Bovine Husbandry

Bovine Husbandry

Breeds of Cattle

Common Breeds of Beef Cattle

American Salers

The Salers breed of cattle is native to the Auvergne region of south central France. The Salers is a horned breed. Salers cattle are a dark mahogany red. One strain of Salers is naturally polled, and some strains are black. Salers cows are noted for their ease of calving and their good maternal ability. Other desirable characteristics of Salers cattle include good foraging ability on poor range, high weaning weights, and excellent carcass quality that meets current market demand for beef. American Salers cattle can be registered with the American Salers Association (Fig. 10-4).


The official name of the Angus breed is the Aberdeen-Angus. The breed originated in Scotland in the shires of Aberdeen and Angus. Angus cattle are black. They have a smooth hair coat and are polled. They are an alert and vigorous breed. Angus cattle perform well in the feedlot. They produce a desirable carcass of high-quality, well-marbled meat. Nearly all Angus are pure for the dominant polled gene. When the Angus is used in crossbreeding programs, nearly all the calves are polled. A few Angus carry a red recessive gene for red color. Sometimes, a red C is born to black parents. The red calf is not eligible for registry in the American Angus Association. Angus cattle crossbred to Hereford cattle will produce what is known as a black baldy, which is a black calf with a white face. Another possible coloration is a black brockle-faced calf, which is a black calf with a white face, but the face has a black pattern throughout it (Fig. 10-5).

Horned and Polled Herefords

The Hereford breed originated in England. Hereford cattle have white faces and red bodies, ranging from yellow to dark red. They have white on the dewlap, underline, flank, and switch. Herefords can be polled or horned. They have a docile nature and are easily handled. They have a superior foraging ability, vigor, and hardiness. They produce more calves under adverse conditions than do many other breeds. When Herefords are used in crosses, the white color pattern tends to be dominant. Mature bulls weigh about 1800 lb, and mature females weigh about 1200 lb. Horned Herefords can be registered with the American Hereford Association. Polled Herefords are eligible for registration with both the American Hereford Association and the American Polled Hereford Association (Fig. 10-13).

Common Breeds of Dairy Cattle


The Ayrshire breed originated in the county of Ayr in the southwestern part of Scotland. The Ayrshire may be any shade of cherry red. Other colors are mahogany, brown, or white but may be mixed with red, mahogany, or brown. Each color should be clearly defined. The preferred colors are black or brindle. The horns curve up and out. They are of medium length, small at the base, and tapered toward the tips. They have straight lines and well-balanced udders. The udders are attached high at the caudal aspect and extend forward. The teats are medium in size. They are vigorous, strong, and have excellent grazing ability. Mature cows weight about 1200 lb, and mature bulls weight about 1800 lb. Ayrshires rank third among the dairy breeds in average milk production per cow at 11,700 lb. They average about 4% milk fat and rank fourth among the five dairy breeds in average milk fat produced per cow (Fig. 10-21).

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Aug 11, 2016 | Posted by in INTERNAL MEDICINE | Comments Off on Bovine Husbandry

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