Angus color percentage

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WFfarm said:
Before Certified Angus come along, a lot of black beef cattle in commercial herds come from Holstein crosses. Black hide does not guarantee Angus influence.
I expect that cattle with Holstein in their background who don't visually show the Holstein influence, could qualify for the brand. While this may not "guarantee" Angus influence, I expect almost all of these cattle do go back to Angus. If you go back to the 70's when CAB was first introduced I can't think of a single breed other than Holstein, that was consistently homozygous for the black color. But Holsteins also have a distinctive look that is not easily confused with Angus. They need to be combined with a beef breed to reduce that look, and in most cases that is Angus or another breed that most likely traces back to Angus.

Today almost every breed has black individuals, but most were predominantly or even exclusively red or creme at one time. Most changed by introducing black Angus and then selecting for the black color repeatedly while breeding back up to what ever percentage was required to again qualify as purebred in that registry. Today there is even a genetic test to determine if an animal is homozygous black, which makes selection easier. To me that means that most black cattle are "Angus influenced" even if that influence is now only a small part of their DNA. I do agree that CAB no longer ensures that the carcass was from a predominately Angus animal, but it has been extremely profitable for AAA, so I'm not sure there is strong incentive to make changes. There are now other programs, such as Angus Source, that have been introduced to attempt to better ensure Angus ancestry.

Most consumers don't care if their meat is from some specific breed, they just want it to taste good. CAB branding does help to ensure that the meat when properly prepared, will give a good eating experience, so although it may no longer help as much in selling Angus bulls, it is still a desired brand for many.

But to muddy the water:

Here are the most current requirements as of June 27th 2029.

Beef carcasses certified under this specification shall meet the following requirements:
a. Phenotypic or genotypic requirements of the American Angus Association's (AAA) Live
Animal Specification;
b. Classed as Steer or Heifer carcasses only1;

c. U.S. Prime or Choice and have a minimum marbling score of Modest 01;

d. Less than 30 months of age with lean color, texture, and firmness, meeting the requirements for
A maturity in the U.S. grade it qualifies for1;

e. Medium or fine marbling texture1, 2;

f. Ribeye Area (REA) of 10.0 to 16.0 square inches 3;

g. Hot Carcass Weight (HCW) of 1,050 pounds or less 4
h. Fat Thickness (FT) less than 1.0 inch5;

i. Moderately thick or thicker muscling and tend to be at least moderately wide and thick in
relation to their length6;

j. No hump exceeding 2 inches in height 7;

k. Practically free (not detracting from visual quality) of capillary rupture in the ribeye muscle;

l. Free of "dark cutting" characteristics.

This debate pops up every 6 months or so on here.
Katpau said:
You can call anything you want Angus, but that won't make it Angus. People often call anything black, or mostly black, Angus. The rule about no white from the navel forward pertains to registered cattle. Registered cattle will have a pedigree that traces back to all registered Angus cattle. There is no ability to "breed up" to Angus, like there is in many breeds, such as Simmental. The original rules for Angus cattle in America excluded the red cattle. The Red Angus Association was later formed to register these cattle. In other countries, such as Canada, The Angus registry includes both colors. Red calves are still born to Black Angus cattle, since the recessive trait can stay hidden for many generations, only showing up 25% of the time when two red carriers are mated. Those calves can't be registered as "Angus" but are welcome in the Red Angus Registry.

Now Certified Angus Beef is something entirely different. It was originally conceived with the idea to get people using Black Angus bulls, and that is why the requirement for 51% solid black hide was included. Black is dominant to most colors and when CAB was first created most other breeds were some other color. To qualify for CAB you needed to add Angus. But CAB is also about quality and it doesn't matter how much of the hide is Black or even if the animal is a registered Black Angus. If the beef does not meet the quality requirements, it's not labeled as CAB. At least 51% black hided was chosen as the breaking point for qualification and a black white face can qualify, as long as it meets all other credentials for quality.

CAB has been so successful, that many other breeds, such as Simmental, have introduced Angus genetics into their herds. So like Jeanne pointed out, it is entirely possible to qualify for the CAB label with an animal that is Simmental or from another breed. The criteria do specifically exclude animals that appear to be of dairy influence or Bos Indicus.
How do you market those? Take them to a sale barn with the AAA numbers/registration info? I would surely hope they would bring more? Curious because kicking the idea around to purchase a handful of registered cows & trying to figure out the marketing strategy if they don't sell as yearlings by word of mouth.
Jeanne - Simme Valley said:
Not upsetting anyone that knows the requirements for CAB. As I said. It is a PROGRAM not a certification that it is Angus. It is a program to "guarantee" quality meat.
I bet many of my steers that have qualified over the years have had as little as 3-5% Angus. The black gene is a dominant gene. Very easy to incorporate into your breeding program.

With over 40% of the USA herd being Brahman influenced those calf's are qualifying as well.
I get top dollar on that type calf through the barn .

Col Reb
Registered Angus cattle won't bring any more money than any other calf of the same quality when being sold for beef. They may bring more when being sold as as seed-stock (breeding animals), but it takes a good marketer. It is not for the inexperienced.

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