Cattle, Heifers, Bulls & Steers For Sale
Cattle For Sale
I have 1 Brahman Cross Heifer, 1 Charbray Heifer, 1 Black Brangus Cross Heifer (should be bred 5-7 months), 1 Black Brahman/Braford Heifer, 1 Brangus Heifer and 1 Red F1 Braford Bull calf starting to tiger stripe out. The lightest weight and youngest calf will weigh around 300 pounds and be 4 months old (bull calf) and all other go up from there in weight and age. Great little starter herd for someone wanting to keep or get that AG Exemption or would be some great calves to raise out and butcher, to put meat on the table. Will sell ALL (5 heifers and 1 bull) for $3650 FIRM...
The Maine-Anjou breed originated in the northwestern part of France. This area is excellent for beef production as it has both grassland and tillable land.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the cattle in this region were large, well-muscled animals with light red coats spotted with white. These cattle were known as he Mancelle breed. In addition to their size and muscling, the Mancelle had a reputation for their easy fattening. Leclere -Thouin, an agriculturalist, wrote in 1843 that on the community pastures of the Auge Valley, the Mancelle "were the last to be put onto the grass, but were the first to be picked out to go to the markets in the capital city".
In 1839 the Count de Falloux, a landowner, imported Durham cattle from England and crossed them with the Mancelle. The cross was extremely successful, and by 1850 Durham-Mancelle animals were winning championships at the French agricultural fairs. In 1908 the Society of Durham-Mancelle Breeders was formed at Chateau- Gontier in the Mayenne district. In 1909 the name was changed to the Society of Maine-Anjou Cattle breeders, taking the name from the Maine and Anjou river valleys. The Society has worked steadily for the improvement of the breed. Breeders of the cattle were mostly small farmers whose goal was to maximize income from their small area of land. For this reason, the Maine-Anjou evolved as a dual-purpose breed, with the cows used for milk production and the bull calves fed for market. It is still common on many farms to find Maine-Anjou being milked. In many herds, half the cows are milked and the other half raise two calves each.
The Maine-Anjou is one of the larger breeds developed in France, with mature bulls weighing from 2200 to 3100 pounds on the average. Mature cows will range from 1500 to 1900 pounds. The coloring is a very dark red with white markings on the head, belly, rear legs and tail. White on other parts of the body is also common.
The first Maine-Anjou imported into North America came to Canada in 1969. These cattle were then introduced to the United States through artificial insemination.
The Maine-Anjou Society Inc. was incorporated in Nebraska in 1969 and included both American and Canadian members. In 1971 the name was changed to the International Maine-Anjou Association and headquarters were set up in the Livestock Exchange Building in Kansas City, Missouri. The name was changed In 1976 to the American Maine-Anjou Association.
The American breed of cattle were developed by Art Jones on his ranch near Portales, New Mexico. This region of the United States is a harsh environment for cattle with only 8 to 12 inches of rain each year and much of the forage consisting of alkaline sacatone grass. Jones was using purebred Hereford cattle on his ranch but felt they were not capable of being profitable under his production conditions. He began crossing other breeds with his Hereford base to develop a breed more adapted to the area. Shorthorn were used for mothering and milking ability and Charolais for size and bone structure. When this combination was examined Jones felt that he still did not have the level of hybrid vigor for growth factors he desired. To improve these and improve the hardiness of the breed Brahman and American Bison were added to the final mixture.
During the next 30 year Jones began incorporating the Bison into the cross. He also worked closely with the Texas A&M Immunogenetics Department. The Texas A&M Laboratory blood tested the entire foundation herd of American Breed cattle and confirmed the presence of Bison markers in the blood.The breed now known as the American breed has the following breed composition: 1/2 Brahman, 1/8 Bison, 1/4 Charolais, 1/16 Hereford, 1/16 Shorthorn.
One of the most successful English breeds of cattle, the Angus has long been the cattle “business” breed. Its black color is highly sought after in crossbreeding programs as a potential seal of Angus quality. Perhaps the most represantitve breed in cowherds, the Angus holds a well earned spot amongst all beef breeds.
The Angus breed began in the northern regions of England. Originally both red and black cattle were equally selected for in attempts to get high quality traits wherever possible. In the latter half of the 18th century, the cattle of the Aberdeen – Angus counties of northeast Scotland were being heavily used for the improvement of other regional cattle herds.
The very first Angus cattle were imported into the U.S. in 1873. George Grant, a Kansas rancher wanted to develop the Angus as his primary breed and introduce it to the region as an ideal beef option. At their first public appearance in the 1873 Missouri Exposition, the Angus cattle were negatively received. At this time polledness was not yet appreciated for its benefits within feedlot cattle, and the black color was too different from the common red coloration seen in the familiar cattle. Angus ranchers however were not dissuaded and continued to promote the Angus and also began to crossbreed it with the hardy Texas Longhorn. The results were polled, very hardy black calves – a very appealing cross to past critics. A heavy importation of Angus cattle direct from Scotland followed, at its peak 1200 cattle were brought in from 1878 to 1883.
The American Aberdeen- Angus Breeders’ Association was founded on Nov 21, 1883 in Chicago, Illinois. In 1950, it was renamed the American Angus Association. Today, it holds the distinction of being the largest purebred beef registry in the world.
Angus beef hardly needs an introduction; it is renowned for its fine marbling texture and superlative eating qualities. The Angus given a minimal amount of days on feed will manage to repeatedly turn out Prime and Choice grade meats. The Certified Angus Beef program was the first of its class. It provides Angus beef producers an increase in the marketability of their stock directly leading to higher premiums. For the consumer, it provides a consistent eating experience and the assurance of knowing what one is purchasing. In order to qualify under the phenotype requirements of the CAB programs, the cattle must exhibit at least 51% black coloration as well as the absence of non-angus traits (Brahman humps, dairy cattle conformation). The surge in the CAB program has led to a wide-reaching escalation of breeding black into cattle stock, most often using Angus bulls.
Angus bulls are an excellent crossbreeding option. Breeding to an Angus bull virtually eliminates calving problems. The resulting calves are born polled minimizing injuries in feedlot situations. The Angus’ black coloration also serves as “sun block” of sorts, helping to prevent cancers and sun burning of the udder. The ChiAngus (Angus x Chianina) and the SimAngus (Angus x Simmental) are only two examples of angus hybrids that carry the qualities of both breeds making leaner, more efficient grain converters with higher performance numbers.
While the high quality traits of beef are not exclusive in the Angus, their numbers increased due to their consistency in producing quality. There is little lacking in the Angus breed; it meets the needs of a demanding cattle industry on a wide range of points. It is a docile breed, relatively hardy; cows calve easily and have excellent maternal instincts. At feedlots its meat quality proves its superiority time and again. When in doubt, it is the cattleman tradition to go black—a time tested strategy that has served them well.
Beefalo is a species cross between Bison (buffalo) and domestic cattle of any breed. The purpose of the species cross was to blend the outstanding qualities of the Bison with outstanding qualities of the bovine breeds of the world.
Many individuals have tried to cross the Bison and bovine but it was not until the 1960s that a major breakthrough took place. The cross between the Bison and the domestic and exotic beef breeds resulted in the best of both species coming together to produce a superior animal.
The cross between the Bison and beef breeds combined the superior hardiness, foraging ability, calving ease, and meat quality of the Bison with the fertility, milking ability, and ease of handling from the bovine. The cross has also given increased meaning to the term of hybrid vigor. Beefalo animals can be more efficient, which can cut input costs and improve profits.
The basis of the Beefalo program is the fullblood, an animal which is exactly 3/8 Bison and 5/8 bovine. There is no stipulation on the breed used to make up the 5/8 bovine, but any of the beef breeds is generally used.
Development of the Beefmaker by the Wright family began in 1972 on the NSW properties Wallamumbi and Jeogla. Its breeding is based on a specially designed genetic program which involves infusing Simmental blood with specially selected base Herefords.
The Beefmaker program was designed to produce an animal with faster growth rates, heavier carcass weights, an improved ratio of lean carcass meat to fat, maximum fertility, improved lactation, and greater stress tolerance compared to the two contributing base breeds.After eight generations the Beefmaker has been stabilized at 75 percent Hereford and 25 percent Simmental content. It has established a national reputation for high conversion efficiency levels, high carcass yields and low maintenance costs.
Beefmaster cattle have been developed by the Lasater Ranch then headquartered in Texas. The breeding program leading to their establishment was started by Ed C. Lasater in 1908, when he purchased Brahman 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 were also used. In 1925 he introduced Guzerat blood into the herd.
Mr. Lasater also developed a registered Hereford herd in which the cattle had red circles around each eye. In both his Brahman and Hereford breeding, milk production was stressed. Following his death in 1930, the breeding operations came under the direction of his son, Tom Lasater, who began to combine the breeding of the Brahman and Hereford cattle and also used some registered Shorthorn bulls. 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 nd rigid culling was practiced. The Lasater Ranch estimates that modern Beefmaster have slightly less than one-half Brahman blood and slightly more than one-fourth of Hereford and Shorthorn breeding.
The cattle were handled under range conditions that were often adverse, and a culling program was started based on disposition, fertility, weight, conformation, hardiness and milk production. Stress was placed on the production of beef. No selection has been made to characteristics that do not affect the carcass, such as horns, hide or color.
The Lasater Ranch breeding program provided an interesting example of the use of mass selection in reaching a goal. Critics should recall that other breeds have been established in a similar way - a blending of breeding followed by selection for economically important points Uniformity in many breeds has been achieved only after many generations of selection.The original concepts of Tom Lasater in developing Beefmaster cattle have continued. Selection continues for those points which were originally used by Mr. Lasater and are now known as the Six Essentials - Weight, Conformation, Milking Ability, Fertility, Hardiness and Disposition. Considerable progress has been made in selecting cattle that give very satisfactory levels of production under the practical and often severe range conditions. Satisfaction by ranchers and creditable performance in feedlots indicate the value of stressing the important utilitarian points in developing breeding herds.
The Belmont Adaptaur was developed in Australia in the 1950s from crosses between Herefords and Shorthorns. It is selected mainly for increased resistance to the stresses of the tropics, particularly heat and cattle ticks.
Characteristics of Adaptaur bullsAdaptaur bulls are early maturing and medium size. They are relatively easy care: sleek coat, well pigmented eyes and good resistance to heat, ticks and internal parasites.
Function of Adaptaur bulls Adaptaurs can be used as a sire breed capable of producing substantial hybrid vigor when mated to Brahman cows to produce F1 (Brahman x Adaptaur) progeny.
The F1 (Brahman x Adaptaur) ProgenyThe F1 progeny grow faster and more fertile than Brahmans. They have similar resistance to ticks and worms as Brahmans. They are at least 10% more efficient than Brahmans. They have the carcass qualities of the Bos taurus.
Tick Resistance Gene
Some Adaptaurs have extremely high resistance to cattle ticks as they carry a gene that has a major effect on resistance. In conjunction with the Australian Hereford Society, the frequency of the gene is being increased by embryo transfer and assortative mating.
The Belted Galloway is essentially the same in origin and characteristics as the Galloway, and are set apart from the Galloway by the distincitve white belt that is thought to have been introduced by an infusion of Dutch Belted blood, probably in the seventeenth or eighteenth century, according to "History of the Belted Galloway Society, Inc.," The Herd Book of the Belted Galloway Society, Inc. (vol1, 1951-1971) by A. Mims Wilkinson, Jr
For years the belted cattle, often called "Belties," were registered in the Polled Herd Book that was started in 1852 and registered Aberdeen-Angus and Galloways. In 1878 the Galloway breeders acquired rights to their portion of the herd book. Later the Dun and Belted Galloway Association was formed. After 1951 the name of the organization was changed to the Belted Galloway Society and dun cattle were no longer registered.
The first Belted Galloways were imported to the United Staes by Harry A. Prock, Whitemarsh, Pennsylvania in 1950. There have been limited importations of the breed since that time but the number brought have not been large.
Some general characteristics
It is claimed that the Belted Galloways are larger, milk heavier, and grow more rapidly than the parental breed. The distinctive white belt found in Belted Galloways often varies somewhat in width and regularity but usually covers most of the body from the shoulders to the hooks. The white contrast to the black coat, which may have a brownish tinge in the summer, sets the breed apart with its striking color pattern. The fore part of the udder may be within the white belt. Because of this distinctive look the cattle are also called as "Oreo cookie cows".
Brafords, like most recognized breeds today, were born of necessity - the necessity to consistently and efficiently produce a uniform product in specific production environments. Working with a base of Brahman cows that were primarily Partin and Hudgins breeding, Alto Adams Jr. began using Hereford bulls on his St. Lucie County, Florida ranch in 1947. The resulting steer and heifer calves were outstanding, but the Hereford bulls required to produce those calves had extreme problems with feet, eyes and general livability. Adams quickly realized that using Hereford bulls that were not adapted to South Florida was simply not feasible and he began experimenting with various types of Brahman-Hereford cross bulls. Eventually he identified Braford bulls that were producing calves that met his needs and he used these bulls and their offspring to form what is recognized as the Foundation Herd of the Braford breed in the United States. Brafords are known for superior maternal ability. Early puberty, fertility, calving ease, optimum milk production, maternal aptitude and productive longevity have earned Brafords this distinguished reputation. Braford cattle are approximately 3/8 Brahman and 5/8 Hereford.
The Brahman breed originated from Bos indicus cattle originally brought from India. Through centuries of exposure to inadequate food supplies, insect pests, parasites, diseases and the weather extremes of tropical India, the native cattle developed some remarkable adaptations for survival. These are the "sacred cattle of India," and many of the Hindu faith will not eat meat from them, will not permit them to be slaughtered, and will not sell them. These facts, in conjunction with he quarantine regulations of the United States, have made it difficult to import cattle from India into this country.
All the Bos indicus cattle are characterized by a large hump over the top of the shoulder and neck. Spinal processes below the hump are extended, and there is considerable muscular tissue covering the processes. The other characteristics of these cattle are their horns, which usually curve upward and are sometimes tilted to the rear, their ears, which are generally large and pendulous, and the throatlatch and dewlap, which have a large amount of excess skin. They also have more highly developed sweat glands than European cattle (Bos taurus) and so can perspire more freely. Bos indicus cattle produce an oily secretion from the sebaceous glands which has a distinctive odor and is reported to assist in repelling insects.
Origin of the BreedSome 30 well defined breeds of cattle have been listed in India. Three principal strains or varieties were brought to the United States and used in the development of the Brahman breed are the Guzerat, the Nellore, and Gir. In addition, the Krishna Valley strain was introduced and used to a lesser extent. The general similarity of the Guzert strain to the cattle selected and developed in this country would indicate that cattlemen working with the breed have generally preferred this type.
Introduction into the United StatesThere are conflicting reports as to the exact manner of the introduction of Indian cattle to the United States, but the following account was give to Dr. Hilton Briggs, author of Modern Breeds of Livestock, by the American Brahman Breeders' Association to help summarize the importations:
The first Indian cattle, of which there is any record, were imported in 1849 by Dr. James Bolton Davis of Fairfield County, South Carolina, who, it is believed, became acquainted with Bos indicus cattle while serving as agricultural advisor to the Sultan of Turkey. Although the descendants of these cattle were spread widely throughout the South, their complete identity was lost during the Civil War. Two Indian bulls were given to Richard Barrow, a cotton and sugar planter of St. Francisville, LA., in 1854, by the British Crown in recognition of Mr. Barrow's services of teaching cotton and sugar cane culture to a British representative who was to take these arts to India. The offspring of these cattle became known as "Barrow Grade" cattle, becoming widely known through the Gulf Coast region. The success of these two animals led to the importation of two more Indian bulls in 1885 by J.M. Frost and Albert Montgomery of Houston, Texas. By mating these two bulls to the offspring of the Barrow bulls, the first attempt to concentrate the blood of Bos indicus cattle in the United States was undertaken.
A few animals were imported by circus organizations from time to time, some of the more desirable ones being purchased by farmers and ranchers. One of the more famous of such purchases was a red bull named "prince," acquired by A.M. McFaddin, of Victoria, Texas, in 1904, from the Haggenbach Animal Show. Another was the sale of about twelve head of Indian cattle by Haggenbach, these finally being acquired by Dr. William States Jacobs of Houston.
In 1905 and 1906, the Pierce Ranch of Pierce, Texas, assisted by Thomas M. O'Connor of Victoria, Texas, imported thirty bulls and three females of several Indian types. These were personally selected by Able P. Borden, manager of the Pierce Ranch.
In 1923-24, 90 bulls of the Guzerat, Gir and Nellore types were imported from Brazil. In 1925, a second importation from Brazil, including 120 bulls and 18 females, reached this country. Both groups were shipped to Mexico and driven overland to the United States.
Eighteen Brazilian bulls were brought to Texas by way of Mexico in 1946.
Breed DevelopmentIt is said that during the period from 1910 to 1920, many cattle in the south-western part of Texas and the coastal country along the Gulf of Mexico showed considerable evidence of Bos indicus breeding. Naturally, many of the bulls that were used were the result of crosses with other breeds. Some breeders attempted to keep the stock pure, but they were in the minority.
Since there are records of less than 300 imported Brahmans, most of which were bulls, it must be assumed that other breeds supplied the foundation animals for the breed. The bulls were used on cows of the European breeds and on the descendants of these crosses. By the fifth generation (31/32) the offspring carried not only a preponderance of Bos indicus breeding but selection pressure had permitted the development of an animal generally regarded as superior to the original imports for beef production.
- Size. Brahmans are intermediate in size among beef breeds found in the United States. Bulls will generally weigh from 1600 to 2200 pounds and cows from 1000 to 1400 pounds in average condition. The calves are small at birth, weighing 60 to 65 pounds, but grow very rapidly and wean at weights comparable to other breeds.
- Disposition. The disposition of Brahman cattle is often questioned. Brahmans are intelligent, inquisitive and shy. They are unusually thrifty, hardy and adaptable to a wide range of feed and climate. However, these characteristics also suggest careful, kind handling methods. Brahmans like affection and can become very docile. They quickly respond to handling they receive, good or bad. Well bred, wisely selected and properly treated Brahmans are as easily handled as other breeds.
- Colors. Brahmans very in color from very light grey or red to almost black. A majority of the breed are light to medium grey. Mature bulls are normally darker than cows and usually have dark areas on the neck, shoulders and lower thighs.
- Heat Tolerance. Studies at the University of Missouri found that Brahman and European cattle thrive equally well at temperatures down to 8° F. They found that European cattle begin to suffer adversely as the air temperature goes above 70° F, showing an increase in body temperature and a decline in appetite and milk production as 75° F, is passed. Brahmans, on the other hand, show little effect from temperatures up to and beyond 105° F. Although heat tolerance is only one factor in environmental adaptation of cattle, it is considered the most important. These are some of the other factors that allow Brahmans to adapt to adverse conditions.
- Hair Coat. The short, thick, glossy hair coat of the Brahman reflects much of the sun's rays, adding to its ability to graze in the glaring midday sun without suffering.
- Skin Pigmentation. The black pigmented skin of Brahmans keeps out the intense rays of the sun, which in excessive amounts will damage deeper tissue layers.
- Loose Skin. An abundance of loose skin on the Brahman is thought to contribute to its ability to withstand warm weather by increasing the body surface area exposed to cooling.
- Sweating Ability. Brahmans have sweat glands and the ability to sweat freely through the pores of the skin, which contributes materially to their heat tolerance.
- Internal Body Heat. One factor contributing to the great heat tolerance of Brahmans, discovered in the Missouri studies, is that they produce less internal body heat in warm weather than do cattle of European breeds. Waste heat is produced from feed at the expense of growth and milk production.Brahman cattle have been found to fill a unique place in American cattle production. The Brahman and cattle carrying percentages of Brahman breeding have been found extremely useful in the southern coastal area of the United States, where they have demonstrated their ability to withstand hot and humid weather and to resist insects. In more recent years Brahman cattle have spread considerably from their initial locations and are now found widely through the United States. They are also good mothers and produce a very satisfactory milk flow under conditions that are adverse for best performance of the European breeds. Cancer eye is almost unknown in the breed. They have established a considerable reputation for a high dressing percentage, and their carcasses have a very good "cutout" value with minimum of outside fat.
Probably the greatest tribute to the Brahman breed and its breeders is the rapid growth of the breed outside of the United States. They have constituted a large proportion of our exports of breeding cattle outside continental North America.
The Brahmousin breed blends the best of Limousin and Brahman characteristics. Purebred Brahmousin are classified as five-eights (5/8) Limousin and three-eights (3/8) Brahman. This mix has been found to be the most widely accepted and most useful for the majority of the United States. However, the American Brahmousin Council offers a flexible program that allows animals that are not purebred to be recorded as long as they are at least one-quarter (1/4) Limousin and one-quarter (1/4) Brahman. It is important to note, that in order to be recorded as a Brahmousin, the animal must be sired by a registered Limousin bull, registered Brahman bull or a registered Brahmousin bull.
The combination results in a breed which unites the traits of two highly successful parent breeds. The Brahman, through rigorous natural selection, developed disease resistance, overall hardiness and outstanding maternal instincts. Angusare known for their superior carcass qualities. They are also extremely functional females which excel in both fertility and milking ability.
How It All BeganA review of the development of the Brangus breed would take us back beyond the founding of the American Brangus Breeders Association in 1949; however, registered Brangus descend from the foundation animals recorded that year or registered Brahman and Angus cattle enrolled since then. Much of the early work in crossing Brahman and Angus cattle was done at the USDA Experiment Station in Jeanerette, Louisiana. According to the USDA 1935 Yearbook in Agriculture the research with these crossed started about 1932
During the same period, Clear Creek Ranch of Welch, Oklahoma and Grenada, Mississippi, Raymond Pope of Vinita, Oklahoma, the Essar Ranch of San Antonio, Texas, and a few individual breeders in other parts of the United States and Canada were also carrying on private experimental breeding programs. They were looking for a desirable beef-type animal that would retain the Brahman's natural ability to thrive under adverse conditions in combination with the excellent qualities for which the Angus are noted.
The early breeders from 16 states and Canada met in Vinita, Oklahoma, on July 2, 1949, and organized the American Brangus Breeders Association, later renamed the International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA), with headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, and eventually San Antonio, Texas, where the permanent headquarters has been located since January, 1973. There are now members in nearly every state, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Central America, Argentina, and South Rhodesia in Africa.
Registered Brangus must be 3/8 Brahman and 5/8 Angus, solid black and polled. Both sire and dam must be recorded with the International Brangus Breeders Association. Foundation Angus and Brahman cattle must be registered in their respective breed association prior to being enrolled with the IBBA. Intermediate crosses necessary to reach the 3/8 - 5/8 percentage are certified by the IBBA.
In recent years, the major portion of the Brangus registered are from Brangus parents, but an increasing number of foundation Brahman and Angus are being enrolled as the breed achieves greater recognition.
Interest in developing breeds of cattle carrying some percentage of Brahman breeding for the general improvement of the commercial cattle of the United States speaks well for the apparent advantages that Bos indicus cattle have in areas of high heat and humidity.
Research at Louisiana has indicated that Brangus cows increased their weights during the summer months while Angus cows lost weight, indicating that they were more adapted to coastal climates. Calves from Brangus were heavier at birth and weaning and for total pounds produced per cow. The Angus had an advantage in conception rate and calved earlier, and the calves were more vigorous at birth and survived better to weaning.
The breed have proven resistant to heat and high humidity. Under conditions of cool and cold climate they seem to produce enough hair for adequate protection. The cows are good mothers and the calves are usually of medium size at birth. The cattle respond well to conditions of abundant feed but have exhibited hardiness under conditions of stress.
Also Known By: Brown Mountain, Brune des Alpes, Bruna alpina, Grey-Brown Mountain, Swiss Brown
Braunvieh is a German word meaning Brown Cattle. There were at least 12 types of brown cattle found in the mountains of Switzerland during the 1600's. These animals showed a wide variation in type and size depending on where they were raised and they form the basis for the modern Braunvieh. Focused selection began in the canton of Schwyz. By the 19th century, breeders began to export these animals to surrounding regions. A breeders society was formed in Switzerland in 1897 and is called Schweizerischer Braunviehzuchtverband. In 1974, they accounted for 47% of the cattle found in Switzerland, second only to Simmental. These cattle have been exported throughout the world including western Europe, former eastern block countries and Russia. In many cases the breed was used to improve the quality of the local cattle.
In Europe, the Braunvieh are still primarily used for milk production. In comparison to the European Holstein-Friesian they are approximate equal in average daily gain, % milk fat, % milk protein, calving ease and calf mortality. The Braunvieh are lower in milk yield, muscularity, age of sexual maturity and milkability. The Holstein-Friesian has retained more beef characteristics than the American Holstein.
Braunvieh in North America
Approximately 130 head of Braunvieh were imported into USA from Switzerland between 1869 and 1880. These animals formed the nucleus for the development of the American Brown Swiss. American Brown Swiss have since spread to Canada, Mexico and other Latin countries. In the mid-nineteen hundreds, they were imported by Mexico where they have flourished as a beef breed. They are used in a commercial capacity to upgrade the beef characteristics of Zebu cattle. In Mexico, separate herdbooks are kept for the cattle, sometimes referred to as European Type Brown Swiss and American Brown Swiss.
Canada imported the first modern Braunvieh, a bull Aron, in 1968. Subsequently, many bulls and females were imported directly into Canada in several importations between 1968 and 1985. These were selected in Europe with emphasis on beef production. In Canada, Braunvieh are registered by the Canadian Brown Swiss Association and are referred to as Beef Brown Swiss. They are registered separately from the Dairy Brown Swiss. Many breeders in Canada are members of the Braunvieh Association of America and some of their cattle are registered in the United States.
The Braunvieh breed association in the United States (The Braunvieh Association of America) was organized and incorporated in 1984. Original Swiss Braunvieh were imported directly from Switzerland in 1983, for the first time since 1880, by Harlan Doeschot of Firth, Nebraska, who had been in Switzerland looking for Simmental cattle to import and was greatly impressed by the uniformity and reproduction efficiency of Braunvieh. Since 1983, a significant exchange of breeding stock had taken place between American and Canadian breeders.
Braunvieh are various shades of brown, predominately mousy brown, but ranging from light brown with gray to very dark brown. The border of the muzzle is very light, as is the poll, and often a lighter colored dorsal stripe is seen. The udder and inside of the legs and underline also being the lighter shade. A darker, smokier shading is often evident around the shoulders and neck compared to the rest of the body. The switch of the tail is dark brown to black. The skin is pigmented, the muzzle is black, and the hooves are dark and very hard.
Body weights range from 1,200 to 1,500 pounds for adult females and 2,100 to 2,500 pounds for adult males. Steers at optimum slaughter weight are 1,100 pounds at 13 months of age.
The British White first came to notice in 1697 on the dispersal of the herd at Whalley Abbey. This herd is considered the fountainhead of the breed and was probably created by crossing a polled bull from Cleveland, in northeast England, with the 'wild' horned white cattle of the area near Whalley. These cattle went to Gisburne and then to Somerford around 1725. From there it spread to East Anglia which was for many years the center of activity for this breed. The oldest existing herd, Woodbastwick which is owned by the Cator family, is found here.
The British White and White Park cattle were listed in the same herd book from 1921 to 1946 when a separate herd book was started for each. Originally two types, polled and horned, were admitted into the society, but since 1948 only polled have been accepted for registration. The cattle, as their name implies, are white with, normally, black points, nose, muzzle, eyelids, teats and feet. A few cattle have all red points, which is acceptable for registration. The British White Cattle Association of America (BWCAA) was formed in 1988 and it joins British White societies of Great Britain and Australia in promoting and registering the polled British White cattle of the world.
There is much confusion in the United States between the White Park breed and the British White breed. There are three associations and cattle of the same color are accepted by all the associations. The White Park is a horned breed and blood typing of the White Park has shown it to be very distant in relation to most of the modern breeds of cattle. Sources also state that the mature White Park in Britain are, on average, 300 pounds heavier than either the British White or the American White Park.
The British White is polled (genetically hornless), docile and was a dual purpose breed (beef and milk) until 1950. Since then the British Whites selection has been for beef production with carry over heavy milk production.
British White CharacteristicsThe American British White cow is of moderate size, 1000 to 1500 pounds. Bulls are from 1800 to 2300 pounds. They are smooth polled although an occasional "scur" is observed. Both bulls and cows are very docile in nature. The cow udders are well set and tight with small black teats. Back lines are straight and strong with a slight slope to the tail head. The bull's scrotums are well shaped and large in size, a 38-42cm circumference in yearling bulls is normal.
Switzerland, The Native Home of the Brown Swiss breed of cattle, is a very rough and mountainous country with a total area of about 15,940 square miles. However, about 25 percent of the area is covered with rocks, lakes, rivers, snow-capped mountains, and glaciers, and there are only about eight million acres of productive land of which one half is used for hay and pasture. The Alps separate Switzerland on the southern border from Italy, and the Jura Mountains form the boundary between Switzerland and France. Much of the arable land of the country lies in the central plain, which has an average elevation in excess of 1,200 feet. Here the climate is very enjoyable most of the year with an average mean temperature of about 50 degrees F. The plain has an annual rainfall of approximately that of the midwestern Corn Belt region of the United States, but in the mountainous regions the winters are very severe and excessive rainstorms are common during the summer months.
Switzerland has been noted as a cheese producing country for many years, and in the summer many of the dairy herds are taken into the mountainous regions and are grazed on the abundant pastures and meadows that result from the heavy rainfall. Cheesemakers and caretakers of the cattle accompany the herds to the mountains during the summer months, but as fall approaches, the cattle are returned to the lower lands where they are stabled or housed for the winter.
During the Middle Ages the land of Switzerland was under the feudal system, and agricultural improvement was not marked. After the turn of the 19th century agricultural conditions in Switzerland were much improved; lands in many of the 22 cantons (similar to states) of Switzerland were put under fence, and crops of turnips, beets, and improved hays were introduced. This decidedly improved the feed supply available for cattle, and interest was aroused in breeding cattle that were more productive. Improvements in cheese manufacturing that were made about in 1825 created a market for an increased quantity of milk.
Origin of the Breed
The Foundation Stock. Concerning the origin of the Brown Swiss, Prentice,1 who made an exhaustive study of the origin of the various dairy breeds, has stated:
Brown Swiss cattle, therefore, first became prominent among dairy breeds about a 100 years ago. The exact date when this fashion arose is not certain, but it was at some time in the first half of the 19th century.
The Brown Swiss breed in the United States was declared a dairy breed in 1906, and in 1907 a classification for Brown Swiss was provided at the National Dairy Show. Many writers have suggested that the breed is centuries old and that little crossing with other breeds has been done for hundreds of years. As is the case in the origin of the other breeds of livestock, this conclusion seems to be more romantic than correct.
The Brown Swiss, as we know it in the United States today, originated in the cantons of Schwyz, Zug, St. Gallen, Glarus, Lucerne, and Zurich of Switzerland. The canton of Schwyz was the scene of most of the early improvement, and in Switzerland the breed is often referred to as Schwyer or Brown Schwyzer. Unimproved cattle similar to the Brown Swiss have been in this territory for a considerable period of time. All the cantons in which the breeds originated are inhabited by German speaking people, and apparently large cattle were brought in from Germany to improve the cattle of Switzerland, which until about 1860 were often quite lacking in size. The brown cow is known as Braunvieh in German speaking countries; Bruna Alpina in Italy, Brunedes Alpes in France, and Pardo Suizo in Spain and Latin America including Brazil.
The Pinzgaur breed, which is apparently a native of Austria, seems to have been the breed from that country that was used in the improvement of the Brown Swiss. The predominant cattle of Schwyz in about 1860 were of a chestnut to a dull black color, and most of the cattle were darker on their fore- and hindquarters than of their bodies. Many of them carried a light-colored or light grayish stripe down their backs. This variation of color pattern was apparently introduced from the Pinzgau, and the Brown Swiss of the modern day seem to have acquired the light dorsal stripe from these cattle brought in from Austria. Since no records of the breed were maintained for a good many decades after the formation of the breed, it is altogether possible that other cattle could have been used in the improvement. Direct evidence of such crosses is lacking.
Breed Activity in Switzerland. There has been extremely little promotion of the Brown Swiss breed in its native country although it has been exported to Russia, Italy, Germany, the United States, and many other countries where it has gained a very favorable reputation. Herd Books for the Brown Swiss did not appear in its native land until 1911, although such a Herd Book has appeared 20 years earlier in the United States. Such breed promotional activities as are carried on the Switzerland are largely under the auspices of a government subsidized association that sponsors shows and sales of purebred livestock. A Brown Swiss Cattle Breeders Association, which was organized in Switzerland, has been active in promoting shows and in the production testing and classification of the breed.
Introduction of the Brown Swiss to the United States
The first Brown Swiss cattle were brought to the United States in 1869 by Henry M. Clark of Belmont, Massachusetts, who visited the canton of Schwyz and secured a bull and seven females from Col. G. Burgi of Arth, Switzerland. When the Brown Swiss Cattle Breeders Association was organized, the bull was registered as William Tell 1, and the females were registered as Zurich 1, Lucerne 2, Gretchen 3, Brinlie 4, Lissa 5, Christine 6, and Geneva 7. These cattle were subsequently sold to D. Hall, Providence, Rhode Island, and D.G. Aldrich, Worcester, Massachusetts. In 1882, Scott and Harris, Wethersfield, Connecticut, imported 19 cows, and in 1889, George W. Harris of the firm established a purebred herd later operated by his sons, George M. and Rodney W., of Wethersfield, Connecticut. Five other importations within the 10 year period following 1882 included those of L.J. McCormick, Chicago, Illinois; William Koch, New York, New York; J.C. Eldridge, Middle Falls, New York; E.M. Barton, Hinsdale, Illinois; and McLaury Brothers of New York.
A notable importation of the breed was that in 1906 by E.M. Barton who brought 34 cows and five bulls to this country. One of these was the bull Junker 2365, dropped in 1904, which became Grand Champion at the National Dairy Shows in 1907, 1908, and 1909. He sired daughters that made excellent production records and had a very important influence in the breed.2 In 1906, importations were stopped because of foot-and-mouth disease, and only three cattle have been brought from Switzerland since that date. There has been a total of only 155 head of Brown Swiss brought form Switzerland and recorded in the Herd Book in this country. A very steady growth of the breed from this very meager beginning has been most gratifying to those sponsoring the development and improvement of the Brown Swiss.
CharbrayThe Charbray is the results of the blending of two breeds, the Charolais and the Brahman. The Charbray is 5/8 Charolais and 3/8 Brahman. The hump of the Brahman is almost non-existent, but the loose skin and enlarged dewlap are indications of the Bos indicus blood in this breed.
The Charbray is a large, very rugged breed that is heavily muscled in the loin and quarters. They have been well accepted in those areas where cattle carrying at least some Brahman breeding are desired because of hot and humid conditions.
Charbray is a large to moderately sized breed with very good growth rates on their calves. The calves are generally light tan when born but usually lighten to a creamy white in a few weeks. The Charbray bull is reported to be structurally sound and have the ability to travel the distances required of bulls in hot humid environments. They have been selected for clean, tight sheaths, fertility and early testicular development. The Charbray female is also said fertile and early maturing, reaching puberty at 14-17 months and calving at or near two years of age with rapid rebreeding and good milk production.
In research at Texas A&M University Agricultural Research Center, McGregor, Texas, Charbray out-performed all other breeds tested for a 180-day weaning weight-both as a straightbred calf and when Charbray bulls were used on seven different breeds of dams.
Sources indicate the Charbray calves show excellent performance in the feedlot. Their resistance to heat, humidity, parasites and diseases is to their benefit in southern feedlots. They grow rapidly and have outstanding feed converting ability. They reach slaughter weights at 12 to 15 months and produce lean, yield grade 1 and 2 carcasses that require little or no fat trimming.
he Charolais originated in west-central to southeastern France, in the old French provinces of Charolles and neighboring Nievre. The exact origins of the Charolais are lost to us but it must have been developed from cattle found in the area. Legend has it that white cattle were first noticed in the region as early as 878 A.D., and by the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were well and favorably known in French markets, especially at Lyon and Villefranche. Selection developed a white breed of cattle which, like other cattle of continental Europe, were used for draft, milk and meat.
The cattle were generally confined to the area in which they originated until the French Revolution. But, in 1773, Claude Mathieu, a farmer and cattle producers from the Charolles region, moved to the Nievre province, taking his herd of white cattle with him. The breed flourished there, so much so that the improved cattle were known more widely as Nivemais cattle for a time than by their original name of Charolais.
One of the early influential herds in the region was started in 1840 by the Count Charles de Bouille. His selective breeding led him to set up a herd book in 1864 for the breed at Villars near the village of Magny-Cours. Breeders in the Charolles vicinity established a herd book in 1882. The two societies merged in 1919, with the older organization holding the records of the later group into their headquarters at Nevers, the capital of the Nievre province.
The French have long selected their cattle for size and muscling. They selected for bone and power to a greater extent than was true in the British Isles. The French breeders stressed rapid growth in addition to cattle that would ultimately reach a large size. These were men that wanted cattle that not only grew out well but could be depended upon for draft power. Little attention was paid to refinement, but great stress was laid on utility.
The Charolais of France are white in color, horned, long bodied, and good milkers with a general coarseness to the animal not being uncommon.
Introduction to the United States
Soon after the First World War, a young Mexican industrialist of French name and ancestry, Jean Pugibet, brought some of the French cattle to his ranch in Mexico. He had seen the Charolais cattle during World War I while serving as a French army volunteer and was impressed by their appearance and productivity. He arranged for a shipment of two bulls and 10 heifers to Mexico in 1930. Two later shipments in 1931 and 1937 increased the total number to 37 - eight bulls and 29 females. Not long after the last shipment, Pugibet died and no further imports were attempted.
The first Charolais to come into the United States from Mexico are believed to be two bulls, Neptune and Ortolan, which were purchased from Pugibet by the King Ranch in Texas and imported in June 1936. Later imports of bulls were owned by some of the early "pioneers" in the industry: Harl Thomas, Fred W. Turner, C.M. "Pete" Frost, M.G. Michaelis Sr., and I.G. "Cap" Yates, all of Texas, J.A. "Palley" Lawton of Louisiana, and others.
In the mid-1940s an outbreak of Hoof and Mouth Disease occurred in Mexico. As a result, a treaty between the United States, Canada and Mexico set up a permanent quarantine against cattle coming into any of these countries from Europe or any country in which Hoof and Mouth Disease was known to exist. This barred any further importation of French Charolais on this continent until 1965 when Canada opened the import doors via rigid quarantine both in France and in Canada.
Development in the United States
Until the mid-1960s, all the Charolais in Mexico, the United States and Canada were descendants of this initial Pugibet herd. Due to the limited number of original animals and the import restrictions which were in place, they have been crossed on other cattle in an upgrading process. Because of the use of the upgrading process few of the Charolais cattle currently found in the United State are of pure French breeding. With the lightening of the import restrictions in Canada in the mid-1960's fullblood Charolais were again imported from France. This allowed for the importation of new bloodlines from France. This meant new genetic material for tightly-bred Charolais pedigrees of the time. Several breeding herds were estabilished in Canada, as well as the island of Eleuthera, in the Bahamas. Japan, England and Ireland also imported purebred Charolais directly from France. Offspring from these herds were later imported to the United States.
American Charolais are referred to as "purebred" or "recorded" depending upon the percentage of known Charolais blood. The term purebred is used on those that carry 31/32 or more Charolais blood and those less than 31/32 can be referred to as recorded. People wishing to develop a herd will still find it possible to upgrade, using purebred Charolais sires, a foundation cow herd of one of the other cattle breeds or their crosses. Five generations of purebred bulls are required to produced the 31/32 level for classification as "purebred". Sires used in the grading-up process must be registered. The offspring from the first as well as succeeding generations must be registered as "recorded" until they reach the 31/32 level at which time they are referred to as purebred.
It has been said that no other breed has impacted the North American beef industry so significantly as the introduction of Charolais. The Charolais came into widespread use in the United States cattle industry at a time when producers were seeking larger framed, heavier cattle than the traditional British breeds. The increased use on the range indicates that the cows have performed well under a variety of environmental conditions. Their ability to walk, graze aggressively in warm weather, withstand reasonable cold, and raise heavy calves has drawn special praise from many that have them. Bulls have developed a well-earned reputation when used in grading-up for herd improvement. This is especially noted when they are used in herds where size and ruggedness are lacking
Charolais are white or creamy white in color, but the skin carries appreciable pigmentation. The hair coat is usually short in summer but thickens and lengthens in cold weather. Charolais is a naturally horned beef animal. But through the breeding-up program, where naturally polled breeds were sometimes used as foundation animals, polled Charolais have emerged as an important part of the breed. Charolais cattle are large with mature bulls weighing from 2,000 to well over 2,500 pounds and cows weigh from 1,250 to over 2,000 pounds.
he Corriente can be traced back to the first cattle brought to the new world by the Spanish as early as 1493. These cattle were hardy breeds chosen especially to withstand the ocean crossing and adapt to their new land. They were brought to the West Indies and south Florida, as well as to Central and South America. Over the centuries the descendants of these cattle bred for different purposes - milk, meat and draft animals. They also adapted through natural selection to the various regions in which they lived. Eventually, their descendants spread across the southern U.S. and up the coast of California.
In the early 1800's, European and other breeds were introduced to the new world, and by the 1900's many ranchers in the Americas were upgrading their herds with modern beef cattle. Nearly pure descendants of the original Spanish cattle almost disappeared, but some managed to survive with little human care or intervention in remote areas of Central and South America, and in very limited numbers in some areas of the southern U.S.
Today there is evidence of a worldwide growing interest in preserving various strains of these hardy, native cattle. Cattle associations in Spain, South America and Florida are making efforts similar to the N.A.C.A.'s to recognize their attributes, though few actually support registries.The Name "Corriente": In Central and South America, the various descendants of the early Spanish cattle are generally referred to as "Criollo." In parts of northern Mexico, they are often called "Corriente," although this term is frequently used for any small cattle of indiscriminate breeding and not just for the type of cattle recognized by the N.A.C.A. "Corriente" became the most common term used at the border to refer to the cattle purchased for rodeo use. Consequently, most North American cattlemen, ropersand doggers know this name, and it was chosen by the founders of the N.A.C.A. to be used for this registry.
John E. Rouse, in his book, World Cattle, Vol. III, Cattle of North America, explains the names used in Mexico.
"Descendants of the original Spanish cattle, little influenced by modern breeds, are now seen only in the remote parts of the country. These are generally known as Criollo cattle, although in the state of Sonora the term Corriente is more common, and in Baja California the word Chinampo is used. All these terms, meaning "common cattle" or "cattle of the country" are applied to more or less pure descendants of the Spanish cattle, as well as to the indiscriminate mixtures of these and more recently introduced breeds.
In Florida, the few remaining small, native cattle - cousins of the Mexican Corriente are called Scrub cattle or Cracker cattle, and similar cattle in Louisiana are called Swamp cattle.
Regardless of the name, the N.A.C.A. has made great inroads toward defining, describing and preserving these cattle as a specific breed.
The Devon, sometimes called North Devon, to distinguish it from the South Devon breed, is one of the oldest beef breeds in existence today. In fact some authorities consider the Devon's origin to be prehistoric, the assumption being that the breed descended directly from Bos lonqifrons, the smaller type of aboriginal cattle in Britain. In fact, according to an offical reference material compiled by the Devon Cattle Breeders Society, Somerset, England; Devon Cattle - The Red Rubies, it appears that the Red Cattle of North Devon may have contributed to the Hereford and other British breeds.
The Devon was previously classified as a dual-purpose breed. Over the past half century, however, the breed has--through selection--evolved as a beef-type breed which is registered and promoted by the Devon Cattle Association, Inc. A Milking Devon strain (unique to America) has been maintained and is represented by the American Milking Devon Cattle Association.
The native home of the Devon is in southwestern England, primarily in the counties of Devon, Somerset, Cornwall, and Dorset. For centuries, herds of red cattle grazed the grass covered hills of this cool, moist region. History records that the Romans took notice of the red cattle when they occupied this area in 55 B.C. There is some evidence that the seagoing Phoenicians may have brought some ancestral red stock from northern Africa or the Middle East to Southwestern England during their visitations for tin. Some animals breeders speculate that this might account for the Devon's remarkable adaptation to hot climates in spite of its centuries of exposure to the damp, chilly hills of England's Atlantic coast.
The early improvers of the Devon breed were Francis Quartly and his brothers William and Henry, and John Tanner Davy and his brother William. It is generally agreed that Francis Quartly accomplished for the Devon what the Collings did for the Shorthorn. Colonel John Tanner Davy founded the Devon herdbook in 1850. In 1884, the Devon Cattle Breeders' Society was organized and took over the herdbook.
Only 131 years after Columbus discovered North America, the first Devon cattle reached what is now the United States. The year was 1623. The ship Charity brought a consignment of red cattle (one bull and three heifers) from Devonshire to Edward Winslow, the agent for Plymouth Colony. These red cattle of Devonshire, brought in by the Pilgrims, were probably the first purebred cattle to reach North America.
During its long history in the United States, numerous breeders have been instrumental in bringing the Devon in America to a high degree of excellence. From the earlier dual-purpose type, beef conformation has been enhanced while retaining adequate milk production. Rate of maturity has been accelerated. The more common criticisms of light hindquarters and sickle hocks have been reduced to minimum. And, in keeping with newer concepts in America of "ideal" beef form, Devons have been made longer, taller, and trimmer but, fortunately, not to extremes as is true for some "exotic" breeds.Although the Devon was originally a horned breed, American stockmen developed a polled strain of purebred Devons. It traces back to the bull Missouri 9097, a hornless "sport" or mutation that was bornin 1915 in the purebred Devon herd owned by Case and Elling in Concordia, Missouri.
Devon cattle are red in color, varying in shade from a rich deep red to a light red or chestnut color. A bright ruby red color is preferred and accounts for their nickname, the "Red Rubies." The hair is of medium thickness and is often long and curly during the winter; however, coats are short and sleek in summer.
Modern Devons have adequate size and scale but are not "horsey" big. Mature bulls in good working condition weigh from 1700 to about 2200 pounds with a few in top flesh condition exceeding the later figure. Mature cows range in weight from about 950 to about 1300 pounds. Thus, Devons have enough size to be practical and profitable without the handicap of excessive maintenance cost.
Calving problems are seldom encountered although a growing stress on using larger bulls has increased the incidence of difficult births. Male calves average about 75 pounds at birth but may range from about 55 to 95 pounds. Heifer calves average about 70 at birth but may range from about 45 to 90 pounds.
The functional characteristics of the Devon make them a valuable "genetic tool" for the commercial beef industry. The breed has long been noted for its fertility, calving ease, docility, hardiness and ability to adapt to temperature extremes. The well-developed heat-regulating mechanism of the scrotum of Devon bulls give them an unusual ability to remain fertile despite extremely high environmental temperatures.
Devons are active good "walkers" and are excellent rustlers and grazers. In England, they are known as "the Beef Breed Supreme at Grass." Their ability to efficiently utilize grass and other forages has heightened their popularity in areas like southern Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand.
The native home of the Dexter is in the southern part of Ireland where they were bred by small holders and roamed about the shelterless mountainous districts in an almost wild state of nature.
The origin of the Dexter is quite obscure. The common assumption has been that this breed is a cross between the Kerry and some other breed, perhaps the Devon. It has also been claimed that a "Mr. Dexter," who was agent to Lord Hawarden, is responsible for this Irish breed.
The introduction of the Dexter to America probably occurred long ago, when no discrimination was made between Kerry and Dexter in importations. The first recorded knowledge of Dexters in America is when more than two hundred Dexters were imported to the United States between 1905 and 1915. A large percentage of these were imported to Elmendorf Farm (Elmendorf herd) of Kentucky, Howard Gould (Castlegould herd) of New York, and James J. Hill (North Oaks herd) of Minnesota. In 1917, the Castlegould herd was sold to Daniel Guggenheim of Port Washington, who changed the herd name to Hempstead House. Several years later, a part of the Hempstead herd was sold to Mrs. Louisa Satterlee (Dover House Farm) of Greenwich, Connecticut.
Two of our present herds got their Dexters directly from the above mentioned herds. Foundation stock for the Clove Brook herd (now owned by Jan van Heerden, son-in-law of Mabel Ingalls) was obtained from Mrs. Ingalls' mother, Mrs. Louisa Satterlee. The foundation for the Peerless herd at Decorah, Iowa, was obtained by John Logsdon from the Elmendorf Farm, August A. Busch and James J. Hill, in 1919. Later, two bulls were obtained successively from Daniel Guggenheim, owner of Hempstead House herd. In 1944, when the Peerless herd had their first public sale, the herd numbered 150 head of cows and heifers. Peerless herd is the oldest Dexter herd in the United States.
Since 1950, Mrs. Mabel Ingalls, Stewart and Frances Kellog, Edward C. Lord and Mrs. Margaret Rhodes have imported several head of Dexters from England. A number of these and their offspring have been sold to other breeders. In 1982, Mrs. Doris Crowe of Canada imported several head from England and sold several head to interested new parties.
The first A.I. program was introduced in 1968.
In recent years there has been a worldwide surge of interest in Dexter cattle. These gentle, hardy and easy to handle animals are one of the world's smallest bovines. They require less pasture and feed than other breeds. They thrive in hot as well as cold climates and do well outdoors year round, needing only a windbreak, shelter and fresh water. Fertility is high and calves are dropped in the field without difficulty. They are dual purpose, being raised for both milk and meat.
Size and Appearance
According to the standards adopted by the American Dexter Cattle Association, the ideal three year old Dexter bull measures 38 to 44 inches at the shoulder and weighs less than 1000 pounds. The ideal three year old Dexter cow measures between 36 to 42 inches at the shoulder, and weighs less than 750 pounds. There are two varieties of Dexters, short legged and long legged or Kerry type. Milk and beef production and other characteristics are generally the same for both types. The same dam and sire may produce a short legged calf in one mating and a long legged calf the next.
Most Dexters are solid black. Red or dun are less common. Horns on cows are fine and curved forward. Bulls' horns are thick, solid, and slightly curved at the tips. The distinctive head is short and wide between the eyes, with straight sides.
A milking cow can produce more milk for its weight than any other breed. The daily yield averages 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 gallons with a butterfat content of 4 to 5 percent. Yields of cream up to one quart per gallon are possible. The cream can be skimmed for butter or ice cream.
Beef animals mature in 18 months and result in small cuts of high quality lean meat, graded choice, with little waste. The expectable average dress out is 50 to 60 percent and the beef is slightly darker red than that of other breeds.
The Droughtmaster were developed in northern Queensland, Australia’s hot tropical north. Initial crossing of Shorthorn and Brahman breeds led to selective breeding of the progeny to arrive finally at a fixed tropical breed containing approximately 50 percent Shorthorn and 50 percent Brahman bloodlines. Its popularity has increased to the degree that is spread throughout most states of Australia, although they are found mainly in Queensland.
The breed is basically red in color, although variations from a golden honey color to dark red occur. Droughtmasters are either polled or horned with the majority of stud cattle exhibiting the poll characteristic. Their heat and tick tolerance, excellent fertility, ease of calving and quiet temperament give this breed a good reputation.
Droughtmasters exhibit medium to slightly late maturity in carcass development. They have gained a reputation for producing lean carcasses in the yearling to two year old steer group, although large bullocks are produced, particularly in northern Queensland.
Historian's writings differ somewhat, but upon three points they generally agree regarding the origin of the Galloway. The breed is recognized to be a very ancient one, with obscure origins shrouded in antiquity and its' name derived from the word Gallovid or Gaul. The Gauls were the native inhabitants of the regality known as the Province of Galloway. This province once comprised six shires(counties) ... Dumfries, Lanark, Renfew, Ayr, Kirkcudbright and Wigtown in the very southernmost extremity of Scotland's Lowlands. The cattle of the region were said to be dark, smooth-polled, wavy-haired with undercoats like beaver's fur and for centuries they went unnamed, referred to only as the black cattle of Galloway. From this coastal environment of winds and damp cold, combined with an undulating terrain of moors, granitic hills, heathery mountain ranges and fertile glens ... emerged the Galloway breed of cattle.
Though much has been written of the history of British cattle since the middle of the 18th century, the period immediately before that is almost without a record. Historian Hector Boece (1570), writing about the Galloway, says, "In this region ar mony fair ky and oxin of qubilk the flesh is right delicius and tender." Ortelius, the historian writing in 1573, says, "In Carrick (then part of Galloway) are oxen of large size, whose flesh is tender, sweet and juicy."
The Galloway breed of cattle became important during the Scoto-Saxon period, and the breeders of Galloway enjoyed the export of cheese and hides. Later the cattle were sold in considerable numbers to English farmers who sent them to Smithfield market after a fattening period on English grass. It is said that the Galloway breed was never crossed with the other breeds. It is not known where the polled character was acquired by the Galloway breed because in its beginning many of the cattle were horned. However, many writers during the last part of the 1700s and early 1800s mentioned polled Galloway cattle, and the breeders decided they liked the polled characteristic and started selecting their cattle for the character. Most of the early cattle in the Galloway district were black, but red, brown, brindles, and cattle with white markings were not uncommon.
In 1851, a fire at the Highland Agricultural Museum at Edinburgh destroyed all the historical records and pedigrees of the Galloway collected prior to that time. Eleven years later (1862), a Polled Herd Book was published and it included the Galloway, Aberdeen, and Angus breeds. In 1878 the Galloway Cattle Society of Great Britain initiated its own volume of pedigrees. The first exportation of Galloways to North America came in 1853 to the Graham brothers of Toronto, Canada. Michigan State College, Lansing, imported the first Galloways to America in 1866. The American Galloway Breeders' Association organized in 1882 and Volume I of the North American Galloway Herd, published in 1883, listed American and Canadian Galloways.
William McCombie, (pioneer Scottish Angus & Shorthorn breeder) said, "The Galloway undoubtedly has many great qualifications. On poor land they are unrivaled, on land so poor our Aberdeens could not subsist upon it. There is no other breed worth more by the pound weight than a first-class Galloway."
CharacteristicsThe most visible characteristic of the Galloway is their long hair coat. Serving a dual purpose, the coarse outer coat sheds wind and rain, while the soft, fur-like under coat provides insulation and waterproofing. The color of the coat ranges from the more popular Black, to Dun (silver through brown), Red, White (with dark pigment about the eyes, nose, ears and teats), and the Belted (black, dun or red, with a white band around the middle).
Mature bull weights range from 1,700 to 2,300 pounds with an average being 1,800 pounds. The mature cow generally weighs from 1,000 to 1,500 pounds with the average being around 1, 250 pounds. Calf birth weights average from 75-80 pounds.
"Galloway cattle are generally very docile," quotes William Youatt, (English researcher, scientist, veterinary surgeon, historian & standard writer on cattle in the early 1800s.) He goes on to say, "This is a most valuable point about them in every respect. It is rare to find even a bull furious or troublesome." Galloways are very courageous however, and if annoyed by dogs or wild animals, they will act in concert, by forming a crescent and jointly attacking. There are claims that one or two Galloways in a field of sheep prevent any danger from dogs.
What Does the Galloway Breed Offer Today’s Beef Industry?The Galloway, unrivaled as a grazing breed, utilizes coarse grasses and browse frequently shunned by other breeds. Furthermore, their ability to produce a high quality beef product directly from grass, has true economic value in that it is not necessary to feed grains to 'finish' them. The Galloway steer, whether grass or grain fattened, can produce the ideal 600-750 pound carcass.
The Galloway is a maternal breed. The cows are easy calvers, while the calves themselves are hardy, vigorous and have a 'will to live' that gets them up and nursing quickly. The Galloway is long-lived, with many cows producing regularly into their teens and beyond. This trait alone can determine much of the economics and efficiency of any cattle operation.
Due to the breed's naturally dense, insulating hair coat the Galloway does not layer on excessive outside fat, which would only end up on the butcher's floor at slaughter time. Results of a multi-breed research project conducted by a Canadian Government Experiment Station, reveal that the Galloway ranks second only to the Buffalo in hair density tests. The robust, hardy nature of the Galloway has never been disputed. Though considered a breed for northern climates, the Galloway has been found to acclimate amazingly well to warmer regions.
The claim that Galloway beef is juicy, tender, and flavorful is substantiated in recent USDA tests of Galloway crossbreds, when compared with eleven other breeds. Results of the Cycle IV Germ Plasm Evaluation (GPE) Program at the USDA Meat Animal Research Center (MARC), Clay Center, Nebraska, showed the Galloway crosses placing at the top of the chart for flavor, juiciness and tenderness.
Today's Galloway breeder recognizes current beef industry trends, seeing the Galloway's potential role in crossbreeding and composite breed programs. The American Galloway Breeders' Association attuned to industry needs, offers an Appendix Registry system in addition to and kept separately from their purebred registry program. Both systems, as well as the EPD program are computerized. Additionally, the AGBA sponsors a National Show and Sale, hold annually in conjunction with their Convention, the third week of October, in Billings, Montana. Additionally, the AGBA arranges for ultrasound measurements for carcass traits, as well as measurements for frame size, pelvic capacity and scrotal circumference.
Also Known By: Einfarbig gelbes Hohenvich, German Yellow
Gelbvieh originated in Bavaria, in southern Germany. It is believed to have been developed in the late 18th and early 19th century from self-colored Bernese and Swiss Brown cattle used on the local red or red spotted cattle. Like most European breeds the Gelbvieh was originally selected for meat, milk and work.
The breed was introduced into the United States by Carnation Genetics through the importations of semen from Germany, starting in July of 1971. The Gelbvieh is one of the European breeds which was introduced to the United States through artificial insemination programs. The American Gelbvieh Association was also organized in 1971. Like many other breeds imported during this time the breed was established by the upgrading of foundation females. Females are registered as purebred at 7/8 Gelbvieh and bulls at 15/16. To gain status as an A.I. sire in Germany, the German bulls first must excel in a battery of performance and progeny tests. Over 70% of the German calf crop is A.I.-sired; therefore, the breed is backed by a strong performance heritage. AGA has requires performance records for registration. An annual Sire Summary, Cow Recognition Program, EPDs for all animals, breed promotion, and a Commercial Marketing Program headline AGA's programs of action. The breed is red in color, with strong skin pigmentation, and horned. Polled cattle have developed in the United States from the use of naturally hornless foundation females. Proponents of the breed claim the breed has superior fertility, calving ease, mothering ability, and growth rate of the calves.
The Hereford breed was founded some two and one-half centuries ago as a product of necessity. Thrifty and enterprising farmers near Hereford in the County of Herefordshire, England, were determined to produce beef for the expanding food market created by Britain's industrial revolution. To succeed in Herefordshire, these early-day cattlemen realized they must have cattle which could efficiently convert their native grass to beef and do it at a profit.
There was no breed in existence at the time to fill that need, so the farmers of Herefordshire founded the beef breed that logically became known as Herefords. These early Hereford breeders molded their cattle with the idea in mind of a high yield of beef and efficiency of production, and so firmly fixed these characteristics that they remain today as outstanding characteristics of the breed.
Beginning in 1742 with a bull calf from the cow Silver and two cows, Pidgeon and Mottle, inherited from his father's estate, Benjamin Tomkins is credited with founding the Hereford breed. This was 18 years before Robert Bakewell began developing his theories of animal breeding. From the start, Mr. Tomkins had as his goals economy in feeding, natural aptitude to grow and gain from grass and grain, rustling ability, hardiness, early maturity and prolificacy, traits that are still of primary importance today.
Other pioneering breeders were to follow the Tomkins' lead and establish the world-wide renown for the Herefordshire cattle causing their exportation from England to wherever grass grows and beef production is possible.
Herefords in the 1700's and early 1800's in England were much larger than today. Many mature Herefords of those days weighed 3,000 pounds or more. Cotmore, a winning show bull and noteworthy sire, weighed 3,900 pounds when shown in 1839. Gradually, the type and conformation changed to less extreme size and weight to get more smoothness, quality and efficiency.
HEREFORD IMPORTATIONSHerefords came to the United States in 1817 when the great statesman Henry Clay of Kentucky made the first importation -- a bull and two females. These cattle and their offspring attracted considerable attention, but they were eventually absorbed by the local cattle population and disappeared from permanent identity.
The first breeding herd in America is considered to be one established in 1840 by William H. Sotham and Erastus Corning of Albany, New York, and for practical purposes Herefords in the United States date from the Sotham-Corning beginning. The more densely populated eastern area of the United States, including herds in New England, was the early home of Herefords and from there they fanned out to the South and West as the population expanded and the demand for beef increased.
Records of the New York State Fair reveal that 11 Herefords were exhibited there in 1844 and were highly praised. Several breeders were active in exhibiting at fairs and exhibitions in the East and Midwest where the Herefords met with great success. Perhaps the greatest early interest in the breed came from the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia where T. L. Miller was awarded a medal for the first-prize herd.
HEREFORDS - THE GREAT IMPROVERWith the end of the Civil War and the coming of the American Industrial Revolution, the westward expansion continued and so did America's appetite for beef. Western ranching developed from free land and local longhorned cattle originally brought to Mexico by the Spanish conquerors and allowed to drift northward into what is now America's great southwestern cattle country. These cattle were tough and had the bred-in ability to survive, a trait that enabled their being driven to railhead shipping points and then transported by rail to slaughter at eastern markets. It was on such cattle that Herefords proved the great improver. They survived the rough ranching conditions and improved beef quality in the process. Demand for Hereford bulls boomed.
DEMAND CAUSES INCREASE IN HEREFORD IMPORTATIONS IN 1890'sTo satisfy the growing market which developed from the western area cattlemen, Hereford breeders expanded their herds through heavy importations from Herefordshire. Whereas only 200 head were imported up to 1880, more than 3,500 head of Herefords came over during the 1880-1889 period. During this time, breeders of Herefords led by such men as T. L. Miller, C. M. Culbertson and Thomas Clark, all of Illinois, won hard-fought battles for breed acceptance in the agricultural fairs and expositions which furthered the use of Herefords in American beef production.
Early Hereford breeder promoters and exhibitors in the 1870's and 1880's included such names as Earl, Stuart, Fowler, Van Natta and Studebaker of Indiana, and the Swan Land and Cattle Co., forerunner of the present Wyoming Hereford Ranch. These breeders were instrumental in the movement of Herefords to Wyoming, other mountain states and the Northwest. Gudgell and Simpson of Missouri made their start in 1877. Four years later, they were to gain everlasting renown in the Hereford world through importing and concentrating on the great young sire Anxiety 4. No other bull comes close to the stature of Anxiety 4 for he is often credited as being the "Father of American Herefords" and "the bull that gave Herefords hindquarters." Today, he is the common ancestor of nearly all Hereford cattle in this country.
The Hereford industry in America passed a great milestone of progress on June 22, 1881 , when a few breeders met in Chicago at the Grand Pacific Hotel to lay the foundation for the organization of the American Hereford Association, essentially for the two-fold purpose of keeping the breed's records and promoting the interests of Hereford breeders.
For over a century, the AHA has performed its duties with little change in the original bylaws while providing leadership for the industry that has seen Hereford cattle taken to every area, region and territory of America and become the greatest influence in the nation's beef production activity.
HEREFORDS BECOME DOMINANTIt was largely through shows and expositions that Herefords gained their greatest acceptance among cattlemen of this country and, no doubt, the first great impact was scored at the 1883 Chicago Fat Stock Show, the forerunner of the famous International Livestock Exposition which, until closing after the 1975 event, was the premier show for market animals in America. At this show over a century ago, the Hereford steer Roan Boy won the grand championship for his exhibitor, C. M. Culbertson. The steer's early maturity marked the beginning of the end for the previously popular four-year-old steers -- the big, rough, old fashioned kind. In 1886, a two-year-old Hereford was grand champion and in 1903 Hereford yearlings won the carlot grand championship. Three years later a 336-day-old Hereford won the show, the first ever at less than two years old.
Thus, Herefords led the way in revolutionizing beef production in America, largely through the traits of doing ability and early maturity -- getting fat at an early age and producing the ideal in "baby beef." While other traits in beef cattle continued to be important in the cattle breeder's selection program during the ensuing years, there is no doubt that early maturity and fattening ability were of primary concern because (1) the market paid the highest price for the cattle that fattened well on forage; thus (2) the preferred breeding animals were those that demonstrated the ability to fatten readily at a given age.
To get this early maturity, breeders in the late 1930's and 1940's eagerly sought out the compact type of conformation -- short, low set, wide and deep-bodied cattle -- as their preferred breeding stock. By comparison, such cattle were naturally smaller. Their success in achieving such an animal with its abundance of fat and establishing that kind as the breed's "ideal" proved to eventually be a detriment. The market changes that surfaced in the 1960's caused such cattle to be penalized in price and discriminated against.
DEMAND CHANGES HEREFORD TYPEFollowing World War II and well into the 1950's, the compact, fat, small type cattle continued to be favored in the show ring, but quietly and almost unnoticed, there was a change taking place in the meat-packing industry and in the basic American consumer's diet which reflected on the demand and price of the favored kind up to that time. The commercial market for fat or beef tallow declined, plus the fact that consumers were unwilling to buy the excess fat on cuts from "over done" carcasses. The result was that beef packers paid less for the overfat cattle and suddenly there was a different type of animal preferred by the industry -- a trimmer, leaner, less fat and more red meat kind. The once preferred wide-backed, overfat and wastey cattle were heavily docked in the market.
This change in market preference was first expressed in Hereford circles at the National Hereford Conference in Denver in 1963, voiced more loudly in 1967 at a conference in Kansas City, and in the now famous 1969 conference in Wisconsin this change was very conclusively demonstrated. Economics in cost of production required faster daily gain at less cost conversion of feed to muscle instead of fat, and far less loss in offal waste in the desired market kind. These requirements translated to more size and a different style of conformation which, in turn, presented the breeder with a tremendous challenge in modernizing the breed and turning it around to a new kind of Hereford endowed with all the basic economical traits to encompass total performance -- no desired trait achieved at the expense of another.
Accomplishing, their objective in a remarkably short time is a great tribute to the dedication of Hereford breeders, the broad genetic base of the breed, and the ability of breeders to utilize modern technology along with the practical application of the breeder's art.
The 1960's saw the beginning of acceptance of the performance era in Herefordom. Breeders began giving concentrated attention toward applying new-found tools such as performance testing, artificial insemination, objective measures, embryo transfers, generation turnover, and sire evaluation to effect more and more rapid genetic change in the past 25 years than perhaps had been accomplished previously since Benjamin Tomkins undertook his systematic efforts to make better beef cattle from his native Herefords.
In 1963, the American Hereford Association embarked on an experimental program to test sires under practical feedlot conditions through their progeny in feedlot performance and carcass yield. That program was replaced by the current National Reference Sire program to identify superior sires. This program led the way for all breeds in sire testing.
The beginning of the American Hereford Association's record keeping activity was expanded to include performance records and initiation of the present Total Performance Records (TPR) service in 1964. Having been developed over some two decades, often amended to utilize new technology and to provide maximum service to breeders, the TPR program that has evolved has proven to be a great service to individual breeders and the breed in general. Presently, there are some two million records of performance on file in the AHA computer, stored for use to assist in selecting for improvements in future cattle generations.
The late 1960's found breeders faced with overpowering evidence that the breed had too many cattle that simply did not measure up in the modern measures of performance and with great competition from European "exotic" breeds, Hereford followers sought out breeders and bloodlines noted for cattle of substantial size and performance.
It was fortunate for the breed that there was an ample and broad genetic base from which to select when the demand came for larger framed cattle. Breeders found the growth traits fairly easy to select for. Both 205-day and yearling weights were accurate measures of growth, fairly easy to obtain, and they were highly heritable.
Within herd selection was a long process when considering the rule of thumb of cow generation being some seven years. Many breeders began looking for short cuts. They searched the country for sires with more frame and size, requesting and analyzing weaning and yearling weights. Leaders in beef cattle education and research stressed growth as a major criteria of performance, often ignoring or de-emphasizing the most important economical trait of beef cattle production, fertility.
Breeders often selected for frame score and mature weight, and paid little heed to fertility, structural soundness, feet and legs. The "yellow and mellow" coloring, a tic of white in the back or extra white on the legs and underline became less of a selection criteria. "If big enough, markings and color became less important."
Where and in what bloodlines could these cattle be found to increase the frame and weight of Herefords? Voices of the speakers at the Madison, Wisconsin, conference in June, 1969, had barely quieted when breeders started looking. The frame 5 steers at the conference came from the Northwest. That's where many breeders headed and they found some bigger-than average framed bulls there. Many were of Evan Mischief, Mark Donald and Real Prince Domino bloodlines. Some breeders selected bigger framed cattle in Canada, many of which traced to an American-bred Prince Domino son, Real Prince Domino 109. Also about this time, breeders found the Line One cattle developed by the U.S. Range and Research Station at Miles City, Montana.
It was at the Miles City station in 1934 that a selection program commenced and the development of inbreeding several different lines with selection emphasis on yearling weights. Of all the different lines developed at Miles City, the most prominent to date has been the Line Ones.
The foundation cows for the Line Ones traced back to stock purchased in 1926 from George M. Miles. The bulls used in the development of the line were half-brothers, Advance Domino 20 and Advance Domino 54, purchased in Colorado. These two foundation sires were strong in Prince Domino blood.
Although the Line One cattle were developed at the Miles City station and they have remained a prime source of seedstock, a number of other breeders drew heavily on Line One sires starting in the 1940's, and these breeders became suppliers of the Line One seedstock in the early 1970's.
The complete and universal acceptance of utilizing performance records was a slow process and, even today, does not have universal appeal. Different breeders place emphasis on different aspects.
Because of such difference in opinions in the past, the present, and likely in the future, Hereford cattle will command the premier spot in the beef cattle industry for years to come.
Origin of the BreedThe Holstein cow originated in Europe. The major historical developement of this breed occured in what is now the Netherlands and more specifically in the two northern provices of North Holland and Friesland which lay on either side of the Zuider Zee. The original stock were the black animals and white animals of the Batavians and Friesians, migrant European tribes who settled in the Rhine Delta region about 2,000 years ago.
For many years, Holsteins were bred and strictly culled to obtain animals which would make best use of grass, the area's most abundant resource. The intermingling of these animals evolved into an efficient, high-producing black-and-white dairy cow.
Imports to America
After the New World was settled, and markets began to develop for milk in America, dairy breeders turned to Holland for their seed stock.
Winthrop Chenery, a Massachusetts breeder, purchased a Holland cow from a Dutch sailing master who landed cargo at Boston in 1852. The cow had furnished the ship's crew with fresh milk during the voyage. She proved to be such a satisfactory producer, that Chenery made later importations of Holsteins in 1857, 1859 and 1861. Many other breeders soon joined the race to establish Holsteins in America.
After about 8,800 Holsteins had been imported, cattle disease broke out in Europe and importation ceased.
Americans Build Their Own Breed
In the late 1800's there was enough interest among Holstein breeders to form associations for the recording of pedigrees and maintenance of herdbooks. These associations merged in 1885 to found the Holstein-Friesian Association of America, the Holstein Association.
Characteristics of HolsteinsHolsteins are most quickly recognized by their distinctive color markings and outstanding milk production.
Holsteins are large, stylish animals with color patterns of black and white or red and white.
A healthy Holstein calf weighs 90 pounds or more at birth. A mature Holstein cow weighs about 1500 pounds and stand 58 inches tall at the shoulder.
Holstein heifers can be bred at 15 months of age, when they weigh about 800 pounds. It is desirable to have Holstein females calve for the first time between 24 and 27 months of age. Holstein gestation is approximately nine months.
While some cows may live considerably longer, the normal productive life of a Holstein is six years.
Average production for all Holsteins enrolled in official U.S. production-testing programs in 1987 was 17,408 pounds of milk, 632 pounds of butterfat and 550 pounds of protein per year.
Also Known By: Indubrasil (Portugese), Induberaba
The Indo-Brazilian is a zebu type breed which was developed in Brazil from 1910-1930. The breed was developed from Gir and Kankrej (Guzerat or Guzera) breeds with some Ongole also used. By 1946 Indo-Brazilian cattle were being imported into the United States and some sources site their contribution to the development of the Brahman.
The breed is white to dark grey in color. The Indo-Brazilian are generally taller and lighter muscled than the Brahman. One of the notable feature of the breed are its extremely large, pendulous ears. It probably has the largest ears of any of the cattle breeds.
The Jersey breed originated on the Island of Jersey, a small British island in the English Channel off the coast of France. The Jersey is one of the oldest dairy breeds, having been reported by authorities as being purebred for nearly six centuries.
The breed was known in England as early as 1771 and was regarded very favorably because of its milk and butterfat production. At that early date, the cattle of Jersey island were commonly referred to as Alderney cattle although the cattle of this island were later referred to only as Jerseys. Jersey cattle were brought to the United States in the 1850's.
Adaptable to a wide range of climatic and geographical conditions, outstanding Jersey herds are found from Denmark to Australia and New Zealand, from Canada to South America, and from South Africa to Japan. They are excellent grazers and perform well in intensive grazing programs. They are more tolerant of heat than the larger breeds. With an average weight of 900 pounds, the Jersey produces more pounds of milk per pound of body weight than any other breed. Most Jerseys produce far in excess of 13 times their bodyweight in milk each lactation.
The modern Jersey breed is unexcelled in dairy type. Breeders in the United States commonly referred to two distinct types of Jerseys in the past, these being the Island and the American; this distinction is not commonly made at present. It should be recalled that this is a different usage of the word "type" than is usually implied and refers to the general size and quality of the animal rather than to its use for dairy purposes. The Island-type Jerseys excelled in refinement and those qualities that were deemed necessary to win in the show ring. Refinement and beauty of such cattle in mature form led to the marked superiority of cattle imported from the island of Jersey or their direct descendants in winning most of the major awards of the American show ring. The so-called American-type Jerseys were noted much more for production than for beauty. Cattle referred to by this description are usually larger, a bit coarser, and have been bred for years for those qualities that suit them for milk and butterfat production. Some have referred to them as the "Farmer's" Jersey. Usually after two or three generations in the United States in the hands of the ordinary feeder, the refinement of the Island cattle gives way to the larger and less refined American kind.In recent years there has been less concern about these type variations; no doubt the program of type classification has tended to reduce the extremes. Additional emphasis on milk production and less stress on butterfat production had, no doubt, resulted in general acceptance of Jersey cows with more size and scale. Recent importations of Jerseys have consisted of larger cattle than many previously brought to the United States. Their offspring have not only been acceptable in type but have also been used advantageously in improving production.
Cows show very marked refinement about their heads and shoulders, carry long, straight top lines, and usually carry out long and level at the rump. For their size, they are usually deep in the body and full and deep in the barrel. There is no more appealing dairy animal than the well-balanced Jersey cow, and although usually somewhat more nervous in disposition than the other dairy cows, she is usually docile and rather easy to manage. Jersey cows usually have an extreme weight range of between 800 and 1200 pounds, but medium-sized cows are usually preferred.
Jersey bulls, while small as compared to the other dairy breeds, are extremely masculine. They are quite muscular about their crests and shoulders and are considerably less refined throughout than are the females. The same general qualities of straight lines and diary conformation as are found in the cows are desired in bulls. They usually range in weight from 1200 to 1800 pounds, but as in the females, medium weights are usually preferred. Jersey bulls are known for having the least docile temperament of the common breeds of cattle. It is folly to trust any dairy bull and particularly Jerseys past eighteen months of age.
Modern Jerseys may be of a wide range in color. There is little preference today between the solid and broken colors although most breeders slightly prefer the cattle with an unbroken color pattern. Most prefer the dark tongue and switch, but this is more a matter of an identification point than a point of discrimination. The color in Jerseys may vary from a very light gray or mouse color to a very dark fawn or a shade that is almost black. Both the bulls and females are commonly darker about the hips and about the head and shoulders than on the body. Most breeders slightly prefer the medium shades of color to the extremes, but nearly all of them realize that type and producing ability are far more important than the shade of color or whether the color is solid or broken.
The History of Limousin
The history of Limousin cattle may very well be as old as the European continent itself. Cattle found in cave drawings estimated to be 20,000 years old in the Lascaux Cave near Montignac, France, have a striking resemblance to today's Limousin.
These golden-red cattle are native to the south central part of France in the regions of Limousin and Marche. The terrain of the homeland has been described as rugged and rolling with rocky soil and a harsh climate. Consequently, the growing of field crops was very difficult at best and emphasis was placed on animal agriculture. Limousin cattle, as a result of their environment, evolved into a breed of unusual sturdiness, health and adaptability. This lack of natural resources also enabled the region to remain relatively isolated and the farmers free to develop their cattle with little outside genetic interference.
During these early times of animal power, Limousin gained a well-earned reputation as work animals in addition to their beef qualities. Rene Lafarge reported in 1698, "Limousin oxen were universally renown and esteemed both as beasts of burden and beef cattle." At the end of their work life, these animals were then fattened for slaughter.
Traditionally, French cattle were kept in a confinement or semi-confinement situation. However, Limousin cattle spent the majority of their time outdoors in the harsh climate of the region. This was a source of great pride to the breeders. The cows calved year round, outdoors, to bring in a regular source of income and the heifers were bred to calve at three years of age. In the winter, the entire herd was outside and whatever the season, the cattle were handled on a daily basis.
Once in the 1700s and again in the mid-1800s, an attempt was made by a small number of French Limousin breeders to crossbreed their cattle in hopes of gaining both size and scale. In 1840, several breeders crossbred their Limousin with oxen of Agenaise variety.
The resulting animals were taller, having more volume of muscling in their hindquarter. Unfortunately, these crossbred cattle proved not to be economical as they needed a larger amount of feed than could be provided in the majority of the region. Only near Limoges, where manure and fertilizers were plentiful and growing field crops was widespread, did these cattle prosper.
Limousin breeders admitted their mistake and then concentrated upon improving the breed through natural selection. A leader in the natural selection movement was Charles de Leobary and his herdsman, Royer. Through a very tough, selective process, these two developed an outstanding herd of "purebred" Limousin. From 1854 to 1896 the de Leobary herd won a total of 265 ribbons at the prestigious Bordeaux Competition, one of France's finest cattle shows.
Limousin cattle made a deep impression in French cattle shows during the 1850s. The first show wins were at the Bordeaux Fair where Limousin took second and third places. The cattle belonged to thealready mentioned de Leobary herd. Furthermore, in 1857, '58 and '59, Limousin animals topped other breeds in some of the first carcass competitions at the farm produce competition held at Poissy, near Paris. The reputation of Limousin as meat animals was firmly established. Today, Limousin cattle are still referred to as the "butcher's animal" in France.
The widespread use of natural selection made it important to record the bloodlines of the outstanding Limousin bulls and females. So, in November of 1886, the first Limousin Herd Book was established. Louis Michel presided over the herd book, the objective of which was to ensure the uniformity of the breed. Michel and his 11 fellow herd book commissioners were extremely rigid in the selections. Between 1887 and 1890, the commission met six times and out of 1,800 animals presented for registration from 150 different farms, only a total of 674 (117 males and 497 females) were accepted for registration.
The formation of the herd book had other important consequences. Once established, the French government then established shows solely for Limousin cattle. As with their counterparts today, these shows provided tremendous exposure for the breed as the many valuable traits of these beef cattle were presented for all to see.
By July of 1914, the total number of animals registered in the herd book was 5,416. It is interesting to note the herd book has been reorganized twice since it was founded, once in 1923 and again in 1937. Both times these reorganizations were used to redefine the characteristics of the breed, making the breeders more selective, this improving the quality of the animals.
Through the late 1800s and early 1900s, Limousin breeders paid close attention to morphological characteristics as the breed developed. The medium size of these cattle as compared to other European breeds was, and is still, an outstanding breed trait. They also selected for the dark golden-red hide with wheat colored underpinnings. French records also show a great deal of emphasis was stressed upon deep chest, a strong top-line, well-placed tailhead and strongly-muscled hindquarter. The end result was an efficient, hardy, adaptable animal that was extremely well-suited for its only intended purpose - to produce meat.
Across the Atlantic
As the breed developed in France, cattlemen in North America were looking to Europe to improve their native beef cattle here in the United States. In the late 1800s, English breeds such as the Hereford, Shorthorn and Angus were imported and crossed on native cattle, most of them of Spanish background. In the early 1900s Charolais were imported into Cuba and Mexico and were first introduced into the United States in the early 1930s.
The acceptance of Charolais, combined with the use of crossbreeding as a tool to increase beef production, lead to the investigation of many other Europeanbreeds, including Limousin, by North American cattlemen. 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. As more cattlemen traveled toEurope, they came back talking about an impressive "new" beef breed they had seen...Limousin.
The first Limousin bulls imported permanently into the United States did not arrive until the fall of 1971. Until this time, the Canadian government had not permitted any Limousin bulls to leave the country except for short periods for exhibition purposes, and then only if the owners posted a large bond that was refunded when the animal returned to Canada. The first U.S. import, Kansas Colonel, was born and raised in Canada and was imported by Bob Haag of Topeka, Kansas, for a group of Kansas Limousin breeders.
The first Limousin semen was available from Prince Pompadour in July of 1969. After being evaluation by J.J. "Bud" Prosser at the International Beef Breeders facility near Denver, semen was picked up by Colonel E.J. Geeson of Agate, Colorado. A retired Air Force officer, Geeson used the semen on his Angus cows on his ranch east of Denver.
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.
Forming the Foundation
As the first Limousin cattle arrived 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. At one of these meetings in the spring of 1968 at the Albany Hotel in Denver, fifteen cattlemen formed the North American Limousin Foundation (NALF).
First president of NALF was Bob Purdy of Buffalo, Wyoming. A well-respected cattleman, Purdy was a strong advocate of performance testing. Through his experience with Charolais, Purdy knew many of the pitfalls to be avoided in the early days. Purdy was a capable administrator who gave solid leadership to the Foundation during its infancy in the three years he served as president.
The man responsible for the actual day-to-day running of NALF was the first executive vice president, Dick Goff of Denver. A journalist by profession, Goff's advertising agency had worked for the Charolais association, and had seen first-hand the development of a new breed association. He knew the first three to five years of a breed association's existence were extremely critical and financial stability was the key to survival.
As a result, Goff was largely responsible for the firm financial base upon which NALF was built. He developed the idea to sell 100 founder memberships in the NALF for $2,500 apiece. Each founder member was entitled to a prorated share of Prince Pompadour semen, all of which was owned by NALF. All but one of the memberships was sold and the combination of excellent cattle, leadership and financial stability gave the Limousin breed a tremendous start in North America.
From the initial concentrations in Oklahoma, Texas, South Dakota and western Canada, the Limousin breed has expanded across North America. The tremendous carcass traits of the breed have attracted the full attention of the entire beef industry. In addition to solid prices for breeding stock, feeders are paying a premium for percentage Limousin because of their excellent feed efficiency and packers are asking for Limousin by name.
Percentage Limousin steers have had unparalleled success in the show ring. Limousin steers have one such prestigious shows as Denver, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, and Ak-Sar-Ben, not to mention number state and county fairs. Besides these on-foot champions, Limousin steers have won many carcass shows, living up to their reputation as the "Carcass Breed."
NALF has grown from the original 99 founder members to nearly 12,000 active lifetime members who have registered over 1 million head of Limousin cattle.
Limousin Fits the Bill
In 2002, NALF realized the need to provide cattlemen with the option of flexibility in their crossbreeding programs. Recognizing the breed complimentarity of Limousin and Angus, NALF introduced Lim-Flex, a pedigreed Limousin-Angus hybrid. Producers now have genetic options to fit every scenario, from fullblood or purebred Limousin for a "full-shot" of muscle and efficiency, to Lim-Flex hybrids for a "blended-shot" of Limousin with added marbling and maternal from Angus (black or red). With Lim-Flex, breeders can offer a "just-right" shot of Limousin to meet the needs of most any crossbreeding program.
Lim-Flex stands for Limousin with muscle and efficiency, along with flexibility - the most significant strength of this powerful genetic blend:
Flexible seedstock for simple, easily managed crossbreeding
Flexible market progeny that consistently hit dressing percent, along with yield and quality grade targets for mainstream, case-ready markets
Flexible females adapted for efficiency across a wide range of environments
NALF's UltraMate Xbreeding System outlines how to use registered Limousin and Lim-Flex seedstock on different types of commercial cows to hit end-product and maternal targets. This breeder's guide to Lim-Flex focuses on how to record necessary pedigree and breed composition data required for registry, as well as other policies for Lim-Flex animals.
From humble beginnings in France many centuries ago, these golden-red beef cattle have now achieved acceptance here in the United States as a major contributor to a more efficient beef industry.Limousin is the most progressive continental breed registry in the United States. Limousin is the leader in Muscle Growth Efficiency and is the ideal complement to British-based cows.
One of the oldest recognized breeds in the world, Shorthorn cattle originated in Northeastern England in the Valley of the Tees River. Much of the early improvement work took place in the counties of Northumberland, Durham and York.
The first importation of Shorthorns to the United States was in 1783, when 'Milk Breed' Shorthorns came to Virginia. These early importations, often referred to as 'Durhams', became favorites of the pioneer, furnishing meat, milk and power.
Shorthorns, the most numerous in the British Isles, America and Australia, are either red, red and white, white or roan, the last named color being a very close mixture of red and white, and found in no other breed of cattle.
Origin, History and Development
Into the North Sea, on the east coast of England just north of the bulge toward Europe, a river, the Tees, empties. It was along this river that the Shorthorn breed was developed. The earliest knowledge of the forerunners to the breed is word of mouth, that for two hundred years before 1780, there were short horned cattle on the Yorkshire estates of the Dukes and Earls of Northumberland. Shorthorn stock had been in the herds of Smithsons of Stanwick since the middle 1600's.
Several men helped to bring the breed to its present high standard of perfection by selecting animals that were best suited to meet the demands of practical farmers.
In Shorthorn history, the names of Bates, Booth and Cruickshank are noted. Bates and Booth were Englishmen who developed what are usually referred to as 'English Shorthorns.' Cruickshank was a Scotchman who developed the 'Scotch Shorthorns.' The Bates type of Shorthorns were noted for their style and good milking qualities. Cruickshank's cattle were thicker, blockier, and meatier.
Most of the early importations of Shorthorns to America came from English herds and were of the Bates and Booth types; those that came directly from the Bates herd or descendants of that herd had very good milking qualities.
As explained, the Milking Shorthorn is not a separate and distinct breed, but rather a segment of the Shorthorn breed. The pedigrees of both the Milking Shorthorn and the scotch Shorthorn trace to the same foundation animals if carried to breed origin.
Shorthorns Enter USA in 1783
An unknown number of both types, the milk breed and the beef breed, were brought from England by a Mr. Gough of Maryland and his partner, a Mr. Miller of Virginia. Importations continued during the early 1800's and the breed moved into New York, Kentucky, Ohio and deeper into the Midwest. The first herd west of the Mississippi River is reported to have been established by N. Cooper on his Ravenswood Farm in Missouri in 1839. Today, Milking Shorthorns are found in almost every area of the United States.
It should be gratifying to anyone interested in Milking Shorthorns to learn how much the breed contributed to the livelihood of our nation. Its hardiness, wide range of adaptation and efficiency of production provided milk, meat and transportation for our pioneers. The breed's many attributes continue to provide a livelihood for the breeders of today.
A Versatile Breed
The Milking Shorthorn breed is the most versatile of all breeds and this is one of its greatest attributes. These docile cows efficiently produce large volumes of nutritious milk each lactation and are large enough to have a high salvage value when their long productive lives finally come to an end. In addition, their healthy calves born each year on regular calving intervals are spunky at birth, grow rapidly, and those not kept for breeding stock and herd replacement make efficient gains and hang very desirable grading carcasses.
Other attributes of the breed include ease of calving, ease of management and economy of production, especially on home produced roughages and grass.
One of the first official demonstrations of the production ability of Milking Shorthorns was made at the World's Exposition in Chicago in 1893 where two of the leading cows of the test were Kitty Clay 3rd and Kitty Clay 4th, the latter standing third in net profit over all breeds. These sister cows became the foundation for the Clay cow family of Milking Shorthorns, developed at Glenside Farm, Granville Center, Pennsylvania.
Milking Shorthorns in the USA
Breeders began recording their Shorthorn cattle in 1846 with the first volume of the American Herdbook. In 1882, the American Shorthorn Breeders' Association was formed to register and promote both Milking and Scotch (beef) Shorthorns. In 1912, a group of Milking Shorthorn breeders organized the Milking Shorthorn Club to work within the framework of ASBA. Its membership was interested in advertising the good milk qualities of the breed by keeping official milk records and encouraging breed improvements.
The American Milking Shorthorn Society (AMSS) incorporated in 1948 and took over the registration and promotion of Milking Shorthorns. In April 1950, the Milking Shorthorn office moved from Chicago to Springfield, Missouri. Milking Shorthorns were declared a dairy breed in 1969 and in 1972 became members of the Purebred Dairy Cattle Association. The Society national office moved to its present home, Beloit, Wisconsin in 1986.
Milking Shorthorn breeders in the USA have many opportunities for improving the genetics of their animals by participating in the breed's official production testing, type trait appraisal, gain performance, national shows and breed promotion programs.
Breeders can use semen from the breed's highest proven bulls. Semen of high genetic value is also available from carefully selected young sires approved by the Young Sire Committee. Also, two grade-up programs make it possible for anyone to bring outstanding neglected purebreds back into the Official Herd Book and to introduce the best of other internationally recognized high producing breeds into a program with rigid requirements.
It is a fact that no breed has made greater improvement during the past 15 years and even greater increases are expected in the future. Milking Shorthorns have become more dairy and more angular and improved udder quality. Anyone having the opportunity to observe recent national Milking Shorthorn shows can not help but be impressed by the number of superior individuals presented which were bred by breeders from coast to coast.
Background of the Murray Grey
The Murray Grey originated in southern New South Wales, Australia. The preferred color is silver-gray although there are numerous variations in the shading of gray. In 1905, on the Thologolong property of Peter Sutherland, a particular roan Shorthorn cow, when bred to various Aberdeen Angus bulls, dropped only grey calves, 12 of them by 1917. Because Mrs. Eva Sutherland liked these grey calves, her husband didn't slaughter them although he feared they would reflect poorly on his black Angus herd. When her husband died in 1929, Mrs. Sutherland sold the herd of Greys to her cousin Helen Sutherland who started a systematic breeding with 8 cows and 4 bulls.
In the early 1940's Mervyn Gadd started a second Murray Grey herd as a commercial venture, using a grey bull from the Sutherlands and breeding up from Angus cows. Gadd was convinced that the Greys were better and more efficient weight gainers, but is wasn't until 1957 that a demand for them developed. Butchers paid a premium price for the Greys because of their consistent high cutability and less wastage. Breeder after breeder turned to them and in 1962 fifty breeders banded together to form the Murray Grey Beef Cattle Society of Australia. The name of the breed comes from the color and the site of origin along the Murray River that divides New South Wales and Victoria.
The Murray Greys began to win carcass competitions in the early 1970's and have continued to dominate the steer and carcass classes at the Royal Shows in Australia. Murray Greys are one of the two breeds preferred by the Japanese for importation, due to their easy fleshing and high-quality meat production.
Introduction to the United StatesIn 1969, three importers, New Breeds Inc.; Murray Grey USA, Lubbock, Texas; and Firetree Production Stock of Shelbyville, Kentucky, brought Murray Grey semen to the United States. In May 1972, a bull calf and yearling heifer of this breed arrived in the United States. Although several more Murray Greys have been imported into the United States, the total number of importations has been relatively small and the expansion in the breed has been largely through the grading-up process.
Murray Greys - A Sensible Breed for Profitable Beef Production, a booklet by the American Murray Grey Association, indicates that twenty-eight purebred bulls and nine purebred heifers were imported from New Zealand or from Australia by way of New Zealand. In the 1976 Yearbook, published by the American Murray Grey Association, eighty-three bulls in the United States were listed as foundation sires and their semen was available fordistribution, and twenty females were listed as purebred females.
Traits of the BreedThe calves of the breed are small at birth. The cows are good mothers and milk well, and the calves have good rates of growth. Docility seems to be agenuine asset of the breed both in the herd and in the feedlot. The cattle have relatively small heads and bone and are polled. Their survival and reproductive rate has been very satisfactory under a wide range of climatic and management conditions.
The color of the Murray Grey can be both an asset and a liability. The gray is a very practical color that reflects more heat than dark colors. The skin should be heavily pigmented or dark-colored and this helps keep away certain eye and skin problems, such as cancer eye and sunburned udders. Unfortunately, the inheritance of the color pattern is not well understood from a genetic standpoint. Studying the data available indicates that, in addition to the basic color pattern genes involved, diluting or modifying genes also seem to play a definite role. Multiple gene effects always make it more difficult to get a true breeding condition.
The Origin and Growth of Polled HerefordsPolled Herefords represent the development of an idea - an idea spawned in the minds of a small number of Midwestern Hereford breeders in the late 1890s who realized that it was both possible and practical to develop "modern Herefords minus horns."
These breeders were motivated by the promising prospect of developing Herefords with outstanding beef-producing characteristics, but with the added desirable trait of being naturally hornless. They planted the seed from which grew a new giant in the American and world beef cattle industry
The Polled Hereford of today is the result - a modern, practical breed of cattle that has experienced widespread acceptance and desirability.
Polled Herefords were developed from the horned Hereford breed which was founded in the mid-18th century by the farmers of Hereford County, England. Among the horned Herefords an occasional calf would be born which did not develop horns. This change from parents' characteristics is known as a "mutation." These cattle soon came to be called "polled," which means naturally hornless.
Warren Gammon, a young Iowa Hereford breeder from Des Moines, originated Polled Herefords. He seized upon the idea of producing the hornless cattle after seeing some on exhibition at the Trans-Mississippi World Fair in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1898.
Three years later, Gammon established the Polled Hereford breed registry with 11 head of naturally hornless whiteface cattle he had located and purchased. These Herefords were registered in the American Hereford Association, but were not identified as to their polled characteristic. Therefore, Gammon formed the American Polled Hereford Cattle Club to maintain a separate record of purebred Polled Hereford registrations.
Thus, in 1901, the Polled Hereford breed came into being with 11 registrations on record. In 1907, the pioneer breeders of Polled Herefords incorporated their organization, with headquarters in the Gammon home in Des Moines. Gammon served as executive secretary until 1921.Today the Polled Hereford registry is combined with the American Hereford Association.
lso Known By: Pinzgau, Jocherg Hummel
The Practical Breed
About 500 AD., Alpine herdsmen, who ran their cattle on small, widely scattered, rocky pastures, had begun to develop a breed of red and white cattle from the native red Bavarian cattle. These early cattlemen selected animals that could withstand the harsh conditions and still produce meat and milk. Farmers in the highly productive valleys and other lush areas of Bavaria, developed larger, brown and spotted (flecked) breeds of cattle from the same original, native seedstock. Later in history, Pinzgauer attained their present form and color. The designation "Pinzgauer" drives from the "Pinzgau" district in the province of Salzburg, Austria, and appears for the first time in documents of the 1600's. Herd books dated in the 1700's show that selective breeding had been going on for some time, and there are records of exportations of "Pinzgauer Cattle" to Rumania, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia in the 1820's. In 1871 Pinzgauer cattle were sent to the Paris World Exhibition. In the early 1900's, a number of breeding cattle were exported to South Africa, which has the second largest herd of fullblood animals in the world today.
The milk productivity of Pinzguaer cows is on average 4,000/5,000 kg of milk. The good capacity for eating large amounts of food, good temperament, maternal instinct and remarkable fertility are important elements for justifying using the Pinzguaer breed also for breeding nursing cows.
With an intensive fattening the average daily weight increase is about 1,400 g with a slaughter yield of 56-58%. The good meat quality, with first rate marbling, fine fiber and light red color satisfy consumer requirements.
The first attempts at Pinzguaer selection date back to the 18th century. In 1989 the inbreeding programs "Pinzguaer 2000" and "Moet programs" were integrated to develop the double aptitude of the breed, without forsaking such aspects such as resistance and energy.
Horned or Polled, Pinzgauers have pigmented skin under a chestnut red coat and white markings on the back, tail and barrel. They adapt readily and easily to a variety of climates. Eye problems are rare. Smooth hair and firm, flexible skin prevents tick and other insect infestations.
Mature bulls average 2000 pounds and up, while mature females level out at approximately 1,000 to 1,600 pounds. More moderately sized in relation to the "big is better" theory, Pinzgauer progeny still have above average weaning weights, gainability and feed conversion, but they maintain the easy calving ability that cattlemen prefer. Udders are well-formed and hold up well during lactation.
North American EntryThe first four head of Pinzgauer were imported into Canada in September 1972. Austrian Fullbloods were first imported to the USA in 1976. Live animals, frozen embryos, and semen all have been imported to establish fullblood herds and to upgrade the Purebred Pinzgauers. Pinzgauer as we know them today are the result of rigid performance and registry demands. The American Pinzgauer Association has a breeding-up program which allows a producer to breed up to Purebred Pinzgauer (7/8 for females, 15/16 for bulls) by starting with commercial cows and using Pinzgauer bulls. At the end of 1989, there were over 30,000 Fullblood and Purebred Pinzgauers in the United States, giving the cattlemen a world wide genetic base on which to build a Pinzgauer herd.
Seven innovative breeders chose to use Red Angus in 1954 to establish the industry’s first performance registry. Throughout its history, the Red Angus Association of America has gone on to make all the tough choices, and all the right choices. In recent years, the Red Angus breed has attained a high level of popularity from commercial cattlemen, and for all the right reasons.
The Origin of "Angus"
Like most modern American beef breeds, the Red Angus breed had its beginning in Europe. In the eighth-century, according to some authorities, hardy 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 to the black Aberdeen Angus of today, although it was a considerably smaller-bodied animal. The polled characteristic was very slow to spread inland, and for almost a thousand years was confined principally to the coastal areas of England and Scotland.
Eric L.C. Pentecost, the noted English breeder of Red Angus cattle, offers a specific and logical explanation for the introduction of the red coloration into the Aberdeen Angus breed. In the eighteenth century, the black Scottish cattle were too light to provide sufficiently large draught oxen, so larger English longhorns, predominantly red in color, were brought in and crossed with the black native polled breed. The resultant offspring were all black polled animals, since black is a dominant color, and red a recessive one. However, all carried the red gene. Subsequent interbreeding produced an average of one red calf in four, in accordance with Mendel’s law of heredity.
Angus -Red or Black
Early in the development of the Aberdeen Angus, Hugh Watson of Keillor, Scotland arbitrarily decided that black was the proper color for the breed, and thereby started a fashion. He might well have chosen red instead. Leon J. Cole and Sara V. H. Jones of the University of Wisconsin Agricultural Experiment Station published a pamphlet in 1920 on "The Occurrence of Red Calves in Black Breeds of Cattle" which contained this pertinent paragraph:
"One more point should be emphasized, namely that the red individuals appearing in such stock (Aberdeen Angus)...are just as truly 'purebred' as their black relatives, and there is no reason why, in all respects save color, they should not be fully as valuable. The fact that they are discarded while the blacks are retained is simply due to the turn of fortune that black rather than red became established fashion for the Aberdeen Angus breed. Had red been the chosen color, there would never have been any trouble with the appearance of blacks as off-color individuals, since red-to-red breeds true."
The preceding paragraph, written more than three decades prior to the establishment of the Red Angus Association of America, shows a true appreciation of the basic strengths of the reds. This is emphasized by the current revival and popularity of the red strain of Aberdeen Angus throughout the world.
Early Angus Herdbooks
The first Aberdeen Angus herdbook, published in 1862 in Scotland, entered both reds and blacks without distinction. This practice is continued in Britain today, as is the case throughout most of the world. Aberdeen Angus was introduced into America in the 1870s and soon attained high popularity. The first American herd books, published in 1886 and 1888 respectively, made no record as to the color of individual animals. In 1890, twenty-two reds were registered in the American Aberdeen Angus Herdbook of some 2,700 individuals entered that year. Finally, the reds and other colors were barred from registration altogether after 1917. This severe discrimination against the red color in an effort to assure a pure black strain brought a marked decline in the number of red calves born in American herds.
Rebirth of "Red" Angus
Various cattlemen throughout the United States understood the outstanding values of the reds. In 1945, the first of these cattlemen started selecting and breeding reds cropped from the best black Aberdeen Angus herds in America. By 1954, a sufficient number of herds had been established to form a breeder’s organization known as the "Red Angus Association of America."
With a temporary headquarters in Sheridan, Wyoming, seven innovative cattle breeders created the Red Angus Association as the first performance breed registry in the United States. In August of 1954, the Association’s first president, Waldo Forbes, Sr., summed-up this vision of the founding members:
"The policy of the (Red Angus) Association is to discourage the more artificial practices in purebred cattle production... and to place its faith instead in objective tests, consisting for the most part of comparisons within herds of factors of known economic importance and known heritability... By making this an integral part of the registration system, Red Angus breeders feel that even faster progress can be made toward the ultimate goal of more efficient beef production."
From the beginning, performance data was required for registration for all cattle. The ultimate goal was to initiate a system to objectively evaluate and select cattle based on traits of economic importance.
The Red Angus Association of America
The RAAA has long been noted for its farsighted vision of beef production. Over a variety of fronts Red Angus has either led the industry, or been an early adopter of new technologies. This maverick attitude allowed the RAAA to adopt philosophies and technologies that were deemed too risky or unconventional by other associations. Here is a sample of some visionary policies enacted by the RAAA:A Leader in the Performance Movement
In 1954, when the Association took this bold move to build a "performance registry", the scientific community had not even settled on using 205 days to serve as the age which weaning weights would be adjusted to. Although collecting and turning in weaning weights has become second nature for Red Angus breeders, very few associations require performance data as a criteria for registration even today when the value and necessity of the performance data has been so clearly demonstrated.
A Leader in Open A.I.
Artificial Insemination has proven to be one of the most powerful tools in the beef industry’s genetic progress. However, as this technology became available, most breed associations enforced strict regulations making the technology impractical for many breeders until the 1970’s. However, the RAAA in 1954 set its own course in which A.I. was open and unrestricted within the Red Angus breed.
A Leader in Performance Data in the Showring
In the decade of the nineties, several breeds have started the use of objective data in the showring as an additional tool for the judge, besides the traditional visual appraisal of animals. Red Angus was the first to incorporate performance data in the showring, holding the first "performance" show in 1956. Although Red Angus is not known as a "show" breed, the Association does sponsor a National Show each year. How is it run? You guessed it, the same as in 1956, with the judge being provided all pertinent objective information such as EPDs.
A Leader in the Promotion of Crossbreeding
As early as 1961, the RAAA developed a pamphlet promoting crossbreeding. This was approximately ten years prior to the industry even starting to accept crossbreeding as a tool for commercial cow/calf production. In 1970, Red Angus continued its industry leadership by starting and promoting an F-1 program. 1999 marked another first as the RAAA successfully spearheaded a joint-breed promotion extolling the advantages of heterosis.
A Leader in Offering an Open Registry
In 1980, the RAAA broke ranks from the other British breeds by instituting a category registration system. This far sighted program still kept the 100%, Category 1-A cattle separated, but it additionally allowed breeders to develop purebred, Category 1-B cattle through a process of breeding-up. Furthermore, by instituting a Category II and III, the Association is able to maintain a performance registry for foundation animals and composites.
A Leader in Focusing on Commercial Customers
Red Angus has always prided itself as the first breed that focused its primary attention on customers — the commercial cow/calf producers of the United States. In keeping with this focus, the American Red Angus Magazine is sent to all Red Angus bull customers. The Association also started a Commercial Marketing Program in 1994. Believed to be the second such program in the industry, it offers a wide range of services designed to enhance the profitability of producers utilizing Red Angus genetics in their commercial operations.
A Leader in Total Herd Reporting
In the tradition of being the true "performance breed", the Association again broke ranks with the other breed associations when they implemented an inventory based fee structure and reporting system in 1995. Total Herd Reporting (THR) requires the production of every registered Red Angus female to be accounted for every year, as well as the performance of every Red Angus calf raised through weaning. If a cow and her calf are not accounted for in a given year, the cow is removed from the registry.
A Leader in Evaluating Fertility
The RAAA has led the industry with its commitment to objectively describing traits related to reproduction and sustained fertility. The first of this new class of EPDs was Red Angus’ Stayability estimate. This EPD ranks animals with regard to the probability their daughters will continue producing in the herd past six years of age. The development of of a new Heifer Pregnancy EPD expands Red Angus’ commitment in this vital area.A Leader in Genotypic Certification
In 1995, Red Angus unveiled the industry’s first genotypic and source identified program, the Feeder Calf Certification Program (FCCP). The innovative FCCP has the honor of being the first program of its kind to be USDA Process Verified, certifying a calf’s link to the "Angus" gene pool.
A Leader in Value Based Marketing
Red Angus has been at the forefront of the industry’s efforts to move toward a system of value based marketing. The Association is believed to be the first breed association to offer its members and commercial customers a value-based pricing grid with a major packing company.
Red Angus are Angus; yet the Red Angus breeders’ history of leadership and innovation have made a profound difference in the red strain. They have avoided the short-term fads that have negatively affected so many other breeds. Coupled with the long-term commercial focus of the membership, the Red Angus gene pool also offers many advantages. Red Angus provides a consistent source of traditional Angus traits, including carcass quality, maternal characteristics, calving ease, and moderate size. In addition, Red Angus offer uniformity, good disposition, and an outstanding appetite.
Today, Red Angus are seeing unparalleled popularity both in the U.S. and internationally. In fact, the growing notoriety of the breed is bringing worldwide demand for breeding stock from South Africa, Australia and South America, where the majority of the cattle are red in color. This has led Red Angus to become the leading U.S. beef breed in semen exports. In the U.S., the number of Red Angus has tripled from the mid-1980’s through the mid-1990’s. In Canada, where red and black Angus cattle are registered together (which is the case in most countries), the number of red cattle registered is approximately the same as the black strain.
Due to the numerous natural advantages with which the Red Angus breed is endowed, and based off the heritage and continued philosophy of the Red Angus Association of America, it appears that a great breed is coming into its own. The future of the breed as the common denominator in progressive cattle producers’ crossbreeding systems is unlimited. As Joseph Givhan, founding RAAA member, shared in his early publication on the breed’s history...
"Here is a noble breed that will never die, destined to increase and flourish. It shall cover the grazing lands of the earth and forever enrich the husbandry of mankind."
Red Brangus, produced by a mating of black Angus cows and grey Brahman bulls, got their start in the early 1930's. Cattlemen noticed that the crossbred calves from the bottom end of the herd and at the back pasture came smaller, grew faster and had more meat than the British purebreds popular at the time. That wasn't enough for these far-sighted beef producers, however, They spent the next 20 years making sure that the results of these matings were repeatable and predictable.
Since that time those who have joined forces with that group have dedicated themselves to the production of profitable, functional cattle that produce the lean, tasty beef today's consumer demands.
The breed has grown from its Central and South Texas beginnings to a mainstay in commercial herds across the United States. Purebred breeders have sprung up in far away places like South Africa and several South American countries. That growth has been natural, as genuine interest in the productive capabilities of the breed brought about natural, progressive expansion.
King Ranch Santa Cruz cattle represent more than seven years of intense research and development aimed at creating a more market acceptable beef animal that produced superior results as both a feeder and seedstock animal. The new cattle are a composite breed, produced by first crossing Santa Gertrudis cows with Red Angus and Gelbvieh bulls. This initial union produces 1/2 Santa Gertrudis and 1/2 Red Angus males and females; as well as 1/2 Santa Gertrudis and 1/2 Gelbvieh males and females. These half bloods are then crossed back on each other to produce a 1/2 Santa Gertrudis, 1/4 Red Angus and 1/4 Gelbvieh composite animal, the finished product. This is King Ranch Santa Cruz, as composites are then bred to composites, fixing the characteristics desired in the cattle and demanded by today's beef market.
Stephen J. Kleberg, Vice President of King Ranch, Inc. said that King Ranch Santa Cruz cattle have “excellent conformation, perform extremely well in the feedyard, and obtain maximum results at the packing plant.” Hal Hawkins, King Ranch animal physiologist, described the cattle as "very fertile, both male and female, reaching an early sexual maturity at 12 - 14 months of age. Weaning and yearling weights are excellent, and they are very gentle cattle that demonstrate good mothering instincts."
The new breed produces both polled and horned individuals. In color, they range from a light red or honey to a Santa Gertrudis cherry red. Mature weight in cows ranges from 1,100 - 1,200 pounds, while bulls tip the scales from 1,800 - 2,000 pounds. The cattle have proven very heat resistant and adapt extremely well to South Texas' harsh climate and environments. They range far and wide and work the large pastures of King Ranch very well.
Early in 1987, the need for a more market acceptable beef animal at King Ranch was the topic of conversation from the working pens to the board room. Top producers in the beef and livestock industry were brought in to aid in the project. Educators from the major agricultural universities across the United States were invited to share their knowledge with King Ranch. Twenty-six professors from fourteen universities participated in the formulation of a master breeding plan. These specialists in the various research fields which undergird progressive livestock operations, like King Ranch, included carcass and meat experts, reproduction and physiology scientists, breeds and breeding selection specialists, geneticists, nutritionists, botanists, veterinary scientists, and climatologists.
As a result of these meetings, King Ranch set some short and long term objectives in its breeding plan. Short term objectives included improved production (reproduction and fertility); improved market acceptability (carcass quality - grade and tenderness); and, cull cattle on strict economic considerations. Long term objectives included single breed type mating system using a composite breed; genetic policy that would produce a phenotypic look-alike; and, early sexual maturity with superior carcass quality and grade. The Santa Gertrudis breed was maintained, improved, and made more competitive.
Two breeds were selected to add to the Santa Gertrudis to achieve these goals. Gelbvieh were chosen for their fertility, high growth, early maturity, shortened gestation length, and moderate milk production. Red Angus were selected to add early fertility, ease in calving, high carcass quality, efficiency, and polled characteristics.
About 1910 the King Ranch of Kingville, Texas, one of the largest ranches in the United States, became interested in the possibilities of using Brahman cattle to improve the performance of the range cattle in their area. Tom O'Connor, who obtained some Bos indicus cattle from the Pierce Ranch in Pierce, Texas, gave a half blood Shorthorn-Brahman bull to the King Ranch. He was mated with a group of purebred Shorthorn females. All male calves from this cross but one, a red bull called Chemmera, were castrated and the heifers were turned out with Shorthorn bulls. In the fall of 1918 about sixty descendants of the O'Connor bull and his son were placed in a high quality pasture and their performance was such that the Kings Ranch became interested in crossbreeding Shorthorns and Brahmans.
Since no purebred Brahmans were available, the King Ranch secured fifty-two of the best three-year-old bulls that they could obtain from the Pierce herd. These bulls were three-fourths and seven-eighths Brahman. The bulls were divided among eight different herds with a total of approximately 2,500 Shorthorn cows. Two bulls were specifically selected and pasture mated to fifty cows each. These bulls were referred to as the "Chiltipin" bull and the "Vinotero" bull. One of the females in the Vinotero bull's group was a milk cow with one-sixteenth Brahman blood that she carried as a descendant of the O'Connor bull through his son Chemmera. The result of this mating was a bull called Monkey, who became the foundation sire of the Santa Gertrudis. All present day Santa Gertrudis descend from Monkey.
The name of the Santa Gertrudis breed is from Rincon de Santa Gertrudis, the name of the original land grant purchased by Captain Richard King from the heirs of Juan Mendiola. This land grant is where the first headquarters of the King Ranch was established.In 1940, the United States Department of Agriculture recognized the Santa Gertrudis as a purebred.
Modern Santa Gertrudis cattle are approximately five-eighths Shorthorn and three-eighths Brahman. A deep cherry-red color has been established in the breed. The breed shows a relatively high degree of both heat and tick resistance. Their characteristics include ease of calving, good mothering ability and abundant milk supply. They also show very little evidence of a hump and have improved beef quality over most purebred Brahmans. Steers can be turned off at any age depending on environment and conditions, and are noted for their weight for age and ability to achieve high weight gains both on pasture and in feedlots.
There were 283 herds recorded in Volume I of the Herd Book. The King Ranch herd was designated as the Santa Gertrudis Foundation Herd. Other herds that had attained the purebred status by continuous grading up were designated as Foundation Herds. An official classifier of the Association inspects Santa Gertrudis and classifies the females as either certified or accredited and certified for bulls, for those animals meeting the classification requirements. Animals that do not meet the minimum requirements are rejected.
The Shorthorn Breed of Cattle originated on the northeastern coast of England in the counties of Northcumberland, Durham, York, and Lincoln. These counties all touch the North Sea and lie between the Cheviot Hills and the middle part of England. The first real development of the Shorthorn breed took place in the valley of the Tees River. This river, the valley of which is so well known in the development of the breed, lies between Durham and York counties, and the large cattle that inhabited this fertile valley early became known as Teeswater cattle. In addition to having acquired a reputation for producing excellent cattle, the Tees River Valley excelled in crops, pastures, and generally high plane of agriculture.
Foundation Stock. North England is said to have been the home of cattle for centuries. Sinclair 1 suggests the small Celtic short-horned ox was found in England at the time of the Roman invasion and that later, cattle were introduced from northern Europe by the English, Danes, and others. By the 17th century well-known types of cattle existed in England, one of which was the "pied" stock of Lincolnshire, which was said to have been more white than colored, and the other red stock of Somerset and Gloucestershire. There existed in Holderness, a district of Yorkshire, cattle that resembled in size, shape, and color many of the cattle that were found in northern Europe at that time. At what time cattle had been introduced into England or by whom they were brought in is not definitely known. The cattle were said to have taken on flesh readily and would fatten into heavy carcasses although their flesh was coarsely grained and dark in color. Allen 2 states, "The cows were described as large milkers, and the bullocks as attaining a great weight of carcass and extraordinary production of tallow."
The Early Breeders. As early as 1580 there existed a race of superior short-horned cattle on the Yorkshire estates of the earls and dukes of Northcumberland. The coat color of these cattle varied, but among the colors found were light dun, yellow, yellowish red, deep red, red and white patched, white, and roans.
It was not until after 1750 that accurate records of consequence were kept of the cattle of the area or of the breeding practices that were followed. Between 1730 and 1780 many eminent breeders had distinguished themselves in their home localities for cattle of improved type and quality. Among those who might be mentioned are Sharter, Pickering, Stephenson, Wetherell, Maynard, Dobinson, Charge, Wright, Hutchinson, Robson, Snowden, Waistell, Richard, Masterman, and Robertson. These men and others recorded pedigrees in the first volume of the English Herd Book, which was not published until 1822, or after most of them were no longer active breeders.
The early breeders of Shorthorn or Teeswater cattle left a heritage with which later breeders could work. The cattle that they developed were usually of considerable size and scale, with wide back and deep, wide forequarters. Their hair and hide were soft and mellow. In addition, they were cattle that had ability at the pail and laid on fat readily under conditions of liberal feeding. It is not to be inferred that these were perfect or ideal cattle as compared to modern standards. They lacked uniformity and symmetry and were often quite prominent at their hooks and shoulder points; other faults, such as narrowness of chest, lack of spring of rib, short rumps, long legs, and unevenness of fleshing, left much to be desired. The ability of these cows to produce a good flow of milk has always been an asset to the breed, and size and scale have never been without merit. Breeders, of course, have striven through the centuries to correct some of the deficiencies that were prevalent in this Tees River stock, and at the same time to retain the most valued characteristics that the breed possessed.
Foundation of the Breed
The Contribution of Robert Bakewell. Robert Bakewell, who was born in Leicestershire in 1726, was a farmer of means who had a great influence on the Shorthorn breed although he never bred Shorthorn cattle. Prior to the time of Bakewell, farmers practiced the breeding of unrelated animals and prevented the mating of animals that were of close relationship. It remained for this animal-breeding enthusiast to demonstrate to the English farmer a revolutionary way to improve livestock. He demonstrated with his Leicester sheep and his long-horned cattle that animals of close relationship could be mated, and if rigid culling was practiced, desirable characteristics could thereby be fixed much more rapidly than by mating unrelated animals. Following the development of this breeding system by Bakewell, we find not only Shorthorn breeders but also breeders of many classes of livestock adopting his methods. Today Robert Bakewell is affectionately referred to, as the "Father of Animal Breeding" although in his time he was considered very eccentric and lacking in mental stability. This was a case of a genius in livestock breeding not being appreciated in his day.
The Colling Brothers. The Colling brothers, Charles and Robert, are often referred to as the founders of the Shorthorn breed of cattle. Other men had previously contributed to the native cattle of the area, but it remained for these two enterprising breeders to develop the first systematic breeding program. Charles Colling resided at Ketton, about four miles northeast of Darlington, in the country of Durham. Darlington had obtained considerable publicity as a market place or "fair" for cattle. Robert Colling settled at Barmpton, which was about a mile closer to the town of Darlington. It was on these two farms that the foundation of the breed was largely laid. About 1783 the Collings visited the home of Bakewell and made a study of his breeding methods.
The system of inbreeding followed in the Colling herd is illustrated in the diagrammed pedigree of Comet (155) in Chart 2-1. This bull was calved in 1804 and created quite a sensation when he sold for $5,000 at public auction. The second calf sired by Favorite (252) was steered and became known as the "Durham Ox." This beast was fitted for public exhibition and it was shown at the reputed weight of 3,400 pounds. In those days the cattle were exhibited but were not shown, as are our cattle at the present time. They were toured over the country in somewhat of a sideshow exhibition. Mr. Robert Colling reared a free-martin heifer that became famous by the name "The White Heifer that Traveled." This nonbreeder was sired by Favorite (252) and attained a live weight of 2,300 pounds. The publicity that was accorded the "Durham Ox" and "The White Heifer that Traveled" did much to advertise the new breed of Shorthorn cattle that was just being formally founded.
There is no question but that the herds of the Colling Brothers left their mark on the Shorthorn breed because nearly all Shorthorns in the United States or in Great Britain today trace to their herds in one or more lines. In their herds the bulls Foljambe (263), Favorite (252), and Comet (155) were bred and used, and they also used the great bull Hubback.
The Booth Family. The Booth family was the next to add considerable merit to the Shorthorn Breed. It is not definitely known when Thomas Booth of Killerby, in Yorkshire, began breeding purebred Shorthorn cattle, but it is known that in about 1790 he purchased what might be considered the foundation of his herd. Mr. Booth operated from the estates of Killerby and Warlaby, which were not far apart and only about 15 miles south of Darlington. Consequently he was near the Colling Brothers and drew heavily upon them for foundation bulls. Unlike Mr. Bates, his contemporary as a breeder, Mr. Booth did not go to the Colling herd for females but instead used Colling-bred bulls on rather large females that he purchased from other sources. It is said that he used bulls that were somewhat more refined than the cows to which they were bred. Apparently Mr. Booth was the first breeder to place great stress on fleshing qualities, and, in contrast to Mr. Bates, valued beef almost to the exclusion of milk. He developed an aptitude in his cattle to take on flesh, particularly during the dry period. Because of his stress on thickness of flesh and strength of back and loin, the booth family produced a line of Shorthorns of strictly beef type that had strong constitutions. Mr. Booth seemingly appreciated the Hubback and Favorite breeding more than that of other cattle in the Colling herd, and after securing the type of cattle he wanted, he inbred with much success.
In 1814 Richard Booth, Thomas Booth s son, after studying his father s method of breeding, began breeding Shorthorns. He leased a farm near Studley and later lived at Warlaby. He is said to have improved upon his father s cattle, and he particularly improved the cattle in the forequarters of bred for straighter underlines. In 1819, John Booth, the brother of Richard Booth, began breeding cattle at Killerby. After the establishment of the Royal and Yorkshire Shows in 1839, John Booth exhibited at these shows.
Bates Shorthorns. Thomas Bates was born in Northcumberland in 1775 and was of a good family. In boyhood he was sent to grammar school, spent some time taking more advanced studies, and later was given professional agricultural training. At 25 years of age he leased the extensive estates of Halton Castle but later lived at Ridley Hall and Kirklevington. He made a thorough study of the Colling herd and the cattle they produced and inspected the herds of many other breeders of the time before he decided to lay the foundation for a Shorthorn herd. In establishing his herd Mr. Bates drew very heavily upon the blood of the Collings herd and purchased his first cattle from them in 1800 at what was then regarded as very high prices. In 1804, he purchased the cow Duchess, by Daisy Bull (186), from Charles Colling at a reported price of $500. At that time she was four years of age and in calf to Favorite (252). As will be seen from Chart 2-2, Duchess is a direct descendant of both Favorite and Hubback. This breeding was said to have greatly impressed Mr. Bates, as he claimed she was the only living direct descendant of these famous bulls. When Charles Colling affected his Ketton dispersion, Mr. Bates was on hand and purchased and granddaughter of his original Duchess cow and named her Duchess 3d. She was sired by the $5,000 but Comet (155), who was in turn sired by Favorite (252), and Favorite was also the sire of the dam of Comet, and of the cow Young Phoenix; Duchess and duchess 3d became the foundation of the very famous Duchess family, which is often thought of as synonymous with Bates breeding.
Thomas Bates stressed heavy milking qualities in his cattle, and our present Milking Shorthorns largely stem from his breeding. Thomas Bates might be regarded as the founder of the dual-purpose type of Shorthorn. James Fawcett of Scaleby Castle gave the following description of the Duchess as they were found in the herd of Thomas Bates:
The character of the Duchess at this time is that of good and handsome wide spread cows, with broad backs, projecting loins and ribs, short legs and prominent bosoms. The head was generally inclined rather to be short and wide than long and narrow, with clear eyes and muzzle, the ears rather long and hairy, the horns of considerable length and waxy. They were good milkers and had for the most part a robust healthy appearance. The color was mostly uniformly red, with in many of them, a tendency to white about the flank.
There was low fertility among the duchess females, and in 1831 the Duchess family had produced only 32 cows in 22 years. Thirty-one of these were recorded in the Herd Book. During this period of time all of the Bates herd bulls with the exception of one had been of Duchess blood.
In Speaking of the Duchess cattle, Allen 3 states:
The simple fact was that Duchess cows as a whole, had not been prolific or constant breeders, through abortions and other causes, and whenever they passed a year or two without breeding, he fed off and slaughtered them. The bulls that descended from them showed no lack of virility, and Bates still contended that the tribe had increased in their fineness of quality, were admirable feeders, and good milkers when breeding.
In 1831 Mr. Bates was searching for some females of Colling breeding and spied the bull Belvedere (1706) looking through a barn door at the farm of a Mr. Stephenson, and purchased the bull for $250. Belvedere was a yellow-roan bull of large scale with heavy shoulders and a mean disposition, but he was a bull of mellow hide. He was used freely on the Duchess females of the Bates herd, and was the sire of Duchess 34th, who was bred back to her sire to produce Duke of Northumberland (1940), the greatest breeding bull but was also shown to the Championship of England.
The Simbrah BreedAn experiment combining Simmental with Brahman that began in the pastures of a few dedicated cattlemen in the late 1960s has evolved logically into the breed called Simbrah. The Brahman or Zebu, the most numerous cattle type on earth, contributes heat and insect tolerance, hardiness and excellent foraging ability, as well as maternal calving ease and longevity. The Simmental complements these excellent traits with early sexual maturity, fertility, milking ability, rapid growth and good beef characteristics. The very docile disposition of most Simmental is also a plus for this composite. These two cattle breeds have been used in cooperation to produce Simbrah, superior in many ways to the parent breeds.
Simbrah has been described as "The All Purpose American Breed". Developed in America, Simbrah genetics may be called on to infuse superior maternal traits into a herd. Or, due to their rapid growth, vigor, and heat tolerance, Simbrah may be the answer in a terminal cross program. In the final analysis, Simbrah will produce a lean, high quality beef product.
Originally developed in the hot, humid areas of the Gulf Coast, Simbrah have shown they can Thrive in the Northwest and Northeast regions of the United States where temperatures may range 115 degrees in the summer to 25 degrees below zero in the winter. There is great interest in the breed worldwide. Simbrah are being developed in many areas where Zebu breeding predominates as well as other areas where Simbrah’s unique blend of features is desired.
Breeds of Simbrah know the importance of producing practical cattle with economic advantages. Simbrah have been developed to be as functional and trouble free as possible. Breeders stress structurally sound underlines, i.e. a clean sheath teamed with large scrotal size on the bulls and a well-attached udder with small teats on the cows. Many also put emphasis on pigmented eyes, thick muscling, and reasonable dispositions. Some programs produce polled Simbrah.
Commercial operators appreciate the long and productive life span of Simbrah cattle. Frequently, well beyond 10 years of age, unpampered cows are still weaning heavy calves and bulls are still breeding. This can mean a significant savings in replacement costs for the rancher.
After weaning, most Simbrah calves will perform well if placed directly in the feedlot. At this phase in their lives, they are growing rapidly and will gain very efficiently. They can produce a very desirable carcass at 12-15 months of age.
Enthusiastic Simbrah breeders are utilizing all the tools, animal science and technology available to modern animal breeders. They have a broad genetic base in which to work and a sophisticated evaluation program for performance and progeny information. The Simbrah Registry is kept by the American Simmental Association.
A History of the Simmental BreedThe Simmental is among the oldest and most widely distributed of all breeds of cattle in the world. Although the first herd book was established in the Swiss Canton of Berne in 1806, there is evidence of large, productive red and white cattle found much earlier in ecclesiastical and secular property records of western Switzerland. These 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 animals." they were known for their imposing 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 world-wide. More than half of these are in Europe. The 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 into the Western Hemisphere in 1897, with Brazil following suite in 1918 and Argentina in 1922.
There are reports from a variety of sources indicating that Simmental cattle arrived in the United States before the turn of the century. Simmental were reported as early as 1887 in Illinois, according to one source; in 1895 in New Jersey; and in both New York and New Mexico around the 1916 to 1920 period. An ad in an 1896 issue of the Breeder's Gazette, published in Chicago, also made reference to "Simmenthal" cattle. However, those early imports did not capture the attention of the American cattleman and the Simmental influence died quietly away until the late 1960s.
The breed made its most recent appearance in North America when a Canadian, named Travers Smith, imported the famed bull "Parisien" from France in 1967. Semen was introduced into the United States that same year, with the first half-blood Simmental calf born in February of 1968. The American Simmental Association was formed in October of 1968. Simmental spread to Great Britain, Ireland, and Norway in 1970 and to Sweden and other Northern European countries shortly thereafter. The first purebred bull imported into the United States in 1971 and Australia received Simmental semen and live animals in 1972. The World Simmental Federation was formed in 1974. In 1976 Simmental cattle were shipped to the Peoples' Republic of China.
The breed is known by a variety of names, including "Fleckvieh" in Germany, Austria and Switzerland as well as many other European countries."Pie Rouge", "Montbeliard", and "Abondance" in France; and "Pezzata Rossa" in Italy. The Simmental name is derived from their original location, the Simme Valley of Switzerland. In German, Thal or Tal means valley, thus the name literally means "Simme Valley".
The amazing growth of Simmental cattle in North America is really a reflection of what has already occurred in most agricultural countries of the world. Presently, the American Simmental Association registered about 80,000 cattle annually into the Simmental and Simbrah herdbooks. The Association ranks among the top four of the U.S. beef breed associations in annual registrations.
Survivor of the Past - Bright Promise for the Future
by Dr. Stewart H. Fowler, PhD
Cattlemen caught in a devastating cost-price squeeze are now taking a serious second look at the old Texas Longhorn. Doubly stunned by the inflation of all cost factors and the recession of cattle prices, cattlemen are actively seeking new "profit genes" for their beef herds. The quest has broadened to an international search for "new" genes that might boost productivity and profits. In this process, many have tended to overlook a promising gene source close to home. I refer to the Texas Longhorn.
An almost forgotten reservoir of unique genetic material, the Longhorn is literally an old source of new genes! In fact, the Texas Longhorn may prove to be a real "genetic gold-mine" in the future of our beef industry.
What is so unique about the Texas Longhorn? What makes it different from the multitude of other breeds now available in North America? Simply this: The Texas Longhorn was fashioned entirely by nature right here in North America. Stemming from ancestors that were the first cattle to set foot on American soil almost 500 years ago, it became the sound end product of "survival of the fittest". Shaped by a combination of natural selection and adaptation to the environment, the Texas Longhorn is the only cattle breed in America which - without aid from man - is truly adapted to America. In his book The Longhorns, J. Frank Dobie states this situation well: "Had they been registered and regulated, restrained and provided for by man, they would not have been what they were."
Hardy, aggressive, and adaptable, the Texas Longhorns were well suited to the rigors of life on the ranges of the southwestern United States. They survived as a primitive animal on the most primitive of ranges and became the foundation stock of that region's great cattle industry.
With the destruction of the buffalo following the Civil War, the Longhorns were rushed in to occupy the Great Plains, a vast empire of grass vacated by the buffalo. Cattlemen brought their breeding herds north to run on the rich grazing lands of western Nebraska, Wyoming, the Dakotas, and Montana. Thus, the Great Plains became stocked largely with these "bovine citizens" from the Southwest. And, the Texas Longhorns adapted well to their expanding world. They had reached their historical heyday, dominating the beef scene of North America like no other cattle breed has done since. However, the romantic Longhorn era came to an end when their range was fenced in and plowed under and imported cattle with quick maturing characteristics were brought in to "improve" beef qualities. Intensive crossbreeding had nearly erased the true typical Longhorn by 1900.
Rescue from extinction
Fortunately, beginning in 1927, the Texas Longhorn was preserved by the United States Government on wildlife refuges in Oklahoma and Nebraska.
Also, a few southwestern cattlemen, convinced of the Longhorn's value as a genetic link and concerned for their preservation, maintained small herds through the years. The Texas Longhorn has been perpetuated further by members of the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America, which was formed in 1964. Thus, the Texas Longhorn was rescued from extinction. It was unfortunate for today's beef industry, however, that most of the continuing interest in the Texas Longhorn was in its historic and academic aspects. The Longhorn's genetic prospects and economic potential were almost completely overlooked for many years.
After seven years of closely observing and studying Texas Longhorns, I am convinced that these cattle may prove to be a real genetic goldmine. Preserving the Texas Longhorn has maintained a substantial amount of unique biological variation which was accumulated over some 400 years in these nature-made cattle. This genetic goldmine provides insurance against genetic erosion that stems from genetic uniformity in our modern cattle breeds. Such genetic erosion could make it almost impossible for cattlemen of today and tomorrow to meet emerging new needs. The reservoir of unique genes of the Texas Longhorn can provide some of the genetic variation and flexibility needed to meet the emerging and future needs of the beef industry. At the same time, the Texas Longhorn maintains genetic diversity capable of maximizing hybrid vigor for man's current needs.
Thus, the reservoir of genetic material in the Texas Longhorn represents a valuable natural resource. This genetic reservoir grows more valuable as our rapidly-changing economy forces new needs, handicaps, and demands on our cattle industry. It becomes increasingly valuable as our human population bites off increasing amounts of our more productive land, as our grain supply moves into international trade, and as farm and ranch labor becomes less available. This is why the Texas Longhorn is rapidly becoming "the old breed with the new future."
By utilizing the Texas Longhorn's unique genetic potential, several of the physical and economic problems confronting the rancher and feeder can be solved or greatly eased. This genetic potential includes genes for high fertility, easy calving, disease and parasite resistance, hardiness, longevity, and the ability to utilize the browse and coarse forage material on marginal rangelands more efficiently than most other cattle breeds. Under the harsh environmental conditions of many areas of North America, the existence of these traits, which have been strongly fixed by nature's culling in the Texas Longhorn, spell the difference between a comfortable profit and the cattle enterprise becoming a "story written in red ink!"
High fertility is the most important economic trait in the beef industry. Without a live calf with which to work, all other traits are purely academic! Unfortunately, many of the European breeds of beef cattle are not noted for high fertility, and several are plagued with real difficulties at calving. During a long period of survival of the fittest, however, a Texas Longhorn strain evolved which virtually assures that every healthy cow will present a new addition to the herd each year. This extremely high fertility, which is built into the Longhorn, could perhaps boost the low calf crop percentage found in many beef herds.
Combining Unique Bovine Genetics from Two Continents
by Stewart H. Fowler, Ph.D.
The TEXON is a composite breed evolving from a blend of the genetics of the historic Texas Longhorn and the ancient Devon. The breeding objective is to combine the desirable unique traits of these historically old breeds into a new breed that is better adapted to specific environmental and economic conditions. The Texas Longhorn was "Made in America" by Nature over a 500-year period; and the Devon, "The Beef Breed Supreme at Grass," was introduced to America from England in 1623!
The TEXON is being genetically engineered to combine the grass utilization of the Devon with the browsing ability of the Texas Longhorn and the marbling of the Devon with the leanness and favorable unsaturated fatty acids of Texas Longhorn beef. Traits common to both breeds include: high fertility, calving ease, climatic adaptation, and longevity. It is hoped to add a bit of disease and parasite resistance from the Texas Longhorn and good milk production of the Devon.
The Texon project was initiated in 1989 and is utilizing reciprocal crosses to exploit the fullest genetic diversity from both breeds. The F-1 (first-cross) is not a TEXON; it is a crossbred which possesses great genetic variability. Several breeding routes are being explored (backcrosses, F-2s, etc.). To "fix" the desired traits and to increase the homozygosity (purity) of the desired gene pairs, selection and exploratory matings will be followed by mild inbreeding and/or linebreeding. As an aid to sound selection foundation animals are being evaluated through feedlots and packing plants; and some bulls are being put through forage bull tests.
At present a specific breed-percentage composition has not been projected for purebred TEXONS. The final breed percentages will evolve through selection for phenotypic appearance and performance. When TEXON cattle look and perform like expected for TEXONS, breed composition will automatically be established. Breed development is being based on: (1) quality stock on both sides of the pedigree (2) strict selection (3) performance, and (4) unbiased data.
To guide the selection programs a precise mental picture of the "end product" is essential. The purebred TEXON is visualized as a red, polled, docile animal with a short, sleek summer hair coat. The TEXON will be medium in mature size (cows 900 to 1100 pounds) and will have dense, clean-cut, flat, medium-sized bone. It will possess a strong muscle pattern, exhibit trimness of middle, and have adequate length of leg to cover pastures and rangeland. Conformation will evolve from selection for "beef where beef counts."
TEXON females will exhibit distinct femininity and will possess substantial vulva development and well-developed udders that have strong suspensory ligaments and well-spaced teats of a size that calves have no difficulty in suckling.
TEXON bulls will exhibit robust, pronounced masculinity and aggressive libido, trim sheaths, and well-developed testicles. An alert (but not ill-tempered or vicious) disposition will be characteristic.
The "Texon" name was trademarked in 1991, and the International Texon Cattle Association was incorporated under the laws of the State of Texas in September 1991. The major cooperators in Texon breed development are Dr. Robert M. Simpson, Wild Plum Ranch, Duncan, Oklahoma, and Dr. Gerard A. Engh, Lakota Farm, Remington, Virginia. Other breed cooperators are located in Oklahoma, Texas, and Alabama.
What are they? Where did they come from?
The word Wagyu refers to all Japanese beef cattle ('Wa' means Japanese or japanese-style and 'gyu' means cattle).
Most of the cattle were influenced by British and Continental breeds for a few generations nearly 100 years ago. Brown Swiss, Shorthorn, Devon, Simmental, Ayrshire, Korean, Holstein and Angus had been imported by 1887 and impacted today's Wagyu.
Crossbreeding was prominent for several years, but when the price of crossbreds collapsed in 1910 no further crossbreeding was conducted. The result was selection for specific traits determined by region and extensive linebreeding was used to achieve those traits.
The dominant black Wagyu strains are Tottori, Tajima, Shimane, and Okayama. Tajima cattle, bred in the Tajima region, were originally chosen and bred for their heavy forequarters because their primary use was to pull carts. They tend to be smaller and less heavily muscled than the Tottori breed. Tottori cattle, because they were used as pack animals for the grain industry of the Tottori region, were selected for their size and strength of topline.
The other main "breed" of Wagyu, was developed on the island of Kyushu and are red in color. As with the blacks, there are two distinct strains-Kochi and Kumamoto. Kochi cattle were strongly influenced by Korean breeding while Kumamoto are believed to have considerable Simmental influence.
The original import of these cattle to the U.S. in 1976 consisted of two Tottori Black Wagyu and two Kumamoto Red Wagyu bulls. That was the only importation of Wagyu into the U.S. until 1993 when two male and three female Tajima cattle were imported and 1994 when 35 male and female cattle consisting of both red and black genetics reached the U.S.
Ankole-Watusi cattle are the show-stoppers of the bovine kingdom. Medium-sized animals, with long, large-diameter horns, they attract attention wherever they appear. These regal animals can easily trace their ancestry back more than 6,000 years and have often been referred to as "cattle of kings."
The History of an Ancient Breed
Long-horned, humpless domestic cattle were well established in the Nile Valley by 4000 B.C. These cattle, known as the Egyptian or Hamitic Longhorn, appear in pictographs in Egyptian pyramids. Over the next twenty centuries (2.000 years), the Egyptian Longhorn migrated with its owners from the Nile to Ethiopia, and then down to the southern reaches of Africa.
By 2000 B. C., humped cattle (Longhorn Zebu) from Pakistan and India reached Africa. When these Zebu reached the region now known as Ethiopia and Somalia, they were interbred with the Egyptian Longhorn. The admixture produced -- the Sanga -- spread to the Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, and other parts of eastern Africa, becoming the base stock of many of the indigenous African breeds. The Sanga demonstrated most of the typical Zebu characteristics, such as pendulous dewlap and sheath, upturned horns, and a neck hump of variable size. Modern descendants of the Sanga, however, vary greatly in size, conformation, and horns, due to differing selection pressures by different tribes.
Particularly remarkable are the cattle found in Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi. In Uganda, the Nkole tribe's Sanga variety is known as the Ankole. In Rwanda and Burundi, the Tutsi tribe's Sanga variety is called the Watusi. The Rwanda common strain of Watusi is called Inkuku. The giant-horned strain, owned by the Tutsi kings and chiefs, is called the Inyambo, though some current tribal reports claim that this type is now extinct. Traditionally, Ankole-Watusi were considered sacred. They supplied milk to the owners, but were only rarely used for meat production, since an owner's wealth was counted in live animals. Under traditional management, the Ankole cow was grazed all day, then brought home to her young calf. The calf was allowed to suckle briefly to stimulate milk letdown, then the cow was milked by the herdsman. The calf suckled after hand-milking was finished and was again separated from its mother. The process was repeated in the morning. This minimal nourishment of calves resulted in high death rates in the young. Milk production was not high, with a typical cow producing only 2 pints of milk daily, although an exceptional one could manage up to 8 pints. In addition, the lactation period was short. Over the last 10 years, the national government has attempted to select for animals which produce more milk and have better meat production. Famine and disease, as well as the conflict with traditional practices, have slowed this effort.
Ankole Cattle Outside of Africa
Because of their striking appearance, and the resulting ability to attract paying customers, Ankole cattle were imported from Africa by European zoos during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Zoos and game parks in Germany, Sweden, and England were among the breeders of these cattle outside Africa. The cattle were called Ankole, or Ankole-Watusi, and they were treated as a single breed. American zoos and other tourist attractions imported Ankole-Watusi cattle from European zoos in the 1920s and 1930s. As time went on, and zoos began to change their emphasis from visually-exciting animals to those (wild) animal species in desperate need of preservation (whether "eye-catching" or not), more Ankole-Watusi cattle became available for sale to private individuals and several private herds were begun.
In January, 1983, North Americans interested in the Ankole-Watusi cattle breed met in Denver, Colorado, and formed the Ankole Watusi International Registry. Many of these people had been raising Ankole-Watusi cattle since before 1978. They felt that it was time to begin a breed registry which could collect and maintain pedigree information and conserve this interesting breed. Within five months, the Registry had 74 members nationwide. These members shared a strong commitment to the breed, though they had different priorities for it. Some wanted to concentrate solely on the prevention of breed extinction; some selected for their utility in the production of superior cross-bred roping animals. Still others championed the low-fat and low-cholesterol meat values after these were discovered.
The Ankole-Watusi should appear elegant, well-bred, and graceful. A straight topline and a sloping rump are required; a neck hump is preferred, but not required. Cattle may be solid or spotted in color. Horns are long and symmetrical, with a base large and proportional to horn length. Lyre and circular shapes are preferable to flat. The Ankole-Watusi is medium in size, with cows weighing 900 - 1200 pounds and bulls weighing 1000 - 1600 pounds. Newborn calves weigh 30 - 50 pounds. This small birth-weight makes Ankole-Watusi bulls useful for breeding to first-calf-heifers of other breeds. During the day, calves sleep together, with an "auntie" cow for protection. At night, the herd-members sleep together, with the calves in the center of the group for protection. The horns of the adults serve as formidable weapons against any intruders.
The milk is about 10 percent fat. Some dairy farmers have used crossbred Ankole-Watusi cows in their herds to boost the butter-fat levels.
Because they were developed in a climate where daily temperatures may range from 20 to 120 degrees F, Ankole-Watusi tolerate temperature and weather extremes well. The large horns act as radiators; blood circulating through the horn area is cooled and then returned to the main body. This allows excess body heat to be dispersed.
The Ankole Watusi International Registry adopted a breed standard in 1989. This has been an important part of the Registry's program to encourage animal scientists to take this unusual breed seriously, instead of treating it as a curiosity.
Bloodtyping of Native Pure (15/16) and Foundation Pure (100%) animals is required for registration in order to guarantee the accuracy of the stated pedigree.
Three meat studies have been done in the last five years, and the results have been good for the breed. Ankole-Watusi meat has been demonstrated to be very low fat and to have lower cholesterol than other commercial beef. These studies will continue, because the AWIR has the establishment of utility value as a high priority. This will be a way to protect the market for breeding stock as "curiosity" prices begin to disappear.
An upgrade program has been established. The 1/2, 3/4, and 7/8 female offspring of Ankole-Watusi crosses are registerable, and the 15/16 female or male offspring are registerable.