Angus are solid black cattle, although white may appear on the udder. They are resistant to harsh weather, undemanding, adaptable, good natured, mature extremely early and have a high carcass yield with nicely marbled meat. Angus are renowned as a carcass breed. They are used widely in crossbreeding to improve carcass quality and milking ability. Angus females calve easily and have good calf rearing ability. They are also used as a genetic dehorner as the polled gene is passed on as a dominant characteristic.
The breed arose in north-east Scotland in the counties of Aberdeen and Angus. Excavations have revealed that polled cattle existed there in prehistoric times. Deliberate breeding began at the end of the eighteenth century. The breed was first formally recognized in 1835 with the first herd book published in 1862. The first animals were exported to the USA and other countries in 1878.
The American Aberdeen-Angus Breeders' Association (name shortened in 1950s to American Angus Association) was founded in Chicago, Illinois, on November 21 1883, with 60 members. The growth of the Association has paralleled the success of the Angus breed in America.
In the first century of operation, more than 10 million head were recorded. The American Angus Association records more cattle each year than any other beef breed association, making it the largest beef breed registry association in the world.