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Angus cattle, oftentimes known as Aberdeen Angus, are middling in size and are characterized by their polled heads and by their coat of solid black (or red) fur. They possess fair amounts of muscling, and post harvest, exhibit an excellent balance of fat and lean within their finely marbled meat.


Aberdeen Anguses originated from Aberdeenshire of Northern Scotland in the early 1800’s. However, official registries did not begin until 1862 when an exceptional farmer and breeder named Hugh Watson produced a bull worthy of the Scottish Herd Book. The animal’s name was ‘Old Jock’ and he was listed as ‘1’.  Old Jock was born in 1842, which made him just a hair over twenty years of age when he claimed this position atop the summit of bovine ancestry.*


Interestingly, knowledge of Angus Cattle was almost nonexistent in the United States until 1873. That’s when a man named George Grant brought four Angus bull to Victoria, Kansas. There, Shorthorns and Longhorns had long been the norm, so when Grant showed off his four naturally hornless cattle, they were regarded as ‘freaks’ by any who saw them.


Those four bulls do not have any recorded** offspring, but they did start the United States down the Angus path. The breed was at first only utilized in cross-breeding for the benefit of their calving ease, and later, for their ‘genetic dehorning’ (due to their naturally polled state). Now, Angus cattle are best known for their beef producing capability and have since claimed the largest cattle registry in the United States. The American Angus Association recently released the number of animals registered in fiscal year 2017 (ended Sept. 30): an outstanding total of 332,421 head.


*Old Jock came by his longevity quite honestly. One of Hugh Watson’s other animals, Old Granny, was born in 1824 and lived to be 35 years of age – a span of years over which she bore 29 calves.

**It is safe to assume that a great many of the cattle within the United States today still possess some genetic relation to those four bulls. Unfortunately, those poor fellows were introduced before data was being collected and preserved.

(Above) Duff, 1AN1207, is an Angus sire used by Master Blend Cattle Company.

(Below) Duff's Mother. One can clearly see where Duff got his deep body, straight topline, and more than ample rump. 

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