Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: "Aberdeen Angus Sired"?  (Read 4596 times)

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
"Aberdeen Angus Sired"?
« on: January 01, 2018, 08:25:18 pm »
We had some supermarket steaks yesterday which said on the label "Aberdeen Angus Sired".

It made me wonder why though?  Would this be another beef breed put to an AA bull, or a dairy breed? (oh, and if dairy, does that mean that both male and female calves would go for beef?).

Can anybody enlighten me as to how all this works?  I know nothing about cattle!  :dunce:
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: "Aberdeen Angus Sired"?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2018, 08:36:29 pm »
I think it's most likely dairy bred - sounds so much more "beefy" if you only mention the breed of the father.
So - yes - could be male or female. You can get a premium (in theory) for meat produced from a registered Angus or Hereford bull.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2018, 08:38:40 pm by landroverroy »
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: "Aberdeen Angus Sired"?
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2018, 01:15:36 am »
Means what it says, Dad was a pedigree, registered Aberdeen Angus.  Could have been bred and reared (but not finished) on an upland beef and sheep farm like ex-BH’s in Cumbria, with a beef suckler cow for a mum, or could have been born to a dairy cow and reared somewhere other than its holding of birth.

The story goes like this.  Morrison’s wanted to support the rare Whitebred Shorthorn, and set up a herd in Dumfriesshire, and offered a premium to producers using Whitebred Shorthorn bulls.  That wasn’t many - they are a very rare breed - so Morrison’s extended the premium to all Beef Shorthorn.  Still not very many, so they extended the scheme initially to include Angus and Hereford too and then to all native beef breeds, but paid double premium for Shorthorn.  At this point the premium was 10ppk for all native beef, 20ppk for Shorthorn.

Why only on the sire, not taking account of the mother’s breeding?  Because that’s the way cattle registration works.  Calves are registered by breed - BBB if pure bred, where BBB is the breed abbreviation, and BBBx if only the father is of that breed.  The mother’s breed isn’t indicated (except insofar as she must be BBB if the calf is BBB.]. ‘AA’ is pure (more than 7/8) Aberdeen Angus; ‘AAx’ is sired by an Aberdeen Angus, mother could be anything.

If they’d limited the scheme to pure pedigrees only, they’d have a) limited their sources and b) harmed the very breed they set out to try to help, as the Whitebred Shorthorn exists primarily to sire the Blue Grey - an excellent beef suckler cow and a decent beef stirk, out of a Galloway cow to a Whitebred Shorthorn bull.  The moorlands of the far north of England and Southern Scotland used to be a stronghold for the Blue Grey, but the Limousin was taking over - and damaging the moorlands in so doing, being less of a forager and less of a good doer on rough picking than the natives.  EU-funded Natural England-run schemes to encourage grazing by native breeds paid only for pedigree pure breds, which excluded the hybrid Blue Grey, thereby hurting the Whitebred Shorthorn further still.  Farmers and the Breeders’ Societies lobbied Morrison’, and so the native premium scheme came about.

Other supermarkets got on the bandwagon, and beef started to be labelled ‘Aberdeen Angus’ or ‘Hereford’ or whatever.

As a beef farmer at the time, farming native crossbreed suckler cows to a native bull, I can tell you that the Morrisons scheme really helped farmers to switch to a native breed bull. 

I’m all for accurate labelling, and dislike labelling which misleads - ‘outdoor bred pork’, for instance, which sounds like free range but actually means that the sow ran with a boar outside and probably did farrow in an ark in a field too - but the piglets were probably brought indoors at weaning (at 8 weeks or earlier) - or maybe even sooner.  :rant:  So if the supermarkets are now having to make it clear that it’s not pure Aberdeen Angus but only Aberdeen Angus Sired, I guess that’s  good thing in a way - provided it doesn’t go back around the loop and end up again hurting the Whitebred Shorthorn - Blue Grey production. 

Would this be another beef breed put to an AA bull, or a dairy breed? (oh, and if dairy, does that mean that both male and female calves would go for beef?).


Some of the females will go for beef yes, whether the mothers are pure beef, or crossbred sucklers, or dairy.  Some of all these types will go on to become suckler cows themselves.  Ex-BH used to buy in dairy x Hereford heifer calves to rear as suckler cows for himself, and the heifers he produced himself, being 1/4 dairy 3/4 beef, were becoming much sought after as suckler cows.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 01:18:59 am by SallyintNorth »
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: "Aberdeen Angus Sired"?
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2018, 09:19:56 am »
Thanks Sally!!



 :roflanim:
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Scotsdumpy

  • Joined Jul 2012
Re: "Aberdeen Angus Sired"?
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2018, 09:20:27 am »
Thanks to Sally for another well informed response! We only have 3 breeding cows - a belted galloway x dexter and two British Blue x Jersey. At first we used to use a Welsh Black semen on the galloway x but now use Aberdeen Angus on all 3 cows. We find a good price at market for reasons explained above. If I were to buy supermarket meat then I would try the AA sired product as the flavour is (in my opinion) far superior to the regular cuts generally on offer.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: "Aberdeen Angus Sired"?
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2018, 10:55:41 am »
Had to Google ‘drop the mike’.  Thanks, Womble.  I think :/  :roflanim:
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: "Aberdeen Angus Sired"?
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2018, 02:44:41 pm »
What's just as important,if not more so, IMHO, is the origin. My butcher was asked to supply beef to a hotel in Fife; he only supplies Scotch beef. The price the hotel wanted to pay just wasn't doable for him but the chef said he was getting AA beef for that price from another supplier. When my butcher saw the beef - aye, it was AA but from Uruguay.


landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: "Aberdeen Angus Sired"?
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2018, 11:34:18 pm »
What's just as important,if not more so, IMHO, is the origin. My butcher was asked to supply beef to a hotel in Fife; he only supplies Scotch beef. The price the hotel wanted to pay just wasn't doable for him but the chef said he was getting AA beef for that price from another supplier. When my butcher saw the beef - aye, it was AA but from Uruguay.


But surely it isn't going to be of inferior quality meat just because it comes from Uraguay :sunshine:
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

Perris

  • Joined Mar 2017
  • Gower
Re: "Aberdeen Angus Sired"?
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2018, 06:55:51 am »
but is it Scotch?  :thinking:

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: "Aberdeen Angus Sired"?
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2018, 09:02:31 am »
Yes it was actually, and it was delicious!  :thumbsup:
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: "Aberdeen Angus Sired"?
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2018, 10:36:55 am »
What's just as important,if not more so, IMHO, is the origin. My butcher was asked to supply beef to a hotel in Fife; he only supplies Scotch beef. The price the hotel wanted to pay just wasn't doable for him but the chef said he was getting AA beef for that price from another supplier. When my butcher saw the beef - aye, it was AA but from Uruguay.


But surely it isn't going to be of inferior quality meat just because it comes from Uraguay :sunshine:


No but British beef is hormone free, which a lot of other countries haven’t banned yet (not sure about uraguay?

farmers wife

  • Joined Jul 2009
  • SE Wales
Re: "Aberdeen Angus Sired"?
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2018, 04:43:32 pm »

Our herd was AA sired.  Our organic animals were sold to waitrose via a fattening unit. Our breed is shorthorn x AA.


I wouldn't be convinced a milking unit would use AA as a bull as in general they use Belgium blues and other more commercial bulls.


To be honest its a waste of time as we expecting a premium for the AA sired but in reality its pennies and the offspring can be small.  Just because its AA sired doesn't mean its good beef either.  Good beef comes from good animals/low stress/good maturing/good fat as you know.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: "Aberdeen Angus Sired"?
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2018, 06:02:29 pm »


I wouldn't be convinced a milking unit would use AA as a bull as in general they use Belgium blues and other more commercial bulls.

Many dairy herds use an Angus bull as a sweeper to catch any that didn’t hold to AI, and to give the heifers an easy first calving. There’s a ready market for the AAx heifer calves as potential suckler cows, and an Angus bull doesn’t wear your cow out or need fetching out by caesarian.

I’ve watched a lot of store cattle sales, and a good Angus cross will always fetch as much as an average Limousin - and to produce a good Limi generally requires both skill and hard feed ;).

It’s true that many dairy herds do use Blue bulls, and the calves fetch more - often a couple of hundred quid more - than the AAx equivalents. It’s always seemed shortsighted to me to go for that relatively small extra at the top of the lactation, when the larger calves stress the cows more and may have incurred costs getting calved.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: "Aberdeen Angus Sired"?
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2018, 10:47:05 pm »
We have had an Angus bull for the last 14mths, watched store prices with interest and Angus store bullocks never make what a good Limousin bullock of the same age would. So he is now sold and back to a Limousin bull to run as stock sire. Selling as store never seems to get the Angus premium passed down to the breeder.


A lot of dairy herds use Angus sweeper bulls and on their heifers for easy first time calving.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: "Aberdeen Angus Sired"?
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2018, 09:25:11 am »
That’s the opposite of my experience from up north, twiz.   I wonder whether that was partly down to the local auction mart, who held special Native Breeds sales once a month, and a show and sale once a year.  Also maybe because the land up there was particularly suited to AAx and less so to Limis.  It could be that Limis take less ‘doing’ down here in the SW :thinking:
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

 

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