When you are deciding which breed of beef cow you should start with, you should first find out some facts about the breed. Learning about the breed will give you some important information about what you can expect from that animal. Of course, in every breed there is some variation among individual animals, but knowing the general overall characteristics of that breed can help you make the best choice for your farm.
The most popular breed of cattle in the United States, Black Angus cattle is our choice of beef breed for our farm. According to the American Angus Association, Black Angus cattle make up over sixty percent of cows in the United States.
Black Angus cows are naturally polled, meaning that they grow up without horns. One great reason to have some Black Angus in your herd is that the gene for polled animals is a dominant one. This means that you can breed a Black Angus bull to horned cows, and their offspring will be polled.
Black Angus are a moderately-sized beef breed with black skin and black hair, although sometimes you will find a little bit of white on the cow\'s underside or udder. Sometimes, there will be a reddish cast to their hair. One nice thing about this breed is that they seldom experience sunburn due to the black coloring around the eyes, nose and on the udder.
Demeanor and Birthing
Black Angus cows and bulls are fairly agreeable cows to have on the farm. They are gentle and calm. Black Angus bulls have relatively low birth-weights when compared to many other beef breeds. This means that cows bred to an Angus bull usually deliver without complications. Although Black Angus calves start small, they quickly catch up. They grow very fast, mostly due to Black Angus mothers\' plentiful milk supplies.
In our area, cattle with the traditional Black Angus coloring sell for higher cost per pound. Beef consumers want a cut of meat with plenty of marbling, (flecks of fat in the meat) and Black Angus beef is naturally marbled. Marbling is a highly heritable trait, so just using a Black Angus bull to sire your calves will improve the quality of the beef that you sell. Black Angus cattle also are very efficient at converting pounds of feed into pounds of beef. This means that when compared to many other breeds, Black Angus cattle will be less expensive to finish out.
Adaptability to Environment
The Black Angus breed was developed in Scotland. This means that they tolerate cool weather much better than many other breeds. However, the breed has shown itself to be highly adaptable to many different climates. Black Angus cattle are the breed of choice in the United States, Australia, Argentina, Canada and New Zealand.
The Black Angus breed is an excellent type of cattle for beginner farmers. We have been very happy with the calving ease of our cows, and their generally calm demeanors. Our bulls are content and easy to keep. However, you don\'t have to have a registered Black Angus cow to reap the benefits that the Angus Association has been working toward for years. Even a cross-bred cow, with a mother of another breed and a sire of the Black Angus breed will give you many of the perks of owning a Black Angus for a lower price. We have been very happy with our Black Angus cattle, having owned them since 2005.