Origin and evolution of the breed
One has to go back to the beginning of the 20th century to see the first selection attempts to breed a dual purpose animal from a quite heterogeneous dairy cattle population in which Shorthorn blood had been infused in the second half of the 19th century. After the Second World War, signs of a new orientation for the breed appear, aiming at a strong development of the muscle structure.
In 1973, the breed, hitherto called «race de Moyenne et Haute Belgique» was renamed Belgian Blue, divided into 2 distinct branches: the meaty BB and the dual purpose BB.
From an originally dual purpose breed, the meaty BB has become a real breed of beef cattle, with the following traits and benefits: extraordinary muscle development, desirable meat quality, stature, early maturity, feed efficiency, docility, uniformity and maternal aptitudes.
Dual purpose BB
These animals are genetically identical to the ones from the meaty branch but they have been selected very differently, among others on basis of their milk production and their calving ease. Their milk production ranges from 4,200 to 4,800 liters.
Expansion of the breed
The Belgian Blue breed represents 50% of the national herd, irrespective of the breeds. 61 % of the Belgian Blue livestock is in the Walloon region and 39% in the Flemish part of Belgium. Whereas BB is used in pure breed in Northern Europe for meat production, it is also used in other regions of the world where meat production mainly relies on crossing. That is why we see Belgian Blue animals in the Netherlands, France, Romania, Germany, Spain, Italy, Canada, Morocco, Ireland…
BB in crossing
The extraordinary abilities in crossbreeding programs and the exceptional quality of the BB products are the reasons why there is a growing demand for BB sires throughout the world.
The lower milk price and the introduction of the SEUROP classification system could possibly have triggered this growing interest for the BB breed.
In numerous countries, studies conducted on crossbreeding with BWB, Holstein dairy cows and local breeds generally show the superiority of the BB crossed animals.
Calving ease, survival rate of the crossed calves, average daily gain and consumption index are also in favor of BB. The great carcass quality of the BB crossed animals means a higher added value at the purchase of the calves. The purchase price can reach € 200/calf in Belgium, France, Italy or Spain for example.
BBG… the solution for crossbreeding
The BBG company was created in March 2003 and has a leading position on the market for the sale of BB semen, embryos and animals. From the very beginning, BBG has worked year after year to get bulls able to satisfy this demand in crossbreeding, which is something new for the breed.
The entire team is dedicated to choose the bulls you need and to give you the best advice for their use in crossbreeding.