Red Angus cattle have the same origins as the more popular Angus Cattle. Originating from Aberdeenshire and Angus counties in Scotland in the 18th century, the Angus breed of cattle, appearing both in black and red, was introduced to the United States in 1873. The Angus did not gain popularity until crossbreeding with the Texas Longhorn resulted in good meat quality, less calving problems, and the advantages of polled/hornless cattle (less injuries).
Due to simple preference by a prominent rancher in the 1820s, the black strain was pushed as more favorable than the red. Decades later, since the red colored Angus constantly appeared in herds as a recessive trait, breeders collected and raised them as purebred. The Red Angus Association of America was formed in 1954.
Appearance / health:
Red Angus cattle are born with a red body coloration and mature without losing the red color. Like the Black Angus, they have the ideal body conformation, are low and compact, hornless, and produce high quality meat.
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.
intelligent, stocker steers, cold nasty winters, great temperament, good growth rate, big beefy cattle
good heifer bulls, feed efficiency, stockers calves, Japanese market
An Unexpected Red
I grew up on a farm in the Midwest. We raised Jersey cows for milk and Black Angus cattle for beef. One spring during birthing season we had a surprise when one of the Black Angus mothers who was bred to a Black Angus bull gave birth to a Red Angus calf. Black Angus are not known for their mothering skills so occasionally we kids were pressed into service to feed a rejected calf. This little one seemed strong and energetic from the start with exceptionally long curly fur and movie star eyelashes. We named him Reddi Whip. To feed him, we would hang a bucket of milk with a rubber nipple on a stall of the milking barn. He had the run of the place and whenever we were around the barn or pasture he would happily follow us around. It became a comical sight as he grew more and more enormous, like having a giant dog begging for attention. Of course eventually it was time and he was sent off to be butchered and placed in our freezer. We were farm kids and not sentimental at all about these practical matters. At dinner we would often look down at our steaks and say, "Hi, Reddi Whip!".
From DocHazelwood Aug 21 2014 7:07PM
Red Angus Cattle (otherwise known as Aberdeen Angus).
Red Angus are a sub-breed of the Aberdeen Angus which predominately has been known to be black in colouring with the red colour being a recessive gene.
During the early 20th century it was realised by both Australian and American cattle breeders that the red strain of the Angus seemed to have some attributes better suited to the farming of cattle in these areas and therefore a conscious effort on both continents began to collect the red calves and rear them as a breed apart.
In Australia, the colouring of the Red Angus means that it is able to withstand higher temperature climates than its black relatives as their red coat actually reflects the sunlight better than a cow or bull with a black coat. This gives the Red Angus a massive advantage in that that they are able to be farmed in the northern, hotter areas of Australia where the climate may be severe (as in, hotter) but because of the rainforest areas and monsoon seasons, they have ample opportunity to feed on native grasses. It also means they can be farmed in areas where buffalo are but without the issue of having to deal with the Buffalo Fly, which are naturally attracted to the darker skin of the buffalo.
The Red Angus is well known for its gentle nature and ease with which they can be worked with (meaning less stress on the herd as a whole), their high fertility rates, excellent milk production and strong maternal qualities but most of all its ability to adapt to a vast range of climate conditions without a minimal loss in yield.
Not only do they produce calves from a young age (around two years) but are renowned for their longevity in breeding. A Red Angus cow can live between 20 to 25yrs and can produce one calf each season however this is not desirable as the gestation period for a calf is 283 days – almost the same as for a human. Also, most cows are bred to only have 8 to 10 calves during their lifetime, meaning that a cow is probably ready to be retired from breeding at age 15 to 17. (if one allows for a calf to be reared on milk for at least 6 to 8 months after birth that the cow has a calf every 1.8yrs)
Most calves can be weaned after 6 to 8 months however some farmers, especially those specifically breeding cattle for meat, will sometimes allow their calves to be reared on mother’s milk for up to 12 months or even as long as 14 months before being weaned to ensure the best possible nutrition and least amount of stress.
The mothers are then rested for up to 6 months before being allowed to impregnate again. This again minimizes stress levels in the herd and the less stress a herd has, the higher quality meat it should produce.
At the end of the day, the way a farmer chooses to breed his or her herd will come down to the quality of the meat that they are hoping to produce to take to market – unlike the Jersey or Holstein Friesian, the Angus is specifically bred for its high meat quality (as opposed to being a dairy producing cow) which is why the Red Angus is so popular as it is largely attributed to for having a stress-free temperament, even when being moved from paddock to paddock.
Once the calves are weaned, they should be moved from one pasture to another at a leisurely pace – anything that can produce high stress levels in the herd will decrease the value of the meat.
Calves, Heifers (teenage cows), Cows and Bulls all eat only plant material – mainly grass, hay and grain.
All cows eat a LOT. In fact, it’s pretty much what they spend their whole day doing – eating fodder and drinking water. A fully grown cow can drink 114 litres (30 gallons) of water per day and eat 45 kilograms (100 pounds). In order to get the most out of what they eat, nutritionally, cows have a 4 chambered stomach. They do most of their eating in the morning and late afternoon, spending the middle of the day resting.
They are happiest as part of a herd and do get distressed quite easily, which is why meat producing cow farmers spend a lot of time among their herds to make sure all is well.
After calving, cattle are moved to specific yards to be vaccinated against disease and also to be ear-marked – this is done one of two ways. Either a tag that looks like a colourful earring is attached to the ear which has information that identifies what farm they are from and their age, or alternatively a permanent notch is put in the ear which is used more to tell who owns which cattle. Each cattle farm has its own unique ‘notch’.
Male calves are castrated; one so that the farmer can control the breeding of the herd; secondly as this makes them less aggressive than bulls and thirdly as castrated cattle make better meat. The best male calves are usually left alone for breeding purposes.
How fast cattle grow depends entirely on the quality of the feed however usually 100 days before the farmer wants to sell the selected part of the herd, the herd that is to be sold is put into a Feedlot where they are fed a strict diet of grain based feed and hay or silage. Also, depending on the type of meat wanted to send to market, the amount of movement the selected herd have can be controlled, allowing for fattier or ‘marbled’ meat. Beef production for the Japanese market usually means a longer time in feedlot – anywhere from 180 days to 360, depending on the outcome required.
Red Angus (and Black Angus) are not really a breed of cow one would have for a small hobby farm – usually someone wanting a small venture or a cow or two for a hobby farm for milking purposes would be best off with a dairy cow such as a Jersey. Two or three are more than enough – but keep in mind that once their calves are weaned and you are milking them daily for milk, you MUST continue to milk them DAILY (usually first thing in the morning) otherwise the cow will suffer terribly from having an udder full of milk..
From msdollydidit Apr 6 2014 4:59AM