The Gascon is officially classed as a medium-sized, hardy suckler cattle breed and was born and bred in the Pyrenees mountain region of France as early as the 16th century.
This region is known as having the harshest climate in France, with great contrast of cold and dry with wind and snow in winter, to heavy rainfall in the springtime, to suffocating heat in the summer. Violent ranges in temperature from 0 degrees at night to 30 degrees during the day, along with scarce vegetation grown has developed a breed that is unaffected by the rugged conditions and thrives, even when conditions are poor.
Since that time, the breed has spread over the whole of the Pyrenees from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean and also is now being exported to foreign countries due to the interest in the quality of the Gascon. The cattle were used as a draught animal, as well as to provide milk for rearing calves and for the family.
Today the Gascon is known as the “multi-specialist” cow, due to its extraordinary versatility and adaptability to every production system.