Beef Cattle Breeds

Before raising beef cattle breeds you will need to know the various breeds.

If you plan to raise beef cattle you'll need to make decisions on the breeds you will produce. The term breeder generally applies to the producer of improved purebred animals for breeding purposes. Before you select you need to give careful consideration to your personal likes,

the availability of the breeding stock you might like, an outlet for surplus animals and also the conditions under which you will be breeding your beef cattle. You'll need to be constantly on the lookout for animals you can bring into your herd to be able to improve your stock. If you need to bring in cattle from another area you'll need to consider the transportation expenses. Listed below are a few breeds of cattle you might be interested in:

Aberdeen-Angus- This is one of the most popular breeds of beef cattle in the United States. These cattle were originally from Northern Scotland from a very cool and damp climate. They were first imported to the United States in 1873 by George Grant, A native of Scotland, living in Victoria, Kansas. Today most of the great sires of this breed are produced in the United States.

These cattle are black, white is not permitted except on the underline behind the navel and then only to a moderate extent. This breed is polled (without horns) and this has contributed to their popularity among breeders. Calves from Angus cows are usually smaller at birth than from other breeds, but at weaning they are usually equal in weight. Actually the smaller calves give less birth difficulties and therefore less calves are lost. The body form of Angus cattle is smooth, medium in size, trim, adequate in length of side, and well muscled.

Brahman- These cattle mostly have drooping ears, and instead of a "moo" they produce a grunt. The color is usually gray, but sometimes red. These cattle are known for longevity. They are more upstanding, less compact, and lacking in the smoothness of other breeds. They are resistant to Texas fever, can stand heat well, and are bothered little by insect pests. They can graze on poor quality forage. They also show resistance to cancer eye and pinkeye.

Charolais- Most of these are in Texas, Louisiana and Florida and are used for crossing purposes. They are used widely in crossbreeding programs. These cattle are light cream colored and are one of the largest of all beef breeds. They are big, long-bodied, heavily muscled animals.

Devon, or Ruby Reds- These are the oldest of all English breeds. They are red in color, skin is yellow and the head supports medium-sized, upward-curving horns that are creamy white with black tips. They are good milkers, producing milk testing about 4.5 percent butterfat and are also good quality beef.

Galloway- They are native to Scotland, are good rustlers and extremely hardy, able to stand cold weather conditions. They are the smallest of the beef breeds, black in color with long, curly hair. The breed is polled, has short legs, and is block and compact in type.

Hereford- They are native to England, are easily distinguished by their red-colored bodies and white faces. The accepted color is a rich red with white face, and they are often referred to as "white-faced cattle.". They are muscular, moderate to long in length of side, adequate in length of leg, large in size, trim, and smooth. They are also well developed in the regions of valuable cuts- the back, loin, and hind quarters or round. These cattle are known for their vigor and foraging ability.

Red Angus- The general characteristics are similar to those of the black Aberdeen-Angus since they have the same ancestry, except for color. The Red Angus has a deep red color that is very attractive.

Polled Herefords- This breed has become very popular among breeders who desire the Hereford form but dislike the horns. Polled Hereford originating from registered Hereford stock may be registered in both breed associations. The polled closely resemble their ancestors, the Herefords, with the difference being the absence of horns.

Polled Shorthorn- These were developed by a cross and from naturally polled Shorthorns found in the breed. In form and color the Polled Shorthorns are similar to the Shorthorn except for the polled characteristic.

Shorthorns- These originated in northeastern England. This breed was the first to be established in America. In form, Shorthorns are large, rectangular, and well muscled. They range in color from red to white and all combinations of these colors, such as spotted or roan. Shorthorns are well liked by many commercial cattlemen for crossing on other breeds for the production of feeder cattle.

Scotch Highland- These were developed in Scotland and are mostly used for crossing. They are small but exceedingly hardy. They have a long, coarse outer hair coat and a soft, thick undercoat which gives them natural body protection against severe weather conditions. Acceptable colors are black, brindle, light red, red, dun, silver and yellow.

Limousin- These cattle originated in France. The breed is distinguished by its rich, red-gold color over the back, shading to light buckskin or straw color under the belly and around the legs and muzzle. They are long-bodied, heavy-muscled, trim-middled, and relatively light-boned.

Simmental- These originated from Switzerland. In color they are light red or cream with faces much like the Herefords. They usually have some white spots on a white band over the shoulders. Because of their size, museling, docile dispositions, and milk production they are popular for beef crossbreeding.

Maine-Anjou- This is an "exotic" breed from France. The coat color is red, red with white spots, or roam. Maine-Anjou cattle are considered larger than any other French breed and are long-bodied as well as heavily muscled. These traits are useful in beef cross-breeding programs.

Chianina- These cattle originated in Italy for the main purpose of producing meat. They are white with a black switch on the tail. Their skin pigment is uniformly black. They are quite possibly the largest cattle in the world, with many bulls weighing over 4,000 pounds. They are noted for rapid growth and well-marbled, fine-textured meat.

Murray Grey- These are native to Australia, are solid dark to silver gray in color. They are known for their rapid gains, superior carcasses, easy calving, and docile dispositions.

Santa Gertrudis- These were developed in Texas, resulting from crossing Brahman beef-type bulls on beef-type Shorthorns. They are large beef animals, noted for their ability to make large gains on grass and to rustle on areas of sparse forage, and for their tolerance to heat and insects.

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