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Complete Cow Information
There are actually 100s of breeds of cows, (about 50 are commonly bred in the U.S.) People have asked me, aren't all cows pretty much alike. Why breed one breed over another? Well there are many reasons, firstly some are beef cows and some are dairy cows. Other reasons have to do with climate, temperament, leanness of meat, etc. So I asked some experts of each breed, what are the advantages of each breed, this is what they said :-)
Below you will find the breed of the cow, the advantages of that breed and the website of the expert who provided information. Whatever they wrote I listed, this is why some cows have more information that others and why the style of writing is vastly different.
The breed starts with cows that are very strong, fertile and polled. They usually mature at a weight between 1100 and 1500 pounds. Females are easy to settle as first calf heifers and continue to produce calves for many years and very seldom miss a year of production. It is very common for them to be producing at 12-13 years of age J.R. Simonson of Roseville, IL had a cow that was still producing at the age of 20 years.
The bulls are very aggressive breeders, but still gentle to handle. Their high fertility can allow one bull to service up to 50 head per breeding season and keep them well grouped at calving time. Their mature weight is usually 1800 to 2200 pounds.
The calves normally weigh between 70 to 80 pounds and this smaller birth size helps produce calving ease, but they soon make up for their smaller start with quick growth. The calves seem to hit the ground running as they are up and nursing within a very few minutes of being born. The cows are strong milk producers and are protective mothers without being aggressive and mean. They can raise twins as easily as they raise one calf.
The breed produces a high quality finished carcass. As of this writing the amount of carcass data collected is small in comparison to the larger numbers of known breeds, but we do not have to take second place to anyone in quality. Several different feeding and cutout tests across the nation were averaged. The hot carcass weight was 724.55 pounds, ribeye area was 13.7 inches, internal fat averaged 2.37, 89% were choice or above, and an average yield grade of 2.36 was recorded. These numbers are from conventionally fed cattle, but there is also a feed yard in Nebraska that feeds "Whites" in an all natural program and they have a very high percentage that receive premiums.
Angus is the most popular breed in North America because it provides an excellent mix of characteristics that meets the needs of most modern cattle
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 typical Ayrshire cow has a very good temperament. She exhibits unusual intelligence, is alert and quick to learn her daily routine. She is easy to milk, milks fast and is able to adapt easily to any condition or change.
Ayrshires are thriving under all kinds of climates and all types of terrains performing to the level expected of a good dairy cow. Ayrshires are lively, rugged and easy to raises. They have sturdy feet & legs for grazing efficiently regardless of the climate or terrain. Their hardness allows them to better withstand the stresses of disease in any climate.
Ayrshires' are very well noted for their production efficiency and for the ease in which she transforms her food into milk. They are known to produce a lot of milk under high management conditions as well as under a more basic pasture system.
Ayrshires' milk is not excessively rich, nor is it lacking adequate fat and it possesses quantities of desirable non-fat solids such as protein. Ayrshire milk is just right for top flavour, nutrition and value.
Ayrshires are known for the quality of their udders. The size, shape, strong attachments and an ideal texture make for a healthy and easy to milk udder
Ayrshires are tough and possess the will to live, they are made very strong and resist well to the day to day stress imposed on them by production. It is these characteristics that enable the Ayrshires to calve easily unassisted and without any complications.
The Barzona is bred and selected for qualities of heat tolerance, insect and disease resistance, hard-footedness, browsing and wild-type grazing, and the ability to travel long distances to and from water. Cow production emphasis is on early maturity, fertility and calving ease, survive-ability, and the ability of a cow to breed and wean a calf every year that will go on and perform in the feed lot and on the rail.
The Barzona is truly a production breed developed to match their genetics and production to the environment. The modern Barzona has been bred and selected for good disposition, udder quality, and longevity.
The Bazadaise is fine boned and heavily (although smooth) muscled and produces exceptional yields as pure or crossbred animals. Extreme length provides excellent rib muscling and maximum eye muscle area. Being smooth muscled, the fat lay down is even (with marbling scores of 1 and 2) with the added bonus of being easy to finish off on grass as well as grain.
Bazadaise bulls are very active with strong libidos, and will start working as early as 11-12 months of age if required. The average weight for mature bulls is 1000kg (2420lbs) and average height is 1.45m (57 inches). The cows have high fertility rates and ease of calving. The calving ease can be attributed to the calves being born small (average birth weight is 35kg or 75lbs) with very fine bones, but with the ability to grow and muscle up very quickly. The average weight for mature cows is 750kg (1650lbs) and average height is 1.40m (55 inches). Fullblood calves are born fawn, but as they mature they become light to charcoal grey. Bazadaise are a very hardy type of cattle, who finish easily, have fine meat and a good proportion of marbling. They have been bred to survive and are to be found in all states of Australia.
Beefalo was developed to combine the high quality meat of bison with the ease of handling of domestic cattle. Beefalo are 37.5% bison, 62.5% bovine. Beefalo calves are small at birth (average 60 lbs.)but grow rapidly because of the good mothering ability of the cows and the ability to better utilize forage. Beefalo are hardy. They do well in hot climates because they perspire and they do well in cold climates because of their dense hair coat. Beefalo meat is low in fat, cholesterol and calories and high in protein. It is as tender as other beef without marbled fat. Because of less fat, there is less shrinkage when cooking it. Beefalo cooks in 1/3 to 1/2 less time than other beef. Fullblood Beefalo bulls can be used on domestic cattle to produce half-blood Beefalo. The offspring can be sold as Beefalo meat. Animals with 17% bison through 37.5% bison can be sold as Beefalo. The American Beefalo International maintains a Registry which includes the sire, dam and bison percentage of each animal.
Beginning in the early 1930s, Tom Lasater, the breed's founder, developed Beefmasters from a systematic crossing of Hereford, Shorthorn and Brahman cattle. His purpose was to develop cattle that were more productive than existing breeds; cattle that would produce and make money during economically hard times in the harsh environment of South Texas.
The new breed was developed on what has become known as the Six Essentials - Weight, Conformation, Milking Ability, Fertility, Hardiness and Disposition. These essentials became the economic strength of Beefmasters and have made them favorites with those who depend on cattle for a living. Beefmasters are the only beef breed specifically developed to excel in these important economic traits.
American Belgian Blue Cattle are a highly muscled lean beef animal. The breed standard is a large long bodied animal with a straight back and a highly muscled hindquarters. The breed is a large animal with exceptionally good muscle structure and a calm temperament. Their color ranges from any combination from white to black with a few carrying the red factor. The common color is white with blue markings. Their structure is different from most breeds carrying a great deal of muscle. The feed conversion on these animal are excellent which in a crossbreeding program will improve the weight and quality of the carcass. The beef is very lean also tender due to the fine muscle fiber. According to the statists at Clay Center this beef is lower in calories and cholesterol than poultry therefore being a healthy beef. The gestation period is 280 - 285 days. The animals are large with bulls average 900-1,200 kg and cows averaging 700 to 850 kg.
British Breeders imported Belgian Blues, into the UK, in the early 1980's. They recognised their future importance to the modern commercial beef market, being fine boned, heavily muscled, docile animals, with tremendous growth potential, leading to a very high % of saleable meat.
British Breeders have selectively bred the "British Type" of Belgian Blue, with great emphasis being placed on:
This has resulted in the breed now enjoying the distinction of being a NUMBER ONE for AI use as a terminal sire in the UK. The experience of British dairy farmers using Belgian blues over many years for easy calving, fast finishing crossbred stock, has led beef farmers to follow their example. Now, with ever greater use of the independent, unbiased BLUP recording data, breeders know that they can rely on a British Belgian Blue sire to produce cattle for a wide range of conditions and management systems.
Breed Characteristics Blondes have deep rounded chests and ribs. They are structurally correct and well-proportioned. They are muscular in the forequarters, have broad withers, deep heart girth and a large loin area. Strong top lines and gret length of body are hallmarks of the breed. They indicate the inherent muscle quantity and quality which makes this an excellent beef breed. Blondes also demonstrate localized muscle control over skin movement, similar to Brahman cattle.
Size Blondes are moderate framed. Most mature bulls weigh from 1,700 to 2,300 pounds. Most females range from 1,100 to 1,500 pounds. Steers will finish for slaughter at 14 months at a weight of 1,200 to 1,350 pounds.
While some try to attribute the superiority of F-1 Braford females to maximum hybrid vigor, there is little doubt that the blending of desirable
Brahman and Hereford characteristics makes the Braford females extraordinary. Hybrid vigor is transient, that is to say it is continually diminished
as you get farther away from the F-1. Braford breeders begin with top Brahman and Hereford genetics and they maintain and enhance Braford superiority
with generation after generation of selection for productivity. UBB Braford females, as well as replacements out of your adapted females and sired by
UBB Braford bulls, offer a sensible solution to the "breed or buy" replacement female dilemma.
Braford bulls are not terminal sires. Braford breeders have been careful to increase growth rate in their cattle while avoiding associated large
increases in mature size that can reduce the ability of Braford bulls and females to function in everyday conditions. By avoiding the
"bigger is better" syndrome that has plagued the purebred cattle business for years, Braford breeders have also avoided associated problems
of difficult calving and market steers that are too big to fit industry needs when finished. Braford breeders have always concentrated breeding
efforts on producing moderate-sized cattle that produce optimum fed steers and female offspring that make efficient moderate-sized cows. Braford bulls
have developed the reputation for being trouble-free and aggressive breeders that can be used without problems on both heifers and cows.
The American Brahman first originated in the United States in the mid 1800's. Since this time the Brahman has played an important role in crossbreeding not only in the U.S. but around the world due to its increased environmental adaptability, disease and insect resistance and mothering ability. One of the most important traits that the Brahman exhibits is the increased hybrid vigor which increases growth and production when used in a crossbreeding system. The American Brahman is distinguished by its red or gray color, prominent hump, long ears and loose skin.
Brahmousin are the complement of the two breeds from which they are derived.... the best of both breeds. Brahmousin have excellent reproductive efficiency, mothering ability, and adaptability to varied environmental conditions.
From a feedlot and carcass standpoint, they provide an excellent return relative to feed efficiency and dressing percentage. Also, they excel in muscling and growth traits.
The superior maternal traits, insect resistance, foraging ability, and heat tolerance of the Brahman combined with the carcass traits of the Limousin make Brahmousin an unbeatable breed for the cowman.
The Brangus breed was not developed to fit one area or need, but as one that could do it all. Brangus' are always black and polled and consist of 3/8 Brahman and 5/8 Angus. They are also an American breed because of their Brahman influence. The two breeds that constitute its heritage are the ones that have more of the total advantages the producer, feeder, packer, retailer and consumer want than any other breed or combination of breeds.
Adaptable Brangus grow all the hair they need for winter country; are heat and insect resistant; thrive in desert country; out-perform the competition in friendly environments.
The Brangus heifers breed at 15 months and are in the cow herd right on calving schedule as two year olds. The typical moderate-sized Brangus calf helps minimize calving problems and, sustained heavy milk production assures top weaning weights.
Research comparing Brangus bulls with English breed and non-brangus cows shows superior weaning weights for the Brangus calves and the superior growth weaning rate continues in the feedlot, meaning Brangus are ready for slaughter earlier and at less cost.
Braunvieh is a German word which translated into English means Brown Cow. Their hair is 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 Braunvieh is a very docile, long-bodied, well-muscled animal with correct feet and legs, due to generations of natural selection in the Swiss Alps.
Braunvieh are known as a balanced breed, possessing body confirmation for optimum physiological performance. This and the fact that their hair is sleek and fine in warm weather and can grown heavy in response to extended cold weather makes Braunvieh adaptable to different environments.
The physical characteristic that this breed is rapidly becoming noted for is the carcass traits that are needed to carry the beef industry into the next century. Braunvieh sired steers have consistently hung up top carcasses all around the country including renowned steer test like The Great Western Beef Expo, Sterling, Colorado, and Texas A&M Ranch to Rail program.
This is the breed to lead the beef industry into the new millennium. Braunvieh put it all together: Maternal, Muscling, Marbling, and Performance.
The value of British White Bulls as sires of beef cattle, are worthy of note by livestock farmers. This provides the strongest Commercial reason for use of British White Bulls on commercial cows; cows will calve easier, calves have higher feed conversion and efficiency and leaner carcasses as now demanded by the American housewife. In his book, THE ANCIENT WHITE CATTLE OF BRITAIN, G. Kenneth Whitehead states that the carcasses were described in 1790 by Thomas Bewick as; "They have little or no Fat within, but it is interlarded with the flesh". Does this sound like what we are trying to do today? Raise cattle with no more than 1/4" backfat but still have marbling. This breed was doing it over 200 years ago, British White Cattle hold their own against all other British breeds.
Large breeds may have higher daily gains and weaning weights, but in some cases the disadvantages are more drastic. They may be too big to fit THE BOX if fed to weights to grade. The benefits of speedy growth is of no value unless a live calf is reared. Difficult calving has a marked influence on calf mortality and fertility. This problem is noted in several large breeds. The higher growth rate of crossbred calves sired by large bulls can be more than canceled out by the superior survival rate and lower maintenance requirements of the British White calf.
The breed of the dam also affects the incidence of hard calving. The crucial fact is the relationship of pelvic size and body size. One critical factor is stump rear legs or straight hocks. Straight hocks in any cow of any breed tend to be accompanied by a square level rump with a pelvic opening of reduced size. A cow with a sloping pelvic girdle and low pin bones is less likely to experience calving problems.
There is considerable circumstantial evidence to credits of the British White Cattle with resistance to certain diseases. British White Bulls on test in England showed resistance and were free from pneumonia. Use British White Bulls and breed more disease resistance into your calves. British White Cattle adjust very well to different and extreme climates.
The characteristic longevity of the breed is very evident in the New Zealand experience with Brown Swiss. While the breed tends to be slightly later maturing than other breeds, cows tend to reach their peak in 5th or later lactation's. Some breeds find it difficult to reach this stage, while the strength of the Brown Swiss allows them to lead long productive lives. Brown Swiss cows are cattle of great substance and strength. The experience of having cows "go down" with metabolic problems or any other reason, is rare amongst Brown Swiss owners.
The breed's main function is within the national suckler beef herd where Charolais remains unrivalled as a terminal sire due to its combined superior growth rate, muscle development, high killing out percentage and meat eating quality. The added bonus for Charolais crossbred progeny is their distinct colour and markings which gives added confidence to store cattle buyers.
Charolais also demonstrates tremendous flexibility within Britain's varying beef management systems – Charolais crossbred cattle can be taken through to finishing from 12 months of age, and grade in the preferred specification. This combination of factors ensures that Charolais crossbreds consistently command a premium over any other Continental crossbred on a weight for age basis – the suckled calf ring as confirmed by MLC's weekly prices, as well as store and finished sectors.
Charolais crossbred cattle are favoured by both sectors of the meat trade. Discerning butchers appreciate the Charolais' intramuscular fat lending to its superior meat eating quality, while processors supplying multiples prefer Charolais crossbreds with their ability to provide the highest percentage of saleable cuts, in particular from their combination of loin and hind muscling.
Charolais is the ‘added value' breed within the beef sector.
Charolais also plays a significant role as a beef sire within the dairy herd. Charolais sired dairy bred calves demonstrate they can not only match but outperform growth rates achieved by other Continental crossbreds.
In addition, BCCS has recognized Charolais has the potential as a functional suckler cow suited in particular to lowland units. This is supported by the fact that France has more than 1.2 million pure Charolais cows, while in Ireland, Charolais is the leading terminal sire in the suckler cow herd – both countries have escaped the market disruption cased by BSE and neither has an Over Thirty Months Scheme. A five year commercial field scale trial has been launched at SAC Bush to qualify the Charolais' role as a suckler cow.
Chianina (Key-a-nee-nah) is one of the oldest breeds of cattle, produced in the Chiana Valley of central Italy, home of the famous Chianti grapes and wines. They are large white cattle with a black pigmented skin. They have an unusually high lean to fat ratio, that when mated to the British breeds, reduce waste fat and guts on their progeny. Because they have so few genetic problems, wonderful meat characteristics and terrific performance, they have proven to be ideal to mate with British cows.
When the fullblood Chianina was imported from Italy to the U.S. in 1971, they were mated to every kind of cow. The ones that survived and prospered are what have become Chiangus. They are black, polled and hang a very desirable, high-cutability carcass. The females are durable, fertile, very long-lived and quite free of management problems. They have won approximately half of all the Denver Fed Beef Contests in the past decade. They also made by far the most money when compared to other breeds and crosses in the NCBA Strategic Alliance Project. In the Gelbvieh Alliance Summary, Chiangus rewarded their owners with the highest premiums per head when compared to other breeds.
Chimaine cattle are overwhelmingly the choice that win the vast majority of competitive interbreed steer and heifer shows nationwide. Their dominance in shows is positively reflected in substantial sale prices for the many small herds that breed for only the best.
The uniformity and total desirability of Chi-blended cattle is a definite plus for those who make a living growing beef for the consumer and for those who are drawn to the phenotypic attractiveness of the total package. The added flexibility of various dollar important traits and the free advantage of hybrid vigor allow breeders to adapt genetics to various needs, environments and markets. They are indeed "cutting-edge" cattle with a bright future and the consumer market "case-ready" answer to more profit, less problems and more enjoyment.
The Devon breed of cattle as we know it today has been developed over many centuries in the south western counties of Britain combining the
genetical influences from a wide range of sources. It is considered by many to be the oldest recognised breed of cattle in Britain, having been
mentioned in historical records as far back as the Roman times. It is also usually has been the first cattle introduced to many countries as the
southern ports of Devon and Cornwall were the last ports of call for ships heading out to the colonies. It was Devon cattle that accompanied the first
Pilgrims as they settled the Americas.
The modern Devon is a deep, rich red, hence it being known as the "ruby reds". It is gaining an unrivalled reputation for being docile and easy to work and for producing the finest quality meat. It's ability to efficiently use grass has meant it has become the breed of choice for many who desire meat that has not been artificially fed as in feedlots. Cooperation between major breeders in Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and the U.S. means that there is now a wide range of genetics available for use using modern breeding techniques.
TRIPLE-PURPOSE CATTLE for Milk, Draft & Beef
Dexter cattle for Milk
There are many accounts of Dexter milk production reported over the years and those can be found in the books available from the ADCA. It is evident from the literature that Dexter cattle produce plenty of milk for most families. In herds which have been selected for milk production, yields of 3,600 liters per lactation have been reported. To convert that to gallons, divide by 3.79 which results in 950 gallons. If the lactation lasted for 305 days as it does on most dairies in the U.S., the cows would be producing about 3 gallons per day. The milk in that report had 4.1% butterfat content.
Reports from individuals who milk a cow for family use suggest that the production level varies with breeding and feed, but is 1.5 to 2.5 gallons per day. In a survey done by the ADCA Science Committee, some owners shared milk with a calf, while others took all of the milk for family use, so it was difficult to get an exact amount of milk produced. However, in each case the owners were pleased with the quantity and quality of the milk from Dexters.
Dexter cattle for Draft
An ox is merely a steer with a good education, and Dexters do educate well. They are smart, which means that they can pick up a bad habit as quickly as a good one, but this is not generally a problem as long as the ox teamster is always smarter than the oxen. Consistency, fairness, and patience are important with training cattle. It is advisable to begin handling and training the calves within days of their birth. Halter breaking, voice commands, and learning to wear a yoke usually begin early. Then it's time and practice, and there is no substitute for spending hours with your cattle, and no greater pleasure than spending time with your Dexters.
Dexters are agile, trainable, sturdy, little oxen. The larger ones are able to pull a walking plow, logs, and wagons. For the smaller steers, loads certainly have to scaled down. Dexters are intelligent and willing to learn. Their spunk makes them want to pull and do the work asked of them. Putting lots of time into training a yoke of oxen makes any teamster want the pair to last for years. Dexters do generally tend to be blessed with longevity, so this is another plus for them as oxen.
For the serious ox puller, Dexters can stay competitive in the lower weight classes for their entire lives and thus have an advantage over younger, less experienced yokes of cattle.
The benefits of breeding Droughtmaster cattle are well-known, and through the work of breeders and the Society, are becoming increasingly more widely publicised.
Gelbvieh is a maternal Continental breed from Germany. Initially, Gelbvieh were selected for milk, growth and muscle. However, since their introduction into the U.S. in 1971, the selection criteria has been for a balance of traits which include moderate birth weights, excellent weaning performance, moderate milk and moderate mature size. Gelbvieh first gained international fame in the 1980's when the Meat Animal Research Center declared Gelbvieh to be the leader in weaning weight per cow exposed. Gelbvieh continue to supply the beef industry with strong fertility, milk and growth traits.
The Guernsey is a fawn and white breed of dairy cattle originating from the Isle of Guernsey in the British Channel. They are moderate in size with mature cows typically weighing 1,100 pounds. Guernseys are known for their gentle disposition and produce milk that is high in fat, protein and beta carotene, giving it a rich golden color.
This unique breed, distinguished by long shaggy hair and impressive horns is low maintenance. Barn housing is rarely necessary due to their double coat of hair which is shed in warmer temperatures. Another distinctive feature to this breed is the varied color. Red, black, white, brindle and dun are all colors of pedigree Highlands. At maturity cows weigh 1000-1300 lbs. and bulls range from 1700-2000 lbs. Highlands are also noted for their ease of calving. With birth weights of 50-80 lbs., as well as the cows' wide pelvic structure, Highlands retain a persistent "high percentage" calf crop. It is not unusual to have a 17-19 year old cow producing calves.
Highland beef meets the demands of today's consumer. Scientific
tests of Highland beef carried out by an independent professional
laboratory** proved that Highland beef is lower in fat and
cholesterol. In fact, Highland beef rated lower than buffalo, pork,
lamb and chicken. This is due in part to the double layer coat which
replaces the thick layer of fat most other breeds have for insulation.
Highland beef is lean, flavorful, well-marbled meat with little
outside waste. Even the Queen of England has her own herd of Highlands
at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
Despite their horns, Highlands are gentle and easily handled when
treated properly. They are known for their quiet dispositions,
superior intelligence, and do not stress easily. Even older bulls tend
to be calm and easy-going.
Holsteins have long been associated with longevity. Dairy strength, tremendous spring of rib, desirable mammary, and sound feet and legs remain assets enabling the cow to consume much forage for a long, trouble-free life. To complement longevity, Canada is working diligently toward measuring reproductive traits, daughter pregnancy rates, and low somatic cell scores.
While desirable type is taken for granted from Canadian genetics, most heifers, calving around 24 months of age, easily produce 8,500 kg milk in first lactation. As the cow matures, production yields steadily increase with each lactation. It is little wonder international breeders seek Canadian Holsteins as seed stock for herd building and future profitability.
The power of good, deep cow families has been a major driving force behind herd development and cattle breeding as a whole in Canada. Industry efforts to sustain diversity in bloodlines have been successful with ample choice and uniqueness among the top brood families in the Holstein breed.
Annually, Canadian Holstein cows lead top-producing and high-classifying animal lists in their countries of residence. And while semen and embryos from Canadian genetics remain in high demand, live animals command the highest prices at auctions, time and time again. Show achievements of Canadian Holsteins remain unrivalled by cattle from other countries.
.- Ease of management
- Reproductive Efficiency/Calving Ease
- Lower feed costs
- Manure management
- Equipment requirements
The inherent advantages of the breed allow Jerseys to be most efficient dairy animals. Whether it be savings through feed intake, increased returns from milk solids or ease of management, the Jersey is the leader when an economic value is placed on these advantages. The Jersey cow has all the right attributes to succeed, today and tomorrow.
The head is small and short with a broad forehead, and the neck is short.
All French Limousins are naturally horned. In Australia polled Limousins have also been developed. Most horned Limousins are dehorned at a young age.
The Limousin is intermediate in size and maturity between British and most other European breeds.
Ease of Calving
High Dressing Percentage
Tender Healthy Beef
These cattle were developed in an Australian Agricultural experiment station, by the New South Wales department of Agriculture, in Trangie New South Wales. They stared the herd with registered purebred Aberdeen Angus in 1929. They bred the cattle for smaller frame size for several decades and developed an modest framed breed of very well muscled cattle with all the desirable maternal traits of traditional sized Angus but higher carcass yield and exceptional tenderness and fine textured beef.
Cattlemen can increase their stocking rate by 20-30%, sell more pounds of calf per acre at a higher price and increase the profitability of your ranch. USE LOWLINE BULLS.
University research has proven that Lowline composites are more efficient, have higher carcass merit and retain the positive Angus characteristics. Lowline bulls excel at calving ease, sire vigorous calves and have longevity in a heifer breeding program. You will also find a higher percentage of pregnant first calf heifers.
We have no EPDs on the Lowline breed because, quite frankly, we have yet to meet an animal scientist has really understood the utilization of Lowline genetics well enough to develop an EPDs for what these cattle are good for and that is to optimize red meat value per acre.
Breeders across the country have breeding age bulls available that have been stockman selected for calving ease, fleshing ability and carcass on a forage based management system.
The real value of Lowline genetics is to incorporate it in your cow herd. Keeping Lowline cross replacement females in commercial beef production its the best thing you can do with Lowline genetics to improve your profitability. After those Lowline cross females have had their first calf( preferably sired by a Lowline bull) then you can breed them to a larger framed but still relatively easy calving bull ( we use low percentage bulls on some of our high percentage Lowline females) to make them wean 50% to 70 % of their body weight at 200 days. We have a customer who emphatically claims that Lowline cross females are more valuable than standard sized beef cows on a per head basis as commercial cows because he can run more of them and is weaning up to 680 pound calves out of 910 pound Lowline cows. He uses an easy calving standard sized registered Angus bull on his Lowline cross cows. The smaller famed, easy fleshing Lowline cross cows will enable you to increase your stocking rate, increasing the hoof action in your rotational grazing system thus improving your soil health and the carrying capacity of your land.
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 2,200 to 3,100 pounds on the average. Mature cows will range from 1,500 to 1,900 pounds. The coloring is very dark red with white markings on the head, belly, and rear legs and tail. White on other parts of the body is also common.
Modern day Maine-Anjou are more solid in color pattern than their ancestors with a large percentage of registered American Maine-Anjou cattle being black in color. The Maine-Anjou breed excels in performance/feed efficiency, disposition and superb carcass traits. Dominance of feeding trials coupled with favorable returns on dollars invested have made Maine-Anjou cattle a feedlot manager's dream.
The Marchigiana originated in Italy. The Marchigiana has excelled at feed conversion, average daily gains, large rib eyes, and at producing a
moderate sized carcass that is lean yet tender.
The smaller beef breeds such as the Kentshire, Kingshire and the Covingtonshire are ideally suited for small acreage farms. It has been shown that beef production per acre is at least twice the production of large animals. Because of their feed efficiency and outstanding growth rate these smaller breeds can be raised at a two per acre concentration. Larger breeds can require up to five acres for only two animals. This means smaller acreage farmers can maximize the potential of their limited acreage. Besides all that, they can make great pets.
Developed in Australia during the last century, the Murray Grey combines the best traits of its parent breeds into a very unique, all beef breed. Murray Grey cattle have the excellent temperament, thriftiness and meat tenderness of the Shorthorns and the marbling traits of the original Scotch Aberdeen Angus. Not polluted with Euro-dairy blood, the Murray Grey is one of the few true beef breeds still working in North America. According to research done by Frontier Beef Systems, the Murray Grey excels in both marbling and tenderness. And does so with animals that are easy to be around – Murray Greys display better temperament than most breeds of cattle. They respond very well to good handling practices.
Being a true beef breed and being of moderate size, the Murray Grey is also one of only a few breeds that can consistently finish to Choice on grass, making this breed an excellent choice for producers looking to market into the high value, health-conscious, grass-fed, retail market.
Murray Greys are renowned for their calving ease. Many owners never have to pull a calf. 100 per cent calf crops are possible even on Euro-dairy cattle. Murray Greys are polled and often remove 100 percent of horns on the first cross – even on Bos indicus cattle. And speaking of Bos indicus cattle, a Murray Grey bull will clean up all the extra leather and ears on those indicus calves, making them acceptable to the feeders and packers.
Murray Grey cattle have dark skin pigment – grey muzzles, grey around the eyes and grey teat ends. This dark pigment helps prevent infectious pinkeye and cancer eye unknown in the breed. The grey teat ends eliminates the teat chapping and sunburned udders that can be a stockman's nightmare.
The American Murray Grey Association serves as the pedigree archive and promotional voice of the breed in the United States. The Murray Grey breed is the only breed that develops performance EPDs on a worldwide database. Twice each year, breed EPDs are calculated for those members submitting data. The Association also developed the "Certified American Murray Grey Beef" program for product identification for our members. AMGA reaches out to the industry through a web site,www.murraygreybeefcattle.com a quarterly newsletter and a bi-annual membership directory.
Ease of Calving - Milk Production - High Fertility
High Milk Contents - Good Beef Qualities - Easily Maintained
Docile Disposition - Eligible For Suckler Premium - Attractive Red & White Cattle
Parthenaise cattle are now no longer primarily used for milk
production but are kept in herds for suckling. Fertility, regularity
and ease of calving, and hardiness of calves are all excellent, with
the result that productivity is very high, both numerically and by
weight, furthermore the maternal qualities and milk yields of
Parthenaise cows ensure that their calves grow well.
High fertility levels, calving ease, high feed efficency, and climate adaptability make Piedmontese attractive to a wide range of producers. The superior genetics of Piedmontese cattle provide high dressing percentages, high cutability, and higher meat to bone ratio with increased size of rib-eyes and choice cuts and decreased trim and waste. Consumers select Piedmontese beef for it's nutritional benefits including lower fat and cholesterol while enjoying a product that is tender and flavorful.
The Canadian Pinzgauer is balanced with thick muscling down the hindquarter, a deep flank and width over the top and loin. The progressive breeder focus on creating a more refined front to complement the increased muscle development has created a smaller head and less dewlap and waste skin. With leg set conducive to sloping hillsides and hard, dark hooves, Pinzgauer are perfect for Canada's widely varied range conditions. For harsh winter and wind conditions, Pinzgauer cattle have not only thick skin but a very thick hair coat. They are just as capable of thriving under hot, dry conditions as well. Their dark pigment absorbs harsh sunlight, whether coming from the sun or reflecting off snow, minimizing any impact from sunburn on the cattle.
Naturally horned, characteristic colors of the breed are chestnut brown hair and pigmented skin with varying amounts of white hair along the back, tail and barrel. Pigmented skin on the head protects eyes from ultra violet rays, thus making eye disease virtually non-existent. Smooth hair and pliable skin play an important role in adaptability, allowing this breed to thrive in hot or cold climates. Hard, dark, closed hooves and strong leg bone formation give Pinzgauers excellent ranging ability.
Pinzgauer bulls exhibit masculine characteristics early in life, and are fertile, aggressive breeders. Yearling bulls weigh from 1200 - 1400 pounds (544 - 635 kg) with scrotal circumference of 35 - 38 cm, and extensive research has proven that scrotal size is directly related to sperm production. While on feed as yearlings, tests have identified that Pinzgauer bulls are quick gainers with excellent feed conversion.
Early maturity is also evident in the Pinzgauer female.. The Pinzgauer female is generally easy calving, with average birth weights of 85 pounds in heifer calves and 90 pounds for bull calves and a general range of 80 to 100 pounds.. A strong mothering instinct, high milk production and calving ease make Pinzgauer cows an efficient addition to any herd.
After weaning, the cattle destined for the meat industry gain weight rapidly by converting feed efficiently. Pinzgauers adapt to life in the feedyard easily due to their docile nature. Minimal days on feed and the ability to convert grain and forage into well marbled beef is part of a Pinzgauer's natural inheritance. Optimum slaughter weight of 1200 pounds (540 kg) by 12 - 14 months of age is easily achieved. Pinzgauer cattle can also perform on pasture alone and reach market weight without the use of grain.
Randalls originated in Sunderland, Vermont, on the farm of Everett Randall, who, along with his father before him, kept a closed herd of cattle derived mostly from the landrace hill cattle of the area. This herd is thought to have been totally isolated for over 80 years, surviving virtually unchanged while other landrace herds across New England disappeared by being ?graded up? in the first half of the 20th century. Randall cattle have retained the high level of function required of their subsistence farm progenitors. The Randalls, although still critically rare, now number over 200 animals and are filling a niche for grass based milk and meat production on small farms and homesteads."
Red Poll Cattle
Red Poll cattle were first imported to the United States in 1873 by G.F. Tabor of New York, as recorded in Volume 1 of the Original Series. Between 1973 and 1900 about 300 head of Red Poll cattle were imported into the US and it is from these cattle that the breed in the US developed. Volume II of the Red Poll Herd Book, American Series, recorded pedigrees of 504 bulls and 961 cows in 27 states.
The Romagnola Beef Cattle are a cattle breed that has commercial appeal to the Cattle Industry. Romagnola Cattle offer the commercial cattleman ease of calving, earlier growth, good early weight gains and mostly muscle. Romagnola seed stock bulls are being used on terminal cross feeder cattle for better feedlot gains with more muscle and less fat (fat thickness of 0.35 in) at slaughter. Typical feedlot gains are 3.1 lbs/day (no implants), yielding 64.8% with a typical ribeye of 14.3 in2 and a rib/cwt of 1.68. These crosses are typically bringing the producer a premium of $85 over regional cash prices. At slaughter, 4% grade premium, 89 % of carcasses typically grade choice and the remaining 7% grades select.
Romagnola bulls and semen are available through Romagnola seed stock breeders. The American Romagnola Association and its breeders are constantly striving to produce seed stock animals with good weaning weights and high post weaning gains. When crossed with commercial herds, there are minimal birthing problems. The Romagnola breed typically does well through out a wide range of climatic conditions from the tropics to the deserts to the high mountain ranges. They tolerate the heat of south Texas, rain forests of Costa Rico to the high mountains of Colorado. Health problems also appear to be minimal, despite the wide range of climatic conditions in which they thrive.
Suckler Farmers : The Salers breed is uniquely
suited to meet your needs in today's demanding environment especially
when breeding your own replacements. Low cost easy management.
Excerpts from Dr. Jan Bonsma's Extended Documents
The main object of breeding experiments is to produce beef more efficiently. With this idea in mind, several synthetic breeds were evolved all with Brahman sire as sire line mated to cows of breeds such as Shorthorn, Hereford, Simmental or Salers as the female line. In the United States, a national campaign which promotes leanness in beef has been launched. The Beef Industry Council of the Meat Board published data which proves beyond doubt that the carcasses of Longhorn and Hereford cattle are far superior to those of Brahman. At various livestock shows, the Salers carcasses proved to be very superior. Hence, it is obvious that Salers x Longhorn crossbred cattle will produce superior carcasses. Several of the carcass competitions at various shows verified this assumption. The data accumulated to date concerning the carcass quality of various beef cattle breeds in the United States and in South Africa prove beyond doubt that Brahman and Brahman crossbred carcasses are inferior to those of Salers x Longhorn crossbreds, or the Afrikaner (Bos Indicus with a submetacentric XY chromosome) x British and European beef cattle in South Africa. This is the reason why I am so enthusiastic about the SALORN cattle. We can eliminate those factors which are responsible for the problems we encounter in Brahman cattle.
I. Fertility is the most important single economic factor in livestock production.
II. Adaptability of livestock to a specific environment is an aspect of livestock production which is completely neglected in the United States. III. Bad temperament and nervousness in so many cattle is responsible for the high pH of meat.
IV. Prolapse of the prepuce will be eliminated since Longhorn and Salers cows involved have no problem with bent cervix.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
In 1986 the Salorn Breed was officially established, with precise qualifications for foundation of the new breed. Consisting of 5/8 Salers and 3/8 Texas Longhorn, a purebred Salorn is achieved only as the second generation of the 5/8 - 3/8 cross. Hundreds of the composite and purebreds are now in herds across the nation. Their adaptability from the Gulf Coast to Montana has confirmed the Bonsma concept. Attesting to Dr. Bonsma's vision, Salorn and percentage Salorn are achieving outstanding carcass results -- and promise to help cowmen control costs while adding value to each beef. A significant bonus offered by this breed is unsurpassed calving ease. Many producers, in fact, are being introduced to the breed when they buy or lease Salorn bulls to use on first-calf heifers. After virtually eliminating calving difficulties, they notice that their Salorn-cross calves are growthy, disease resistant and grade out superbly.
1. A large beef breed
3. Combining Hardiness with BEEF
4. Fewer Production Problems
5. Mothering Ability
6. Marketability from grain or pasture
7. High Carcass Cutability and Salvage Value
8. Poll Cattle
USDA research indicates that Senepol have greater immune response when compaired to other beef breeds. this is due greatly to the N'Dama influence in Senepol, and is also aided by generations of natural selection being applied on the island of St. Croix.
Senepol are similar to Angus in calving ease and light birth weight. The huge advantage they offer is tremendous calf vigor. Breeders everywhere are proud of the increased survival of Senepol-sired calves because they jump up and nurse quickly.
Maternal Efficiency, is aided by the moderate size, fleshing and foraging ability of the Senepol cow. Adult cows average 1,000 to 1,200 lbs., and consistently wean off 50% or better of their body weight while maintaining an efficient calving interval.
Shorthorn cattle are an English breed of cattle that excell in maternal characteristics such as early puberty, fertility, calving ease, milk production and general mothering ability. Based on USDA Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) data, Shorthorns are one of the highest marbling breeds producing very high quality carcasses with excellent yield grades. Australian research indicates that Shorthorns produce the most tender carcasses with 97% of all Shorthorn cattle carrying two copies of the GeneStar DNA tenderness allele. In short, highly selected lines of Shorthorn cattle make excellent mothers and produce excellent carcasses.
Perhaps no other breed has made a greater effort to assemble value traits with more total impact on herd profit than Simmental. Not only do cattlemen find Simmental to be useful, docile animals that maintain excellent maternal qualities, but they also possess outstanding meat, muscle, and carcass characteristics. The selection and breeding programs implemented by Simmental breeders plus the superior genetic ability of Simmental cattle have all contributed to the present-day success of the breed.
Simmental cattle are recognized for their ruggedness and structural strength, especially in their feet and legs, which lends to increased longevity. Simmental heifers and bulls are also recognized for their early sexual maturity whose offspring are often noted for their feed efficiency and performance in the feedlot.
Weight per day of age and average daily gain are two areas where Simmental excel. When on full feed, Simmental can gain four to five pounds per day under a favorable environment for an extended length of time. But the ability to grow and gain weight is not enough in today's meat industry. Feedlot cattle must be able to do this while still maintaining a high level of feed efficiency. Studies conducted in the U.S. have shown that Simmental cattle have the ability to efficiently convert non-concentrates to gain, which significantly lowers cost per pound of gain. This efficiency of gain is related to the breed's relatively large body capacity.
Another important characteristic of Simmental cattle is their excellent maternal traits. In the U.S., the Simmental cow has been selected for her ability to conceive at 15 months, have a live, healthy calf as a two-year-old, and be able to re-breed while nursing her calf to maintain a desirable 365-day calving interval. But perhaps the most outstanding and widely recognized maternal trait that has been passed on by European Simmentals is their milking ability. An average, mature Simmental cow produces 16 to 24 pounds of milk per day as compared to 10-15 pounds from the average "Black Baldy" cow.
Simmental are also noted for their docile temperatment. The Simmental's gentle nature can be related back to the breed's initial use as draft animals where constant handling and control was common. Quiet dispositions are highly desired under any type of management, and this is a trait that finds favor with American beef producers.
The unique combination of these characteristics has resulted in the American Simmental beef animal.
South Devon cattle are exceptionally docile. Nicknamed the "Gentle Solution", both cows and bulls handle easily under pasture and range conditions
The most obvious benefit of any F-1 cross of beef cattle is the roughly 12-14% increase in rate of gain available through hybrid vigor, with the second cross offering additional hybrid growth benefits.
Equally important is the efficiency of gain available with South Devon. In a University of Minnesota test, a South Devon Bull gained one pound for each 5.22 pounds of 60% TDN ration consumed.
South Devon cattle have performed exceptionally well against all breeds in bull test and steer competitions. Some examples include top Average Daily Gain or Weight Per Day of Age over all breeds three out of four years at the University of Nebraska Bull Tests, top sire group in Rate of Gain over all breeds two consecutive years at the University of Minnesota Bull Test and top sire group of steers in Rate of Gain over all breeds at the Great Western Beef Expo in Sterling, Colorado.
In study after study, South Devons have risen to the top on carcass quality. The 1996 North American South Devon Carcass Project gave the beef industry conclusive data that South Devon cattle give you more for your money.
The average South Devon steer finishes out at 13 to 15 months of age with an average weight of 1,150 to 1,250 pounds, a 62-65% hanging carcass, with a high yield grade average.
South Devon combine marbling with the lean yield and gain traits of the Continental breeds. The MARC data shows that South Devon surpasses other English breeds in retail product yield. At a recent Great Western Beef Expo, a pen of South Devon's placed first on feed efficiency (4.52conversion), second on average daily gain (4.03 lbs./hd/day) and first on lbs. feed/carcass gain.
Tarentaise Can Do "More" on "Less"
Best Mom a calf could have!
Heifers represent 15 - 20 % of a cow herd. Early Fertility is critically important so the calving season is not disrupted. Tarentaise females are Highly Fertile at 8 -12 months of age. Early Puberty and High Pregnancy Rates are an inheritable trait of Tarentaise Cattle.
| Texas Longhorn
The Texas Longhorn is the foundation of the American cattle industry, having arrived in 1493 when Christopher Columbus brought Spanish cattle to
Santa Domingo. Their descendants later made the great trail drives after the Civil War. Eventually barbed wire and "fat" cattle replaced the
sturdy Longhorn as the prime beef. Fortunately far-sighted cattlemen recognized the importance of the Texas Longhorn genetics and organized the
official herd registry, the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America, in 1964. Texas Longhorns offer numerous benefits: (1) reproductive
efficiency: Large pelvic openings and low birth weights result in live calves. Many cattlemen use Longhorn bulls on their 1st calf heifers. (2)
longevity: Texas Longhorns calve well into their teens. (3) browse utilization j-less supplemental feed is needed because the cattle take advantage of
the forage available. (4) disease/parasite resistance a natural immunity developed over the centuries means fewer veterinarian bills and less
maintenance for today's cowman (5) lean breed: the breed produces naturally less fat and lower cholesterol for today's health conscious public (6)
adaptability : the breed thrives in climates from hot damp coastal regions to the harsh winters of Canada (7) marketability : markets include seed
stock, commercial bulls and females, recreational tock, lean beef, tradition and nostalgia, horns and hide, and fun!
Tuli is a unique breed of cattle for these primary reasons
Wagyu cattle are known for the ability to produce extremely high marbling carcasses. This genetic predisposition is world-renowned, particularly in Japan, where Wagyu originated. In Japan, this marbling quality is graded on a BMS (Beef Marbling Standard) grid. Japanese BMS scores awarded to Wagyu are often considerably higher than USDA Prime.