Extended Beef Cattle Breeds
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Varieties

Adaptaur (from Australia):  A Bos taurus breed, bred for the tropics from Herefords and Shorthorns.

Afrikaner Cattle (from South Africa): Afrikaners are a South African breed descended from Sanga type of cattle herded by the Khoikhoi (Hottentots) before the Dutch established the Cape Colony in 1652. Afrikaner cattle are usually deep red with long spreading horns. They have the small hump typical of Sanga cattle, which is the collective name for indigenous cattle of South Africa. They are sometimes identified as a subspecies with the scientific name Bos taurus africanus. These cattle originated in East Africa, probably western Ethiopia, and have spread west and south. Sanga-type breeds yield tender meat, primarily because of their calpain-to-calpastatin ratios.

Angus (from Scotland):  Angus cattle are polled (without horns) with pure black skin and hair, sometimes with white at the udder. The breed originated on the moors of northern Scotland in the shires of Aberdeen and Angus. They were first imported to the United States in 1873. Angus cattle are medium sized and are considered a maternal breed, characterized by easy calving, good calf rearing instincts, early sexual and compositional maturity and good milk ability. For beef, the Angus is easily fleshed, has a high yield and it produces excellently marbled beef. They are adaptable, undemanding, good-natured, and are highly resistant to harsh climates. Finally, Angus cattle are valuable as cross-breeders because they are a genetic dehorner since the polled gene is dominant. Angus meat is incredibly flavorful, tender and juicy with high amounts of marbling. Angus meat is frequently marketed as Certified Beef.

Australian Braford (from Australia): Developed in Queensland between 1946 and 1952, by cross-breeding Brahmans and Herefords to resist ticks and to tolerate heat, the Australian Braford carries many of the Brahman traits with Hereford coloring. It grows well in feedlots, has even fat distribution, bright red meat and white colored fat while producing carcasses with little waste.

Australian Brangus (from Australia): Polled breed developed by crossing Angus and Brahman breeds. The meat is high quality and tender with excellent marbling.

Australian Charbray (from Australia):  Developed by crossing Charolais and Brahman and desired for their resistance to heat, humidity, parasites and diseases. Australian Charbray reach weight in 12 to 15 months and produce lean, yield grade 1 & 2, carcasses that need little to no fat trimming.

Beefmaster (from Southern Texas): Developed on the Lasater Ranch in Texas in the 1930’s by breeding the Brahman (1/2), Shorthorn (1/4), and Hereford (1/4), the breed does not have a color standard although they are predominantly red or dun and a majority of Beefmaster cattle are horned. This breed does well on both rich and difficult range conditions. Beefmaster cattle possess many desirable reproductive traits and have high milking potential. The Beefmaster is one of the fastest growing cattle breeds in the U.S., making them valued for their yield and profit potential.

Belted Galloway (from Scotland): The Galloway or Belted Galloway is a very ancient, stocky, long haired, black, polled breed with a band of white around the middle, that comes from the Southern territories of Scotland. The Galloway is very hardy and thrifty.  Because of their coarse, long-haired outer coat, which gives way to a soft undercoat, the Galloway is well insulated against the cold and fairly waterproof. They are generally considered very docile and can browse and graze economically on rough grass, weeds and brush only requiring grain feeding to “finish” the fattening process. The Galloway produces juicy, tender and flavorful beef. Because of their outer coat of hair, the “Beltie's” meat is low in saturated fat and total fat coverage, but has good marbling. Some private studies have shown high ratios of Omega 6 to Omega 3.

 

Beef Shorthorn/Shorthorn (from the Valley of Tees in Northern England): Moderate-sized cattle colored red, red with white back and belly, or white. The Shorthorn influence has been bred into many breeds of cattle, and it’s no wonder considering what they can bring to the cross-breeding. There are some specific strains, however, currently containing two serious genetic defects: Tibial Hemimelia and Pulmonary Hypoplasia which, while not exclusive to the breed, are still prevalent. The Shorthorn’s members and Association are heading the efforts for the eradication of these conditions. Documented as a breed as early as 1750, the Shorthorn was imported to the US in 1873. Shorthorn cows are economical and have high fertility rates, early maturation, adequate milk, and maternal instincts. The Shorthorn has genetics for high marbling traits.

Belgian Blue (from Belgium): Grey, roan, or white with grey coloring on or near the head. The Belgian Blue is extremely muscular and fast-growing if fed well. These cattle originated in central and upper Belgium. Belgian Blue’s are relatively new in the United States but is gaining acceptance for beef production and dairy production. In a USDA test done at the Meat Animal Research Center, the Belgian Blue earned similar tenderness scores as Hereford-Angus meat, had 14.2% more Rib Eye meat with less than half the fat to trim but also 16% less marbling.

Belmont Red (Australia):  A short haired, predominantly red, composite breed developed at the Belmont Research Station using Africaner (African Sanga) and Hereford-Shorthorn. Belmont Reds have achieved an unparalleled run of wins and high finishes in “The Paddock to Plate Challenge.”

Black Hereford (from Great Britain):  The Black Hereford is a hybrid developed by crossing a Hereford bull with Holstein or Friesian cows. They are black with a white head and are mostly found when beef producers are seeking to breed beef offspring from dairy cows. The Black Hereford is not maintained as a separate breed, although females may be used for further breeding with other beef bulls, though the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office did grant a registered trademark for the term “Black Hereford” in 2002. Black Hereford beef is of superior quality and has extremely low concentrations of fat.

Blonde d'Aquitaine (from Aquitaine region of southwest France): The moderate-sized Blonde d’Aquitaine is a pale brown color with paler round eyes and pale round nose and has been bred in Europe since the 6th century as an all around (draft, dairy, meat) farm animal. They are muscular and fast growing if fed well. Bulls can weigh from 1,700 to 2,300 pounds and cows can weigh 1,100 to 1,500 pounds. Most of their weight is on the cattle by the age of 14 months. Blonds are the third most common beef breed in France and are selectively imported to the U.S.

Bonsmara (from South Africa): The Bonsmara is a red, horned cross-breed that is 5/8 Afrikaner, 3/16 Hereford and 3/16 Shorthorn that was scientifically bred at the Messina Livestock Research Station from five different British Breeds by Professor Jan Bonsma in 1937 for economical production and grazing in sub-tropical climates. The Bonsmara is the most numerous beef breed in South Africa.  All inspected and approved purebred Bonsmaras are branded with the Bonsmara symbol on the right shoulder. They have high quality meat and have recently imported into the U.S.

Boran (Eastern Africa): The Boran, a medium sized, Zebu Cattle descendant from the Borana Plateau in Ethiopia, is usually white, though the bulls can be darker, occasionally almost reaching black. Boran have a large hump above the shoulders and they can be horned or polled. Bulls weigh approximately 1,000 lbs to 1,873 lbs (500kg to 850kg).  Cows weigh about 838 lbs to 992 lbs (380kg to 450kg). The breed is very good in droughts and can survive on low quality forage. Boran meat is among the best of the Zebu cattle for tenderness, marbling and rib eye volumes.

Brahma (from India): If you can picture the sacred cattle of India, you have an image of a Brahma or Brahman which was exported from India to much of the rest of the world. The Brahman, a sub-breed of Zebu cattle (Bos primigenius indicus), typically has large, pendulous ears and dewlaps, hump over the shoulders. It is a horned breed (though some strains are polled), and it varies in color with reds and grays dominating. Their tail switches are black, and they have black pigmentation on their noses, ear tips and hooves. Brahma cattle have a very high tolerance to heat and are used in many tropical regions, especially Brazil. They are also resistant to insects due to their thick layer of oily skin. Brahman cattle live longer than many other breeds, often still producing calves at 15 years and older. Bulls can weigh 1,600 to 2,200 pounds (800 to 1,100 kg) and cows can weigh 1,000 to 1,400 pounds (500 to 700 kg). American Brahmans are known as a docile, intelligent breed of beef cattle but when crossed with Texas Long Horns or Mexican Fighting Bulls make great buckers used in Pro bull riding. Their meat is highly appreciated in the five continents and they dress out well.

Brangus (from United States): The Brangus, a composite breed was developed in the U.S. as far back as 1932 at the USDA Experiment Station in Jeanrette, Louisiana by crossing Angus (5/8) and Brahman (3/8) cattle. Brangus cattle are black and polled. They possess many of the most desirable traits of the Brahman and Angus breeds, including hardiness, heat tolerance, muscularity, early maturity, and quality beef production.

British White (from Great Britain): The British White, one of the oldest British breeds, is hardy and thrifty, white in color, with black (or sometimes red) ears, nose and feet. They are polled (hornless). British White are docile, hardy and remarkably free from disease. They are good milk producers and are equally well known for the texture of their beef.

Charolais (from Charolais France): The Charolais is a large, heavily-muscled French breed introduced to the U.S. in 1936, to improve the quality of domestically raised beef. They are completely white or cream colored and have lyre-shaped pale horns, if they are not polled. They are efficient and grow to a large size on limited amounts of feed. It was only after the second world war that Charolais made its appearance in other parts of the world. Charolais are well suited to grain fattening for to high finished weights.

Chianina (from Italy): Originally, in Tuscany’s grassy Val di Chiana, the large Chianina was a laboring, draft breed used for its strength and praised by Virgil for its beauty. Only later did it become a dual use draft and meat breed. The Chianina (pronounced “key-a-Knee-naa) breed originated in central Italy and they were only introduced in the United States in 1975 (though Chianina  genetics were introduced for cross-breeding in 1971). Full Chianinas range in from white to steel gray colored and have black pigmented skin. They are reputed to be the largest cattle breed, with some bulls weighing more than 3,000 Lbs. The Chianina is characterized by good weight gaining ability (though they may take longer to reach market), feed efficiency, and calving ease, (uncommon in larger cattle). Italian chefs claim that Bistecca alla Fiorentina is best made with cuts from a Chianina. Most domestic U.S. Chianina are cross-bread with Angus (Chiangus) to maximize quality and yield.

Corriente (from Mexico): The Corriente, also known as the Criollo or Chinampo, is a hardy, small, athletic, breed descended from Iberian cattle. The short horned, variously colored often spotted, Corriente is known for its lean meat. They are also known for their wild demeanor and can sometimes be found in the rodeo arena.

Crioulo Lageano (from Iberian Peninsula): Very likely the original European cattle imported to the Americas by the Spanish. Only about 700 individual Crioulo Lageano bovines currently exist.

Dexter (from Southern Ireland): The Dexter is a very small, black or dun breed with dark horns that comes from Ireland and is hardy and thrifty. The Dexter breed contains a gene for dwarfism which can lead to very short legs (short legged) in those Dexter cattle who receive the gene. The Dexter’s beef has excellent flavor, with good marbling, and can be produced economically, even finished on grass without additional feeding. The Dexter is also a dairy breed.

Droughtmaster (from Australia): The Droughtmaster as its name implies does well in heat and was developed Down Under by crossing Brahman with Bos Taurus breeds like the Beef Shorthorn.

Florida Cracker (from Florida, USA):  With its colorful name, the Florida Cracker is descended from the small, crioullo-type Spanish cattle brought to the Southern U.S. by Ponce de Leon. The Florida Cracker is adapted to subtropical climates and is parasite-resistant. It is not bred much though and is endanger of becoming a Heritage Breed of Cattle.

Gascon Cattle (from French Pyrenees):  Gascon Cattle are grey, hardy, and very maternal.  They grow well and are suitable for most farm systems.

Gelbvieh (from Germany): A very fertile, polled (though horned strains exits), typically red breed with exceptional fertility, mothering and calving ability that was introduced into the U.S. in 1971. Gelbvieh are a lean breed with a fast growth rate that can yield high-quality, tender yearling beef.

Hereford (from Herefordshire, England): Herefords, first imported to the U.S. in 1817 from England, where it was begun by Benjamin Tomkins, can be both horned or polled and are reddish brown with a white head, white finching on the neck and white switch. Herefords are known for docility, longevity, early maturity, and good milking ability and thrive in exceedingly tough climates. Some estimates claim that there are more than five million (5,000,000) pedigreed Herefords living in over 50 countries. The Hereford is so widely dispersed because few breeds can best their ability to quickly turn inexpensive foraged range grass into cash in the form of prime beef.

Highland (from Scotland): The Highland is a small, stocky; black, red, dun or white breed with a very long coat and very long pale horns from the moors. It is very hardy and thrifty. The Highland produces lean, well-marbled, flesh that promises tenderness with a very distinctive flavor. Highland beef is healthy and nutritious with lower levels of fat and cholesterol and a higher protein and iron content than many other breeds of beef.

Hungarian Grey (from Hungary): The Hungarian Grey is a robust, easy-calving and long-lived breed with long curved horns. It is well suited to harvesting pastured grasses by grazing.

Irish Moiled (from Northern Ireland): A hardy, thrifty polled breed from the pastures of Ireland that is either red with a white back and belly, or white with red ears, nose and feet. The Irish Moiled yields superb quality beef with a distinctive flavor.

Limousin (from Limousin and Marche regions of France): The large, muscular Limousin, introduced into the U.S. in 1969, is most often a medium brown color (though they can range from gold to black), with round eyes and nose and can be horned or polled. They grow quickly with proper feed. Limousin cattle produce lean, flavorful beef.

Longhorn (from Midlands of England): The Longhorn, as opposed to the Texas Longhorn, is a medium-sized, hardy red or brindle breed, with white back and belly. They have very long cylindrical horns that usually spread out greatly even eventually making a circle. Longhorns, which had been overlooked for years, are making a comeback as a source of lean, natural meat, offering superior nutrition per calorie.

Lowline (from Australia): The Lowline was developed from amongst select small Angus cattle and produces nearly twice as much eye muscle as the other breeds.

Luing (from the isle of Luing in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland): The Luing is a very hardy and economical polled breed with a rough, red-brown coat that was bred by crossing Beef Shorthorn cattle with Highland cattle.

Maine-Anjou (from  Anjou region in France): The pied red-and-white Maine Anjou breed (also called the Rouge des Prés or the Mancelle) is one of the largest French cattle breeds that has been introduced to the U.S. (in 1969). Maine-Anjous can be horned or polled and they yield extremely lean beef.

Murray Grey (from South Eastern Australia): Developed from a roan Shorthorn cow and an Angus bull the Murray Grey is a grey or silver polled breed. They are easy to care for and are suitable for many climes. The breed is known for producing well marbled beef without excess subcutaneous or inter-muscular seam fat.

Nelore (from India):  The Nelore, whose Indian origins date back over 2,000 years when they were imported by the Aryans, were subsequently exported to Brazil in 1868, where they have thrived and become one of the dominant breeds in the country. Today there are over 5 million registered Nelore cattle.

North Devon (from Devon, Cornwall and Somerset: the West Country of England): The North Devon has a ruby-red coloring with a white tail switch and white horns. They are primarily a dairy breed though they can produce beef.

Red Angus (from Scotland): Not surprisingly, the Red Angus variety of an Angus is colored solid red. They are also polled and originated in the British Isles. The Red Angus was introduced into the United States in the 1870s. This red variant possesses many of the traditional Angus traits including beef quality, marbling, ease of fleshing, maternal characteristics, calving ease, and moderate size.

Red Poll (from East Anglia in England): The Red Poll is a hornless, dual purpose, red breed with a white switch that originated in England and was imported into the United States in 1873 when breeders were seeking cattle that would fatten rather than grow. They range from light to dark red in color and gain weight rapidly. In the U.S they are primarily a beef breed and have won contests judged by consumer panels (in Australia) for being the most tasty and tender beef. In England, the Red Poll is still milked and because of the milks small fat globule is the least problematic of the cow’s milks for those allergic to cow’s milk.

Salers (from France): The Salers (pronounced Sa’lair) breed originated in France and is one of the oldest breeds in the world. Prehistoric cave paintings found near Salers in France, suggest a similar breed of animal breeding in the area 7-10,000 years ago. Salers are typically mahogany red colored (though black salers are being bred now), hardy and calf easily. The first Salers bull was imported into the United States in 1972. This breed is typically horned but there are a growing number of polled Salers. Salers are capable of adapting to rough terrain and harsh climates. They are dairy cows, traditionally milked for cheeses with Protected Geographical Indication, like the Cantal and the Salers. They are also useful for beef production because of the high quality of their meat.

Santa Gertrudis (from Southern Texas): The Santa Gertrudis composite breed was developed at the famous King Ranch in Kingville, Texas by crossing red Shorthorn cattle (5/8) and Brahma cattle (3/8). They are dark red in color and can be horned or polled. Santa Gertrudis cattle are hardy, maternal, adapt to adverse conditions are productive even in hot climes and are tremendous growers.

Shorthorn/Beef Shorthorn (from Northern England): The Shorthorn which can be horned or polled and is typically colored red, red with white on the back and belly, or white was imported into the U.S. in 1783. Shorthorns mature early, produce tender marbled meat, are excellent milkers and are easily handled. The Shorthorn breed is also well suited to organic farming because of its strong grass finishing ability.

Simbrah (from U.S.): The Simbrah breed was cross-bred in the U.S. in the late 1960s. It is a composite breed of Simmental (5/8) and Brahman (3/8) which has no color standard and can be horned or polled. The Simbrah breed has good mothering instincts, does well in a hot climate and produces high quality lean beef.

Simmental (from Western Switzerland): The Simmental, originally from the Simme Valley of Switzerland, has a yellowish-brown color with a white head. It is a dual purpose breed being both the heaviest milker of the continental breeds and fast-growing, if fed well. The breed was introduced to North America in 1967. There are various kinds of Simmentals, ranging from the Pie Rouge from France, known for its excellent beef, the Montbeliarde which is renowned for its milk-giving abilities, the Abondance which sports a smaller frame and thus is lighter boned, and the Fleckviehs which has advanced fleshing capabilities and is a trouble-free calver. There are even Simmentals in Italy, known as Peseta Rosa, or rose coins which no doubt refers to the Simmentals marketability. Our local cowboys swear that the Simmental is the best eating beef of all the range fed cattle.

Square Meater (from New South Wales, Australia): The Square Meater is a small, grey or silver, polled breed that is similar to the Murray Grey. The Square Meater was developed to have a compact beef animal that might come close to the feed conversion ratio of poultry.

Sussex (from South-east England): The Sussex breed has a rich chestnut coloring with a white tail switch and white horns. It was used for dairy, meat and work as a draught animal until the early 20th century. The Sussex is hardy and thrifty.

Texas Longhorn (from Texas): The Texas Longhorn sports various colors but is known for their long, tapering, upswept horns. They are the descendants of the first cattle brought to North American by the Spanish in the 1500’s, and are very hardy in dry climates and have the endurance necessary to have survived the early 1,000 mile trail drives in marketable condition. They can also be extremely wild, which allows them to care for themselves on the range but also makes them a bit more difficult to herd. They are lightly muscled compared to some of the larger continental or Brahman breeds. Longhorn traits include longevity, hardiness, and adaptability. The meat quality of the Texas Longhorn is similar to the Longhorn.

Wagyu (from Japan): The Japanese Wagyu is a black or red horned, breed noted for its heavy Marbling (intramuscular fat deposition). Its meat is sometimes also called “White Beef” because of the marbling.

The word Wagyu refers to all Japanese beef cattle ('Wa' means Japanese or japanese-style and 'Gyu' means cattle) which the Japanese were forbidden to eat from 1635 until 1838 though the cattle were still bred with special care and methods to make the cattle adapt to the changing environments, like giving beer for better digestion, sake shampoos for softer coats and massages to prevent any cramps. For a brief period after the opening of Japan in the 1880’s, British and Continental breeds were imported and influenced the Wagyu Breed until 1901 when the prices of crossbreds collapsed and further cross breeding or exportation was forbidden by the Japanese government.

Today, the dominant black Wagyu strains are Tottori, Tajima, Shimane, and Okayama. The other main "breed" of Wagyu, was developed on the island of Kyushu they are red in color. As with the blacks, there are two distinct strains of Kyushu reds, Kochi and Kumamoto. Kochi cattle were strongly influenced by Korean breeding while Kumamoto are believed to have considerable Simmental influence.

Japan long protected its cattle population from export, but tubes of Wagyu sperm were snuck out and into the U.S. in the 1970's and a group of longhorn cows in Texas were inseminated. The idea was to keep breeding the line until it approached 100% Wagyu. The process worked and the offspring are currently one of the established sources of Wagyu beef in the U.S. However, Wagyu does not mean Kobe Beef and these cattle are not raised and finished like the Japanese Wagyu so the meat is not of the same quality.

The rest of the domestic U.S. Wagyu cattle have been brought in, in two major importations. In 1976, two Tottori Black Wagyu and two Kumamoto Red Wagyu bulls were imported to the U.S. and that was it until the early 1990’s, when 40 Tajima cattle (of both red & black genetics) were shipped over. Some of the these imported cattle and their off spring are finished with the Japanese techniques, making for some very high quality domestic Wagyu beef that can fetch upwards of $20,000 for a normal carcass. But the quality (and price) of U.S. Wagyu varies greatly depending on the originating strain and the finishing process.

Wagyu Beef is melt-in-your-mouth tender, because the Wagyu Beef fat melts at 77°F (25°C); it makes for fabulous steaks and seriously gourmet burgers that are best prepared with Searing and other techniques that cook quickly. Because of the high fat content and its low melt point, watch it closely. It can easily be ruined by over cooking.

Lastly, when compared with other beef breeds, the Wagyu’s intramuscular marbling has a 2:1 ratio of monounsaturated fatty acids. The unique composition of these Wagyu fats is thought to be closely related to the peerless flavor of Wagyu beef.

Welsh Black (from Wales): The Welsh Black is a black-colored breed with black-tipped, white upswept horns. It is known for being hardy.

White Park (from Great Britain, Ireland): Hardy and economical the White Park is white in color with black (or sometimes red) ears, nose and feet.

 

There are also many Heritage Breeds of Cattle that are being raised to strengthen and protect the genetics of the species.