Beef cattle breed
It is of Scottish origin, and a widespread beef cattle race in the world, which is now being bred in several types. The name refers to those two shires, where the main lines were bred. Initially it was a small, early maturing race. As a result of planned selection and pairing during the decades, it became a very modern and popular breed. It is common throughout the British Isles, entire Europe, North and South America, New Zealand and Australia.
It is polled by genetic inheritance and it is easy to handle in a larger group. This breed is non-aggressive towards humans. It has a solid black or dark red color, which latter is of recessive heredity manner. Approximately three-quarters of the population are black. In regards of production, there is no significant difference between the black and red color variations.
It has a small head; it is short and has wide proportions. Ideal body type reflects the type of beef cattle. Upper and lower bodylines are parallel. It has a rectangular trunk; it is wide and deep with short and heavily muscled neck. Legs are short. Bones are thin and delicate. The adult weight of cows is 500-600 kg; the bulls’ weight is 800 to 1,000 kg.
This breed is resistant to diseases and has only moderate demand in terms of feeding and housing conditions. The breeds’ most prominent feature is its good reproductive ability and excellent maternal characteristics. The heifers are productive at the age of 13-15 months, which is an easy procedure. The calves' birth weights are 25-30 kg. The cow produces enough milk and takes care of its calves. The 205-day age-adjusted calf weight often reaches 300 kg. Maternal breed is ideal for cross-combinations.
Its fattening ability is medium. The daily weight gain of regularly grazed calves within the first 8 months is an average of 900 to 1,000 grams. Development is rapid.
At an intensive fattening the increase is high in mass, but over 500 kg weight, building up of fat becomes rapid. The meat is fine grain, marbled and very tasty, a steak meat special. The slaughter extraction yield of young bulls is in the range of 60-62%.
A variety of U.S. and German versions are more packed and framed than the original Scottish ones.