When Black Queen Angus Farm was formed it was with the specific intent to create a world-class herd of Aberdeen Angus cattle that epitomize the vision of those Master Breeders who developed the race of cattle that came to be known as the Aberdeen Angus.
Those characteristics originally sought and developed revolved around fleshing ease and eating quality of the steers, milk quality in the cows, and overall thriftiness. The Aberdeen Angus cattle of the 19th Century were moderate framed, not very tall, but incredibly stout with good spring of rib, a wide base, and good length. Particular attention was often paid to hair coat, its silkiness and sheen. That silkiness and sheen were and still are emblems of truly healthy animals as well as having a correlation to tenderness and marbling ability in the flesh.
Here at Black Queen Angus Farm in the early years of the 21st Century we are also placing heavy emphasis on two interrelated traits; Maternal Efficiency and Longevity.
Maternal Efficiency can best be quantified by noting that a heifer in our herd must get bred and safe in calf for the first time by 15 months of age and breed back every year for an average calving interval no greater than 365 days. Additionally, every cow is expected to wean at least 50% of her mature weight by 210 days of calf age. Finally, calving ease is extremely important to us. Heifers and cows alike must calve unassisted in order to stay in our herd.
Longevity is not simply a measure of age in years, but the productive longevity of the cow. We select cows with excellent udder structure, in much the same way dairymen select for udder structure. We select for excellent foot and leg structure. A cow’s disposition is extremely important for several reasons. If a cow is high strung or aggressive in any way toward humans, she is culled. Disposition is heritable and life is far too short for dealing with dangerous or hard to handle cattle. In other words, cows have to meet all these criteria and have sound Maternal Efficiency in order to live in our herd and keep their jobs here. Those cows that carry all these characteristics pass them on to their offspring and do so year in and year out. We really love Teenage Cows.
Teenage Cows are the ones that define the success of any breeding program and the more of them there are in a herd, the more daughters they will have in the herd. Like begets like, and we are always seeking improvement within our own herd.
We actively line-breed cattle within our herd and seek related cattle from outside the herd specifically to “fix” the positive traits we identify within our herd, but also to uncover undesirable traits so as to remove them from the gene pool.
As breeders of Registered Aberdeen Angus Cattle we take our job seriously. We believe it is our job to continually improve the breeding stock we raise on behalf of our bull and cow customers. We push our cattle and allow the environment to sort through those that must leave and those that are allowed to stay given the above mentioned criteria.
When you buy a Checkmate Bull from Black Queen Angus you can be assured to keep extremes in Check. You will get moderate framed, easy fleshing, fertile, cattle with exemplary dispositions that are efficient and above all, profitable.