With its iconic rings around the eyes and tricolor coat, the Normande’s distinct look reflects its uniqueness amongst all dairy breeds as a rare combination of hardiness, grass conversion and outstanding milk and beef. This makes the Normande the breed of choice for those interested in the marketing of farm products.
The Normande is red and white with occasional widespread areas of brown hair. Typically, the brown hair has the look of tiger stripes, or brindles, interspersed within larger red spots, and there is some degree of balance between the three different hues. However, one color often dominates, and there is a different name for the dominance of each color. The typical Normande is red and white (with brown brindles), like the one above, and this cow is said to be “blond,” (“blonde” in French).
When the white dominates, the cow is “quail,” (“caille” in French), like these cows below.
When a cow is predominantly brown, she is said to be “brindled,” (“bringée” in French). Bulls tend to be more often brindled and they are darker. Notice that some bulls may appear to be black. However, this is not actually the case. The Normande is a homozygous red breed. Calves do not display their brindles until a few weeks after birth, and altogether, Normande cattle tend to darken as they age.Also, note that these color types are hereditary. and some families tend toward one dominant color. On the other hand, a dark brindled bull can easily breed “quail” daughters. You must simply be ready for a surprise at each birth.
Some Normandes show brown spots underneath their white hair. This type is said to be “truité” (“trouted”, as it looks like the spots that some trouts harbor). This trait is not so frequent and can be combined with any of the three colors.
The Normande’s unique look lends itself well to the unique story of the products the breed has to offer, whether it be milk, butter, cream, yogurts, cheeses, caramels, or meat.