A composite breed of cattle developed specifically for beef on dairy is proving to be a hit in UK markets, since its introduction to the UK around four years ago.

With an emphasis on ease of calving, rapid early growth, and hindquarter muscularity, the INRA95 is one to watch.

Breed origins

The composite breed has been developed in France since the 1960s specifically for beef on dairy, developed mainly from Charolais and Blonde bloodlines, with some Limousin, Red Meadows and Piemontese.

Alison Dunphy, managing director of Synetics, an exclusive supplier of INRA95 semen, said: “We’ve had reports of outstanding performance back from our users who widely inform us that their calving ease and growth rates have improved, giving both high value calves and finished carcases.

“Interest in the breed is growing and users are typically putting a toe in the water with a few straws in their first year, but returning to become heavy users of the INRA95 once they’ve experienced the breed.

“The option of male sexed semen is proving a particular attraction and giving producers the best chance of fast-growing offspring and high carcase grades,” she said.


Robert Critchley, who farms with his family at Woodfold, Preston, milking 420 high production Holsteins in a flying herd, says his first batches of Holstein cross INRA95 calves have sold exceptionally well at Gisburn Auction Mart.

“Every time I’ve entered them they’ve attracted a lot of interest. People always ask me what they are as they are quality calves, and their distinct markings in various colours don’t look quite like anything else,” he said.

The Scottish Farmer: Robert Critchley with two of his INRA95 calvesRobert Critchley with two of his INRA95 calves

Mr Critchley’s INRA95 calves have sold equally well, and sometimes better than the British Blues he was previously selling, whose markings could be indistinct when out of a white Holstein cow.

Selling calves at around four to six weeks, he says the INRA95s are typically realising £300-£400 but have recently fetched more. At a recent sale, the team topped at £495 for five-week-old calves.

“They are easy calving, however, they do come out on the small side, but I have never had to pull a INRA95 calf. They grow like willows, converting and growing fast and making good beef animals.

“We are so pleased with the calves that we would switch to the breed for everything if we were inseminating the cows ourselves and not tied into to a mating service which doesn’t supply this breed,” he added.


Similar success has been experienced by Will Williams from Clwchdernog on Anglesey who is now using the INRA95 breed for all beef inseminations on his dairy herd.

Milking 220 he uses sexed semen to breed dairy replacements, a Hereford bull on maiden heifers and INRA95 on everything else.

“We were aware that people buying our British Blue stores were finding they needed too much feed for finishing, so we thought we’d try something new.

“We used one INRA95 bull around two years ago and had good calves that were easily born, and looked like the sort that would go on to do well,” he said.

Living up to expectations, calves were sold at stores at Gaerwen Market for £1300 as 18-20 month-old heifers, despite some buyers’ uncertainty of what breed they were buying.

“This year we will only use INRA95 beef semen, which tells you a lot,” he said.