Genetics of the Black Polled Hereford By: Cassady Wilson What are Black Polled Herefords? • Black Herefords are a hybrid breed developed by crossing Hereford and Angus cattle and having at least 62.5% registered Hereford blood, black in color and sired by a bull registered by the American Black Hereford Association. Most have traditional white markings of a Hereford but black hided instead of red. Why did they create a Black Polled Hereford? farmers wanted a cow that had all the benefits of the Polled Hereford but with a black hide instead. Because black coated cattle sell for more then red coated cattle. And with the Polled Hereford blood they wont suffer from the angus diseases. What are the benefits? • The meat quality of Black Hereford beef cattle is superb. Many cattle ranchers choose this breed specifically for this factor alone. • Black Herefords can withstand extremes in weather with seeming ease and are very efficient at using their food for weight gain, making them well suited for grazing and grass fed diets. • Improve your calving rate by nearly 4% in the heifers you retain in your herd as replacements. • Increase the longevity of the replacement heifers by more than one year Eliminate the onset of calf losses in cows that are possible carriers of recessive Angus • Black Herefords tend to have black pigment around the eyes as well as dark colored eyes which reduces the onset of pinkeye as compared to lighter colored cattle. • Black Hereford females tend to have teats and udders with black pigmentation eliminating worries about sun and/or snow-burned Udders. How do you get a Black Hereford? you get a Black Hereford by crossing a Red Polled Hereford with a Black Angus. But its not that simple It takes a couple of generations before you get a Black Polled Hereford. By just doing the first cross you will only get a black baldy. So then you breed that animal to a Polled Hereford. by doing so your controlling what percentage of Angus and Polled Hereford is put into the animal. You want a Polled Hereford that is black. To even be a Black Polled Hereford the percentage must be over 60% Homozygous and recessive alleles in cattle black coat coloring is dominant and red coat color is recessive. So when u cross a Angus (BB) with a Polled Hereford (bb) for the first time your calf will be heterozygous (Bb) and will be black. if you breed a Black Hereford that is homozygous black (BB) with a Polled Hereford that is homozygous red (bb) you will get what is called an F1. which is a heterozygous Black Hereford. you want a homozygous Black Polled Hereford so that what ever you breed it with you will get a black calf. And when they are homozygous they are considered purebred. And the best of the best. Many black Hereford breeders are trying there hardest to get as many homozygous cattle in there herd just for the reason of having the benefits of a Hereford and the benefit of the black hide.