Small Angus beef cattle, scientifically developed for better feed
good temperament and superior meat
Australian Lowline cattle are the result of 60 years of New South
Wales Department of Agriculture research aimed at improving the
Australian Aberdeen Angus herd. From 1930, Trangie Research Station
, NSW, worked with the
Australian Meat Research Committee and the Meat Research
Corporation line-breeding from 42 of the best Aberdeen Angus
cattle that it was possible to source internationally. These
cattle, which were much smaller than today's Angus, were selected
for feed efficiency on traditional grass pastures.
By 1974, beef production methods were changing. Australia began
to follow the US trend to produce larger framed cattle to finish
in feed lots. At this stage the Trangie Angus herd was divided
into three experimental groups :-
The Highline...the bigger cattle.
The Lowline...the smaller cattle.
The Control Line..a randomly selected control group.
All three groups were comparatively evaluated for weight gain,
feed intake, reproductive performance, milk production, carcass
yield and quality, and structural soundness. After 19 years of
this programme, the Lowline had established at approximately 60%
of the size of the larger Angus but had shown such efficiency as a grass converter
intrigued farmers led by Armidale grazier Ian Pullar, bought the
herd from Trangie and established the Australian Lowline as a new
The development of the Australian Lowline is one of the world's
most interesting experiments in line breeding. A total of 42
Aberdeen Angus cattle had been bought for the Trangie herd in the
period from 1929 to 1974 and from them (and no others) all
Australian Lowlines are descended. Australian Lowlines are
perfectly proportioned 60% versions of today's Angus with all of
the best characteristics of their outstanding ancestors.
Australian Lowlines are genetically very "clean" because ALCA
Australian Lowline Cattle Association, is not prepared to
compromise the breed. To be registered in the stud book, calves
must have 100% Australian Lowline ancestry verified by DNA
matching to their parents. This means that all registrable
members of the breed have an unbroken genetic line going back to
the establishment of the Aberdeen Angus breed in Scotland in the
1800s. Because they cannot be "bred up," breeders claim that
Australian Lowlines are probably the only purebred Angus cattle left in
the world. They do not carry the Achondroplasia or
Chondrodysplasia (dwarfism) genes which may occur in other small
or miniature breeds. Genetic abnormalities recently appearing in
Angus (such as "curly calf" syndrome) do not occur with
Australian Lowlines. By protecting the gene pool, the risk of
"throwbacks" is eliminated together with the risk of genetic
deformity or abortion.
HISTORY OF THE TRANGIE HERD
Trangie Research Station's Aberdeen Angus foundation stock was
obtained in 1929 from the Glencarnock Stud, Canada whose top sire, Blackcap
Revolution, son of Earl Marshall, was then considered the best Aberdeen Angus
bull in the world. Two of his sons,
and Brave Edward
by Trangie, together with a cow, calf, and 17 heifers. Further
imports from Canada, US and the UK contributed to the success of
this prize-winning government-owned stud which became the
backbone of the Australian Aberdeen Angus herd.
Other imports included Revolution of Page 28th (US), Everside
2nd of Maisemore (UK), Erision of Harviestoun (UK, 3000
guineas,1947) Eblinettes General of Ada (Canada) Craven's
Revolution Blackcap 7th(Canada) together with top cows and
heifers from all three countries.
As the Australian Angus cattle herd developed, outstanding local
bulls were also bought from leading New South Wales studs,
Wambanumba, Glengowan, Tulagi and Wallah until in 1974 the
decision was made to close the herd to outside animals. A total
of 42 outstanding Aberdeen Angus cattle had been bought for the
Trangie Research Station and from them (and only them) all
Australian Lowline Cattle are descended.
Judy and David Sainsbury, Casablanca Lowline
Stud, 16 Haunui Rd, Whangaehu, Wanganui, New Zealand.
Telephone:(New Zealand)06 342 6670. Mobile:0224026559.