Red vs Black color

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by DJ in WA, Aug 20, 2006.

  1. DJ in WA

    DJ in WA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I’ve seen a few claims that red color has advantages over black. Supposedly more heat tolerance – makes some sense – wearing black clothes in sun obviously makes you hotter. Supposedly fewer flies – maybe black attracts more? Anybody else heard these arguments?

    And supposedly any color beats white. Herefords get more cancer eye because of lack of pigment. Udders get sunburned if no pigment.

    I know my wife likes flowers and such with color. She has complained that we have too many black animals – dog, cat, cows. I’m thinking if I can get more colorful cows, she’d let me spend more money on them.

    Only problem is, black gene is dominant over red. I have a black cow (angus/jersey) and black whiteface heifer (angus/jersey/hereford). So they each have a black gene and red gene. So if I breed to a red angus (two red genes), half their calves should be red. Am I figuring this right?
     
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Black has one major advantage, they bring more at sale time!
     

  3. brierpatch1974

    brierpatch1974 Well-Known Member

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    Black has one major advantage, they bring more at sale time!?

    How true this is, even if they are not better quality than others they still sale better. Its great advertizing by angus breeders but thats it. No truth to back claims up. Other breeders and organizations need to get off their butts and do the same.
    With that being said I have 3 Herefords and two angus cows. I breed them to an angus bull. Those black baldies sale just as well as the angus. :) Wildest thing I saw other day is that there is now a BLACK charlois. Talk about everyone wanting on the black band wagon.

    BP
     
  4. sellis

    sellis Well-Known Member

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    they say that the black dresses out and has beter weight gain better and that they winter much better also . also have seen this in the sell ring , had a herford and an angus herford cross in the sale ring at the same time , the herford looked better than the angus but still brought less than the angus
     
  5. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Black baldies with a little ear sell the best here. About a 10% premium over any other.
     
  6. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    DJ--yup. If the color is governed by a single gene, you figured right on the chance of red calves.
     
  7. Jennifer L.

    Jennifer L. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I personally think it's an excuse for the cattle dealers to get some cows a little cheaper than others.

    One interesting thing about Angus is they have three genes for colour at the black locus. There's black, wild type which is essentially black but not exactly, and red. At least, that's how I understand it.

    I know one person who doesn't like white cows because they don't do so well here in the north in the winter. I've never seen that myself, but he says it's true. Then again I've heard others say white cows tend to be bigger than black cows, but I think that's just an illusion. So who knows?!

    Somewhere on the web there's a nice cattle genetics page. My bookmarks are messed up right now so I don't have a link, but you can probably google it ok. Without thinking about it too hard I think that what makes a Jersey or Brown Swiss that kind of brown they are is different from the red of Holstein and Angus. Maybe someone else knows more about it, though.

    Jennifer
     
  8. DJ in WA

    DJ in WA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    So, is marketing the only issue? Sale barn doesn’t apply much to me, as I am either going to keep them, eat them or sell to individuals (small acreage types). I assume many small-timers might want colorful cows.

    It does bother me to see the flies on cows in summer, and they obviously look hot. And when hot, less interested in eating. Seems to me heat in summer would be bigger problem than cold in winter, as cows produce a lot of heat internally. I suppose it depends on your climate – our winters aren’t severe – maybe gets to zero a couple times per winter, while 90's common in summer.

    Jennifer, you mentioned the brown of Jersey vs red of red angus. Bred my black angus/Jersey cow to a Jersey bull and got a solid red calf this spring. Looks the bright red like that of a red angus. I’ve never seen a Jersey that color. Don’t know if there was a mystery gene in the pool, or if that’s just how certain colors mix (like painting).

    I just reread your post and you mentioned the 3 genes angus have, maybe that has something to do with it. But these are possible genes, but I assume in purebred black angus, they have eliminated the red gene? So black angus should have 2 black genes?
     
  9. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

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    compairing Herford to Angus (now this is just what i learnd both in the rancher circles and animal science class)
    Herford as more fat marble in the meat and you dont have to be as carful of the meat drying out depending on how you cook it, Angus is a richer leaner meat, that is supposedly at the top of the comercial market,

    all the ranchers that i know and all the herds you drive by and see out on pasture has eather a black or red Angus bull, with any combo of cows, also some ranchers would have Limosine bulls,

    the only ranches that had some other type of bull was the ranches that were breeing for something else, like pure stock of some kind,
    for what ever the reason though Angus was the bull of choice by and large
     
  10. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

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    Angus bulls are popular for three reasons. 1) They have very little calving problems. 2) They almost always throw a black calf. 3) They always throw a polled calf. Most people prefer breeding the horns off the calves to having to cut them off.