Lowline Cattle

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Other common names: Australian Lowline Cattle; Australian Lowline Beef Cattle; American Lowline Cattle; Lowline Angus Cattle

The basics:
Lowline Cattle are a selected strain of Angus Cattle bred for many generations for smaller stature and efficiency of red meat production. All Lowline Cattle trace directly to the foundation herd in Australia.

According to the American Lowline Registry, "Australian Lowline Cattle were developed from the Angus herd which was established at the Trangie Research Centre in 1929 to provide quality breeding stock for the NSW cattle industry. The Angus breed has its origins in eastern Scotland, in the counties of Aberdeen and Angus, where it was developed from the native black hornless cattle. The Trangie herd was reinforced with further imports from Canada, the United States of America and Scotland between 1930 and 1950."

"The trials which produced the Lowline breed began in 1974, with funding from the Meat Research Corporation, to evaluate selection for growth rate on herd profitability. The aim was to establish whether large or small animals were more efficient converters of grass into meat. This trial continued for 19 years. Mr. Ian Pullar, a grazier from Armidale, secured 43 cows and then two bulls from the satellite herd at Glen Innes and registered the Australian Boutique Cattle Association as an umbrella organization. His interest save from extinction what, through no plan by the Trangie Research Centre, had become a new breed of cattle, a breed which had the desirable characteristics of the Angus breed, but which was only about 39 inches high. They are smooth, free from waste, and produce high quality meat. They are free from the eye cancer which plagues the Hereford, and they have proved adaptable to Australian conditions. Being descended from stock which have been handled in Australia for 60 years, they were also exceptionally docile."

Since their arrival into the United States in 1996, they are now referred to as American Lowline cattle.

Appearance / health:
According to the American Lowline Registry, "Mature Lowline bulls will generally fall into a range of 40-48 inches measured at the shoulder and weigh from 900-1500 pounds. Mature cows should measure from 38-46 inches and weigh between 700-1100 pounds. Certain individuals will fall outside of these parameters. Judgment should be made on quality and confirmation rather than size."

"The most discriminating feature of the head should be a well defined prominent poll. The eyes are large and prominent. Females should show no coarseness about the head, which should be angular, of moderate length with a broad forehead. Jaws should be clean and the throatlatch free of excessive skin. Ears should not droop, be of medium size and fully haired. Often the face of both sexes will have a slight dish."
Like other livestock, cattle require regular vaccinations and inoculations (for example, rabies inoculations) for disease prevention and health management. Similar to other mammals, cows can suffer a variety of ailments and health issues. A veterinarian should be on call and provide regular checkups and monitoring for the entire herd.

Behavior / temperament:
Cattle are docile animals that have strong maternal instincts. They are big and bulky, and could, therefore, inflict harm without intending to. Handling and brushing them constantly while juvenile will help train them to be calm and trusting around humans, which is helpful especially when they need to be attended to by the veterinarian or groomer.

Housing / diet:
Housing for cattle is essentially to give them shelter from extreme weather conditions. Barns, rub-in sheds, stalls, and other structures like windbreaks, should be available where the cows graze. Aside from manmade shelters, trees and tall bushes can provide resting places for cattle to minimize heat stroke or wind chill.

Shelters will give the cows the option to seek safe haven from strong winds, extreme heat or cold, and heavy rains. Shelters should be strong, stable, spacious, well ventilated, and waterproof. Barns should be provided with water supply, and stalls should be lined with hay. They should also be cleaned regularly.

Sprinklers and other cooling systems are recommended for areas that overheat during summer months. Professional and humane fencing should be provided. All poisonous plants should be removed from the pasture; and hay should always be kept dry (wet hay grows molds, becoming a health hazard for cows).
A good quality pasture for grazing is the basic dietary requirement of cattle. The recommended pasture size per cow is 10 acres, without which, the diet should be supplemented with hay. The recommended quantity of hay is an average of 2% of the animal’s body weight per day (or 2 lbs. of hay per 100 lbs. of body weight). Supplements include grain mixes, protein and mineral cubes, and salt blocks, depending on the type of cow, its uses, and the local climate.

Providing a constant supply of fresh water is essential. An adult cow consumes an estimate of up to 20 gallons of water per day.

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