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Breed Traits

Genetically dominate (homozygous) traits of Irish Black Cattle:


  1.   Dark Hides:

        ~ black or occasionally red

           (a recessive red gene trait)

  2.   Moderate Framed:

        ~ cows 1050-1250 lbs.,

        ~ bulls 1650-2100 lbs.

  3.   Light Birth Weights:

        ~ calves have averaged 72 lbs.

  4.   Vigorous Calves

        ~ improved calf survival ratios

  5.   High Fertility:

        ~ 50-70 cows per single Irish bull

        ~ heifers cycle/breed well  

  6.   Early Maturity:

        ~ calves finish by 14 months old,

           see Feedlot Report

  7.   High Weight Gain:

        ~ 3.95 ADG

           June 2012 Feedlot Results

  8.   Efficiency:

        ~ 4.79 conversion rate 

           June 2012 Feedlot Report

  9.   Excellent Rib Eye Area Scores:

10.   High Tenderness

11.   High Marbling Scores:

12.   Low Back Fat Scores:

13.   Top Yield Grade Scores:

14.   High Carcass Weights:

        ~ excellent ADG/conversions

        ~ fast finishing.

15.   Premium Carcass Performance:

        ~ tasty and tender.

16.   Longevity of Production

        ~ bulls will perform to

           eight plus years old

17.   Large Scrotal Measurements:

            22 month old bull = 39cm.

18.   Shorter Gestation Period: 277 days.

19.   Calving Ease/Maternal Instincts:

        ~ Excellent replacements

20.   High Milk Production

21.   Excellent Mothering Traits

22.   Small Finger Length Teats

        and no pendulous udders.  

23.   Penis/Sheath

        ~ does not hang down and drag

24.   No Brisket Problems:

        ~ altitude tested

          genetic performance

25.   Good Minded Cattle:

        ~ easy to handle and sort

        ~ no head-hunters

26.   Ranging Cattle

        ~ cattle take care of themselves 

        ~ cows go find the best grasses

        ~ calves jump up & want to suck

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  • High Fertility

  • Longevity

  • Large Scrotal Measurements

  • Docile


  • High Fertility

  • Calving Ease

  • Maternal Instincts

  • High Milk Production

  • Smaller Teats

  • Docile, but protective


  • Light Birth Weights

  • Vigorous

  • Early Maturity

  • High Weight Gain

Cattlemen accustomed to utilizing Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) may wonder why they aren’t available for Irish Blacks and Irish Reds.

     The answer is simple — this small, focused genetic pool of Irish Black and Irish Red cattle doesn’t have the sheer numbers required to have an EPD database. However, the Irish Black Cattle Association (IBCA) represents seedstock producers and 3,000+ registered cattle, which provides the infrastructure and support to collect, record and preserve the pedigrees of Irish Black and Irish Red cattle – and protect the genetic integrity of the entire breed.

     Deb Brown, Long Pines Land and Livestock owner and current IBCA president, explains, “The Irish Black and Irish Red breed is the only trademarked breed in the U.S., and the fact that it was developed in the U.S. by American cattle rancher Maurice Boney is even better. Today, our association oversees the registration of Irish Black cattle. Each animal must be DNA-verifiable as a pureblood. This gives buyers confidence that they are truly buying Irish Black and Irish Red cattle.”

     What makes Irish Black and Irish Red cattle so special and unique is the tightly controlled and closed gene pool that offers consistency in performance to meet the demands of commercial cattlemen while also exceeding the expectations of consumers seeking a great beef-eating experience.

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