BREED: Red Aberdeen Angus
COLOR: Red, however, the RAAA has a colorblind registration process so
that Black Angus genetics may be utilized and registered as well. The Red
Angus is also naturally polled. The red coat color is due to a recessive gene.
Since black is dominant, interbreeding black cattle that carry the recessive
trait will result in a red calf in approximately one out of every four offspring.
ANCESTRY: The Red Angus descends from the Aberdeen Angus of
England and Scotland when black native Celtic cattle of inland Scotland
bred with dun-colored polled cattle brought by raiding Norsemen during
the eighth century. The red coat likely began when genetics from the
predominately red English longhorns were introduced in order to provide
draught oxen. These genetics combined ultimately became the original
Angus that was fi rst recorded in the Aberdeen Angus Herdbook.
HISTORY: The fi rst 1862 Aberdeen Angus Herdbook, in Scotland, didn’t
distinguish Angus cattle color, and neither did the fi rst American herdbook
in 1886. The Angus was fi rst introduced to America in the 1870s and soon
became very popular. In 1917, the reds and all other colors were barred from
registration. Seven members formed the Red Angus Association of America,
the beef industry’s fi rst performance registry, in 1954.
BREED CHARACTERISTICS: Red Angus are known for carcass
quality, calving ease, maternal characteristics, stayability, moderate size,
uniformity, good disposition, and feed effi ciency.
NATIONAL ORGANIZATION: Red Angus Association of America
(RAAA), located in Commerce City, Colorado.
QUALITY AND YIELD: The fall 2011 EPD average for proven and
opportunity sires for yield grade was 0.10 and 0.09 for active dams. These
sires averaged 0.37 for marbling, 15 for CW, 0.04 for REA, and 0.02 for fat,
while dam EPD values averaged 0.35 for marbling, 14 for CW, -0.06 for REA
and 0.02 for fat.
BIRTH WEIGHT: The fall 2018 EPD birth weight average for proven and
opportunity sires was -1.09 and 55 for weaning weight. The 2017 active dam
inventory weaning weight average EPD was 54.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact the RAAA by email at
firstname.lastname@example.org, visit their website at redangus.org or call 940-387-3502.
Red Angus made another progressive
step in 2017 when the breed became
one of the fi rst breeds to require that
all sires of registered calves have a parentage
DNA sample on fi le with the
RAAA. The program aims to bring typically
parentage error rates from 5-15%
down to less than 5%.
In yet another effort to improve
accuracy and understanding of EPDs,
the Red Angus Foundation, Inc. and
Junior Red Angus Association are also
currently running an EPD demonstration
project called LiveWiRED. The
project has 39 calves from a single cow
and fi ve different Red Angus sires, three
of whom rank high in growth and carcass
value traits, while the other two
are near the bottom of the bell curve.
“We’re collecting complete, lifetime
data on these calves, including DNA
information to compare how these
calves actually perform in a real-world
environment,” Brink explains. “They’ll
be ready for harvest in March 2019. It’s
a very unique project. We’ll look at the
actual phenotypic data, DNA scores,
plus the sires’ EPD differences. It’s a
good refresher on the fact that EPDs
do their job extremely well, are very
timely and appropriate and a benefi t
to the industry.”
The fi nal report on the project will
be compiled next Spring.
“EPDs are more than numbers on
a page,” says Brink. “They’re real
money in producers’ pockets when
There’s a lot going on with Red
Angus these days, but since the beginning
the breed has been embracing
scientifi c progress and objective
improvement and that’s something
that hasn’t changed.
“Red Angus breeders do a great job
and have a lot of passion for the beef
business. We continue to grow as
a breed because of our commercial
focus and commitment to multi-trait
improvement,” says Brink.
90 I WORKING RANCH I MARCH 2019