ANGLAIS historique du pin
© INRAE / A. Bachelet

Historically, the Haras National du Pin was founded in 1715 under the reign of Louis XIV in the "département" of Orne, on an area of 1,200 hectares with quality pastures and water supply facilities.

In the 1950s, after the creation of INRA two years earlier, two major centres were created in Jouy-en-Josas (called CNRZ) and Versailles (called CNRA). But, step by step, the development of agriculture and the major challenges in society made the research centres too small; INRA decided to create other research units in the provinces, including the Domaine du Pin around 1957.

Canada Holstein
@Canada 1968 © INRAE / Le Pin

Areas belonging to the Haras were sublet to INRA, by decision of the Ministry of Agriculture, in the village of Vieux-Pin (about 80 hectares) and in Borculo (about 200 hectares). The first studies focused on animal genetics and livestock management in connection with grazing (1966). To this end, in 1968, two planes from Canada brought two-year-old Holstein heifers to compare different breeds of dairy cows (mainly Normandes and Holsteins).


Around the 1970s, studies on suckler cows began, in particular on Charolais but also on Normandy cows. At the same time, a workshop on animal digestibility was conducted on a flock of sheep, with research on the feed values of different fodder and their conservation.

vaches ancien
© INRAE / Le Pin
digest ancien
© INRAE / Le Pin
Mouton ancien
© INRAE / Le Pin


In the 2000s, the trend was to eliminate small experimental farms in order to group them together on larger sites; in 2007, the Vieux-Pin site was relocated to Borculo, which became the Domaine expérimental du Pin. On 1st January 2020, the name and acronym will be changed to Unité Expérimentale du Pin (UEP).

Thus, for 64 years, the Unité expérimentale du Pin has been carrying out lots of research projects related to agricultural innovations, in the two main research fields, namely animal genetics and livestock management in grassland systems.

Vue aérienne ancienne
@Début des années 70 © INRAE / Le Pin
Vue aérienne récente
@2016 © INRAE / Le Pin