Authors: Marie Penn – FNB (; Helene Fuchey (

As the demonstration concerns the evaluation of bull for reproduction, it was carried out in a selection farm of the Evaluation Station of Salers Breed in Sansac (Cantal), France. The demo was organised the day before the annual sell of bulls of this station ensuring the presentation of all the best bulls of the breed and it ensured the participation of about 50 famers form different part of France. The director of the station welcomed the FNB group and explained their work and all participants (farmers and Interprofessional representatives, technicians) visited the bulls. 

 This station promotes visits to farms breeding Salers cattle and follows specific criteria to select young male calves, which could have good genetic potential. Those calves are all raised for a month in the selection farm to ensure the same conditions and feeding and to compare the performance of the bulls. 

Natural mating is usually performed in Salers breed, so there is an evaluation on criteria related to the reproduction capacity, such as physical appreciation for mating capacity, fertility tests, etc. The criteria have been chosen specially for this breed to pursue its genetical amelioration. Tests are conducted by technicians together with vets expertise.

Then, the presentation of the bulls and their sales are organised. Some bulls are destined for semen production for artificial insemination, but most of them are destined to natural reproduction.

 The main benefits observed after trying out this demonstration were:

  •  To ensure a fair comparison of all animals as they are raised in the same conditions and improving the selected characters for the breed and their reproduction performances.
  •  Facilitate the communication around the breed, in France and abroad with one reference farm with many information, that can shift demands towards breeders knowing their specificity.
  •  Encourage famers to get into selection program: the presentation and the sell are very important for breeding and brings good publicity and value to their animals.
  •  Improve reproduction capacity of bulls and general knowledge about fertility.

 No major obstacles were observed in implementing this innovation. The only point that could be ameliorated is the number of animals in the programs : the need and interest would make it possible to have more animals, but it is not yet possible because of building capacity and for economic). Moreover, none additional costs for farmers occurred, as it is the breeds organism that selects and finance the programme. Furthermore, the bull´s evaluation brings publicity to farmers and value to their animals. This practice can be recommended for farmers organized together with breed association that worked on criteria and developed the protocol.

On-farm demonstrations were also carried out in Spain and Ireland.  

Link to the innovation on BKH:

Further information: