The Breed - Irish Parthenaise

The Irish Parthenaise Cattle Breed Society
Irish Parthenaise Cattle Breed Society, Lisnagranchy, Ardrahan, Co. Galway, Ireland.
Irish Parthenaise
The Irish Parthenaise Cattle Breed Society
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Parthenaise in Ireland

Irish Parthenaise Pedigree Cattle Society intends through the GeneIreland programme with ICBF to have similar breed advancement as the French with the breed. This is to be achieved by having select pairings of highly qualified bulls with proven pedigree cows. It is to be expected that breeders’ participation in this scheme will improve the overall quality and profitability of their own herd and will have an knock on effect by improving the quality of stock bulls and suckler replacements in the national herd.

Those already using Parthenaise bulls are seeing the improvement in their herds already, easier calving, more live healthy animals with good growth and conformation achieving top prices for export or in the factories. The experience in Ireland of finishing crossbred cattle is that they kill out extremely well, with over 80% grading U or  better with high killout % and high yield of saleable meat.

Parthenaise Cattle are distinguished by the following traits:
  • Double Muscle - High Fertility - Ease of Calving;
  • Excellent Growth - Efficient Conversion - High Killing Out %; and
  • High Dressing % - Tender Lean Meat - Attractive Cattle.

The major advantage of breeding heavily muscled Parthenaise is to produce expensive cuts of high quality meat with very little fat and high meat to bone ratio. Crossbreds sell at a premium with excellent conformation in the high value carcass areas.

Calving surveys reveal that despite the heavy muscling there is hardly any difficulty calving, 28% require slight assistance and 66% require no assistance at all Average birth weight for bulls is around 44 kg and heifers 41 kg, with mature bulls weighing up to 1,250 kg and cows up to 1000 kg. A large number of crossbreds have been born, all without assistance and there are good profile reports.

The Parthenaise are an attractive and stylish breed with pronounced pigmentation and hard black feet. They have great mobility and thriftiness one of the oldest beef breeds in France. where they are used to produce high quality lean meat sought after by today's customer.

Fertility, regularity and ease of calving, and hardiness of calves are all excellent, with the result that because of, the maternal qualities and milk yields of Parthenaise cows ensures,  their calves grow well.

Carcasses produce high yields of excellent quality meat, the result of good conformation and fine bone. Since killing out percentages can be over 66%, with saleable meat yield in excess of 80% cattle offered make very high prices.  Cows and bulls sold in Ireland have achieved premium prices and a large percentage have achieved E grades.


Double Muscle - High Fertility - Ease of Calving;
Excellent Growth - Efficient Conversion - High Killing Out %; and
High Dressing % - Tender Lean Meat - Attractive Cattle.


The Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF), Irish Beef Breed Societies and Industry Partners are working very closely together in order to get the very best bulls into the new Gene Ireland (G1) Maternal Beef Breeding programme. In 2012, the ICBF completed a major review of its beef GI programme.  One of the key outcomes from the review was the need to increase the number of beef bulls being progeny tested on an annual basis.  

The main aims of the program are to:

1. Identify Top Maternal Bulls:

The main aim of the program is to identify the top Maternal bulls within each beef breed. However, by progeny testing a high number of bulls, the program will also identify bulls that excel on terminal traits, calving ease and other key profit traits; and

2. Identify Top Data Recording Pedigree Herds:

Pedigree Herds that constantly record accurate data on their cattle will also be identified through this program. The level of transparency as regards record keeping will give commercial farmers purchasing stock from such herds an extra guarantee as regards the integrity of the data behind an animal’s €uro-Star figures.

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