The largest herd in Europe is in France, made up of two different groups of herds. The first, recognized for its ability to provide meat which occupies an important place in the breeding of cattle; called suckling herd (of the meat breeds) because the females of the meat breed suckle their young. The second, which aims to produce milk, is the dairy herd.
Dairy or lactating breeding. French cattle breeding are structured around these two sectors.
At the birth of a calf, the production of milk in the cow is triggered (characteristic for all female mammals). In dairy farming, the milk collected from cows for milk is intended for processing into dairy products by dairy companies. In suckling herds, the calves suckle their mother's milk. France is the second largest dairy country in the EU, after Germany.
In dairy farming, dominant in the West (Normandy, Brittany and Pays de la Loire), but also strongly present in the East (Lorraine, Rhône-Alpes and Franche Comté), young calves are intended for the production of bovine meat while the young females (heifers) are generally selected for the renewal of the herd.