In the northeastern component of Scotland lied the four counties of Aberdeen, Banff, Kincardine, and Angus. This counties touch the phibìc Sea and all extend inland and also have some high or such as mountain country. They have actually been favored through the periods with a temperate climate and great crops, back the topography of the nation is rough. Pastures do well in the area due to the fact that of well-distributed rainfall. Many of grass, plus a nearly ideal temperature for livestock production, has made the area really suitable for few of the greatest advancement that has actually been do in our purebred each other of cattle. The county of Angus to be early detailed for its manufacturing of potatoes, serial crops, and feed. This shire consists of a fine expanse that highly cultivated land recognized as Strathmore, which is among the really fine valleys in that component of Scotland and also which has end up being famous in the history of the Aberdeen-Angus breed. The ar of Aberdeen is the most fertile agricultural an ar in Scotland and depends greatly upon crops and livestock for income. The fishing industry, however, is stressed follow me the coastline. The small counties of Banff and also Kincardine have long been known as breed cub centers.

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Northern Scotland, back in a much more northern latitude 보다 the united States, has a much more uniform temperature transparent the year. The Gulf heavy steam tempers the climate in the winter, and also the summers stay cooler 보다 weather generally experienced in the joined States.


There are three distinct and also well-defined breeds of polled livestock in the joined Kingdom. This breeds space the Aberdeen-Angus, the Galloway, and the red polled Norfolk and Suffolk breed that is discovered in England. Polled cattle apparently exist in Scotland before recorded history because the likeness of such livestock is found in primitive carvings the Aberdeen and Angus. Historians state that there were hornless livestock in Siberia century earlier. A hornless gyeongju of livestock was portrayed in Egypt through sculptors and painters that that old civilization. Some chroniclers feel the the Aberdeen-Angus breed and the various other Scottish breeds sprang from the aboriginal cattle of the country and also that the breeds together we discover them this day are native to the districts in i beg your pardon they space still found.

Early Scottish Cattle. Although tiny is known about the beforehand origin the the cattle that later became known together the Aberdeen-Angus breed, that is thought that the innovation of the original stock found in the area began in the last fifty percent of the 18th century. The livestock found in northern Scotland were no of uniform color, and many of the cattle of the early on days had varied color markings or broken color patterns. Numerous of the cattle were polled, but some few had horns. The features we typically call polled was often referred come in the old Scottish writings by the terms of "humble," "doddies," "humlies," or "homyl."

Foundation that the Breed

Two strains were supplied in the formation of what later became known s the Aberdeen-Angus breed of cattle. In the county of Angus, livestock had exist for part time the were recognized as Angus doddies. MacDonald and Sinclair quote the Rev. James Playfair as having actually written in 1797, "There space 1129 horned livestock of every ages and sexes in the parish. I have no various other name to them; however many that them are dodded, wanting horns." This seems to it is in the first authentic referral to polled cattle in the ar of Angus, personally from ancient sculptures. In the area that Aberdeenshire, other polled livestock were found and also were called Buchan "humlies," Buchan being the principal farming district in Aberdeenshire. These cattle were apparently early on valued as work oxen, together were most of the various other strains of livestock that later obtained various breed names. MacDonald and Sinclair thought that polled cattle were discovered in Aberdeen in the 16th century, and stated: 2

The visibility of polled livestock in Aberdeenshire 400 years ago is proved beyond the zero of a doubt, and it may generally be taked because that granted the they were co-existent in assorted parts the northeastern Scotland, your purity gift contingent ~ above the level of treatment exercised in breeding.

Improvement in Scottish Agriculture. Apparently little attention was provided to the reproduction of cattle prior to the center of the 18th century, yet in the last half of the century, good progress to be made in Scottish agriculture. That is not strange that, together farming techniques were improved, men an in similar way sought to enhance the breed boy on their farms. It was only herbal that breeders, in enhancing their cattle, would however cattle of comparable kinds from nearby areas, and also as a result, the cattle of the Angus doddie strain and the Buchan humlie strain to be crossed. Crossing and recrossing these strains of livestock eventually caused a unique breed the was not far different from one of two people type, due to the fact that the 2 strains were initially of rather similar form and shade pattern.

The early on Herds. by the start of the 19th century, the polled cattle of the Buchan district had actually attained significant favor together market cattle for the production of carcass beef. Amongst the polled herds that Aberdeenshire that were renowned for such manufacturing in the beforehand 1800s to be those of Messrs. Williamson the St. John’s Wells and Robert walker of Wester Fintray. The Williamson herd later supplied the herd of Tillyfour and, through it, the Ballindalloch herd with several of their humlies. In Angus, the herds of wilhelm Fullerton, mr Panmure, lord Southesk, and also Alexander Bowie contributed many of the Angus doddies that later came to be prominent in the breed. Robert pedestrian of Portlethen appears to have actually been the principal cattle breeder in Kincardineshire.

The contribution of Hugh Watson. If any type of one person can be singled out together the founder that a breed of livestock, Hugh Watson the Keillor, who lived in the vale of Strathmore in Angus, is worthy of the distinction. If not the first real improver of Aberdeen-Angus cattle, he was definitely the many systematic and successful. Both his father and grandfather had actually been buyers and breeders that the Angus doddies. The household is recognized to have owned cattle as early on as 1735. Hugh Watson to be born in 1789 and, in 1808, at the moment he was 19 years of age, he became a tenant in ~ Keillor.

When Hugh Watson started his farming activities at Keillor, he received from his father’s herd 6 of the best and also blackest cows, and also a bull. That exact same summer, the visited some of the leading Scottish cattle markets and also purchased the 10 finest heifers and also the ideal bull that he can find that showed features of the Angus livestock that he to be striving come breed. The females to be of various colors, but the bull was black; Watson chose that the color of his herd must be black and he started selecting in that direction.

Mr. Watson’s favorite bull was Old Jock 126 (1), 3 who was vested the number "1" in the Herd book at the time it was founded. The bull to be bred by Watson in 1842 and also was sired through Grey-Breasted Jock 113 (2). The bull apparently was used very heavily in the herd native 1843 till 1852 and was awarded the sweepstakes because that bulls at the Highland culture Show at Perth in 1852, when he was 11 year old.

A very famous cow likewise made considerable history in the herd at Keillor. This cow to be Old Granny 125 (1), who was calved in 1824 and also was killed by lightning when past 35 years of age. She is reported to have created a total of 29 calves, 11 that which were registered in the Herd Book. A very huge percentage that our living Aberdeen-Angus livestock trace to either Old Granny or Old Jock, or both of these really famous foundation animals, and most would certainly trace countless times if your pedigrees were prolonged to the structure of the breed.

Hugh Watson practiced the fitting and showing the his cattle an ext than was typical by other breeders of his day. He made his first exhibition in ~ the Highland Agricultural culture Show in ~ Perth in 1829. Throughout his long show career, he is claimed to have won end 500 prizes v his cattle and did a an excellent deal to increase the popular of the black color polled livestock over the british Isles.

Other early on Contributors. mr Panmure established a herd of polled cattle in 1835, and not only operated a private herd but additionally encouraged his tenants to breed great doddies. William Fullerton, who was born in 1810, began to breed cattle in 1833. His many important at an early stage purchase was that of another Aberdeen cow called Black Meg. Black color Meg 43 (766) is sometimes referred to as the founder that the breed, since much more cattle trace to her 보다 to any other female used in the origin of the breed. 4 She is the only cow to surpass Old Granny in this respect. Robert pedestrian of Porlethen started his herd in 1818 and also continued to breed livestock successfully until his death in 1874.

Shorthorn Breed threatens the Aberdeen-Angus. In 1810, the Colling brothers of England sold the renowned Shorthorn bull Comet in ~ $5,000. The publicity resulting from this sale normally spread transparent Scotland, and also many breeders looked through favor ~ above the use of Shorthorn blood in boosting the aboriginal cattle. Subsequently great herds of Shorthorn cattle were developed in Scotland, and the cattle were used in the development of aboriginal stock. The use of the Shorthorn cattle on the black aboriginal cows was a an extremely common practice of the period for the increasing of commercial stock. This exercise of crossbreeding endangered the Aberdeen-Angus breed v extinction.

It is often said that part Shorthorn blood uncovered its means into the Aberdeen-Angus breed before the time the Herd publication was closed. Alexander Keith, secretary that the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle society from 1944 to 1955, takes exception to this opinion by writing:

The statement has actually been generally made that shorthorn blood to be introduced right into the Aberdeen-Angus breed at an early stage that its existence. There is no structure whatever because that such a statement. The tribes from which the Aberdeen-Angus each other were attracted were providing England v beef cattle for generations before what became the beef Shorthorn to be taken across the Border right into Scotland and improved right into what is recognized as the Scotch Shorthorn. Of the Aberdeen-Angus pioneers, Hugh Watson had a certain variety of Shorthorn cattle, yet it is quite evident from his won remarks and also his insistence ~ above the blackness that his Aberdeen-Angus cattle that he would certainly never have permitted mix them. And McCombie: once one or two farmers introduced the Teeswater or Shorthorn breed right into his neighborhood he drive them out by totally dominating the local shows v his Aberdeen-Angus black polls. The feeling of the beforehand improvers of Aberdeen-Angus cattle may it is in gathered native the reality that my very own grandfather, who was one of McCombie’s friends and associates, would not enable anything yet a black beast top top his farm and also in his old period when i was a young young he would urge that if ns ever came to be a farmer and also wished to be a successful feeder of livestock I need to stick rigidly come the Blacks.

Improvement and also Expansion the the Aberdeen-Angus

The an excellent Preserver. William McCombie the Tillyfour is concerned as the preserver and good improver the the Aberdeen-Angus breed. Fullerton and also others had actually started the mix of the two species of cattle, i beg your pardon later came to be known as the Aberdeen-Angus, however this success to be enlarged at Tillyfour. The master of Tillyfour was born in 1805 and also died in the feather of 1880. Like his father before him, he had actually been a effective dealer in cattle before he started his work in 1829 as a tenant farmer. Mr. McCombie is identified in the history of the Aberdeen-Angus breed since of his great foresight in planning matings, his mindful management, his unrivaled success in the present ring, and also in publicizing his renowned cattle. Probably his crowning success in the show ring was at the good International Exposition held at Paris in 1878. Over there he won the very first prize the $500 as an exhibitor of livestock from a foreign nation and additionally the grand prize the $500 because that the finest group that beef-producing animals bred by any type of exhibitor.

Not only did Mr. McCombie display in reproduction classes yet he also exhibited in steer classes at the sector shows. More than likely the most well known steer the her created was the renowned show pet Black prince, that won at the Birmingham and also Smithfield mirrors in 1867 once he was four years of age. From the latter show, he was required to Windsor lock for the personal inspection the Queen Victoria, and also later she Majesty welcomed some Christmas beef from the carcass that the steer.

The English Crown has actually long to be interested in breed boy improvement, and also Queen Victoria paid a an individual visit to Tillyfour a year or 2 after the visit the the renowned Black prince come the castle. Such a tribute to superb breeder naturally attracted good attention to the currently famous herd. McCombie had the further difference of gift the first tenant farmer in Scotland come be chosen to the home of Commons.

According come the chronicler Sanders:

Aberdeen-Angus background may fairly be split into 2 periods; the first, prior to William McCombie’s time; the second, since. The is as good as any type of other method of saying that the understand of Tillyfour-recognized livestock king of his day and generation in Aberdeen-Angusshire and also of every Scotland-stands a very colossus upon any kind of canvas which accurately portrays the original arrival that black cattle as a aspect of people importance in the ar of prime beef production.

William McCombie always had utility in psychic in producing his cattle, and also his best beast appears to have been one with size, symmetry, and also balance, yet with toughness of constitution and also disposition to accumulate flesh.

Important breakthroughs at Tillyfour. Although his original stock to be gathered from countless sources and also his purchases were many, Mr. McCombie’s outstanding acquisition was most likely the an excellent yearling heifer Queen mommy 41 (348) at the Ardestie Sale.

Mr. McCombie to buy the bull Hanton 80 (228), calved in 1853, from the breeder Alexander Bowie. This bull to be a nephew of Old Jock 126 (1) and also was said to have actually weighed a ton at maturity. In spite of the fact that he had actually scurs, he to be a great show bull and was exhibited widely by Me. McCombie. The bull’s success, however, was an ext pronounced in the reproduction pen, and also he most likely made his greatest contribution come the breed with his dual grandson, black color Prince of Tillyfour 77 (366), calved in 1860. Few, if any, cattle of the breed are living this day that carry out not map at the very least a dozen time to black color Prince of Tillyfour. That is challenging to say how much contribution Mr. McCombie made to the Aberdeen-Angus breed through his successes in the show ring, yet he outstripped every one of his compete in England, Scotland, and also France. Consequently, the name of Aberdeen-Angus became known on an international basis. It to be on the farm of wilhelm McCombie the the Aberdeen-Angus breed yes, really took shape, due to the fact that prior to his time, civilization spoke the the cattle as Aberdeen and Angus. In his herd was discovered the justification because that leaving the end the "and" and also replacing it v the hyphen that has come to be familiar. At Tillyfour, the grasp breeder molded the two initial strains into one boosted breed remarkable to either of its components. There is no question but that the "preserver" of the Angus breed left the each other far far better than he discovered it.

The Ballindalloch Herd. Another very famous Aberdeen-Angus herd in Scotland was the of Ballindalloch, however the beginning of this herd is shed in the mists of antiquity. It to be probably first founded by Sir man MacPherson Grant, but it was not until the time the farm came right into the hands of sir George, a son, the systematic breeding was started. Teacher George attracted heavily ~ above Tillyfour cattle in creating his herd.

It was really fortunate because that the breed that the Ballindalloch herd was preserved in the household for over 3 generations. The key herd was spread on respectable 8, 1934, but it had currently left a an excellent imprint ~ above the Aberdeen-Angus world. Not just was the Ballindalloch herd the superior herd in Scotland but it mush additionally be given credit for having furnished a good deal of an extremely valuable structure stock come the herds the the united States and other foreign countries.

The an initial Angus In America. when George grant transported four Angus bulls from Scotland come the center of the Kansas prairie in 1873, castle were component of the Scotsman"s dream to uncovered a colony of wealthy, stock-raising Britishers. Grant died five year later, and many of the inhabitants at his Victoria, Kansas colony later returned to their homeland. However, these four Angus bulls, most likely from the herd the George Brown of Westertown, Fochabers, Scotland, make a lasting impression on the U.S. Livestock industry.

When 2 of the George provide bulls were exhibited in the fall of 1873 in ~ the Kansas City (Missouri) livestock Exposition, some considered them "freaks" since of their polled (naturally hornless) heads and solid black color (Shorthorns were then the leading breed.) Grant, a front thinker, overcome the bulls with aboriginal Texas longhorn cows, producing a large number of hornless black calves that made it through well ~ above the winter range. The Angus crosses wintered far better and weighed an ext the following spring, the first demonstration of the breed"s value in their brand-new homeland.

Early Importers and Breeders. The first great herds of Angus beef cattle in America were built up by purchasing stock straight from Scotland. Twelve hundred cattle alone were imported, mainly to the Midwest, in a duration of explosive growth between 1878 and also 1883 . Over the next quarter that a century these beforehand owners, in turn, assisted start other herds by breeding, showing, and selling their registered stock.

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Angus breed Associations and Registries


Briggs, H.M. & D.M. Briggs. Modern-day Breeds of Livestock. Fourth Edition. Macmillan publishing Co. 1980 (reprinted through permission from Dr. Briggs).

American Angus Association, 3201 Frederick Avenue, St. Joseph, MO 64506 Phone: (816) 383-5100


American Angus Association, 3201 Frederick Blvd., St. Joseph, MO 64506. Phone: (816) 383-5100