The Charolais are a beef breed of cattle which originated in Charolais, France. They are raised for their meat and are known for their composite qualities when crossed with other breeds, most notably Angus and Hereford cattle. The breed tends to be large muscled, with bulls weighing up to 2,400 lbs. and cows up to 2,000 lbs.
The breed was introduced in the southern US as early as the 1940s. It was the first popular breed after the English breeds. It was known to produce beef animals that had more red meat and less fat. The breed was often crossed with English breeds.
In the 1970s Charolais crossbred steers won a number of prominent steer and carcase shows particularly in Texas. The first Charolais steer to win a carcase show was at the San Antonio Livestock Show in 1971.
This breed has been quite popular in the top end of Australia where they are used for cross breeding. It has also become popular in the southern United States, where Charolais (often crossed with other breeds) have increasingly replaced Herefords. Now, one of the most sought-after herd sires of most commercial ranches in North America is the Charolais bull.
With the beautiful all-white coat color, the Charolais is easy to spot in a large herd of cattle.