We brought our first Bretonne Pie Noir heifers to the farm in March 2021. They're a rare and hardy breed that's able to transform decent pasture into excellent meat and dairy. Their milk is high in cream and their meat is marbled and tender. These attributes, combined with the fact that it's the smallest breed of cow in France, make it the perfect addition to many homesteads.
Age and Pricing
We offer pure-bred, registered Bretonne Pie Noir heifers who are nine months or older. We keep them on our farm until this age because we think the time they spend with their mothers is an important part of their development. During their first year of life, calves generally transition from an all-milk diet to an all-pasture diet; the adults in the herd instruct the youngsters in cow culture (how to get along with others, what's safe to eat, how to find shelter); and by being mothered, the calves learn how to be good mothers when their time comes.
We're members of the Union Bretonne Pie Noir (UBPN) but don't adhere to its price grid. If you're interested in the breed and are looking for a cow that's accustomed to some degree of handling, you may be able to find the right cow for you at a lower price than what we offer by checking the ads here. We charge 2,000€ for a heifer nine months or older with free delivery up to 100km round-trip. We charge more than the UBPN price grid because all of the heifers and cows we sell are:
Accustomed to being brushed and pet by people;
Trained to two strands of electric fencing and come to a whistle;
Thriving outdoors all year long, finding shelter in tree cover as needed;
Capable of feeding themselves with forage throughout the year on our farm without the need for hay;
Not treated with medicated fly sprays or dewormers;
Certified free of bovine viral diarrhea (BVD);
Certified free of leucosis, brucellosis, and tuberculosis (officiellement indemnde de leucose, de brucellose, et de tuberculose);
From a herd certified free of Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (troupeau indemne en IBR); and
From a farm "assaini en varron,"which has to do with bovine hypodermosis caused by warble flies.
We offer a variety of loose minerals to our herd year-round, and add garlic to their salt starting in February to help deter the flies and ticks of Spring and Summer. During fly season, we make our own spray using essential oils, which we brush into their coats. Domestic Muscovy ducks and guinea fowl are part of the parasite reduction team and our herd has access to a variety of forbs, tree leaves, and nuts (like dock, oak leaves, and chestnuts), whose tannins work against parasites . We also give our herd access to fresh pasture every week, ensuring they're never in one place long enough for internal parasites to complete their life cycle. So a lot of thought goes into keeping our cows healthy and drug-free. But we don't just assume things are going right - we collect fecal samples to monitor our success at keeping internal parasites at bay.
How to Buy a Cow
The first step is to complete the Preliminary Order Form to give us a sense of your interests. If we have what you're looking for we'll invite you to the farm to see our little herd and your potential cow(s). We can send pictures instead, if you'd prefer. If you decide to move forward with your purchase we'll provide you with an invoice that includes the cost of the animals (with 10% VAT) and delivery charges if relevant. After we receive a deposit of 50% you're free to pick up your animal(s) or have them delivered. At the time of pick-up/delivery, we'll bring the final invoice with us along with each heifer's bovine passport. You can pay the balance by cash or check at this time.
If you know you want to buy a cow from our farm but aren't ready yet, that's no problem. In fact, it's pretty normal. Cows are pregnant for a little over nine months (283 days) and calves spend at least another nine months with their moms in the pasture. You're welcome to reserve a calf by paying a non-refundable deposit of 200€.
If all of the current calves are reserved, you're welcome to join our waiting list. When a calf is born, we'll send a note to everyone on the list and begin accepting reservations.