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6 Interesting Facts About Black Angus Cattle

Three bull calves

A herd of Black Angus cattle is truly amazing to see in a pasture. At WTR, we are lucky to see this every day, with our herd of Black Angus carefully selected for performance and production.

There are a lot of interesting facts about the breed, but here are six facts about Black Angus cattle that we find people are often most surprised to know:

  • Naturally polled – the Angus breed is naturally polled, which means these cattle do not have horns. This is an added advantage in herd upkeep as there is no need to worry about injuries from horns that can be an issue with other breeds.
  • Scottish heritage – the Black Angus, also known as the Aberdeen Angus, originated in the 16th century in Angus and Aberdeenshire, both on the northeast side of the country. The original name of the breed was the Angus doddies, with the first herd book in 1862. William McCombie is acknowledged at the "father of the breed" as he started selectively developing the breed traits in 1824. Many of the first facts about Black Angus cattle came from his herd.
  • First US arrivals – the first Angus in the USA were imported by George Grant of Victoria, Kansas. The four bulls arrived on May 17, 1873. These four bulls were used in crossbreeding programs, with the Angus traits and highly desirable characteristics prominent in the calves.
  • First Angus calf born internationally – the first purebred Angus calf born outside of Scotland was on January 12, 1877, from a cow named Eyebright imported to Canada by the Ontario Agriculture College in Guelph, Ontario.
  • American Angus Association – the quality of the first generation of Angus calves sparked an interest in importing more bulls and cows from Scotland to the USA. On November 21, 1883 the American Angus Association was formed in Chicago.
  • Color considerations – the first Angus were both Red and Black, and both were registered in the herd books until 1917. At this time, the American Angus Association limited registration to the solid black, barring red or other color combinations. Today, the Angus breed is the most popular beef breed in the United States, and there is lots of interest around facts about Black Angus cattle. They are known for exceptional marbling, and the Certified Angus Beef standard ensures that the quality of meat is maintained for both the purebred and crossbred carcasses with Angus influence.

Important Tips For Selecting Angus Heifers

WTR focuses on the careful selection of our cow herd. By choosing our herd cows with care and attention to breeding lines, we have developed a herd with exceptional EPD (expected progeny differences) that consistently demonstrate superior genetics for offspring.

For those new to cattle, we recommend taking times time to review our tips for selecting Angus heifers. These tips can be used with any herd and help you to get an exceptional cow for your breeding herd.

WTR FTS 2304 Forever Lady 016

The following tips for selecting Angus heifers can be used to help with any heifer under consideration:

  • Look at the cow – the dam of the heifer under consideration is a critical selection factor. Look at the dam's conception and calving record as well as her overall condition for her age. While many tips for selecting Angus heifers focus only on the heifer, it is her genetics that is a key indicator of how well she will do as a cow for your breeding herd.
  • Look at overall body shape and size – the Angus cow is very balanced, without over muscling, legginess, or an overly long or compact body. Angus heifers and cows are smaller in size than bulls, with a distinctly female appearance as the desired type.
  • Choose an established breeder – at WTR, we take the time to answer questions from all of our buyers. We also work closely with first-time buyers to help them to choose the best heifers for their new herd or replacement stock. Keep in mind, any heifers under consideration should come from lines that display calving ease, good udders, and exceptional progeny performance.

WTR First Stop on 2016 National Angus Tour - Angus Journal, June 2016

Beef and forage tour will sharpen management skills - Indiana PrairieFarmer, June 24, 2019

Mud-free cattle watering improves environment - Indiana PrairieFarmer, July 01, 2019

Indiana Beef Council Farm to Fork Tour - Indiana Beef Magazine, Summer 2019

Open the Gates - Angus Journal, December 2019

Contact Us

Willer Timber Ridge is approximately 50 miles southwest of Indianapolis off I-70 or 40 miles east of Terre Haute off I-70. Take the Greencastle/Cloverdale exit (#41) north from I-70. Coming from the north, come to Crawfordsville (exit off of I-74 onto US 231) and go south approximately 35 miles to Greencastle. Airport Rd is 2 mi east of US 231 off US 40 and we are 1/2 mi north of US 40 on Airport Rd(300 E).

Willer Timber Ridge
4342 S 300 E.
Greencastle, IN 46135

Ted & Kathy Willer (Owner)