It’s the brand to buy in steakhouses and groceries across the U.S., Angus. The market suggests that the name alone can fetch 10 to 15 percent higher prices than regular beef in the stores.
In order to qualify as Certified Angus Beef, you have to meet certain criteria to get stamped for Certified Angus Beef. Cattle have to have certified genetic qualities, including a minimum of 51 percent solid black hide coloring, hence the term “Black Angus,” as opposed to those which have a red hide. They also have to hit certain specs for carcass quality which include: Modest or higher marbling, 10- to 16-square-inch ribeye area, 1,050-pound hot carcass weight or less, 1- inch or less fat thickness, Medium or fine marbling texture, 30 months of age or younger, Superior muscling, No neck hump exceeding 2 inches, Practically free of capillary rupture, No dark cutters.
Genetically, there is no difference between black and red Angus, but buyers show a distinct preference for the black.
So, what makes Black Angus cattle so preferable? Here are six interesting facts about one of America’s favorite breeds of beef cattle:
- Details About the Beef
Beef eaters find preference in the Black Angus meat for a number of reasons related to genetics. To achieve the Certified Angus Beef brand by U.S. Department of Agriculture graders, beef must be a minimum of 51 percent black in hide and possess a modest amount of higher-degree of marbling and medium to fine marbling texture. Cattle must also be “A” maturity, both lean and skeletal, and possess a 10- to 16-square-inch ribeye area. Hot carcass weight must be 1,050 pounds or less with superior muscling and practically free of capillary rupture. Beef must possess less than 1-inch fat thickness with no dark cutting characteristics and no neck hump exceeding two inches.
- Data-Driven Results
Highly demanded Angus genetics are well documented with more than 20 million cattle records contained in the American Angus Association database, the largest of its kind. The AAA incorporates DNA technology with pedigree and performance data to create genomic-enhanced progeny differences, with these calculated and released to breeders weekly.
- From Across the Pond
First brought to the Victoria, Kansas, in 1874 by George Grant, polled Angus bulls originated in Scotland in the Aberdeenshire area. The breed remains very successful in both Scotland and Ireland, both of which share similar weather and terrain to the U.S.
- Big Beef, Big Numbers
More than 25,000 members in the American Angus Association and more than 300,000 registrations per year make the American Angus Association the largest beef breed association in the world.
- Membership has Benefits
The American Angus Association has five types of membership: Life, regular, junior, non-resident, and affiliate. Membership applications can be accessed online at www.angus.org. Benefits include access to Angus Herd Improvement Records, as well as MaternalPlus and GeneMax. Producers also have access to marketing tools in the consumer arena such as the Certified Angus Beef brand, with nearly 16,000 licensed partners and recognition in more than 40 nations.
- Big and Hearty
Most Black Angus cattle are medium to large, naturally polled with large muscle content. Average body weight for bulls is about 1,870 pounds, while cows weigh in at 1,200. Known for their heartiness, the Angus was bred to survive harsh Scottish winters with lots of snow. Overall the breed is known for a relatively easy temperament and fast growth. The darker hide pigmentation protects the breed against cancer eye and sun- and snow-burned udders, and the breed is known for easy calving.