The Lebourg herd is situated in the north of Creuse, about 15 km from La Souterraine. Camille took over the family herd of 30 limousin cows and 120 ewes in 1981. Since 1984, he has specialized in beefy type to extreme beefy type livestock to meet the requirements of beef producers: “I have always bred beefy type to extreme beefy type animals to meet the requirements of beef producers, including my nearest neighbours, who still buy from me today!” They joined the herd-book in 1992 in order to better market their livestock. Aurélien, the youngest son, started working with his parents in 2006. The herd was then composed of 130 cows on over 200 hectares of land. The herd has kept growing to reach around 200 cows on over 260 hectares of land today.
Muscle development, widths and breed characteristics
The Lebourg family have always focused on livestock with a lot of muscle through the purchase of bulls that improve muscle. It all started with Mimosa, purchased from Lagoutte, a bull with a lot of muscle that bred early maturing progeny while retaining the calving ease. Obelix purchased from Jean-Luc Gaultier, a grand-son of Gerboise (Paris champion in 1976) has bred cows with more frame and a lot of milk. Vainqueur, bred by Cathy Patureau, “an all round bull”, says Camille, has maintained the pelvis width and the good toplines of their early maturing livestock. The story goes on with Mexicain, born in the Jacques Marcailloux herd, a son of Galopin on Allumette and a full brother to Lino. He has brought size and bred very quiet progeny with excellent calving ease. The Lebourg family started taking part in shows with the bull Pierrot, an Ideal son born on the farm, that was first of the beefy class at the national show in Limoges in 2003. The bull that has stamped the Lebourg herd is Sauvignon, a Mexicain son born on the farm. He was later sold to Northern Ireland by KBS Genetic. He carried the double muscle gene and brought a lot of muscle. More recently, Usant, a Sibeau son born in the Broussaud herd, has bred top quality cattle with wide pelvis and very milky daughters. Today Cardinal, Everest, Diego, Esterel and Festin are the cornerstone animals of the herd. They take part in many shows.
Success at shows
Pierrot was the first Lebourg bull to participate in shows. The Lebourg family started competing in shows to advertise the herd and compare themselves with other livestock breeders. They found success with Everest (1st at the Paris show in 2012 and 2013) and Diego (1st at the national show in the beefy class in 2011). The most famous show bull of the herd is Cardinal: – European champion at the Simagena in 2011 – First at the Paris show in 2010 and 2012 in the beefy class.
A close relationship with KBS Genetic
The commercial relationship with KBS Genetic started with the sale of Pierrot by Jean-Luc Kress to the UK. Since then, the Lebourg family and KBS Genetic have been working very closely. They are always present at the sales and shows organized by KBS. The Lebourg herd also takes part in the polled programme developed by KBS Genetic. They own a very good Tigris son (born in their herd) that is a double muscle gene carrier through his dam. They are moving in the same direction as KBS Genetic : the development of polled genetics and early maturing type animals.
A promising future
The goal of the Lebourg herd is to carry on producing mixed beefy type and extreme beefy type animals while keeping the calving ease and the maternal traits. The constant search for bulls that improve muscle and carefully planned matings makes their future look promising. They also intend to develop the polled genetics more and more in order to produce polled animals at least as good or even better than horned animals.