Cave paintings dating back thousands of years indicate that Salers cattle descend from one oldest breeds in the world. Salers cattle come from the Auvergne region of France- an area associated with harsh terrains, climatic extremes and inadequate forage. Accordingly, since the beginning, this breed has been extremely adaptable.
For many years, Salers were bred as a triple purpose bred (breef, draft and dairy). These days however, they are bred primarily for beef production. That being said, the high protein milk from Salers cattle still contributes to the production of Cantal and Salers cheese.
Salers cattle are a naturally horned breed, whose coat colour is generally deep red. However polled and black strains do exist. These different strains improve the viability of Salers in cross-breeding programs. Their brown skin and membranes help to protect their eyes and udder, while their ability to grow a thick winter coat provides ample protection in colder climates. Strong, hardy legs are not only characteristic, but they help to reduce the likelihood of foot problems.
The breed is also known for its hybrid vigour, easy calving (due to their large pelvic areas), high fertility, early maturity, high milk yields, brief calving intervals, maternal behaviour, and short gestation periods. Salers and Charolais crosses are popular in the vealer maker. Their carcase is known to be yield large amounts of well-marbled, quality beef.
Today, Salers cattle can be found throughout Oceania, Europe, North America, Africa. Salers Australia is responsible for the preservation, maintenance and promotion of the breed in this country.