Breeds of Beef Cattle

Breed: A race of animals within a species. A breed of animals usually have a common origin and similar identifying characteristics.

Species: a group of organisms with similar structural and functional characteristics that in nature breed only with each other and have close common ancestory.

Genus and Species of Beef Cattle:

Breed Association: An organization that defines animal type for a breed and then acts to supply a base of genetic material for use by beef cattle breeders.


Status of Beef Cattle Breeds


Pre-considerations for Breed Usage


Guidelines for Selecting a Breed


 Classification of Beef Cattle Breeds

Biological Classification of Breeds

  1. Maternal Breed: a breed that excels in maternal traits (i.e., a trait that especially important for breeding females: fertility, freedom from dystocia, milk production, and mothering ability.


  1. Paternal Breed: a breed that excels in paternal traits (i.e., a trait especially important in market offspring: growth, rate and efficiency of gain, meat quality, and carcass yield.


  1. Composite (synthetic) breed: A breed made up of two or more component breeds and designed to benefit from hybrid vigor without crossing with other breeds. Take advantage of breed complementarity.


  1. General Purpose Breed: are moderate for both paternal and maternal traits.


  1. Crossbred: animal having parents of different breeds. Crossed to maintain hybrid vigor and gain breed complementarity.


Heterosis: an increase in the performance of hybrids over that of the purebreds.

Breed Complementarity: an improvement in the overall performance of crossbred offspring resulting from crossing breeds of different but complementary biological types.


Geographical Classification of Breeds

  1. British Breeds (Bos taurus): Tend to be strong on maternal traits. Sometimes called old world breeds.


  1. European or Continental Breeds (Bos taurus): Tend to be strong on paternal traits. Large influx after WWII.


  1. American Breeds (Bos taurus x Bos indicus): Tend to be dual purpose or designed for an environment.


  1. African/Indian Breeds (Bos taurus or Bos indicus)


  1. Other Unique breeds:



Description of Breeds

  1. Angus
  2. Barzona
  3. Beefmaster
  4. Braford
  5. Brahman
  6. Brangus
  7. Charolais
  8. Chianina
  9. Corriente
  10. Gelbvieh
  11. Hereford
  12. Limousin
  13. Pinzgauer
  14. Saler
  15. Santa Cruz
  16. Santa Gertrudis
  17. Shorthorn
  18. Simmental
  19. Tarentaise
  20. Corriente