Free eCards

Breeds of Cattle



Sign-up for our
FREE email





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?

Cattle Today Online!

Cattle Today Online is the cattleman's guide to the cattle business. Take your time and look around. You'll find the net's best cattle news, free livestock classified ads, free ranch listing, the latest USDA livestock market report, free ranch email, Baxter Black, and a free newsletter just for ranchers. While you are there browse our Links and find a list of breeders.  Or make someone smile by sending them a Cow Card!


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.

Keeping Replacements, and not Breed specific.
by js1234 (Posted Wed, 27 May 2015 19:35:23 GMT)
we keep moderately sized feminine heifers. we make a couple cuts. when fields are weaned, steers are for the most part shipped as bawlers and a large first cut of the heifers are too. the dinks and jumbos that dont fit anything are then sorted off the heifers. if my goal is to keep say 400 heifers, i may start the process with 500-600 "potential replacements" wean them let them all grow up over the summer in the case of California. after a few months, we will sort again and sell or send to feed 1-2 loads of what typically winds up being very attractive feeder heifers we have sorted off what we viewed as the bottom cut of the replacements. in recent years, many times those heifers have gone on to be made into cows by other operators. also the last few years, we have sorted some front end type cows into pasture groups and bred them to sets of full brothers that we felt had an opportunity to help build a nice replacement with an eye on keeping a greater % of those heifer calves than other fields. as our California cow herd has grown to a greater percentage of angus we have been doing this with hereford bulls to a greater extent with and eye on making more baldy and brockle face heifers with a higher degree of heterosis. we do very much the same thing with our Nevada heifers but due to the demands of the harsh country, even more importance is placed on a moderate heifer that will grow up to be an efficient mother cow. I'm sure there is no "set" way or answer but after some trial and error over the years, this fits us pretty good. i know some other large operations keep more heifers as a percentage of their calf crop and sell their cows younger, as they feel the revenue from selling bred cows makes this lucrative and for them it very well may be. we've always had the view that those middle age to older cows dont lose enough ground in terms of pounds of beef weaned to outstrip what they bring to the table knowing the country and how to get the job done. infact, for about 12-15 years now we have sorted about 100 head of our oldest cows into one field where they can be babied a bit if need be and with little to no increase in the care/feed/supplement, they wean calves right along with all their younger peers. it does bear mentioning though, that at preg check, all cows are mouthed and any smooth mouth cows are sent to town along with the opens in our California program and the next rung younger (1-2 teeth) would most of the time go too in Nevada due to the big tough country they run in.

Over-conditioning and Calving Ease
by Fire Sweep Ranch (Posted Wed, 27 May 2015 19:31:23 GMT)
AllForage wrote:Ron you stubborn @ss ol' mule!!! Never said you feed concentrates. Your problem is long growing season, way too under stocked to effectively control body condition, don't manage your grass tight enough because your old azz legs can't climb your hills without having a heart attack to cross fence, and you run crossbreeds which will get fatter easier.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it

The only problem with using a Hereford bull.
by John SD (Posted Wed, 27 May 2015 19:30:33 GMT)
Muddy wrote:Ojp6 wrote:With cattle it's not so much whether they will grow on corn. It's about how efficiently they will grow, how fast they will finish, and how well they will grade when they are finished. Some 1/4 and 1/8 blood Longhorns may keep up with the tail end of the beef calves but very few half bloods will. There will always be someone willing to feed them though if they are down in the money far enough.
From my observations, the common cross is black Angus x longhorn cross, they tends to be poor performers and not put pounds in like Char x, Romagnola x and Limo x does. But there will be always demand for ground beef.

+1. Longhorn likely would be the ideal breed for producing ultra lean ground beef. But Longhorn is a poor choice if your desire is to produce higher value/highly marbled juicy steaks. The well marbled British breeds, particularly Angus, own the market for high end cuts of beef

Need help with my shredder!
by dun (Posted Wed, 27 May 2015 19:25:37 GMT)
A couple of years ago one of the secondary gear boxes came apart. Needed some gears/shims/bearings, etc. Turned out a replacement gearbox was cheaper then the parts to fix the old one.

Now this is a tiny calf
by cowgirl8 (Posted Wed, 27 May 2015 19:21:21 GMT)
We just moved our preemie out of the watch pasture to her mothers normal herd. She no longer overheats. To anyone who ends up with a preemie, they do better in cold. Anything over 65 overheats them. I was lucky this year and we've had nothing but cloudy cool days to allow Mini to mature. She was my smallest ever, no teeth, hair about 1/4 inch long... I dont think she'll ever grow to be like the cows other calves. She's known to throw whoppers, was even paralyzed in her younger days with a 100+ bull calf who went on to when money in a stock show.. And if i have my way, i'll keep Mini and add her to my little misfit herd...

Happy 66th Birthday MWJ!
by mwj (Posted Wed, 27 May 2015 19:15:53 GMT)
Thanks to all of you. I just treat it like any other day. Always thankful when my eyes open in the morning!

feeding cattle nuts
by cow pollinater (Posted Wed, 27 May 2015 19:14:43 GMT)
You can't feed them in bulk without grinding them but they're good feed. I have a customer who gets nut meal from the driers that isn't fit for bakeries and it is phenominal feed.

Good Morning--We're from the EPA
by inyati13 (Posted Wed, 27 May 2015 19:05:58 GMT)
Red Bull Breeder wrote:Inyati I once took money from a government program. After some thought I gave all off it back, and have never took a dam dime of there handouts. I feel just about the same way towards government employees as I do government agencies, with a few exceptions. The people in the branches of the military have my respect.

Well, RBB. you are one hell-of-a man.

Hay Wagon
by HDRider (Posted Wed, 27 May 2015 18:59:36 GMT)
skyhightree1 wrote:See HD I told you to get one of those at the sale and take it with you
I had to check with my advisory board first.

Scratch that idea.

UPS/Cashier's check question
by CottageFarm (Posted Wed, 27 May 2015 18:35:31 GMT)
Luca Brasi wrote:Does anyone think that a lawyer, a Congressman or anything else is going to get that letter found any quicker? No one wants to deal with such an irate customer. It's not like they're not trying to find it. They just can't.

It's a tough situation and it stinks, but it doesn't sound like there is much that anyone can do at this point. It also appears to me that there is some percentage of displaced blame here. There are ways to operate a business and other financial matters, and depending on a last minute, seat of the pants approach is not exactly the most responsible thing. Mail gets lost or delayed sometimes. It's not right, but it happens. We all know it. Putting 100% of the blame on someone else when we know or should have known the risks is not exactly fair or reasonable.

Hmmm....they've already had lots of time to find it. It hasn't happened. Whether or not they continue to look for it is irrelevant. The reason for a lawyers letter at this time is to expedite the claims process. Did you not read the part where they 1st took a week or more to look for the envelope and now want him to wait another 2-3 weeks to even file the claim documents. Every aspect possible in the UPS organization is digitized and electronic and they need to MAIL the claim docs to him Theyre on the hook for a very expensive piece of paper. Yeah, shyte happens. But theres a point where the business needs to suck it up and do what they are contractually obligated to do. Been there, done that as a business owner myself. You do what you contracted to do, and you move on.

The sender did absolutely nothing wrong here. Hes really been quite patient in my opinion. Its obvious its not your 7G that's lost. I suspect you would not be quite so sanguine about it if it were.

Its real easy, in hindsite, for us all to tell him he should have done an electronic transfer, but a bank draft send by an service is still fairly sop with lots of people.

us post office
by Japody (Posted Wed, 27 May 2015 17:53:01 GMT)
The actions of the employees are a direct result of the standards that are set for them. As a Postmaster, I let my employees know what was expected. Employees were recognized for conducting themselves accordingly. Employees that did not do as instructed were also recognized! As a customer, if you encounter an employee that was not customer friendly, let the Manager or Postmaster know. You can ask to speak to them directly or, you can call 1-800-275-8777 and file a complaint. Once a complaint is received, the Postmaster or Manager must respond to the customer within 24 hours. This is monitored and tracked to make sure it happens. As far as their asking you to drop the Address Change card in the mail, the reason is that it goes to the processing Plant and is read by high speed computers. The information is then downloaded into a national database. If you live in Osh Kosh and move to Woebeegon, a letter mailed in New York will be automatically routed to Woebeegon. Or at least that's the way it's supposed to happen.

Hi, from down South
by Deepsouth (Posted Wed, 27 May 2015 17:52:05 GMT)
South Africa! Thats really deep south.

we'd love to see some pictures.

Whats a low birthweight breed?
by ricebeltrancher (Posted Wed, 27 May 2015 17:42:55 GMT)
Wagyu, or a high acc. Angus or Brangus would be my picks.

Self centered people
by fenceman (Posted Wed, 27 May 2015 17:26:52 GMT)
The people fixing that line are getting paid for their work and can walk away at any time. A lot of us do risky work day in and day out to keep society operating. Many people flock to that work for the additional pay.[/quote]

Yea, same for the police and fire department. They new what they were signing up for.....

Texas rising
by TexasBred (Posted Wed, 27 May 2015 17:07:55 GMT)
Caustic Burno wrote:
I have heard them quote it don't put much stock in it.
For reason's I won't go into here.

Oh Lord my God CB...I was hoping I'd learn some of them secrets.

Cattle Today
proudly awards
this site it's
Top 100 Ag Sites Award.

Please vote for us!

Vote for us!