The breed originated in the Saone et Loire district of France. In the early 19th century the local breeds were crossed with Robert Bakewell’s Dishley or Leicester. From then on the breed remained pure but it was not until 1963 that it was actually named Charollais after the town of Charolles from where the French flock book is now run.
Charollais sheep will have even more to offer post decoupling. Commercial lamb producers will be more focussed on the following issues:
Easy lambing: when lambs per acre count and a live lamb is vital. Difficult lambings from other terminal sires are expensive. The lighter skeletal structure of Charollais ensures an easy stress free birth for ewe and lamb, resulting in a very active lively lamb that’s ready to suckle. Charaollais are also ideal for crossing onto ewe lambs.
Days to slaughter: are reduced by excellent growth rates, and suit any system.
Kill out %: due to a lighter skeleton as opposed to other terminal sire the lean meat content of a carcass is higher = more €€€€s.
Stamp Progeny: Commercial lambs sired by a pedigree Charollais Ram are easily recognised and command a superior price in the sales ring.
Markets: can be easily met by the breed as lambs flesh easily without going over fat at any weight.
Value for Money: a Charollais ram excels at work and will definitely tip more than his fair share of ewes!
Added Value: to lambs out of hill ewes. A rapidly increasing market for Charollais Rams with more and more demand for this cross.
As a breed, we look forward to the future and the realisation for commercial farmers that they cannot be without a pedigree Charollais Ram.