If you’re looking to raise cattle, it’s important to know the different breeds available in the United States. From Angus to Hereford, there are a variety of beef cattle breeds that have been developed over time for specific needs. In this blog post, we will take a look at the various breeds and their different characteristics so you can make an informed decision about which breed is right for your farm.
Angus is a breed of beef cattle originating in Scotland. It is one of the most popular beef breeds in the United States and is known for its excellent meat quality and marbling. Angus are also renowned for their calving ease, hardiness, and overall good temperaments. They are usually black but can also be red; this was achieved by crossbreeding with other breeds such as the Beef Friesian and Brahman. Angus are highly adaptable to different climates and environments, which makes them an ideal choice for ranchers or farmers looking for a dependable breed that produces quality beef.
The Brahman is a popular breed of beef cattle in the United States, first developed in 1885 from Indian cattle. They are an intermediate size among other breeds and generally weigh between 1600 to 2200 pounds for bulls, and 1000 to 1300 pounds for cows. Brahmans have been bred with Hereford and shorthorn cows to produce animals more suitable for hot climates like those found in the southern United States. A Brangus is a hardy and popular crossbreed of Angus and Brahman cattle that also perform well in hot climates. The American Brahman was developed solely in the United States, but Indian cattle were used to develop the breed.
Beefmaster is a breed of beef cattle that was developed in the early 1930s by Tom Lasater, after his father Edward Lasater. It is a composite breed made up of roughly one-half Bos Taurus (Hereford and Shorthorn) and one-half Bos Indicus (Nelore from Brasil, Gir from India). It was the first new breed of beef cattle to be developed in the United States in more than 60 years. Beefmasters are well known for their high fertility, disease resistance, hardiness and ability to gain weight quickly on grass. They are becoming increasingly popular for their ability to produce lean beef with minimal fat content. The unique characteristics of Beefmaster cattle make them an ideal choice for both commercial and small herd operations.
Charolais are an incredibly popular breed of beef cattle originating from the Charolles area of France. They are medium to large framed animals with a deep, muscular body and white or creamy coats. Charolais were first brought to the United States in the mid-1930s, and since then they have become one of the world’s finest beef cattle. They have been used to improve herds of other cattle breeds due to their genetic potential for getting big and putting on pounds, as well as for their excellent quality beef. Charolais are now one of the most popular U.S. beef cattle breeds according to The Cattle Site, thanks in part to excellent marketing by many breeders who specialize in this breed.
The Chianina is an Italian breed of large white cattle that has been around for centuries. Originally bred for draught work, today it is mainly raised for beef. It is the largest and one of the oldest cattle breeds in existence, praised by Georgic poets since ancient times. The breed is popular today due to its well-marbled, flavorful beef and carcass characteristics which are ideal for marketing. It is believed that the Chianina was developed in the Bronze Age around 1500 BC from animals brought into Italy from Asia and Africa. In the United States, it has been most commonly used in Beef Cattle (Brahma, Angus Simmental, Charbray, Beefmaster) as well as Buffalo and rarely Holstein-Friesian. The Chianina breed remains an important part of livestock judging competitions in the US with many farms offering practice judging opportunities.
The Devon is one of the oldest beef cattle breeds in existence, originating in the West Country of Devon, England. Known for its high quality beef, the Devon is a hardy and efficient grazer, making it an excellent choice for grass-based systems. The American Milking Devon was derived from British North Devons brought to the US in the 19th century. Devons are very fertile and can achieve calving percentages in the high nineties on good management. They also have qualities that are valuable to today’s commercial beef industry, such as soundness of feet and legs and good marbling potential. Devons were largely spared from feedlot madness since WWII, which has kept them firmly rooted in their traditional grazing system heritage. Crossbreds of Devon include Angus x Hereford (3/100), Red Poll (4/98), South Devon (12/102) and Tarentaise.
Galloway cattle are a medium-sized breed of beef cattle originating from the Galloway region of Scotland. They are known for their juicy, tender, and flavorful beef, as well as their hardiness and excellent maternal qualities. The Galloway is one of the oldest established breeds of beef cattle and has been around since the early 1800s. In North America, they are noted for their forage efficiency and are used in many crossbreeding programs to produce high quality beef. At Galloway Farm in Arkansas River Valley, they focus on raising registered Belted Galloway cattle with top bloodlines for both seed stock and grass fed beef production. This hardy breed is sure to provide farmers with delicious meat that will be enjoyed by all!
The Hereford is a British breed of beef cattle originally from Herefordshire in the West Midlands of England. It has since spread to many countries and is now one of the most popular breeds of beef cattle in the United States. The American Hereford Association is second-largest U.S. beef breed associations with more than 7000 active adult and junior members and more than five million pedigree Herefords exist in over 50 countries.
Herefords have been used as breeding stock for other breeds, such as the Angus, Beefmaster, Brahman, Charolais and others, based on their hardiness and ability to produce high-quality meat. They are known for their easily recognizable white faces with red or black bodies and are also known for their docile temperament and ease of handling compared to other breeds.
The export of Herefords began in 1817, spreading across the United States and Canada before becoming popular as a source of meat among commercial beef producers in North America during the 20th century. Today, direct descendants of Line 1 cattle still exist on farms across America, providing delicious meat for families around the world.
Limousin is a breed of beef cattle originating from the Limousin and Marche regions of France. It is an early-maturing breed, producing lean beef in the medium weight range. This makes it ideal for supermarkets and intervention programs. The breed has expanded across North America, with initial concentrations in Oklahoma, Texas, South Dakota and western Canada.
The Limousin breed offers a variety of options from Fullblood to Purebred to the Lim-Flex® hybrid (Limousin x Angus cross). This allows ranchers to match their program’s needs perfectly. The breed is known for its hardiness and adaptability, making them suitable for many different climates and environments. They are also considered to be good mothers and have excellent fertility rates.
Limousin cattle are known for their superior marbling ability which provides an exquisite flavor profile that can’t be replicated with other breeds. Their meat is tender and juicy with high levels of fat marbling throughout the muscle tissue that produces an incredible eating experience every time.
The popularity of Limousin cattle continues to grow due to its excellent qualities as a beef producer while still maintaining a relatively low cost compared to other breeds today. It’s no wonder why they’ve become one of the most sought after breeds from both commercial producers as well as hobby farmers alike!
The Pinzgauer is a breed of cattle that originated in the Pinzgau region of Austria. It is a dual-purpose breed, meaning it can be used for both dairy and beef production. They are known for their broad genetic diversity and gene pool which makes them highly adaptable to different climates and conditions. They are also known for their excellent feet, legs, and calving ease as well as their outstanding meat quality and calm temperament. The breed has been DNA tested for tenderness for many years and currently promoted as a high-output dual-purpose breed by Austrian primary breeders. There have been over 30,000 Fullblood and Purebred Pinzgauers in the United States since 1989 with over 80 bulls imported into the country from Austria alone. The FAO has included this breed in its list of endangered breeds due to their recent recovery in Piedmont after being threatened with extinction. Today, Pinzgauer cattle are prized by livestock judges around the world due to their robust nature, excellent meat qualities, adaptability, and calm temperament.
Red Poll cattle are an incredibly versatile breed, originally developed in England in the early 1800s. They are a dual-purpose breed, meaning they can be used for both milk and beef production. Red Polls were brought to the United States and eventually spread to Canada as well. Currently, they are bred primarily for beef production due to their high quality meat. Red Polls are naturally hornless and thrive on low-input grazing systems. They have a long history of success as a profitable cattle breed across many regions, making them an excellent choice for farmers looking for a hardy and reliable animal that can produce both milk and meat.
Salers is a breed of beef cattle that originated in Europe and was imported to North America in the late 19th century. They are known for their hardy nature and ability to thrive in harsh climates. Salers cows wean some of the heaviest (200-day) calves of any breed, making them an excellent choice for beef production. The American Salers Association is the official breed registry for Salers and Optimizer cattle in the United States. The breed has a reputation for having a bad disposition, but black, polled Salers are now being bred. Salers have been around since 6500 BC when domesticated cattle remains were found in Turkey and other sites in the Near East. There are over 1000 breeds of cattle recognized worldwide – many developed by human breeders to adapt to local climates. Beefmaster is also a popular breed which was created by Tom Lasater, whose father Ed C Lasater was one of its founders.
Saint Gertrude is an American breed of beef cattle developed in the 20th century by the King Ranch in Texas. It is a taurine-indicine hybrid, descended from both zebu and Shorthorn cattle. Today, it is considered America’s original beef breed, having been developed for survival and enhanced for superior performance throughout the years. Santa Gertrudis are approximately five-eighths Shorthorn and three-eighths Brahman, usually with a deep cherry-red color. The Santa Gertrudis Breeders International (SGBI) provides cattlemen reliable genetic information and selection tools to best identify animals that produce superior meat quality. Since its introduction in the North American market, Beefmaster has become one of the most popular breeds of beef cattle due to its hardiness, fertility, productivity and ease of care.
The Shorthorn is an ancient breed of cattle that originated in the northeast of England during the late 18th century. Developed by Thomas Bates and brothers Charles, Robert, and John Colling, the Shorthorn was bred to be a dual-purpose animal – both for beef production as well as milk. The breed is known for its docile temperament and hardiness, making it an ideal choice for farmers looking for a reliable cow. In addition to its good nature, Shorthorns are also notable for their impressive productivity in terms of both milk and beef production. They are also renowned for producing high-quality carcasses with excellent marbling qualities. Today, the Shorthorn is one of the most popular breeds in North America due to its adaptability and efficiency in a variety of farming environments.
Simmental cattle are a breed of beef cattle that have been around for centuries. Originating in the Swiss Canton of Berne, they were officially established in 1806 before being imported to the United States. Simmentals are known for their excellent meat quality, which is nicely marbled with white fat and has great calving ease. In addition, they’re hardy and have good growth rates and feed efficiency. They are also popular among producers due to their ability to produce high-quality beef with minimal input costs. Today, Simmentals are one of the most widely distributed beef cattle breeds in the United States and rank among the top four breeds for producing beef.