Black vs. Other

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Ruchian

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What is your opinion on black cattle compared to everything else in the show ring or the feed lot?
 

aj

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I like black cattle...I think aloy of the black angus because they have so much data to work with. Just don't tell me that a black exotic calf is going to grade. There is antedotal evidence for everthing but there are alot of cattle out there in the general population that won't grade. There are lines of angus and red angus won't grade. I just think that there are so many counterfit blacks out there that aren't good grading cattle. I have heard that the red angus cattle are alot pure'er than the black angus because the red angus didn't do the showring deal till just lately. Becton developed the breed and he didn't try to compete against the exotics. He didn't add holstein or chianina to win in the showring like the black angus people did. Becton applied selection pressure to his program and simply created a great set of cattle. I like black cattle but what it is what it is. Cattle today in feedlots are grading choice at 55%. 40 years ago cattle were grading 70% choice. If the black hide is the deal why hasn't the % gone up with all the black hides.The black hide means absolutely nothing any more...nothing. :)
 

renegade

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You may have been able to tell that i am Pro Red animals ;D.  I dont have any scientific facts or studies to back this up, just my experiece and input from those that have been in this industry for decades (some on both sides). It seems to me that the majority of red hided cattle...hereford, red angus, short horns(of course not always red, but usually gentle)... tend to be more docile, have better feed efficiencey, ect. Even when put against black angus in the show ring( Breeding or Market) they have risen to the top from my experience. Part of that may have to do with the quality of animals brought to the local show rings but it has become apparent that others have noticed this as well because what use to be a barn of black animals has become at least half red.

I see these certified black angus burgers and steaks advertised everywhere but they cant really certify that. First off they pretty much classify any black animal going through the ring as "black angus". I know some one that raises tarentiase(spell wrong) and they can be anywhere from light tan to red to black and she said the sale ring calls the black steers black angus everytime.  Second they cant really tell you whether the package of hamburger you just bought is a hereford, black angus, or beefmaster. So there really is no reason for black calves to bring thirty cents more than a red one in the sale ring but it still happens.
 

strawroanlova

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florida
i honestly have to say that all the judges that have judge at tyhe shows in are states are alwys pickin black cattle
 

CPL

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The American Angus Association whipped everyone tail with marketing, etc. There are some black angus cattle that are very nice, however, their are also many that have no hindquarter and very low bone circumference. Same is true for any other breed.

No joke... walked into Hardee's one night and ordered a hamburger. After they filled the order and everything I told the lady that they should start making their burgers with Hereford beef  ;). She stared at me for a couple seconds then said, "WHO'S that?". I grabbed my sandwich and left.
 

pigguy

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kansas
black is great for the ring and feedyard. but it gets boring after a while. so far every year we have shown one red calf.  and then the rest black. except this year i havent been able to find one :'( but there is a sale comin up and there is a set of twin sisters out of alis and a houston angus cow. that might be fun to show (cow)
 

Ruchian

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Oregon
It is still mainly black doing well in the showring here but there are a few shorthorns doing well now and last year a hereford cross did really well.  The judge we had the last two years seemed to not really care that much about color but if it came down to trying to separate to steers that were really close, the black ones usually placed better.
 

Show Heifer

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I like GREEN cattle...anything that makes me money....black, red, yellow, grey, or white.....

A black animal usually places higher than a colored animal due to the fact it is easier to hide flaws with black hair/hide.
So it take a superior animal of color to beat a black.

As far as feedlot goes....I think disposition is overlooked too often, regardless of breed. Calm, easy to handle animals always gain and grade better than wild animals. 

Heard a feedlot owner state he thought grade was going down due to the influx of clubbie breeding in the cow herds....everyone seems to have a "4-H herd" of cows to raise their "next purple ribbon." But of course none that they raise are as good as they can buy elsewhere, so they haul theirs to a salebarn and buy one. And those that don't sell at the clubbie boys herd also go to the salebarn..... His feedlot wasn't big (roughly 3000).  He also questioned the single trait selection in the total cattle industry....

My cow herd consist of blacks, yellows, greys, reds, and one white. I am not selective at all!! (clapping)
 

renegade

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Caldwell, Idaho
I think black herefords are a classy looking animal. They are a black baldie that has enough hereford to have the markings instead of just a white face. Then you get the best of both worlds- mainly hereford genetics but with enough angus to give them a black hide and the extra money in the sale ring.

I was surprised last year that non-black angus were doing so well because we had a HUGE angus judge. She was good at judging and she teaches ultra sounding at a local college.

I plan to start crossing to get the black herefords and also cross some other breeds as well as keep my pure herefords
 

CPL

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renegade said:
I think black herefords are a classy looking animal. They are a black baldie that has enough hereford to have the markings instead of just a white face. Then you get the best of both worlds- mainly hereford genetics but with enough angus to give them a black hide and the extra money in the sale ring.

In my personal opinion, Black Baldies belong in the commerical cattlemens pasture. Keep in mind that the "Black Hereford Assoc"  is a color association.

That is a whole other debate, but they have always been black baldies and suddenly they are registerable? Also Herefords aren't black. There is no such thing as a "Black" Hereford. And a list of other complaints, etc. etc.  ;D
 

Ruchian

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Oregon
There is an old rancher I know that won't keep a black baldie.  He only raises herefords and anything that isn't red and white is the first to sell.  He likes the stereotypical hereford cattle, horned and red and white.  It is what he grew up raising and is what he always will.
 

ROAD WARRIOR

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Iowa
As most of you know by now I'm kind of predgudiced (sp?) . I like my Red Angus cattle and we are making some serious gaines in both the show ring and the sale ring. How ever I truley do appreciate good cattle of any breed or color. I do think it is odd the number of breeds that have turned black over the last few years when their genetic make up had no black gene available and yet they are still called "purebreds". While I am not nieve enough to believe that there is any "pure" breed of cattle left I do think that some are purer than others. A few years ago I saw both a black hereford and a black charolais bull being promoted in Denver. While I'm not a genetics expert I don't believe there is a black gene available in either a red and white or solid white animal. It still boils down to go with what works for you and your market.
 

renegade

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In my personal opinion, Black Baldies belong in the commerical cattlemens pasture. Keep in mind that the "Black Hereford Assoc"  is a color association.
That is a whole other debate, but they have always been black baldies and suddenly they are registerable? Also Herefords are black. There is no such thing as a "Black" Hereford. And a list of other complaints, etc. etc.  ;D
[/quote]

What do you mean by herefords are black :))).  I didnt think up the term black hereford, im just going on the association name.  I think they are just trying to refine the best of both breeds and begin making their way to the show ring. Isnt that were all of our good cows should be able to prove themselves...in a commercial herd? I think if they want to make a "commercial cow" into a competing cow all the power to them. I still think that the "black hereford" looks nice...lots of muscle, flash, personality... there have been several of these steers shown here and i am impressed.
 

CPL

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renegade said:
What do you mean by herefords are black :))).   I didnt think up the term black hereford, im just going on the association name.  I think they are just trying to refine the best of both breeds and begin making their way to the show ring. Isnt that were all of our good cows should be able to prove themselves...in a commercial herd? I think if they want to make a "commercial cow" into a competing cow all the power to them. I still think that the "black hereford" looks nice...lots of muscle, flash, personality... there have been several of these steers shown here and i am impressed.

First question... Me trying to type at 10:00  ???  :D

I guess i just don't really see how they have the rights to all these black herefords. All the other hybrid breeds have had research and some really smart individual spent years breeding them etc. The black baldy has always been around.  Someone just woke up one morning and said I want to make cash.

I still think that the "black hereford" looks nice...lots of muscle, flash, personality... there have been several of these steers shown here and i am impressed.
As with any breed there are donors and then there are culls.
 

xxcc

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Sun River, MT
yeah, i think most judges are color and functionality blind.

couple things that kill me.  first, is that now it seems that like for a fair number of people, "black baldies" are all the rave now.  what's this based on?  the fact that black baldies and black brockle faces were the bast cows (commercial and otherwise) that breeders raised, what, 35 or 40 years ago?  give me a break.  today, a breeder is going to take a hereford (that probably has a simmental in the woodpile) and is going to take an angus that has who knows what in the woodpile and is going to recreate the great black baldy from the late 60s and early 70s that came from pretty true hereford genetics (probably influenced with a little shorthorn) and most likely Wye bred genetics.

second is that a couple of years ago, i took over the breeding/managing of some 30 head of angus cow from a prominent angus ranch bred them to fullblood maine bulls.  the first year, the "true" angus calves at weaning time averaged 596# on the steers and 563# on the heifers.  the last two years, the bull/steer calves have averaged in the 730# range and the heifers in the 680# range.

everyone raves about F1s.  i think the best cattle are a three way cross. what is interesting is how far the black hide has been taken. http://www.telusplanet.net/public/circlex/blacks.htm
 

Show Dad

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IMHO the race to take some breeds black is just "if you can't bet them join them." Just watch if red becomes the new color fad there will be red Charolais.

There is no substitute for good functional cattle. No matter what their pedigree.
 

justintime

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Saskatchewan Canada
There are numerous red Charolais here in Canada. Some herds are completely reds and black Charolais are also becoming more prominent. The red Chars are becoming very popular both in purebred and commercial circles.

We ran a feedlot for many years along with our purebred herds, and I feel there are good cattle in all breeds. There are also bad cattle in all breeds. There are many good black hided cattle, but as a whole, they are probably highly overated. I have seen many very poor quality black cattle get premiums simply because of their coat color.I have seen many tremendous coloured cattle discounted because of their colour as well. I was a bonded livestock dealer for several years and I sat beside many of the so called best commission buyers, and came to the conclusion that some of them are not the most intelligent judges of cattle.Many of them ccouldn't survive if they had to raise cattle for a living.
 

itk

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KS
I remember reading a few years ago that one of the goals of the Kansas Angus Association was that by a certain year that 80% of the cattle in Kansas be black hided, not angus just black. But talk about successful and alittle conceded marketing, angus people know that if 99% of the population see a black cow they will just assume it is angus without even being aware there might be other cattle breeds at all.
 

dori36

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Jul 29, 2007
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Central Lower Michigan
I see these certified black angus burgers and steaks advertised everywhere but they cant really certify that. First off they pretty much classify any black animal going through the ring as "black angus". I know some one that raises tarentiase(spell wrong) and they can be anywhere from light tan to red to black and she said the sale ring calls the black steers black angus everytime.  Second they cant really tell you whether the package of hamburger you just bought is a hereford, black angus, or beefmaster. So there really is no reason for black calves to bring thirty cents more than a red one in the sale ring but it still happens.
[/quote]

I think there are two forces at play here:  One the verifiable facts from years ago when Angus cattle really did grade higher and more often than other types of cattle. They were early maturing, easy fleshing, easy marbling moderate sized cattle.  Remember, 30 or so years ago, "Choice" was today's high Prime.  Today's Choice was "yesterday's" "Good".  Grocery stores wouldn't have dared display and sell the type of beef we see in the meat counters today graded "Select"!  With the push to leaner beef, the industry went whole hog to ultra lean, non-marbled carcasses.  The commercial breeders/feeders had to follow.  The USDA followed by  lowering grand and yield standards to meet demand and "science".

The natural progression in the show ring was to penalize cattle carrying too much finish.  Then, came the giants.  If you're selling on pounds, bigger becomes better in one's mind.  However, the black hided, traditionally easier grading cattle still brought, and bring, better prices on the big commercial market in the big commercial sales.  However, for many southern and Mexican breeders, they are seeking out the red hides (ie Red Angus) because they seem to do better in the heat and bugs without sacrificing the good beef characteristics.  I'm seeing red hides outselling black hides fairly consistently be it in the feeder sales or bull sales.  My opinion is that is has less to do with "untainted" genetics as it does with consistency and good performance in all climate conditions.  "Eared" cattle (Bos Indicus influence) are always penalized compared to good Bos Taurus cattle.

As to verification of black cattle being called "Angus", go here for USDA requirements:  http://ams.usda.gov/lsg/certprog/Schedules/sched-GLA.htm
And here for Certified Angus  Requirements from the American Angus Ass'n/CAB:  http://www.cabpartners.com/facts/faqs.php
 
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