The Salers, one of the oldest French breeds , has been bred continually in a difficult environment resulting in the development of its many qualities.
Until the sixties the cattle had been bred for milk, meat and draught purposes producing large, well built animals with no excess fat and capable of regulating their body temperature. Since then meat production has become increasingly important leading to an improvement in conformation without loss of maternal qualities, especially reproduction and milk production.
The Saler cow's basic qualities and milk yield make her ideal for rearing calves. this has led to the development of the suckler system with the Salers cows in their native region, and at the same time to the spread of the breed over most of France.
One of the major reasons for the breed success is the ease of calving which enables well fleshed beef bulls to be used on the Salers females without any risk of calving difficulties. Salers are known for their longevity and wearing ability, many cows are still fresh at 12 years plus, due to stress free calving, hardiness, with good legs and feet, etc.
Half and three quarter bred Salers cattle make excellent suckler suckler cows and the steers hold their own against other continental crosses when finished.
There is considerable interest being show by both dairy and suckler herds in the breed which is renowned for its ease of calving.
This year the Salers celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the promotion of the breed in Ireland with a present membership of over 100 breeders. Salers are better known and understood as a Suckler cow breed.
Although in Ireland having won the Intrerbreed show classes three times, Salers can not always compete with other continental breeds in the show ring as like for like indeed if breeders tried they may as well lose the natural trait of Salers. However if their classes were dual purpose breeds for both terminal sire coupled with Suckler cow credibility then they would probably sweep the boards. Rather than being a threat to other breeds the Salers Society would see themselves as being a great help because if there were more Salers crosses in Suckler herds, farmers would not be afraid of using more muscular continental sires and avoiding difficult or impossible calvings.