Black Angus Cattle
Originally published on BryceLeeKarl.net.
Black Angus cattle are known to those in the cattle industry as “the business breed” due to the fact that they produce the most beef with the least amount of work required.
Also referred to as Aberdeen Angus, black angus cattle originated in the Aberdeenshire and Angus counties of Scotland. This naturally polled breed is usually a solid black or red color, though breeders in the United States split that category in two, dividing the red angus from the black angus. Although its ancestry is obscure, polled cattle like the angus have been in existence before recorded history and have appeared in prehistoric artwork in Scotland, Siberia, and Egypt.
Black angus cattle were introduced to the United States in 1873 when George Grant brought four angus bulls with him from Scotland to the Kansas prairie. In the fall of the same year, two of these bulls were showcased at the Kansas City Livestock Exposition, but people were horrified at the hornless cattle because, at the time, shorthorned cattle were the popular breed. It was around this time that Grant, ever the progressive thinker, decided to cross these angus bulls with the hearty Texas longhorn breed to produce a mixed breed whose calves not only wintered well, but weighed even more the following spring, proving how valuable this new breed could be. Since angus originated in Scotland, they were able to more easily weather the winter cold in the American midwest. As the breed gained popularity, the demand for Angus cattle rose and, in an explosive period of growth from 1878 to 1883, 1,200 cattle were imported directly from Scotland primarily to the Midwest.
Angus cattle are optimal breeding cattle for numerous reasons. The females make excellent mothers and have strong maternal instincts, and they also experience high rates of fertility and excellent milking ability. Female angus mature quickly as well and are able to breed back quickly with comparatively shorter gestation periods than other breeds. Alongside their excellent breeding abilities, angus also contain traits that make them optimal beef cattle as well. Angus have dark-pigmented skin that absorbs sunlight which protects them against cancer eye, a skin cancer that occurs on the eyes and eyelids of many other cattle breeds. Because of their excellent genetic makeup, black angus cattle have quickly become a fan favorite among breeders and consumers alike.
The American Aberdeen-Angus Breeders’ Association was founded in 1883 in Chicago with only 60 members. In the 1950s, the name was shortened to be The American Angus Association and the headquarters was moved to Saint Joseph, Missouri where it remains today. The American Angus Association holds the honor and distinction of being recognized as the largest purebred beef registry on the globe.