It is thought that Hereford cattle trace back to 1742, but
it was certainly in England. The first established
breeding herd was formalized in 1840 in that country.
Although this breed comes from a well-watered, cool
region of the world, it has done well in vastly different
climates. Herefords excel both as purebreds and as the
ideal cross for many other types of beef cows.
Imported into the United States of America to improve
the rangy but indestructible wild cattle, Herefords
proved to be hardy enough to survive Florida swamps
and Montana winters. They were also much better at
packing on meat, maturing early for the markets, and
learning to co-exist with humans than the skeletal
Today the desirable traits of the breed remain, although
currently the animals produce a leaner meat for today's
consumers. The breeders' associations work hard to
keep Herefords sound, fertile, docile, and superior at
both milk production for their young and meat for the
market. Although there are two distinct strains - horned
and naturally hornless or 'polled' - and two associations,
the animals of both types are otherwise the same.
Because of the animals inherent soundness, efficiency,
hardiness, and gentleness, these cattle were preferred
to all others. They spread through Mexico to the great
beef-raising plains of South America. They also thrived
in far-flung areas of the British Empire, proving to be
more lasting than that imperial institution.
Many ranchers prefer crossbreds, and it is true that this
practice can overcome some of the drawbacks of the
more exotic breeds. Herefords have been proved to be
excellent crosses. Their can raise low fertility rates, make
calving easier for first-time heifers, mitigate a high bone-
to-meat ration, and improve the feed conversion rate.
Since artificial insemination means that beef producers
have access to the best bulls, outstanding Herefords
have greatly influenced the industry with hybrid vigor.
These reasons have kept the centuries-old British breed
as the most numerous in the world. Over 50 countries
use Herefords as the foundation of the industry. The
progeny of one potent bull, Anxiety 4, have proved
themselves over the years to be the best in over-all beef
production in the States and in other parts of the world
where his influence has spread.
It is not only the feed-to-carcass weight ratio that makes
these animals famous. Their meat has a tenderness,
juiciness, and flavor that many consider to be
unsurpassed. They excel even with the new policies of
free range, grass-fed beef for a leaner, healthier meat.
You can try CHB, or Certified Hereford Beef, to see if you
agree with this assessment.
Hereford cattle were recognized in the 19th century to
be easy and profitable to raise, and a breed worth
preserving. From 4-H kids to ranchers in the US, New
Zealand, Argentina, and Australia, these animals are
regarded as the foundation of the industry. Moreover,
their popularity is not waning, and these low-slung,
sound, and docile beasts seem destined to endure