Angus Cattle and Boer Goats boer goats and cattle

When George Grant transported four Angus bulls and Boer goats from Scotland to the middle of the Kansas prairie in 1873, they were part of the Scotsman’s dream to found a colony of wealthy, stock-raising British families. Grant died five years later, and many of the settlers at his Victoria, Kan., colony later returned to their homeland. However, these four Angus bulls made a lasting impression in the U.S. cattle industry.

In the fall of 1873 at the Kansas City Livestock Exposition, the two bulls were exhibited and considered to be “freaks” because of their polled heads and solid black color — opposite of Shorthorns, the dominant breed at the time. Grant, a forward thinker, crossed the bulls with native Texas longhorn cows, producing a large number of hornless black calves that survived well on the winter range. The Angus crosses wintered better and weighed more the next spring, the first demonstration of the breed’s value in their new homeland.

The first great herds of Angus beef cattle in America were built up by purchasing stock directly from Scotland. Twelve hundred cattle alone were imported, mostly to the Midwest, in a period of explosive growth between 1878 and 1883. Over the next quarter of a century these early owners, in turn, helped start other herds by breeding, showing and selling their registered stock.

Characteristics

Angus cow’s have strong maternal instincts, superior milking ability and high fertility rates. Their docility, coupled with the breed’s moderate size and fleshing ability, makes them ideal mothers. Angus females also mature early, breed back quickly and have comparatively short gestation periods.

The breed contributes low birth weights, and through consistent genetic improvement, the breed complements its ease of calving with vigorous growth from birth to harvest. Their ability to produce a high-quality carcass, with an increased marbling percentage, puts Angus beef as the top choice for consumers across the globe.

The Angus breed contains several physical traits that help save producers time and money. Angus cattle are naturally polled and their dark-pigmented skin absorbs sunlight. The black hide protects against cancer eye, a condition that affects other breeds, and protects against sunburned or snow-burned udders common to light-skinned breeds in certain parts of the country.

The proof is in the genetics. Angus cattle are known for top traits that can make a real difference in cow herd profitability, including calving ease, growth and carcass quality.

Breed Registry and Programs

The American Aberdeen-Angus Breeders’ Association was founded in Chicago, Ill. on Nov. 21, 1883, with 60 members. The name shortened in the 1950s to the American Angus Association, and the national headquarters was located in Saint Joseph, MO in 1956 where it remains today.

Commitment to performance data has increasingly strengthened the power of Angus genetics over the years. The American Angus Association is home to the industry’s largest beef cattle registry and database, which offers reliable tools for producers looking to improve their herds. And best of all — it’s built on years of records submitted by committed Angus breeders.

Throughout the year, producers submit herd information to the Association, such as breeding, calving, weaning and yearling performance records, as well as carcass and ultrasound data. These records — coupled with ancestral data and other performance measures — help set benchmarks that producers can use to better predict performance of future progeny and make informed decisions for their herds.

When first introduced, expected progeny differences (EPDs) changed the way producers evaluated cattle. That strength continues today, as EPDs continue to incorporate genomic data. These genomic-enhanced EPDs allow users of all herd sizes to compare animals in the Association’s database, at any age, and give breeders the information they need to improve their herds.

In addition to EPDs, $Values offer a simplified approach to genetic selection. These multi-trait selection indexes, expressed in dollars per head, combine multiple traits into one value and measure trade-offs for producers based on real-world economics. They are calculated using EPDs, industry-based economic values and other factors to tie genetic and economic values together.

Registered Angus breeders who are serious about making genetic herd improvements can participate in the Angus Herd Improvement Records (AHIR) program. AHIR records include weights and measures, as well as carcass and ultrasound data. The submitted records are used in the Angus National Cattle Evaluation, provided to Association members and their customers, and used to make informed breeding decisions.

Beef Record Services (BRS) is designed for commercial cattlemen who wish to record and submit performance data on cow herds and calf crops, regardless of breed composition. Records are summarized to reflect adjusted measures and ratios that assist producers in evaluating within-herd data and working toward a high-quality, more marketable product.

Established in 2007, Angus Genetics Inc.® (AGI), a subsidiary of the Association, was created to provide services to the beef industry that would assist in the genetic evaluation of traits of economic importance. AGI develops and promotes technology for use by the beef industry, including DNA technology. AGI has developed genomic-enhanced EPDs for the Angus breed that are updated on a weekly basis. AGI also conducts research and develops and utilizes new science and technology to benefit all beef producers.

Beefmaster Cattle

Origin

Beefmaster cattle were developed by the Lasater Ranch in Texas but now headquartered in Colorado. The breeding program leading to their establishment was started by Ed C. Lasater in 1908, when he purchased Bos Indicus bulls to use on his commercial herd of Hereford and Shorthorn cattle. The first of these bulls that he used were principally of Gir breeding, although some of the Nelore breed was also used. In 1925 he introduced Guzerat blood into the herd.

The Beefmaster Breed began in 1931 when Tom Lasater, in the harsh brush country of south Texas, used Hereford, Shorthorn and Bos Indicus cattle in a three way cross to create the breed. After making crosses of Brahman-Hereford and Brahman-Shorthorn, he felt a superior animal had been produced and called the cattle “Beefmaster.” The exact pedigree of the foundation cattle was not known. The breeding operations were carried on in multiple-sire herds and rigid culling was practiced. In 1954, the United States Department of Agriculture recognized Beefmasters as a purebred beef breed and the only certified beef breed that used a three way cross. He moved the cattle operation to Colorado in 1956. The Lasater Ranch estimates that modern Beefmaster cattle have slightly less than one-half Brahman blood and slightly more than one-fourth of Hereford and Shorthorn breeding.

Characteristics

The cattle were handled under range conditions that were often adverse, and a culling program was started based on the six essentials of fertility, disposition, weight, conformation, hardiness and milk production. Stress was placed on the production of beef. No selection was made to characteristics such as horns, hide or color. However, solid red, dun and black animals are more prevalent today than brindles or paints. The Lasater Ranch breeding program provided an interesting example of the use of mass selection in reaching a goal.

Breed Registry and Programs

Today, Beefmaster Breeders United (BBU), http://www.beefmasters.org/index.php, is a union of three associations that still breed for the original six essentials and provide the support that a new breeder requires. The original concepts of Tom Lasater in developing Beefmaster cattle have continued over the years and the six essentials are just as relevant today as they were in1931. The support of BBU includes help in marketing cattle by creating demand for calves via feedlots, advertising, sales, and the Nolan Ryan’s All Natural Beef Program. Other support programs include whole herd reporting (WHR), voluntary classification, approved sales, Beefmaster Advancer registry, upgrading, a strong youth group (Junior Beefmaster Breeders Association) and others.

For the last 80 plus years, Beefmasters have spread to just about every region of the USA and many foreign countries. Mexico and South Africa have the largest international Beefmaster beef registry today. Considerable progress has been made in selecting and breeding Beefmaster cattle that give very satisfactory levels of production under the practical and often severe range conditions. Satisfaction by ranchers and proven growth and performance in feedlots indicate the value of Beefmaster cattle.

Braford Cattle

Origin

The Braford breed was invented to establish durability in herds, first beginning on Alto Adams Jr.’s. In 1947, Adams began using Hereford bulls on his Brahman ranch in St. Lucie County, Florida. The resulting calves were phenomenal, however, the bulls that he used to produce them had extreme problems with feet, eyes and general livability. Adams discovered that his Herefords could not adapt to Florida’s environment and that Brahman-Hereford crossed bulls would increase the health and longevity in his herd. He wanted consistent and efficient results under the hot, humid conditions of the area. Consequently, the Braford Breed was invented. Brafords have also been independently developed in Australia in 1946 and are gaining popularity as a hardy, high performance breed.

Physical Description

Braford cattle are approximately 3/8 Brahman and 5/8 Hereford. The Braford is red with white underbelly, head, and feet. They are stockier than a Hereford, getting the stockiness from the Brahman. They are primarily used for beef and rodeo purposes. They have strong, well-boned legs and sound feet enabling them to walk long distances between feed and water points. They cope well with uneven and rocky terrain. Brafords are not susceptible to eye problems, blight, bloat or sun-caused problems like Herefords. Their hooded eyes have characteristic red patches around the eyes, which help in preventing eye cancers, pink eye and sunburn.

Defining Characteristics

Brafords are known for their superior maternal ability, milking ability, calving ease, fertility and productive longevity. Using Braford bulls purebred or crossbred cows allows cattlemen to produce excellent replacement females who posses the Braford “maternal edge.”

Brafords do best in warm climates due to their heat and insect resistance because of a chemical in their blood. Due to their Brahman genetics, they can tolerate extremes of temperature and continue to thrive under drought conditions. They are easy keeping and do well under range conditions while adapting to other systems of management. Brafords have a high rate of gain efficiency and do well in commercial operations as well as feedlots.

Development in America

Brafords originated in St. Lucie County, Florida in 1947. Their popularity has grown due to the demand for more durable and maternal cattle.

Registry and Improvement Programs

The International Braford Association (IBA) was chartered in 1969 to begin registering Brafords. The American Hereford Association formed a second Braford organization called the American Braford Registry (ABR) in 1985. The ABR eventually moved its records away from the Hereford association and for the period that the International Brangus Breeders Association processed their records, the organization was known as the American Braford Association (ABA). After many successful years of registering and promoting Braford cattle in the United States and foreign countries, the International Braford Association and the American Braford Association joined forces on June 1, 1994, to form the United Braford Breeders (UBB).

The United Braford Breeders is headquartered in Nacogdoches, Texas. They provide registration for all qualified animals, a junior program, a points program, several junior shows, and resources for all registered breeders.

BrahmanCattle
American Brahman

Origin

As the first beef breed developed in the United States, the American Brahman has played an important role not only in crossbreeding programs throughout the United States and beyond, but it has become a common thread among other American breeds developed in the last century. American Brahman influence in the beef industry is felt world-wide, and their genetics are sought by cattlemen in every continent. Their development is a success story unparalleled. Today’s cattlemen breed Brahmans for all the right reasons.

Originating from a nucleus of approximately 266 bulls and 22 females of several Bos indicus (cattle of India) types imported into the United States between 1854 and 1926, today the Brahman breed has achieved acceptance for their environmental adaptivity, longevity, mothering ability and efficient beef production. Bos indicus cattle have been serving man for thousands of years. Throughout their evolution they have endured famine, insect pests, diseases and extreme temperature fluctuations. Thus through natural selection these cattle came to have the ability to survive and thrive where other types have failed. In their expansion, these cattle have improved beef production in every country in which they have been introduced, as they are mated to existing native cattle. While some 30 defined breeds or types of Bos indicus cattle have been identified in India, only a few of these breeds were selected to develop the American Brahman.

Characteristics

Brahman cattle may vary in color depending on the goals of the cattlemen who breed them, but their genetic purity does not. Acceptable colors are light gray or red to almost black. Average Brahman bulls will weigh from 1,600 to 2,200 pounds and cows from 1,000 to 1,400 pounds. Purebred calves are small to moderate at birth. It is documented that Brahman and Brahman cross females calve easily. Brahmans are recognized for intelligence and desired disposition. They are very responsive to kindness and are quite gentle when handled properly.

General

The American Brahman excels in adding hybrid vigor to their offspring when crossed with other breeds, resulting in more money in your pocket as a beef producer. Hybrid vigor (or “heterosis”) is a animal breeding or genetics term that is achieved by crossing two different straings, varieties, breeds or species. In the cattle world, maximum hybrid vigor is obtained by crossing totally unrelated animals, achieving the “best of both worlds”.

Because of this added hybrid vigor, the use of Brahman bulls with European or English breed cows is one of the most popular crossbreeding practices in the United States, with the resulting Brahman F-1 calf in high demand by cattlemen for replacement females or feeders in the feedlot.

Years of crossbreeding research has consistently shown that ranchers get higher levels of heterosis when you cross a Brahman with a British or Continental breed compared to just breeding British or Continental breeds to each other. Because of this, Brahman cattle are often referred to as crossbreeding’s common denominator. The Brahman F-1 cross is consistently superior to other crosses in weight per day of age and carcass efficiency. The Brahman F-1 is also very popular because these cattle display many important characteristics of their Brahman parent, such as drought resistance, heat tolerance, disease and parasite resistance and increased longevity.

Breed Registry and Programs

The American Brahman Breeders Association (ABBA) was organized in 1924. J.W. Sartwelle of Houston was the first recording secretary of the Association and it was he who proposed the word “Brahman” and so it was adopted as the name of the new beef breed. With strict selection, guided by the standard of excellence developed by founding breeders, the American Brahman has been recognized for its exceptional hardiness and physical stamina, its ability to profitably produce on marginal lands, to live twice as long as normally expected, with unequaled performance in weight per day of age. As consumers shift to lean meat and lower calorie diets, Brahmans are perfectly positioned to fill the demand for a beef product which efficiently converts feed into high-quality beef, while producing a carcass free of excess fat.

Fleckvieh Cattle (Simmental)

Origin of Breed

Fleckvieh is the strain of Simmental that originated in 1830 in Germany and Austria where they were bred for meat and milk production for generations. At that time, Simmental cattle were famous for their milk production and drought capacity, but were late maturing with little depth and coarse bones. The breeding was aimed are on a “middle of the road type animal” with excellent muscling, good milk production and performance. In 1920, Southern Germany closed their herdbook and Fleckvieh was developed as an independent breed. Between the late 1960’s and 1980’s, the breed changed to a dual-purpose breed for milk and beef and had established itself on all the continents. This systematic improvement of the production traits led to a modern breed, which fits the economical needs of producers. Today, the Simmental (Fleckvieh) breed is present on all continents and with 41 million animals is the second largest breed in the world.

Physical Description

The Fleckvieh breed is moderate to large framed with a long, wide and deep body. The basic colors of the breed range from light to dark yellow and red to dark red on white. The distribution of colors may be spotted, speckled or most of the body solid colored. An important trademark of the breed is the dominant white head with a broad muzzle. Eye spectacles or eyelid pigmentations occur frequently. Their Belly, feet and tail are white in color. Fleckvieh have flat boned legs, fitting well with the body’s strength, and hard hooves. Their sound legs and feet enable make them functional for many environments. The breed shows good muscularity throughout their body. Fleckvieh cows have functional udders and best maternal traits. Outstanding trait of the Fleckvieh cow is the top milk yield, ensuring high weaning weights.

Mature bulls weigh around 2000 lbs. while adult Fleckvieh cows weigh from 1500 to 1800 lbs.

Defining Characteristics

Fleckvieh is known for its excellent beef production and high growth potential of the animals. They are definitely different in their phenotype and genetics when compared to other strains of Simmentals. Fleckvieh were developed under very practical criteria and, while maintaining their breed purity.

Some unique characteristics of the Fleckvieh are their early-accelerated growth, with ease of fleshing on a moderate frame. They have excellent carcass cutability on moderate frames. The beef produced from Fleckvieh cattle is well marbled, tender and has a good taste, irrespective of whether it was produced of bulls, heifers of steers. Fleckvieh females excel at calving ease, fertility, longevity and are easy keepers. Fleckvieh cattle are healthy, hardy and show an excellent adaptability to the different geographical and climatic conditions.

Development in America

The Fullblood Simmental Fleckvieh Federation was originally established as the American Fullblood Simmental Marketing Committee in 1995. In 2004, it evolved to the Fullblood Simmental Fleckvieh Federation. Today there are over 100 Fleckvieh breeders in the United States and breed popularity is continuing to grow.

Registry and Improvement Programs

The Fullblood Simmental Fleckvieh Federation is headquartered in Cisco, TX. The Association offers registration, transfers, sales, member services as well as a junior program and show.

Hereford Cattle

The Hereford breed originated as a product of necessity. Efficient, adaptable and hardy, these cattle have always had a face to remember.

Origin

The Hereford breed originated as a product of necessity. Efficient, adaptable and hardy, these cattle have always had a face to remember.

Nearly 300 years ago, farmers of Herefordshire, England, founded the breed in response to demand created by Britain’s Industrial Revolution. Efficient production, high yields and sound reproduction were of utmost importance.

Benjamin Tomkins is who to thank for the original design. A primary founder of the breed, Tomkins began in 1742 with a bull calf from the cow Silver and two cows, Pidgeon and Mottle.

Henry Clay, Kentucky statesman, brought Herefords to the United States in 1817. A true Hereford identity was not established in the states until William H. Sotham and Erastus Corning, Albany, N.Y., began the first breeding herd in 1840.

Among other renowned early Hereford breeders were Charles Gudgell and Thomas A. Simpson of Missouri. Their big break came with the importation of Anxiety 4, a bull credited as being the “father of American Herefords.”

Characteristics

Today’s versatile Hereford continues to be the benchmark against which other breeds are measured as cattlemen continue to seek the optimum traits inherent in Herefords. Those traits critical to survival in the cattle business are exactly the same traits Hereford offers today’s industry:

  • Fertility
  • Reproductive performance
  • Feed efficiency
  • Optimum size and growth
  • Documented feedlot and carcass superiority
  • Low maintenance costs
  • Optimum muscling
  • Optimum milk
  • Adaptability and hardiness
  • Superior disposition
  • Soundness
  • Crossbreeding advantages

Breed Registry and Programs

A few of these early breeders came together in Chicago on June 22, 1881. The result was the foundation of the American Hereford Cattle Breeders Association, later renamed the American Hereford Association (AHA). Its purpose was two-fold: to keep the breed’s records and to promote the interests of its breeders.

Seven years later Warren Gammon noticed naturally hornless Herefords at the Trans-Mississippi World’s Fair in Omaha, Neb. He decided to fix the hornless trait using the bull Giant and 11 Hereford females. In 1910 the American Polled Hereford Association (APHA) was founded.

The two Hereford associations merged in 1995, keeping the AHA title. The AHA now registers all horned and polled Herefords.

Shows and expositions contributed greatly to a growing Hereford popularity. The breed’s doing ability, coupled with early maturity, revolutionized American beef production.

To achieve this desired early maturity, breeders in the 1930s and 1940s sought short, low-set, wide and deep-bodied cattle. Success eventually became a downfall.

Compact, fat cattle continued to excel in the showering into the 1950s. However, beef packers were starting to pay less for over-fat cattle. The American diet was calling for leaner, more heavily muscled carcasses. Hereford breeders stepped up to the challenge.

Beginning in the 1960s, breeders focused their attention on tools such as performance testing, artificial insemination, objective measures, embryo transfer and sire evaluation. These tools allowed the rapid genetic change needed to bring Herefords in synch with consumer and industry expectations.

A broad genetic base allowed Hereford breeders to select stock comparable in size and performance to competing “exotic” European breeds. Although major changes were made, breeders didn’t lose sight of fundamental Hereford traits, particularly fertility and docility.

A new goal was established in the late 1980s — formal documentation of Hereford performance in the feedlot and on the rail. Colorado State University animal scientists conducted related tests for the AHA from 1991 to 1993. Superiority was noted in average daily gain, feed conversion and cost of gain.

Further studies in the early 1990s demonstrated the quality of Hereford beef. Regardless of marbling, Hereford steers consistently excelled in tenderness, juiciness, flavor and palatability.

These findings led to the formation of a branded beef product known as Certified Hereford Beef® (CHB). In 1994 the AHA, Midland Cattle Co. and its affiliate, Mid-Ag, came together to market CHB. Mid-Ag, later renamed Red Oak Farms, was licensed as the exclusive seller of CHB. In October of 1998 the AHA board of directors pulled exclusivity from Red Oak Farms due to its failure to meet license covenants.

Greater Omaha Packing Co. was licensed as the second company to produce and market CHB in November of 1999. The following October, the AHA formed a limited liability corporation, CHB LLC, for management of the CHB program.

Hereford history was made during the second week of 2005. CHB had its first million pound week, when packers sold approximately 1.3 million pounds of product to participating retail locations and food service outlets.

The CHB program has experienced 40% annual sales growth since 2000, indicating the power of its mission:

To strengthen demand for Hereford cattle, Certified Hereford Beef LLC commits superior customer service, competitive pricing and creative marketing strategies to the sale of tender, great tasting Certified Hereford Beef within retail grocery stores, wholesale food distributors and food service outlets.

Irish Black Cattle

Origin of Breed

The Irish Black Breed has its roots in a genetic theory promoted by world-renowned Iowa State geneticist, Dr. Jay Lush, in the 1930s. Dr. Lush maintained that consistent quality would best be achieved through a concentrated gene pool developed in the process of line breeding. Maurice Boney, of Johnstown, CO., studied under Dr. Lush and later developed Irish Blacks in the early 1970’s in his attempt to create more influence on homozygous traits rather than heterozygous traits for the today’s beef industry. Boney also created Irish Reds alongside his Irish Black breed, both which he has trademarked. Irish Blacks are derived primarily from Friesian genetics and a small amount of Black Angus genetics from the “Old Revolution” line. The breed has been close-herd line-bred for built-in genetic predictability in order to transmit quality genetics for fertility, production attributes and superior beef quality to progeny. The cattle were also known to possess “feeding capacity,” meaning they efficiently converted forage into quality beef. Boney desired to establish those traits in his own herd of cattle. 
He carefully planned and implemented a breeding program where he continued to cultivate the best traits in his closed herd, resulting in a herd of cattle that were 98 percent pure Friesian blood. Subsequently, consistently high quality carcass traits were one of the outstanding resulting characteristics of the cattle.

Physical Description

Irish Blacks are entirely black in color and moderate in frame size. Occasionally red colored calves can be born. They are moderately muscled and have sound feet and legs.

Defining Characteristics

Irish Blacks are known for their genetic purity, longevity, uniformity and carcass quality. The Irish Black gene pool is small, reducing chances of undesirable throwback traits that come from crossbreeding. Genetic purity produces consistent, predictable results. Females are fertile, with a high calving ease, great udder quality and maternal qualities. Their large pelvis assures rare calving problems. Females are also known for their shorter gestation period, of 277 days, which will produce more offspring in her lifetime. Males posses longevity and pass on low birth weight calves. Progeny are mostly black hided with a high carcass quality and large ribeye. These calves are early maturing and have a high rate of gain. Their meat is known to be very tender with high marbling.

Development in America

Irish Blacks and Reds are marketed under an exclusive contractual agreement to a selective, growing group of producers in 22 states. These breeds are gaining significant attention from cattle feeders, packers and restaurateurs as an answer to many of the industry’s concerns.

In 2010, Colorado-based Irish Black breeder, Guy Gould and other Irish Black owners, began exploring the market for the high quality beef found in their breed. That effort has led to development of the American Celtic Cattle Association.

Registry and Improvement Programs

The American Celtic Cattle Association is headquartered in Fort Morgan, CO. The association provides a Branded Beef Program as a way to market Irish Black cattle to different avenues in the beef industry. Registrations, transfers, and member services are all provided by the ACCA.

Piedmontese Cattle

Origin of the Breed

25,000 years ago a migration of Zebu cattle made its way into north western Italy. Blocked by the Alps Mountains from moving further, these cattle stayed and intermingled with the local “native” pre-historic cattle – the Auroch. This blend of Bos Taurus (Auroch) and Bos Indicus (Brahman) evolved in that alpine terrain over thousands of years of natural selection to become the Piedmontese breed of today. There are several breeds from Italy which also show the influence of this Brahman migration – these are the so-called Italian “white breeds”, but the similarity to the Piedmontese does not go further than the color. All Italian white breeds, Piedmontese included, are born ‘fawn’ or tan and change to the grey-white color, with black skin pigmentation. The Piedmontese, however, also carry genetic traits absolutely unique to them.

The Italian Herdbook was opened in 1887, after the appearance of ‘double muscling’ was noted in the cattle in 1886. Over one hundred years later, the genetic component which gives rise to the greatly increased ‘muscle’ (beef) production of this breed was discovered: Myostatin.

Characteristics

The Piedmontese are a moderate sized, heavy muscled beef breed with a unique gene which dramatically improves beef tenderness and reduces fat content while increasing carcass yield. Fullblood Piedmontese are homozygous for this special gene, and the North American Piedmontese Association is the first breed registry to base animal registration requirements on the presence of a specific gene, which can be easily verified by DNA test. In a crossbreeding situation, the homozygous Piedmontese will always provide one copy of this unique gene to every calf, and USDA MARC research confirms that calving ease is similar to Angus, but carcass performance and beef tenderness of the crossbred offspring exceed all other breeds tested.

Fullblood Piedmontese are grey-white in color with black skin pigmentation, and are naturally horned. Naturalean™ Piedmontese composites have been developed in North America and are homozygous black or red, homozygous polled and also maintain homozygous status for this unique gene, in-active myostatin.

Myostatin occurs naturally in all mammals. Its effect is to restrict muscle growth. However, when the gene has naturally mutated it can become in-active, as is the case with the Piedmontese cattle, and no longer prevents muscle development, allowing these cattle to develop more muscle mass than cattle with functional myostatin. However, Piedmontese animals are born with little to none of this muscle mass and are long, slender calves. By one month of age, the muscle development becomes noticeable.

Breed Registry and Programs

A total of 15 Piedmontese live animals were imported from Italy into North America in the 1980s. Today, seed stock and commercial producers across the country continue to expand their herds, a highly successful branded beef marketing company (Certified Piedmontese by Great Plains Beef) and a progressive registry association (NAPA) supports the ever increasing demand for these cattle and the unique beef product.

The Bull Development Project has been evaluating homozygous Piedmontese and Naturalean™ Piedmontese for individual Residual Feed Efficiency and growth traits for several years, as a breeder’s co-operative effort to identify trait leaders. Some 60% of the entire national herd’s annual bull production is evaluated together, allowing for rapid over-all breed improvement. This information also expands the EPD Project, which includes data sets on Piedmontese performance through the years involved in the USDA MARC Germ Plasm Evaluations.

Registration eligibility is based on the in-active myostatin gene; homozygous animals are eligible for “registration” in either the Fullblood (100% pure based on pedigree record) or the Naturalean™ Piedmontese divisions. Heterozygous animals are eligible for “recordation” in the Naturalean™ Piedmontese division, and 0-copy (non carriers) are ineligible in any category.

The North American Piedmontese Association (NAPA) presents a National Show each year in conjunction with the National Western Stock Show in Denver, CO. However, the main focus of the Association is on breed performance improvement as applies to the commercial industry and preservation of the breed’s unique genetic features.

Longhorn Cattle


Origin of Breed

In 1493, Christopher Columbus brought Spanish cattle to Santa Domingo, and then 200 years their descendants would be grazing the ranges of Mexico. The Texas Longhorn soon became the foundation of the American cattle industry. In 1690 the first herd of cattle, only about 200 head, was driven northward from Mexico to a mission near the Sabine River-a land that would become known as Texas.

Physical Description

Longhorns have moderate depth and thickness and are angular shaped for heat adaptation. Colors vary widely, however the most common among these cattle are red, black, brown, dun or roan. They have ribs that are moderately sprung, a slender head and shoulders for calving ease. Bulls will be thicker and much more heavily muscled than cows, particularly in the neck and shoulders and will exhibit a crest on the neck. A typical Longhorn head should be narrow with pronounced length, and a straight profile from poll, the area between the horns, to muzzle. Cows should have a trim feminine neck, with smooth rounded shoulders, and an angular shaped body. They have small to medium, short, round ears, fitted horizontally under the horns. The long hair found in a Longhorn’s ears helps fend off parasites, along with its long tail with full switch. A bull’s horns should grow laterally from the poll with a slight forward and upward sweep. This is a dominance trait related to fighting with other bulls. A cow’s horns should be slender at the base, growing laterally from the poll with a turn upward, ending in a lateral twist out. Texas Longhorns may be long-legged compared to some other breeds, and they certainly are not short legged.

Mature Longhorn cows weigh from 1,100 to 1,200 lb. while mature bulls range to more than 2,000 lb.

Defining Characteristics

Longhorns are known for their docility, longevity and their high feed efficiency. These cattle live into their late teen years, producing many offspring in herds. Longhorns feed off many types of grass and need very little grain to supplement their diets. They are intelligent and easy to handle, which reduces risk and additional inputs on many farms and ranches. The breed can thrive in various climates and adapt very easily to new environments. Their reproductive efficiency ensures excellent fertility and easy calving. Hybrid Vigor achieved through crossing their genetics with many other breeds in today’s beef industry.

Development in America

By the time of the Civil War, nearly 300 years after setting foot in America, millions of Longhorns were in existence. In the next quarter century, 10 million head moved toward the lush, Midwestern grasses or were shipped east by rail to feed many beef-hungry Americans. Translating these wild cattle into money was an ambitious struggle but from this breed grew the romantic legends of the Western Cowboy. With only a handful of Texas Longhorns roaming the ranges in private herds, the Federal government decided to help preserve the Texas Longhorn and a great part of our American heritage. In 1927, Congress appropriated $3,000 and assigned forest service rangers, Will C. Barnes and John H. Hatton to the task. These two men put the first herds together in Oklahoma and Nebraska.

In 1964, the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America was formed in Lawton, Okla., by Charles Schreiner III of the YO Ranch. The purpose of the Association was to recognize the Texas Longhorn to promote awareness of Texas Longhorn cattle, to recognize present breeders, to encourage others to develop and maintain herds and to preserve this magnificent breed of cattle.

Registry and Improvement Programs

The Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America is headquartered in Fort Worth, TX. The Association provides registrations, transfers, sales, shows and member services.

Limousin Cattle

Origin of Breed

The history of Limousin cattle is rumored to be as old as the European continent itself. Cattle found in cave drawings were estimated to be around 20,000 years old in the Lascaux Caves near Montignac, France. These cattle drawings have a striking resemblance to today’s Limousin. The Limousin breed originated in the regions of Marche and Limousin, located in south central France. Because it was a rather rainy region with a harsh climate and poor soil, the growing of field crops was very difficult and emphasis was heavily placed on animal agriculture. Because of their uses and their environment, Limousin cattle became a breed of unusual sturdiness, health and adaptability. This lack of natural resources also enabled the region isolated farmers and their cattle, which allowed them to develop with little outside genetic interference. Limousin were well known for their beef qualities and their meat. They were referred to as the “butcher’s animal” in France.

Physical Description

The large framed and heavily muscled breed is golden-red, with a lighter color under the stomach, inside the thighs, around the eyes and muzzle, and around the anus and end of the tail. Limousin with black genetics can vary in color from light fawn or brown progressing through different ages to a deep black at a fully mature age. Mature black animals can often display black coats fully tinged with brown hairs. If not polled, horns are yellow at the base and darken towards the tips.

Mature bulls weigh around 2000 lbs. while mature Limousin females should average 1,300 lbs. and mature.

Defining Characteristics

Limousin are known for their muscularity, feed efficiency and carcass quality. In history, they were often called the carcass breed as their carcasses have excellent conformation well suited to the market that demands a high-quality lean beef product. Limousin guarantee first-rate productivity at a low cost. Bulls are extremely fertile and their good conformation and lighter frame ensures ease of calving. Females demonstrate high fertility, a good milking ability, high conception rates and ease of calving.

Development in America

As the Limousin breed developed in France, cattlemen in North America were looking to Europe to improve their native beef cattle here in the United States. With the importation and growth of many breeds, cattlemen were open to new additions to their herds. One of the first exposures in this country concerning Limousin cattle was in the early 1960s in an issue of the Western Livestock Journal when a Canadian wrote of his impressions after returning from a trip to France.

The first Limousin imported to Canada was “Prince Pompadour.” Through the efforts of Adrien de Moustier of France and a few other breeders, the bull arrived in November of 1968. After his arrival, Prince Pompadour was brought to the United States to be part of Limousin exhibitions at various cattle shows and did much to draw attention to the breed. After the importation of Prince Pompadour to Canada, another group of Limousin bulls followed in 1969. This shipment contained Decor, Diplomate, Dandy, Prairie Danseur and Prairie Pride. These bulls were the base upon which the breed began its long climb up, finding good acceptance on the part of cattlemen.

The first Limousin bulls weren’t imported permanently into the United States until the fall of 1971. The first Limousin imported into the U.S., Kansas Colonel, was born and raised in Canada. Bob Haag of Topeka, Kansas, imported him for a group of Kansas Limousin breeders. In July of 1969, the first Limousin semen was available from Prince Pompadour. As these cattle were arriving in North America, cattlemen interested in the breed realized the need for an organization to promote and develop the breed in the United States and Canada. In the spring of 1968 at the Albany Hotel in Denver, fifteen cattlemen formed the North American Limousin Foundation (NALF).

Registry and Improvement Programs

The North American Limousin Foundation is headquartered in Englewood, CO. The Association provides registrations, transfers, performance data, sales and member services, as well as a junior program, shows and scholarships.

Red Angus

Origin of Breed

The Red Angus breed had its beginning in Europe, like most other beef breeds today. In the eighth-century Norsemen raiding the coasts of England and Scotland brought with them a small, dun-colored hornless cattle, which interbred with black native Celtic cattle of inland Scotland, which had upright horns. A naturally polled black breed was produced, which roughly corresponded the Black Angus of today, although it was a considerably smaller-bodied animal.

A breeder of Red Angus cattle, Eric L.C. Pentecost, explains a possible reason for the introduction of the red coloration into the Aberdeen Angus breed. In the eighteenth century, black polled Scottish cattle were crossed with English longhorns that were red in color for draft animals. The resultant offspring were all black polled animals, black being the dominant color and red a recessive one. However, all carried the red gene. Subsequently, the interbreeding produced an average of one red calf in four. The first Aberdeen Angus herdbook, published in 1862 in Scotland, entered both reds and blacks without distinction. This practice is still common for many Red and Black Angus breeders all over the world.

Physical Description

The Red Angus is similar in conformation to the Aberdeen Angus, medium in size with a beefy carcass. It is red in color and naturally polled, when crossed with another red coat color is passed on to their progeny. They are moderate to large framed and have soundness throughout their feet and legs.

Defining Characteristics

They are resistant to harsh weather, undemanding, adaptable, and good-natured. They are early maturing and have a high carcass yield with nicely marbled meat. Red Angus are renowned as a carcass breed that are used widely in crossbreeding to improve carcass quality and milking ability. Red Angus females calve easily and have good calf rearing ability. They are also used as a genetic dehorner as the polled gene is passed on as a dominant characteristic.

Development in America

Aberdeen Angus was introduced into America in the 1870s. After their popular start, the American Aberdeen-Angus Breeders’ Association was founded in Chicago, Illinois, on November 21, 1883, with 60 members. The growth of the Association has paralleled the success of the Angus breed in America. The first American herdbooks were published in 1886 and 1888. These books kept no record as to the color of individual animals. In 1890, twenty-two reds were registered in the American Aberdeen Angus Herdbook out of the 2,700 entered that year. Eventually, the reds and other colors were barred from Black Angus registration altogether after 1917. This discrimination against the red color in an effort to assure a pure black strain forced a decline in the number of red calves born in American herds. In 1945, various cattlemen throughout the United States started selecting and breeding reds cropped from the best black Aberdeen Angus herds in America. In 1954, seven visionary breeders gathered to establish the Red Angus Association of America (RAAA).

Registry and Improvement Programs

The Red Angus Association of America is headquartered in Denton, TX. The Association provides registrations, transfers, performance data, sales and member services, as well as a junior program, shows and scholarships.

Saler Cattle

Origin

Salers are native to the Auvergne region of south-central France. This isolated, mountainous area noted for its rough, rocky terrain and harsh, damp climate, is characterized by poor soil and a wide range of temperatures throughout the summer and long winter. As the topography allowed for little cereal grain production, the Salers cattle were forced to become foragers with bred-in range-ability to utilize, almost entirely native grasses in summer and hay in winter.

The historical journey for the Salers breed was first recorded by archaeologists as depicted from ancient drawings in cave dwellings dated some 7,000 years ago. The drawings were found near Salers, a small medieval town in the center of France. These drawings and the Salers cattle of today, which are very different from all other French breeds, bear some resemblance to the ancient Egyptian red cattle.

With such a unique background, the breed is considered to be one of the oldest and most genetically pure of all European breeds. This fact produces a marked positive effect on the predictability of Salers in crossbreeding programs.

Until modern times Salers cattle were respected not only as beef animals, but as milk producers for cheese products and were also utilized as strong sources of animal power.

In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, North American cattlemen were looking for new breeds to improve American beef cattle. In their search, a group of Canadians and Americans were impressed by Salers in France and eventually imported the first Salers bull, Valliant, into Canada in 1972. His semen was sold both in the United States and Canada and a new chapter in efficient beef production was about to begin.

Grassroots cattlemen were the breed’s U.S. founders. They felt the cattle should prove themselves under the tough rigors and conditions of the commercial cattle industry before Salers were widely marketed. The breed was equal to the challenge. Salers created a strong market interest and excitement within the commercial cattle industry. This led to the historical formation of the American Salers Association in 1974 by 14 innovative and progressive cattlemen in Minneapolis, MN.

The first imports directly into the United States came in 1975 with the arrival of one bull and four heifers. From 1975 to 1978, 52 heifers and bulls reached the United States and more than 100 arrived in Canada. These cattle are the foundation of the breed in North America.

Characteristics

Salers cattle are dark red or black in color. They are known for a rare combination of economically important traits. They possess tremendous calving ease, maternal efficiency and foraging efficiency, and their feedlot performance and high-quality carcasses make them a highly coveted production in the U.S. beef industry.

Breed Registry and Programs

ASA has its headquarters in Parker, CO, where it continues to make lasting contributions to modern commercial cattle production. The high-quality beef the breed produces ensures it will play a critical role in many branded and natural meats businesses around the country into the future. The “balanced breed” is meeting, and will continue to meet and exceed the needs of the beef industry.

Senepol Cattle

Origin

In the 1800s, N’Dama cattle were imported to the Caribbean Island of St. Croix from Senegal, West Africa. The N’Dama, a Bos Taurus breed, was well suited for the Caribbean because of its heat tolerance, insect and disease resistance and its ability to thrive on poor quality forage and hot climates. In 1918, Red Polled genetics were introduced to the herd to improve milking fertility and to make them polled. This blending of genetics proved quite successful and formed the foundation of the Senepol breed.

In 1977 a plane carrying 22 Senepols left St. Croix for the mainland in the United States. As of 2012, the Senepol Cattle Breeders Association has members in the Southeastern part of the United States, the Caribbean, Central and South America, Australia and Africa, where ever tropical adaptation is needed.

Characteristics

Senepol cattle are 100% Bos Taurus beef cattle known for their early maturing, heat tolerance, ability to forage and tender beef. They are red in color, have polled heads, excellent udders, are good milkers, wean off 50% or better of their body weight, gentle in nature and meet the consumer demands for quality and tenderness and exceed U.S. National averages.

Senepol cattle have been referred to as the “cross breeding specialist” for those breeders looking for heat tolerant Bos Taurus cattle. In the tough dry climates that the United States has encountered over the past few summers, Senepol cattle have excelled, still maintaining good weaning and yearling weights with cow breed back.

Senepol cattle have also been identified as one of the few breeds of cattle that possess the “Slick hair gene”. The presence of this gene allows for Senepol cattle to produce calves that are slick, having extremely short hair, which attributes to their heat tolerance. And you can see the results of the slick hair gene in your pastures, when during the heat of the day, your Senepol cattle are still grazing in the heat of the day and increasing their weight, whereas other breeds have found shade.

USDA research established that Senepols maintain cooler temperatures when compared to Brahman, Angus and Hereford cows when grazing during the summer months in Florida. The same study revealed that F1 Seneford calves maintained rectal temperatures almost identical to a full-bloodied Senepol.

Calving ease and vigor are two huge advantages in Senepol over other breeds. Breeders everywhere are proud of the increased survival rates of Senepol sired calves because they jump up and nurse quickly. Senepol birth weights show male calves average a birth weight of 80 lbs and females an average of 75 lbs. Senepols rank as a top calving ease breed.

Breed Registry and Programs

The database for SCBA has over the largest Senepol database in the world and the only Senepol database to maintain the herd book on the foundation cattle from St. Croix. Annually, the data is analyzed in August every year by Angus Genetics Inc. to establish updated Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) for the breed. In 2012, SCBA moved to a Multi-breed analysis for growth traits such as birth weight, weaning weight, milk, milk & growth and yearling weights. Carcass EPDs are still evaluated under the single breed model. Every year the results are published in our Sire Summary http://www.senepolcattle.com/sire_summary.php. As we continue to grow, we hope to expand the traits that are evaluated to include scrotal circumference and new growth traits.

In 2012, SCBA saw almost three times more cattle added to the database compared to 2011. If you are looking for cattle that are heat tolerant, produce tender beef and are easy to manage, look no further; Senepol is the breed for you.

Simmental Cattle

Origin

The Simmental is among the oldest and most widely distributed of all breeds of cattle in the world. Although the first official herdbook was established in the Swiss Canton of Berne in 1806, there is evidence of large, productive “red and white” cattle being found much earlier in ecclesiastical and secular property records of Western Switzerland.

Characteristics

Those red and white animals were highly sought because of their “rapid growth development; outstanding production of milk, butter and cheese; and for their use as draught (draft) animals.” They were known for their gentle nature, impressive stature and excellent dairy qualities.

As early as 1785, the Swiss Parliament limited exports because of a shortage of cattle to meet their own needs. The Swiss “Red and White Spotted Simmental Cattle Association” was formed in 1890.

Since its origin in Switzerland, the breed has spread to all six continents. Total numbers are estimated between 40 and 60 million Simmental cattle worldwide, with more than half in Europe. The worldwide spread was gradual until the late 1960s.

Records show that a few animals were exported to Italy as early as the 1400s. During the 19th century, Simmental were distributed through most of Eastern Europe, the Balkans and Russia, ultimately reaching South Africa in 1895. Guatemala imported the first Simmental cattle into the Western Hemisphere in 1897, with Brazil following in 1918 and Argentina in 1922.

Only in the United States are Simmental measured and selected totally for efficient, economical production of quality beef. Unlike most of the European performance programs involving Simmental cattle where emphasis is on the measurement of milk production, the American Simmental Association has developed performance programs that focus on meat production.

As a result of performance programs, the ASA was the first breed association to publish a sire summary. The American Simmental resulting from this effort meets today’s demand for a beef animal that can thrive under a variety of conditions. They have bred-in ability to adapt to hot and cold temperatures, to dry or humid climates, to range conditions or confinement rearing.

Breed Registry and Programs

The ASA was founded by a contingent of breeders who came from other breed backgrounds and shared a common goal of establishing a breed base on sound, performance principles. Thus, in its 30+ years of existence, ASA has often been in the forefront of beef industry innovation and progress. In 1971, ASA published the first beef breed sire summary, and since that time has: 1) initiated a cow recognition program; 2) developed Simbrah, a heat tolerant, insect-resistant breed combining the genetics of Simmental and Brahman; 3) developed the first multi-breed EPDs; 4) been a leader in incorporating performance data into the show ring; and, 5) more recently, established the industry standard for proving carcass merit. Most other breeds have followed the leadership of ASA.

The growth of Simmental cattle in North America is really a reflection of what has already occurred in most agricultural countries of the world. It appears certain that Simmental will continue to play an important role in the future of the American beef producer.

Scottish Highland Cattle

Origin of breed

The Highland breed has lived for centuries in the extremely harsh conditions of the Scottish Highlands. The breed created a process of natural selection, where only the fittest and most adaptable animals survived to carry on the breed. Two distinct classes were originally in existence. The slightly smaller and usually black Kyloe, from the islands off the west coast of northern Scotland and the other was a larger animal, generally reddish in color, from the remote Highlands of Scotland. Today, both are recognized as the Highland breed. In 1884, the Highland Cattle Society in Scotland published the first herd book. Archaeological evidence of the breed goes back to the sixth century, with written records existing from the twelfth century.

Physical description

Highlands are red and black, yellow, dun, white, brindle and silver in color. The Highland breed has a distinguished head with long fringe and the horns that are long and darken towards the tip. Long lashes and forelocks shield their eyes from flying insects, and as a result, pinkeye and cancer eye are uncommon. Highlands have a double coat of hair, which consists of a downy undercoat and a long outer coat, which may reach 13 inches. It is also well oiled to shed rain and snow. Due to their double coat of hair and thick hide, the Highland has been adapted by nature to withstand great exposure. Highlands shed this heavy hair coat when exposed to a hot dry climate and then grow a new one as the damp cold weather returns.

Mature bulls can weigh around 1,500 to 1,800 lbs. while mature cows weigh around 900 to 1,200 lbs.

Defining characteristics

Highlands are remarkable for their longevity and many Highland cows continue to breed to ages in excess of eighteen years. The mothering instinct is highly developed in the Highland cow. This strong protective inclination of the cow minimizes predator losses that can even extend to sheep that are pastured in the same field. The Highland calf is exceptionally hardy and grows rapidly up to weaning. Highlands tend to be docile and calm and do not stress easily, so stress-related diseases occur with less frequency. And other bovine diseases affect the Highland less, due to the genetic advantages they have achieved. They are easy to work with despite their long horns. The breed is exceptionally hardy with a natural and unique ability to convert poor grazing efficiently. Unlike other breeds, Highlands are slow maturing making the meat tender, flavorful and succulent.

Development in America

Highland cattle may have been brought to the east coast states in the 1920s. Earlier importations are likely to have occurred since large numbers of Scotch/Irish immigrants came to this country early on but the absence of a registry precludes any definite proof.

SF Biddle made the earliest importation on record. Three carloads of heifers and bulls were unloaded at Moorcroft, Wyoming and trailed to the Powder River. Walter Hill made another importation into Montana and it is the descendants of this importation that have played an important part in our present-day cattle. The first four bulls and forty-five cows in the U.S. registry are made up of these cattle and were registered by Baxter Berry of Belvidere, South Dakota. Soon, Western cattlemen soon recognized the need to improve the hardiness of their herds and soon the breed became popular in the United States. On August 30, 1948 at the Double X Ranch of Baxter and Lyndall Berry of Belvidere, South Dakota, a group of Highland cattle breeders met and organized the American Scotch Highland Breeders Association.

Registry and improvement programs

The American Highland Cattle Association is headquartered in Brighton, CO. The Association provides registrations, transfers, performance data, sales and member services as well as a junior program, shows and scholarships.

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