A feeder stocker or backgrounding operation pastures or feeds calves until they
reach 750 to 800 pounds. Then they are sold to a feedlot for finishing.
In America the Red Angus beef cattle are registered and recorded in a herd book
by the Red Angus Association of America. A visit to their web site will convince you that the Red Angus breed is
one of the more progressive breeds in America.
Below are a few excerps from the OSU information:
Seven innovative breeders chose to use Red Angus in 1954 to establish the industry’s first performance registry.
Throughout its history, the Red Angus Association of America has gone on to make all the tough choices, and all the
right choices. In recent years, the Red Angus breed has attained a high level of popularity from commercial
cattlemen, and for all the right reasons.
The Origin of "Angus"
Like most modern American beef breeds, the
Red Angus breed had its beginning in Europe. In the eighth-century, according to some authorities, hardy Norsemen
raiding the coasts of England and Scotland brought with them a small, dun-colored hornless cattle which interbred
with black native Celtic cattle of inland Scotland, which had upright horns. A naturally polled black breed was
produced, which roughly corresponded to the black Aberdeen Angus of today, although it was a considerably
smaller-bodied animal. The polled characteristic was very slow to spread inland, and for almost a thousand years
was confined principally to the coastal areas of England and Scotland.
Eric L.C. Pentecost, the noted English breeder of Red Angus cattle, offers a specific
and logical explanation for the introduction of the red coloration into the Aberdeen Angus breed. In the eighteenth
century, the black Scottish cattle were too light to provide sufficiently large draught oxen, so larger English
longhorns, predominantly red in color, were brought in and crossed with the black native polled breed. The
resultant offspring were all black polled animals, since black is a dominant color, and red a recessive one.
However, all carried the red gene. Subsequent interbreeding produced an average of one red calf in four, in
accordance with Mendel’s law of heredity.
Angus -Red or Black
Early in the development of the Aberdeen Angus, Hugh Watson of Keillor, Scotland
arbitrarily decided that black was the proper color for the breed, and thereby started a fashion. He might well
have chosen red instead. Leon J. Cole and Sara V. H. Jones of the University of Wisconsin Agricultural Experiment
Station published a pamphlet in 1920 on "The Occurrence of Red Calves in Black Breeds of Cattle" which contained
this pertinent paragraph:
"One more point should be emphasized, namely that the red individuals appearing in such stock (Aberdeen
Angus)...are just as truly 'purebred' as their black relatives, and there is no reason why, in all respects
save color, they should not be fully as valuable. The fact that they are discarded while the blacks are
retained is simply due to the turn of fortune that black rather than red became established fashion for the
Aberdeen Angus breed. Had red been the chosen color, there would never have been any trouble with the
appearance of blacks as off-color individuals, since red-to-red breeds true."
The preceding paragraph, written more than three decades prior to the establishment of
the Red Angus Association of America, shows a true appreciation of the basic strengths of the reds. This is
emphasized by the current revival and popularity of the red strain of Aberdeen Angus throughout the world.