Rare Canadienne Cow Showcased at the Canadian Dairy XPO
By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
She was a one of a kind at the show. A cow named Fluffy was put on display at the second annual Canadian Dairy XPO (CDX) in Stratford, Ontario.
Fluffy isn’t just any dairy cow - she is a Canadienne, a rare dairy breed that was first brought to North America from Brittany and Normandy, and developed in French Canada. “Canadienne’s are one of the good ol’ cows of North America,” said Elwood Quinn, director of Rare Breeds Canada.
She’s not black and white like the common Holstein and she’s also not a Jersey either, but perhaps a little darker version of a Brown Swiss cow.
Rare Breeds Canada brought Fluffy to the dairy-focused show to highlight the once common dairy breed in French Canada. Today, there are only about 300 purebred Canadienne’s left in the country, with the highest concentrations found in the province of Quebec.
Over the years, the Quebec government has made strides to preserve the breed from extinction. In 1999, the Canadiene cow breed was given heritage status by the provincial government, and currently Canadiene ‘s are listed as “vulnerable” on Canada’s conservation list.
The breed is known for its hardiness and is still considered one of the most productive old dairy breeds in the world. Canadienne cows produce a high yield buttermilk protein, which is ideal for cheese making. Back in the day “this cow produced more profit per pound of butter compared to any other dairy breed,” explained Quinn. “She came out on top,” he said.
Quinn said that many people were surprised to see Fluffy. “A lot of people were happy to see the cow, despite seeing very little of them [Canadienne’s] on farms.”
While Rare Breeds Canada was invited to attend CDX last year, this was their first year having a display.
Fluffy is owned by Kevin and Trevor Moore of Moore View Farm from Barrie, Ont.
For more information about Rare Breeds Canada can be found on their website here.