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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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cattle angus

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.

Favorite Lines
by Son of Butch (Posted Wed, 29 Jun 2016 19:18:45 GMT+5)
Calman wrote:Waiter: How would you like your steak?
Pepper: Oh, just knock it's horns off, wipe its nasty a$$ and chunk it right here on this plate.
Totally gross!

Steak Tartare with crackers and a little horseradish or diced raw onions on the side
go CAB and no worries about horns

Gift for a cattleman
by CJC (Posted Wed, 29 Jun 2016 19:16:52 GMT+5)
I met a fella at the auction a few years ago. He has a large Cattle business and has helped me many many times. I have paid him many times for his help hauling but the majority of the time he does it as a favor. He's taught me pretty much everything I know about cows and every time I have a problem he helps me. He always says "if no one teaches you you'll never learn". I text him weekly for help. I have offered my help to him but he has never taken me up on the offer. I would like to buy him a gift but what do you buy an old cattle rancher? I thought nice fat gift card out to a steakhouse or something but doesn't seem personal enough. Suggestions?

Guess the breed
by Lucky_P (Posted Wed, 29 Jun 2016 19:15:01 GMT+5)
Have some here not unlike her... most are 3/4 AN - 1/4 SM, a few are 1/2 SH, 3/8 AN, 1/8 SM.

Charolais, Simmental, or Gelbvieh with color dilution/inhibitor genes could all give you an 'off' color similar to that... suppose Braunvieh, Aubrac, and some original color Tarentaise could probably bring it, too.

by Calman (Posted Wed, 29 Jun 2016 19:10:28 GMT+5)
I always spray my britches legs and boots with off. When I do get a few on me I've found that a shower as hot as you can stand it and plenty of soap will usually get rid of them and relieve the itch.

Weaning bottle calves
by CJC (Posted Wed, 29 Jun 2016 19:08:08 GMT+5)
I have a confession...I am addicted to bottle calves. Now that I just picked up 4 I am curious to everyone's opinion on when to wean. My oldest is 10 weeks and I could have weaned him 2 weeks ago. I talked to a calf raiser who said 2 months was a good time to wean. I posted on another website about it and got slapped for the 2 month weaning idea. By 2 months they are eating grain and hay like champs. They are grazing well. If I'm going to keep buying these I need them off the bottle young or we will never make money off them. Opinions on this?

Steer With Patches of Skin Separating
by wbvs58 (Posted Wed, 29 Jun 2016 19:06:18 GMT+5)
Sorry, I'm getting mixed up, been out of the game for a while. Try googling Dermatophylus in cattle.


Franklin Graham
by inyati13 (Posted Wed, 29 Jun 2016 19:06:01 GMT+5)
I started having internal conflicts with the Christian Doctrine when I was 10 years old. Today, at 65, I see it as a fantasy. More power to he/she who finds substance in it. Having said that, Over my long life, I have enjoyed sitting in front of the TV and being entertained by perhaps the best orator I have ever heard - Billy Graham.

New To The Cattle Business
by Alan (Posted Wed, 29 Jun 2016 19:02:19 GMT+5)
coalcreekfarms10 wrote:I thought about getting into some Herefords but I know they don't sell like black angus does at market. I really like both breeds but I just picked angus. What exactly do you mean when you say disposition? Are you talking about the looks and features as far as muscular and things like that?

Disposition is temperament, are they mean, dangerous or flighty (flighty, high headed, meaning they see you coming and will turn a bolt to the far side of the pasture or further, maybe over a panel in the working pen.)

Phenotype is frame/bone structure, muscling, looks like a bull or cow (masculine or feminine), udder, both attachment and teat size and shape, legs, feet, etc.

One more you didn't ask for frame size. Frame size is the height and weight of the animal. My thinking is it is better to have a medium sized cow that raises a nice calf, say weans at 550 to 600 lbs. in a nut shell I would rather feed and maintain a 1000 to 1200 lbs cow that raises that type of calf then feed and maintain a 1800 lbs cow that raises the same size calf. It goes deeper than that but that is pretty much the basics and strictly my opinion.

Board activity
by greybeard (Posted Wed, 29 Jun 2016 18:52:08 GMT+5)
TennesseeTuxedo wrote:inyati13 wrote:TennesseeTuxedo wrote:Yes, start a new topic and prepare for battle!

Muslim dairy cows?

Let's square off. 3 hours to prepare our case. I will argue for Christian Dairy Cows you take Muslim.

This is great. We can talk Bovines, religion and politics and not get banned.

I want to argue for the Christian Dairy Cows.
This should just about cover it all. Jesus ascending, the Muslim wolf is attempting to slaughter the Mother of all Cows; Kamadhenu (host of all deities) while all of the Earth's people are fed and nurtured from the teats of Kamadhenu.
(The Brit PM and Uncle Sam are seated and being offered bovine sustenance from the holy Zebu by the Gunga Din looking character)

Sea of clover/Sea of horse nettle
by cow pollinater (Posted Wed, 29 Jun 2016 18:47:16 GMT+5)
Bigfoot wrote: Anybody got a recommendation?

Put the kids to work with backpack sprayers. I put a fifteen gallon sprayer on the bed of the truck and I just spot spray a little when I'm checking cows and have a few minutes to spare. I get a lot done that way and still have my clover.

Eye Opener
by Jogeephus (Posted Wed, 29 Jun 2016 18:42:51 GMT+5)
Calman wrote:Jogeephus wrote:About an hour ago I stepped out of my truck and into a flock of turkeys who were laying low about 10 feet from my truck. When I exited the truck the burst loose and went ballistic. About 30 of them ranging from mature to chicken sized. Talk about an eye opener.

I know the feeling just yesterday I was riding through some thick brush along the creek and ran upon an old sow with about a dozen suckling pigs. Glad I was on the 4 wheeler.

I had that happen to me a few years ago only I was on foot. The pigs squealed and mama came running to their defense and all I had between me and her was a pulpwood tree and a paint gun in my hand. We went round and round the tree and with each step she got a dose of paint in her face till she had had enough and went off. Not a good morning for me. Think it was a Monday.

Happy Birthday Sophia Brooke
by slick4591 (Posted Wed, 29 Jun 2016 18:41:19 GMT+5)

by slick4591 (Posted Wed, 29 Jun 2016 17:50:33 GMT+5)

Blessed With Heifers Calving
by Dave (Posted Wed, 29 Jun 2016 17:48:34 GMT+5)
The guy I have sold to the last two years is real happy. 99 heifer and he only lost one calf. He said that one was his fault. Live calf that fell into a pond. These are unknown heifers but I am real careful about the bulls and I don't over feed the heifers.

three down, one to go
by TCRanch (Posted Wed, 29 Jun 2016 17:29:11 GMT+5)
Dave wrote:These heifers are all that famous line of breeding; out of saleyard by truck. They are sale yard purchased in March when they weighed 750-800 pounds. They are all black and all the calves are black. The only one I know anything about the breeding is the one that hasn't calved yet. That heifer's sire and possibly the sire of the calf that she is carrying came from the same people I get my bulls from. I wont keep any of these heifers. They were bought to be bred and sold as bred heifers this fall. Once #4 has her calf and the calves get a little age (about a month) they will all get a trailer ride.
Buy 60 heifers that weigh 800 pounds and you will be surprised how many of them will already be bred. That is the reason that I lute them all when they get home. Last year I had pretty good luck. The lute aborted all but one. This year not so good.

We pull the bulls at least 6 weeks prior to weaning & every heifer gets a shot. We don't sell until they are generally 45 days weaned (partially to watch for abortion) & sell as guaranteed open - so far we've either been lucky or no one has complained.

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