Aberdeen Plus Cattle

The most predominant and well respected breed of cattle in the world today is the Angus. These cattle are well known for their beef characteristics in particular- almost everyone associates Angus beef with excellent quality. Today’s Angus birthweights are approaching 90lbs in some lines of cattle, particularly those with excellent performance traits- weaning weight and yearling weight in particular. We have raised Lowline cattle for the last decade. These cattle share a common root with the Angus as both originate from the Aberdeen Angus cattle of Scottish Origin. The Lowline cattle today trace back to a closed herd of Aberdeen Angus at the Trangie and Glenn Innes studs (research stations) in Australia.

The Lowline breed originated in Australia. Beginning in 1929, the first Aberdeen Angus ancestors were purchased from Canada by the Trangie research station in New South Wales to improve the Australian Angus herd. The initial seedstock consisted of one cow/calf pair and 17 heifers. In the next few years additional animals were purchased from Scotland, the US and Canada. After 1964 the herd was closed to additional animals and the focus at the Trangie station turned to research. The goal was to establish which size of animals were the most efficient converters of grass to meat. The herd was divided into 3 groups - highline for the high yearling growth rate, Lowline for low yearling growth rate and a randomly selected control group. The original Lowline herd contained 85 cows and remained closed from 1974 until its dispersal in 1992/1993.

The Lowline is smooth and black in color. The breed is naturally polled and has the traditional conformation of a British beef animal. They are naturally docile and have few calving problems. The average Lowline calf is about around 40-50lbs. The cows are excellent mothers. Some advantages of the Lowline include: high feed conversion, longevity, sound feet and legs, docility and Lowline carcass yields have been reported to be between 60 and 70%.

So, we asked ourselves: what if we could combine the calving ease, docility, efficiency and carcass characteristics of the Lowline with the power of todays registered Angus? This gave rise to a search to find that Kirk Duff of Power Plus Cattle in Oklahoma had already started to do this and called the cross – Aberdeen Plus. This combination and its potential is exactly where we want to take our cattle operation. To accomplish this, we have purchased some high powered registered Angus females and will cross them with our top Lowline bulls. We bought donor quality Angus dams so that an embryo flushing program is also part of our future. The goal is to produce bulls with supreme calving ease and high weaning and yearling weight EPD- the ideal heifer bull for the commercial operation. On the cow side we aim to produce females with all the qualities of the Angus and the moderation in frame size from the Lowlines- 1000-1300lb mature cows. These cows should be able to wean 60% plus of their body weight in calf in the fall.

Our base herd is comprised of registered Lowline cattle, American Aberdeen cattle and Angus cattle. We are dedicated to the collection of real data so that the quality of our stock will be evident not only in the phenotype but backed up with real data both genomic and numerical. We keep records of weaning weight, birth weight, yearling weight, carcass ultrasound and we have started collection genomic EPD information as well.

Our goal is to produce what is for us the ideal beef production animal where production costs are minimized, efficiency is maximized and the product is out of this world.

As the American Aberdeen Association notes: “Quality and Efficiency Never go out of style”.