With more than 850,000 ewes in French, Lacaune dairy breed is the the largest sheep population in numbers. It is renowned for its milk production traditionally destined for the Roquefort cheese production. The Lacaune breed originates from the south of France in the departments of Aveyron, Tarn and bordering regions. 


The Lacaune dairy in a few figures :

Milk production

339 litres of milk in 174 days

56 grams of protein content per litre of milk

75 grams of fat content per litre of milk


High feed efficiency

 Overall fertility : 94.7%

Prolificity 1.55 lamb per parturition

The objectives of the selection

  • Milk quantity
  • Milk richness  (protein content and fat content)
  • Somatic cells concentration
  • Udder conformation
  • Scrapie resistance

Annual genetic progress in in terms of production characteristics over the last 10 years :

L per year for milk quantity
g/L per year of fat content
g/L per year of protein content
Traite Lacaune lait ©LAETIS - Johan BARROT

The selection programs

Two companies are in charge of setting up the Lacaune Lait selection scheme: The OVI-TEST cooperative and the Breeding Service of the General Confederation of Roquefort. UPRA Lacaune, as the breed society for the Lacaune breed, coordinates the selection activity and approves the breeding stock produced by these two companies.

The selectors breeders carry out a strict and precise animal monitoring protocol in order to control the performance of the animals (milk control, morphological scores, qualification of young breeders). They also use artificial insemination, which makes it possible to reason the matings (inbreeding, genetic gain, etc). These herds also benefit from rigorous health monitoring in order to check that they are free of Visna Maëdi, Brucellosis, Border Disease and resistant to Scrapie.

Only animals from these herds can benefit from certificates of origin (Pedigrees) established by UPRA Lacaune and be offered for sale by GENELEX.

The births of the young animals take place mainly between October and January, so the main part of the sales take place from March to June. Some adult ewes can still be sold during the summer (from July to September).