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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.

What are you paying for feed and hay?
by Bigfoot (Posted Sat, 31 Jan 2015 01:26:37 GMT)
tom4018 wrote:Bigfoot wrote:I'm $185 a ton on feed. It's bulk delivery. Square baled hay is nonexistent. Some is shipped in to the hay auction, but goes for outrageous prices.
Who you buying from? I am paying $204 for a 16% feed. See some hay here for $30 a roll and some squares starting $3.00.
Locally, a triple third mix.

Vikings is back on History Channel
by Bigfoot (Posted Sat, 31 Jan 2015 00:50:50 GMT)
jedstivers wrote:To bad we don't have a few boat loads to send to the Middle East right now.

According to information I have recieved here, what's going on in the Middle East, is actually not really a threat. I know this will sound strange, but evidently "Christian values" are a bigger threat to the American way of life. We need to control the enemy within, before we worry about the Middle East. I'm going for more koolaid anybody else want some?

Retaining Heifers
by Big Cheese (Posted Sat, 31 Jan 2015 00:29:42 GMT)
Waterway65 wrote:I generally agree with what has already been said. One other thing I watch that I don't keep a heifer from a late calver. To often a heifer from a late caper can be a late calver herself producing a calf that won't dollar out with the herd average. Mel

Also, if you keep a late calver heifer she will take longer to mature as well because she is going to be younger. If your only keeping a few choose from your older heifers so they will mature earlier and put a calf on the ground earlier for you.

what do you pay for cows
by Big Cheese (Posted Sat, 31 Jan 2015 00:27:08 GMT)
I just couldn't make myself pay that for a cow. There's just to many things that could happen before she pays herself off. I would rather go the route with the expensive registered bull to my commercial cows then retain heifers. I understand some of y'all are in the full blood business and that's what y'all do so I'm not bashing y'all in anyway by saying this! It's just my opinion on the matter

Scrotal Hernia in Calf
by bubbacalf (Posted Sat, 31 Jan 2015 00:25:44 GMT)
I can feel a testicle when I tried to figure what it was, but only one.

A sight for sore eyes
by Aaron (Posted Sat, 31 Jan 2015 00:24:54 GMT)
Been waiting for almost 2 months for this beauty to show up. Was a short first day of work, but got these right-of-ways opened up. More pictures to come when he starts back up on Monday.

Share your "something I learned" ...
by cross_7 (Posted Sat, 31 Jan 2015 00:17:16 GMT)
Success isn't forever and failure isn't fatal

Hereford marking question
by Aaron (Posted Sat, 31 Jan 2015 00:00:57 GMT)
No, not solid black. You can get them heavily freckled, like 'Rusty'.

But that comment alone would probably get me to the sale, or at the very least, motivate a phone call.

Gelbvieh Owners, Fans, & Critics Get In Here
by HOSS (Posted Fri, 30 Jan 2015 23:50:44 GMT)
Love my Gelbvieh cattle. They work well for me. Never had any mastitis issues. Easy to work and lordy do those calves put on the pounds!

Earliest premi to survive ?
by goddy (Posted Fri, 30 Jan 2015 23:47:09 GMT)
So just interested in what is the earliest premature born calf you have had survive. Wondering because I had an early one born this evening that I'm tube feeding in by the heater and it is a minimum of 4 weeks early if she was mated the day the bull was put in.

new old truck
by HOSS (Posted Fri, 30 Jan 2015 23:36:45 GMT)
Finally got another truck. Been looking for ever. I found an 09 Dodge Ram 4 door 4x4 with only 53k miles. Like new condition. Old feller really babied it. Feels good to be back in a full size truck.

interview the person below you.
by Named'em Tamed'em (Posted Fri, 30 Jan 2015 23:34:07 GMT)
Only when I have the urge to howl!

Ever seen a wolf in the wild?

Pathogenic Microbes of Bovines
by branguscowgirl (Posted Fri, 30 Jan 2015 23:33:09 GMT)
I had been thinking the same thing all evening, and hadn't gotten around to typing it yet.
Me too Bigfoot! Me too!

Keep one drop one
by shaneb (Posted Fri, 30 Jan 2015 22:57:50 GMT)
New england patriots

cornstalk/ Milo value.
by bird dog (Posted Fri, 30 Jan 2015 22:52:58 GMT)
I agree with TexasBred. Milo is good and and you will have a decent protein value. Corn not so much and it seems the waste is much higher. You also need to look closely at the bales. Some of it molds and mildews easily if not baled or stacked correctly.

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