Aberdeen Angus (Native)

Aberdeen Angus (native) cow & calf

Key Characteristics

They are a hardy breed, suited to out wintering. They are usually docile and easily managed. Cows are long-lived, fertile and maternal. Cows can produce calves up to 12-14 years old. Angus and Angus cross calves are smaller at birth and so bulls are much in demand for use on heifers and for producing beef from the dairy herd.

History

  • The Aberdeen Angus breed is one of the most famous beef breeds and was developed originally in the early nineteenth century from the slow- maturing, black, horned cattle of Forfarshire (now the county of Angus) which were crossed with other breeds.
  • One of the first great breeders was Hugh Watson of Keillor Farm, who established the breed type, while William McCombie subsequently popularised the Angus.
  • The Angus was widely exported during the twentieth century and there are large populations of the breed abroad particularly in the U.S.A, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South America.
  • The trend abroad was to breed a longer and taller type of Angus and many examples of these animals have been imported into the UK and widely used thus endangering the original Angus population. 

Appearance

  • Animals of the non-imported bloodlines tend to be shorter in the leg and considerably blockier than the modern Angus.
  • They are usually black but there are some red animals.
  • Animals are polled, meaning they have no horns.
  • Cows usually weigh around 550kg and bulls 850kg

Uses

Meat

Aberdeen Angus beef is well known. There are a number of high profile marketing schemes and so beef should sell for a premium. Animals will usually finish at 24-30 months on a forage based system.

Terminal Sire

Calves with Native Aberdeen Angus breeding tend to be smaller at birth but grow to make a good beef animal and so bulls are often crossed with dairy cows to produce a more valuable beef calf.

Conservation Grazing

A hardy, easy to handle breed with good indicative grazing and browsing characteristics, the placid nature of the Aberdeen Angus also makes it a good choice for sites with public access.

Did you know?

Hugh Watson's, arguably one of the founders of the breed, favourite bull was called Old Jock and was so well regarded that he was awarded the number 1 in the first herd book

The Rare Breeds Survival Trust is the leading national charity working to conserve and protect the United Kingdom's rare native breeds of farm animals from extinction. We rely on the support of our members, grants and donations from the public to raise the £700,000 a year needed to maintain our conservation work with rare UK native breeds of farm animals. Visit www.rbst.org.uk to see how you can help.

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