beef cattle

cattle

[kat-l]

Domesticated bovids that are raised for meat, milk, or hides or for draft purposes. Depending on the breed, mature bulls (fertile males) weigh 1,000–4,000 lbs (450–1,800 kg); cows (fertile females) weigh 800–2,400 lbs (360–1,080 kg). All modern cattle are believed to belong to either of two species (Bos indicus or B. taurus) or to be crosses of the two. About 277 identifiable breeds include those prominent in beef production (e.g., Angus, Hereford, and shorthorn) and dairy farming. Cattle feed primarily by grazing on pasture, but in modern farming their diet is ordinarily supplemented with prepared animal feeds. Seealso aurochs, Brahman, ox.

Learn more about cattle with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Beef cattle are cattle raised for meat production (as distinguished from dairy cattle). The meat of cattle is known as beef. While the principal use of beef cattle is meat production, other uses include leather, and products used in shampoo and cosmetics. The plural beeves, when referring to such meat-animals (of either sex), is well known in the American cattle industry, but is often restricted to steers.

Beef Cattle breeds

Breed Location of Origin Description
Afrikaner cattle South Africa
Angus Scotland Pure black, sometimes with white at udder. Polled.
Beefmaster Southern Texas
Belted Galloway Black with white band around middle, stocky, fairly long hair, polled. Very hardy and thrifty.
Beef Shorthorn Northern England Red, red with white back and belly, or white.
Belgian Blue Belgium Grey roan, or white with grey on head. Extremely muscular. Fast-growing if well-fed.
Boran Eastern Africa
Black Hereford Great Britain. Black, white head. A hybrid produced by crossing a Hereford bull with Holstein or Friesian cows; used to obtain beef ofspring from dairy cows. Not maintained as a separate breed, although females may be used for further breeding with other beef bulls.
Blonde d'Aquitaine Aquitaine region of south-west France. Pale brown, paler round eyes and nose. Muscular. Fast-growing if well-fed.
Brahman India
Brangus Developed by crossing Angus and Brahman
British White Great Britain White, with black or red ears, nose and feet; polled. Hardy and thrifty.
Charolais Charolais France Wholly white or cream, lyre-shaped pale horns. Fast-growing if well-fed.
Chianina Italy
Dexter Southern Ireland Very small, black or dun, dark horns. Hardy and thrifty.
Galloway Galloway region of Scotland Black, stocky, fairly long hair, polled. Very hardy and thrifty.
Hereford Herefordshire, England Red, white head, neck and switch.
Highland Scotland. Small, stocky, black, red, dun or white. Very long coat and very long upswept pale horns. Very hardy and thrifty.
Irish Moiled Northern Ireland. Red with white back and belly, or white with red ears, nose and feet. Polled. Hardy and thrifty.
Limousin Limousin and Marche regions of France. Mid-brown, paler round eyes and nose. Fast-growing if well-fed.
Longhorn Midlands of England. Red or brindle, with white back and belly. Very long cylindrical horns, often curving down and even eventually making a circle. Large, hardy.
Luing The isle of Luing ("Ling") and surrounding islands in the Inner Hebrides, Scotland. Rough coat, red-brown, polled. Bred by crossing Beef Shorthorn with Highland. Hardy and thrifty.
Maine-Anjou Anjou region in West France. Red-and-white pied.
Murray Grey South Eastern Australia Grey or silver polled cattle developed from a roan Shorthorn cow and an Angus bull. Easy-care versatile cattle that have been exported to many countries.
Nelore India Exported to Brazil, where it has become a dominant breed
North Devon Devon, Cornwall and Somerset: the West Country in the south-west of England. Ruby-red, white tail switch, white horns.
Red Angus Scotland Colour variety of Angus: pure red. Polled.
Red Poll East Anglia in England Red, hornless, dual purpose.
Santa Gertrudis Southern Texas
Simmental Western Switzerland Yellowish-brown, white head. Fast-growing if well-fed.
Square Meater New South Wales, Australia Small, grey or silver, polled; similar to Murray Grey.
Sussex South-east England Rich chestnut red with white tail switch and white horns. Also used for draught until early 20th century. Hardy and thrifty.
Texas Longhorn Texas Various colours, with very long, tapering, upswept horns – extending as much as tip to tip. Very hardy in dry climates.
Wagyu Japan
Welsh Black Wales Black, white horns with black tips. Hardy.
White Park Great Britain, Ireland. White, with black or red ears, nose and feet; white horns with dark tips. Hardy and thrifty.
Breeds known as dual purpose breeds are also used for beef production. These breeds have been selected for two purposes at once, such as for both beef and dairy production, or both beef and draught. Dual-purpose breeds include the Brown Swiss and many of the Zebu breeds of India such as Tharparkar and Ongole.

See also

Search another word or see beef cattleon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature