce” are highly appreciated for their calving ease properties and the exceptional muscle development.

Within the scope of their training period at the end of their studies, Mourad Chaoui, trainee zootechnical engineer at the Institut Agronomique Hassan II, and Alexandre Carlu, trainee zootechnical engineer at Agrosup Dijon (and temporarily assigned by Genes Diffusion to work with the Association Nationale des Producteurs de Viandes Rouges du Maroc / ANPVR) could travel to the province of Sidi Bennour in order to study the zoo-technical performances of the crossbreeding calves produced in the region. For that occasion, the ANPVR (www.anpvr.ma) has supplied them with the necessary means to see the survey through on site.

Charolais crossLa quasi-totalité des éleveurs enquêtés (37 au total) ont vanté les qualités de la race Charolaise à travers le croisement industriel. Le cheptel local est en grande partie composé de vaches laitières de race améliorée (race locale x Holstein ou Montbéliarde) et de vaches de race locale (Brune de l’Atlas). La facilité de naissance des produits est mise en avant par les éleveurs qui, la plupart du temps, n’interviennent pas lors du vêlage. Aucune césarienne n’a été réalisée dans les élevages étudiés lorsque le géniteur était de race Charolaise. Avec un développement musculaire très intéressant dès le plus jeune âge, les veaux croisés charolais se distinguent dès trois semaines où l’on remarque déjà une meilleure conformation comparés aux veaux de race locale ou améliorée. Le GMQ de ces veaux croisés est ensuite très intéressant ; il atteint en moyenne 1000 g/j contre 900 g/j pour les meilleurs spécimens en race améliorée et de 400 à 500 g/j en race locale.

Almost all of the breeders in the survey (37 in total) spoke highly of the qualities of the Charolais breed when used for industrial crossbreeding. The local herd is mainly composed of dairy cows of an improved breed (local breed x Holstein or Montbéliarde) and cows of the local breed (Brune de l’Atlas). Calving ease of the products is a property that is put above anything else by the breeders, who, most of the time, don’t intervene during calving. There haven’t been any Caesareans on the breeding farms, participating in the survey, when the sire was of the Charolais breed. With the musculature developing in a strong way already at a very young age, the crossbred Charolais calves distinguished themselves at an age of three weeks, when one could already see a better conformation compared to calves of the local or improved breed.

After that, the GMQ (average daily gains) of the crossbred calves is very interesting; it reaches an average of 1000 g/day compared to 900 g/day for the best specimens of the improved breed and 400 to 500 g/day for the local breed.

The souk of Sidi Bennour is one of the largest souks with beef animals for fattening in the Kingdom. The presence of a large number of Charolais-crossbred bull calves and young bulls show how well this breed is established in this region where breeders are pioneers. A strongly growing demand of wholesale and regular butchers for this type of genetics makes us realize that the Charolais breed is much appreciated and satisfies all players in the Moroccan beef industry. As the sales price of the crossbred young bull calves is much higher, the breeder sees his revenues augment when he uses the Charolais breed. A young Charolais-crossbred fattened bull of 12 to 14 months sells for 20 to 25,000 Dirham (1750 to 2200 Euro), compared to 15 to 20,000 Dirham (around 1300 to 1750 Euro) for the young bulls of the improved breed.

The campaigns of the ANPVR, all over the country, to make the breed better known, and the recently instated subsidy for breeders using the terminal cross, have encouraged the latter to use bulls such as TRIO, VARS, BOOSTER, and also CALVIN. This way they imitate the breeders of Doukkala, whose country-wide fame with respect to the production of crossbred bull calves is enormous. So the Charolais breed has great days ahead of it in this Kingdom where demand is growing.

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Charolais