If you take a road trip across the country and observe cows out to pasture, most of them are black, which isn’t surprising.
Most assume the breed is Black Angus cattle when they find pure black cows.
However, various cattle breeds are entirely black, so keep reading to learn more about what breed of cattle is pure black!
What Breed of Cattle is Pure Black?
Seven pure black cow breeds exist in the United States, including Australian, Lowline, Black Angus, Dexter, Galloway, Irish Black, Simmental, and Welsh Black. Black Angus is an impressive breed, but it’s not the only one.
Seven Pure Black Cow Breeds
Let’s take a closer look at the pure black varieties.
1. Australian Lowline
The Australian cattle industry is so far advanced that you will see Australian ground beef and steaks in most grocery aisles around the world, outside of the U.S.
One of the most popular breeds in their country is the black Australian Lowline cow, which is smaller cattle developed through selective breeding.
This produces amazing meat within smaller pastures of land. One of the greatest benefits of this cow type is they grow fast within the first year.
Also, they output a decent milk quantity but are more prized for their rich steaks full of fat marbling.
2. Black Angus
When searching through the meat section at your local grocery store, you’ve likely come across “Black Angus Beef.” Black Angus is one of the most famous and dependable cows on Earth.
Black Angus cattle are the most common cow type regarding purebred numbers.
This is because the Black Angus cow is fertile, doesn’t require much assistance as a calve, and is overall easy to raise.
Their meat is best known for rich marbling, thus commanding higher prices within the industry.
This cow type is so prized that an official certification program exists, so customers know they’re receiving a high-quality cow when purchasing this beef type.
The Angus cattle derive from the most northern part of Scotland according to Oklahoma State University.
Originally found in southern Ireland, the Dexter breed first made its way over to the U.S. approximately 100 years ago.
These beautiful pure black cows are one of the smallest bovine breeds available, with bulls weighing under 1,000 pounds.
Although the Dexter breed has small bodies and long legs, their small stature makes them perfect for homesteaders or farmers with limited pasture space.
This is because they don’t need massive areas to graze and roam. Dexter cows are ideal for hot climates but also function well in colder weather.
They’re a low-maintenance animal that is gentle to other animals and humans. You won’t see them make much of a disruption with the other cows in the herd.
You may be thinking that small cows would be a lot of work with little payoff, but Dexter cows produce excellent milk in large quantities.
Their yield per weight is significantly higher than most other breeds and the milk is packed with a rich cream that is used in many commercial products.
Galloway cows are excellent mothers, so they have become a preferred choice among farmers since the calving process is easy and they care well for their young.
This breed is different from others on the list because they have wavy and long coasts that provide cold weather and rain protection.
If you’re living in an area with plenty of natural predators, these cows can team up and help protect their young from these harmful animals.
Their beef has good marbling and a beefy, rich flavor. The Galloway cow is one of the lower-cost breeds when you’re talking about sucklings.
5. Irish Black
Excellent for farm efficiency, fast maturity, and meat quality, the modern Irish Black cow is a fertile breed that maximizes your money.
Also, this breed is a well-balanced animal with marbled and tender meat and good milk production.
The Irish Black cow is of moderate size with a varying range within the breed.
This cow is a terrific way to grow your herd as 50 to 70 cows can come from just a single bull. Additionally, the gestation period is shorter than other breeds at 277 days.
The Irish Black cow is independent when you’re not around and easy to manage and herd, so you will have less time moving them around.
Although Simmental cows can also be found in brown and red, this type exists in pure black.
The Simmental is a Swiss cattle breed that was developed hundreds of years ago into the large bulls and cows you see today.
Aside from holding the title of the second-largest cow breed on Earth, the Simmental are also one of the oldest bovines. These cows are infamous for their meat and milk production in the U.S.
7. Welsh Black
Although a UK native, the Welsh Black breed offers rich history dating back to the Roman Empire.
Most of this cow type has a rich, dark black color and is horned. The Welsh Black produces excellent meat quality with average milk.
Modern farmers enjoy this breed because they’re large and deliver a good return on investment since they are durable and grow fast.
Also, the Welsh Black breed does well in a variety of climates and can traverse challenging terrain.
This cattle type continues to gain popularity in other countries including New Zealand, Canada, and parts of Europe.
The Welsh Black breed has a life expectancy of around 20 years.
Frequently Asked Questions About What Breed Of Cattle Is Pure Black?
Are all black cattle Black Angus?
While Angus cattle are all black, not all black cows are Angus. To differentiate between the various breeds, it’s important to look at the distinctive characteristics of the cow, including size, legs, whether it has horns, coat length, etc.
What black cattle breed is best for grass feeding?
Small to mid-sized black cattle, in height and weight, are well suited for grass-fed beef operations because less foraging is required. Angus breeds and other British-origin cattle are great choices, but this highly depends on genetics.