Canadienne Cow

Ark of taste
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Canadienne Cow

The Canadienne was developed in what is now Quebec during the 16 to 17th century from breeds imported Normandy and Brittany (France). They were bred for hardiness in the rugged Canadian climate and the animal became so well adapted to the Canadian climate, soil and herbage that it did not require expensive imported feed or intensive management. It is a small animal weighing 1,000 to 1,100 lbs. It is long lived with a famously docile temperament; the mantle is usually black or partially dark brown. They produce large quantities of milk that are very high in fat and protein and it considered excellent for cheese production due to its high Kappa-casein B varient content. Canadienne milk butter fat is listed at 4.4% compared to the 3.65 of Holsteins or the 4.2% of Jerseys. The Canadienne was originally bred in what is now Quebec and the maritime provinces. Its milk is the base for many local farmers cheeses, including Pied-De-Vent from the Isle de Madeleine. Current estimates place the Canadienne at well under 1,000 heads. One of the largest herds was recently moved to France from Quebec. However, rare breed farmers in Ontario, Quebec, and the Isle De Madeleine are still raising Canadienne cows. Fromagerie Pied-de-Vent on the Isle de Madeleine makes a raw milk cheese using only the milk of Canadiennes. The cheese it considered a Isle farmers cheese similar in history to the Dutch borenkaas which was made by local farmers with their excess milk.

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Quebec / Québec

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Breeds and animal husbandry

Nominated by:Paul Caccia - Slow Food Quebec