Origin of Breed
Maine-Anjou originated in the northwestern part of France during the mid 1800’s. Around the beginning of the 19th century, the cattle in this region were known as he Mancelle breed. They were large, well-muscled animals with light red coats spotted with white. The Mancelle were known for their size, muscling and easy fattening.
In 1839, the Count de Falloux imported Durham cattle from England and crossed them with the Mancelle. The cross was extremely successful. By 1850 Durham-Mancelle animals were winning championships at the French agricultural fairs. Their growth in popularity led to the establishment of the Society of Durham-Mancelle Breeders in 1908. In 1909, the name was changed to the Society of Maine-Anjou Cattle breeders, taking the name from the Maine and Anjou river valleys.
Maine-Anjou are large framed with traditional red with white markings on the head, belly, rear legs and tail. Today, however, they are more solid in color patterns with black, red, and black and white.
Mature Maine-Anjou bulls weigh around 2,200 to 3,100 lbs. while mature females range from 1,500-1,900 lbs.
Today’s Maine-Anjou breed is known for their success in performance, feed efficiency, disposition and carcass quality. Maine-Anjou are often used as market animals, which are valued for their meat. They are feed efficient, large cattle that provide high cutability and marbling qualities Cows are very maternal and have a high calving ease. Calves are moderately sized, however they reach high weaning weights due to their mother’s heavy milking abilities. They are very docile animals, which prove profitable in the feedlot, pasture or in the show ring. The Maine-Anjou is one of the highest marbling of the continental breeds. From a commercial standpoint, it provides a favorable option for crossbreeding programs. Its large size and easy fattening abilities make them a resource many ranchers want to tap into. On its own, it is an excellent variety of beef cattle, but when crossed with the Angus for example, it becomes a supreme animal.
Development in America
Maine-Anjou were first imported into North America to Canada in 1969. These cattle were then introduced to the United States through artificial insemination.
In 1969, the Maine-Anjou Society Inc. was established in Nebraska and included both Canadian and American members. In 1971 the name was changed to the International Maine-Anjou Association and headquarters were set up in the Livestock Exchange Building in Kansas City, Missouri. Soon after their move, the name was changed to the American Maine-Anjou Association in 1976. Today, the association is located in Platte City, MO.
Maine-Anjou are popularly used in the United States as market animals, who compete in fairs and expositions. Due to this popularity, they are popular with many “club calf” breeders in the Midwest and Southern regions. The breed is normally crossbred with other popular breeds to create a perfect combination of frame, thickness, hair and disposition.
Registry and Improvement Programs
The American Maine-Anjou Association is headquartered in Platte City, MO. The Association provides registrations, transfers, performance data, sales and member services, as well as a junior program, shows and scholarships.