The Black Hereford Breed of Beef Cattle
The term Black Hereford is used in the British Isles to describe a
particular line of hybrid beef cattle. Although the use of the term was meant only as a casual reference, it has
become a much-respected name for a unique group of bovines. The American Black Hereford Association is one of the
major promoters of this exceptional beef cattle breed. The ABHA handles all of the registration and lineage
information for the American Black Hereford and there are dozens of rules regarding the inclusion of any animal
into these record books.
What is a Black Hereford?
A Black Hereford is an offspring
resulting from the pairing of a Holstein-Friesian cow and a Hereford bull. While one of the most often seen cows in
the British Isles it is still less widely known in the US. The white face of the Hereford and the Black hide
color of the Holstein-Friesian create a distinctive physical appearance for the offspring. There can be some white
on the legs and underside of the body, but there is no mixing of the colors on the back and shoulders. The black
body color is a direct contrast to the red color seen in the normal Hereford cattle.
Black Hereford Breed Making Big Strides in the US Market.
Black Hereford is the term used by cattlemen in the US when they are referring to
one line of cows that is now attracting a lot of public attention. The US Patent and Trademark Office made the term
“Black Hereford” a registered trademark in 2002. In the year 2003, the National Association of Animal Breeders
granted an international breed designation to the Black Hereford cattle line. During 2005, the Black Hereford
Beef product line was created and although production is still very limited, the meat is of superior quality and
has an extremely low concentration of fat.
The Beginning of the US Black Hereford Line
In 1994 the American Black Hereford Association was begun and 3 years later the
first Black Hereford cattle qualified for registration and listing in the herdbooks that the ABHA keeps. This breed
was chosen for one trait:
The Black Hereford foundation believed in this quality so strongly that the bulls were
chosen for registration based on the size of their testicles. As the years progressed, the emphasis extended to the
maternal instincts and ease of birth being shown by the female cows. Being able to introduce a newly created cattle
breed requires a great deal of work and calving. Breeders must be able to keep their stock produce new heifers so
that they can form new generations of these animals quickly. Qualifications for the females began to be focused
• Milk Production
• Size of the Pelvic Bones
• Birth Weight of the Calves
Outstanding Traits of the Black Herefords
The superb meat quality of the Black Hereford beef cattle is obvious and many
cattle enthusiasts would choose the animal for this factor alone, but these animals are no “one trick ponies”.
Today more people are learning about the exceptionally docile temperaments that the Black Herefords possess. Some
people find the charm of the white faces to be too irresistible to resist, charm, but they are more practical
traits that make them highly desired by cattle breeders.
These animals can withstand almost any weather extreme and they handle the environment
with ease. Even the coldest, bitter blizzards that can prostrate other cattle breeds are taken in stride by the
Black Herefords, These bovines are also very efficient at using their food for weight gain and this makes them
perfectly suited for grazing and grass fed diets.