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What makes Black Angus cattle so popular in the USA?

Black Angus is a prominent brand available in stores and restaurants around the United States. Market research also suggests that customers are prepared to pay a premium of 10%-15% over the price of normal beef solely because of the brand name. However, in the feed lots, Schaff Angus Valley achieved a new record of $1.51 million for a single Black Angus bull in 2019, surpassing the $800,000 recorded by the same firm in 2018.

Certified Angus Beef may only come from cattle that fulfill rigorous genetic specifications; these include a minimum of 51% solid black hide pigmentation (thus the moniker “Black Angus”), as opposed to the more usual red hide coloring. Although there is no biological distinction between black and red angus, the latter type is far more popular with customers. Landowners and farmers who are contemplating growing Angus cattle should first conduct some study to discover if the breed is suited for them.

Consumers of beef claim a range of hereditary traits as the reason they favor Black Angus cuts. U.S. Department of Agriculture graders examine for a minimum of 51 percent black in hide color, paired with a large quantity of higher degree marbling and a moderate to finer marbling texture, before giving the Certified Angus Beef label. The ribeye area of the cow must be between 10 and 16 square inches, and they must be of “A” maturity, indicating that they are both lean and boney. The optimal hot carcass weight is 1,050 pounds, and the meat must have superb muscling and nearly no capillary rupture. Fat thickness in beef must be less than 1 inch, there can be no dark cutting features, and the bull’s neck hump must be no more than 2 inches.

The AAA holds the world’s biggest database of cow records, which comprises over 20 million Angus cattle records and is, thus, a reputable source of information regarding the breed’s highly sought-after genetics. The AAA employs DNA technology in conjunction with pedigree and performance data to develop genomically improved progeny differences, which are then calculated and made available to breeders weekly. Polled Angus bulls have their origins in the Aberdeenshire region of Scotland, but were originally imported to the Victoria, Kansas, in 1874 by George Grant. The breed has continued to thrive in Scotland and Ireland, which have a climate and geography not dissimilar to that of the United States.

Black Angus cattle tend to be medium-to-large in size, naturally polled, and highly muscly. Typically, bulls weigh approximately 1,870 pounds and heifers around 1,200. The Angus breed was selected for endurance so that it could weather the long, cold, and snowy winters of Scotland. In general, the breed is recognized for its calm disposition and speedy growth. The breed is recognized for its ease of calving as well as its resistance to cancer eye and sun- and snow-burned udders, both of which are enhanced by the deeper hide color.

There are four possible recessive defects in the Angus breed: arthrogryposis multiplex (AM), or “curly calf syndrome,” which affects the mobility of the limbs below the hips; neuropathic hydrocephalus (NH), or “water head,” which can cause a malformed skull; contractual arachnodactyly (CA), or “fawn calf syndrome,” which affects the mobility of the hips below the hock.

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