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Aberdeen Angus Trivia
Trivia facts and history about the Aberdeen Angus cattle from Aberdeenshire Scotland including the origins of the breed, the early breeders, the name
of the First Aberdeen Angus Bull and the spread of the cattle around the world:
History Of The Aberdeen Angus
Aberdeen Angus cattle were developed in the 19th Century from the polled black cattle in the Grampian region of the North East of Scotland. Polled means
without horns or cattle that do not grow horns. The Aberdeen Angus retained their black colour as seen in the photograph of Aberdeen Angus cows to the left. The
photo shows an Aberdeen Angus Mother and Calf. Some Aberdeen Angus cows have white colour on their udders.
First Breeders of the Aberdeen Angus
The early breeders of the Aberdeen Angus were Sir George MacPherson-Grant, Hugh Watson and William McCombie who carefully bred and selected the cattle in the
Angus area of Aberdeenshire as well as throughout Speyside and the Laigh of Moray. Between them they produced what is thought by many to be the greatest and
tastiest beef in the world. The favourite bull of Hugh Watson was named Old Jock. This bull was born in 1842 having been sired by Grey-Breasted Jock. In the
Scotch Herd Book, which was founded in 1842, Old Jock was number 1. If you are reading this page and devising a trivia quiz or pub quiz - wouldn't that make a great
Aberdeen Angus trivia question and answer!
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Old Jock Aberdeen Angus
Another notable Aberdeen Angus was a cow called Old Granny who was given the number 125. She produced 29 calves and lived to be 35 years old. Many Aberdeen Angus cattle
can be traced back to Old Jock and Old Granny. The Aberdeen Angus proved a popular breed of cattle and they soon spread throughout Scotland, England and Ireland.
Prior to the breeding of the Aberdeen Angus one of the breed of cattle in this area was the Angus Doddies which were also a polled breed.
Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society
Thus the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society was born and now has over 2600 members with a registration of over 13000 pedigree cattle each year. Breeders must
become a member if they want to register pedigree cattle. The society has a Royal Seal of Approval and the first Patron of the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society was
Queen Victoria in 1881 (another question suitable for an Aberdeen Angus trivia quiz). The second Patron of the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society was Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother who was in position for 63 years. Her grandson,
Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales became the patron of the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society in 2003. He is so interested in the breed that he has his own herd at
The Aberdeen Angus cow proved to be a hardy breed, making them suitable for farming and breeding in the changeable weather of Scotland. They are relatively
undemanding cattle with an easy nature and easily adapt to new environments which accounts for their widespread popularity around the world.
Aberdeen Angus mature when about two years old. They are not suitable for milking but have a high carcass yield with marbled meat. However they can be used
for cross-breeding to improve the milk yield of other cattle which also improves the marbling of the meat. The great taste of the meat comes from the early maturing
of the cattle in natural conditions, fed on grass and home grown feed giving a balance between lean and fat. The marble beef is a fine textured meat where the fibres
are close together with fine threads of fat deposits running through the muscle. This marbling effect enables the beef to remain tender when cooked because the fat melts
away during the cooking, leaving a tender and succulent beef.
The cows make great mothers, calve easily and rear their calves with ease.
Aberdeen Angus Cattle In America
In the early 19th Century on the 17 May 1873, George Grant took four Aberdeen Angus bulls to Victoria, Kansas in America. They attracted a great deal of
interest in Kansas City. Not all the interest was positive though - shorthorns and longhorns were the common cattle in the United States at the time and many cattle men
thought the Aberdeen Angus to be abnormal and only fit to be used for cross breeding. However over the years the popularity of Aberdeen Angus grew throughout the USA,
so much so that by 1901 there were more pedigree cattle than in the UK and now there are over 40 times more registered Aberdeen Angus cattle in the USA than there are
in Britain. Modern cattle in the States are now used for purebreds, rather than crossbreeding. The popularity of Aberdeen Angus and the taste of the beef
grew in the 19th and 20th Century and now, in the 21st Century, Aberdeen Angus can be found in many countries like Argentina, Australia, Canada, Estonia, Latvia,
New Zealand, Romania and South Africa. And of course they remain much loved in their native country of Scotland.
In 1883, on the 21 November, the American Aberdeen Angus Association was founded in Chicago, Illinois. They published their first herd book on the 1 March in 1885.
Between then and 1917 all Aberdeen Angus cattle were registered together but in 1917 it was decided to register the colour of the cattle so that there was a distinction between
the red and black cattle so that the solid black Aberdeen Angus could be promoted above the recessive gene of the red Aberdeen Angus cattle.
In the 1950s the name of the association was changed, or rather shortened, to the American Angus Association. In 1954 the Red Angus Association of America was formed
(Another great Aberdeen Angus trivia question and answer for your quiz).
As a point of note the UK and Canada register red and black Aberdeen Angus in the same herd book.
Certified Angus Beef
The American Angus Association introduced a Certified Angus Beef brand in 1978 to promote the quality of the brand and to keep sales of the meat high. Aberdeen
Angus beef in this category must be able to be sourced from at least 51% black in coloration and exhibit Angus-like characteristics.
Burger King and Aberdeen Angus
In November 2006 the burger fast food chain Burger King started to use beef in their burgers that had been sourced from Aberdeen Angus cattle from Britain and Ireland. The burger
is called The Angus. It is 100% flame grilled and comes from fully certified Aberdeen Angus Beef.
McDonalds did trial the use of Aberdeen Angus beef in their burgers a few years earlier. I am not aware of the outcome of these trials. I will add
more information on this Aberdeen Angus trivia page when I have more details.
More information about the Aberdeen Angus can be obtained from the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society website.
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