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Breeds of Beef Cattle

cattle breeds livestock Cattle are considered to have been one of the first animals domesticated by man for agricultural purposes.  They were tamed to provide milk, meat and hides and for draft purposes.  The exact time and place this happened is hidden in the mists of antiquity, but it is thought they were probably first domesticated in Europe and Asia about 8500 years ago.

Domesticated cattle are in the family  Bovidae which includes ruminates with paired, hollow, unbranched horns that do not shed and an even number of toes.  They belong to the genus Bos and the subgenera Taurine which includes the two species tarus and indicus

Cattle are ruminants (as are sheep, goats, deer, and giraffes), which gives them a unique digestive system that allows the digestion of otherwise unuseable foods by regurgitating and rechewing them as cud. They thrive on grasses and other low quality plants built predominantly of cellulose. Cattle have one stomach that has four compartments. They are named the rumen, reticulum, omasum, and abomasum. The rumen is the largest compartment and is like a fermentation tank, providing the anaerobic environment, constant temperature and pH, and constant mixing that allows microbes to break down the cellulolse. The reticulum, known as the "Honeycomb", is is the smallest compartment. The omasum's main function is to absorb water and nutrients and is known as the "Many Plies." The abomasum is most like the human stomach; this is why it is known as the "True Stomach."

All breeds of British and European cattle like Angus, Hereford, Charolais and Simmental belong to the tarus species.  The humped cattle of the tropical countries like Brahman and Africander belong to the indicus species.  Many contemporary breeds are the result of crossing two or more of the older breeds.  Most of the new breeds originating in the United States were developed in the Southern states where the standard breeds lacked resistance to heat and insects and did not thrive on the native grasses.  Other Bovidae that are so closely related to true cattle that they can interbreed include the bison, buffalo, and yak.

Purebred cattle breeds have been selectively bred over a long period of time to possess a distinctive identity in color, size, conformation, and function and have the prepotency to pass these traits to their progeny.

The world cattle population is estimated to be about 1.3 billion head, with about 30 percent in Asia, 20 percent in South America, 15 percent in Africa, 14 percent in North and Central America, and 10 percent in Europe.  The 10 states in the US with the  largest cattle populations  are Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana, Kansas, Iowa, Kentucky, and Florida.

Click on the breed you would like to know more about in the Index on the left.

These are some of the current topics being discussed on's Breeds Board. Why don't you join in?

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These are a few of the topics being discussed on the Q&A Boards.
Just click on the topic to read it.   Why not join the discussion?
CattleToday's Q & A Boards are a Cattle Forum for swapping information and asking and answering questions about breed, health problems, beginners questions and jokes about cattle and horses.

Help with cattle identification
by cowgirl8 (Posted Sun, 23 Nov 2014 16:15:08 GMT)
the red does look like some of our old red sims. But unless you know where they came from it might be impossible to ever tell...

Nothing to do but gestate
by cowgirl8 (Posted Sun, 23 Nov 2014 16:12:53 GMT)
inyati13 wrote:What stikes me is this. It is much much greener here than it is there.
We got down in the 20s last week. Most of the brown was green a week ago. Now it hides the rye. What kind of grass is green on your place, rye or summer grass? People think Texas is semi desert hot and dry............where we live its heavily wooded and very wet. We also get very cold and on average are 10 degrees colder than the Dallas area for our lows.

Boondocks - JUSTIFIED
by 3waycross (Posted Sun, 23 Nov 2014 16:01:59 GMT)
AGREAT show. one of my all time favorite series.

Why I love southern states
by jedstivers (Posted Sun, 23 Nov 2014 15:57:03 GMT)
That's the way we always thought but rethinking it a little. However what you are doing is working.

North Ala. pic's
by ALACOWMAN (Posted Sun, 23 Nov 2014 15:46:06 GMT)
What Ala pics would be complete without.

Hereford Bull x Charolais cows
by denvermartinfarms (Posted Sun, 23 Nov 2014 15:45:15 GMT)
runner wrote: if starting over I would buy all Hereford cows too.
Me too!

Facebook, How many are on it?
by jedstivers (Posted Sun, 23 Nov 2014 15:20:28 GMT)
denvermartinfarms wrote:Brute 23 wrote:Sorry but you have no one to blame for your FB experience but yourself.
My experience doesn't really require blaming. It just seemed like a bunch of egotisticle self centered folks who want everyone to see how special they think they are. I haven't noticed that here, maybe I'm wrong.
We've seen it by just a few.

New best practices for dealing with terrorism.
by jedstivers (Posted Sun, 23 Nov 2014 15:18:13 GMT)
I got that in a email today. Looks like it would work.

Name That Critter
by Deepsouth (Posted Sun, 23 Nov 2014 15:03:45 GMT)
Looks like a cat to me slick. Are you just sitting the camera on the ground? Raise it up to 4 feet and it'll take much better pictures.

Mama cow
by kenny thomas (Posted Sun, 23 Nov 2014 14:43:03 GMT)
jedstivers wrote:32Paws wrote:Yes I have and I am not cutting her head off that's horrible
That's a term for sending her on down the road too. Not you actually cutting her head off the packing plant would. If she can't raise a calf she has no use in the cattle world and needs to be sold.
Yes that is what I meant. A cow that is that much trouble is of no use to me. Hope she takes the calf and does you well.

Share your "something I learned" ...
by inyati13 (Posted Sun, 23 Nov 2014 14:35:09 GMT)
HughesFamilyCattle wrote:Don't fall in Love with a _hore or a horse they'll break your Heart every time......

Keith is that coming from personal experience.

I need to get over there. Send me a PM sometime and tell me what is going on.

Pain relief for cattle
by inyati13 (Posted Sun, 23 Nov 2014 14:31:31 GMT)
I have a 5 year old cow that has a problem with her right back leg. I am guessing it might be her anterior cruciate ligament, pinched nerve, hip, etc. It is a chronic problem. When I put aspirin in her feed she seems to get some relief. I would like to relieve some of her pain. She is well conditioned and I pamper her out of sympathy. I realize I need to cull her at some point but she has nice calves, breeds back well and is currently due to calf in March via AI service to Limestone Rimrock. I am looking forward to that calf. What suggestions are there for a regularly repeated remedy that would give her some relief (especially in these cold months) and maybe control the inflammatory process going on?

Show me your mineral feeders
by jedstivers (Posted Sun, 23 Nov 2014 14:18:24 GMT)
Here's the kind I'm talking about. ... Totes.html

OCC Sires ?
by Lucky_P (Posted Sun, 23 Nov 2014 14:13:32 GMT)
Used Gardens Wave early on - before he had a Doc epd. Knew the potential was there - his sire, Highmark was at -17, and had a caution in the ABS catalog, to protect daughters for temperament; when Wave's initial numbers came out, he was at -23!. Had no issues with any of the Wave calves, and have 3 daughters in the herd now, that are as docile as anything else.
So...Docility epds probably have to be taken with a grain of salt... but I'm getting too old to be 'looking for trouble' ...

Full-time or part-time bull
by skeeter swatter (Posted Sun, 23 Nov 2014 14:08:16 GMT)
dun wrote:Post Oak wrote:Where do I go to get him tested? Is there some way that I could draw blood and send it off to get tested?
Your breed association most likely has a method of getting it done. I know there are a number of companys that do it but that's as far as I go.

I've been a cowpuncher or pen rider in 5 states, and everywhere I've been salebarns sort calves into uniform lots to sell.

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