Low Line Cattle
Low Line Cattle: The American Aberdeen
Low Line, or American Abeerdeen, Cattle is one of the pillars of our beef herd with a storied history that started from a single bull and helped to redefine what is possible in the beef industry.
As a breed, Low Line Cattle is credited to the Trangie Research Center in New South Wales, Australia. Starting with two Canadian bulls sired from a championship bull, Blackcap Revolution, who practically swept the Chicago International Shows throughout the 1920's, a lineage was started that could have ended as abruptly as it began.
The aforementioned bulls, Glencarnock Revolution & Brave Edward Glencarnock, were brought to Australia along with 17 heifers to help develop the export market to Japan and with profitability in mind, were successful enough to prompt studies into stud and breeding performance starting in the 1960's. The goal was to determine whether larger or smaller animals were more efficient at converting grass to meat. To do so, they divided the herd into three groups, the High Line, the Low Line and the Control Line.
Selected by size, the Low Line herd consisted of 85 cattle that were 30% smaller than the High Lines and remained closed for the 19-year duration of the study. In 1993, the study concluded and it was determined that the High Lines were 5% more efficient at converting grass to meat.
This determination could have meant the end of the Low Line as a potential breed, but an Australian gentleman named Ian Pullar, admired the breed for their smaller size and purchased a portion of the herd, making them the first Low Lines registered as a distinctive breed.
Their lack of efficiency at producing meat compared to High Lines was quickly outweighed by their benefits. Their smaller stature, docile nature and ease of calving -- making new cows -- made them desirable for small scale ranchers. They are adaptable to many climates and they do less damage to pastures and fencing and less tonnage of hay is required to maintain the herd as compared to their Angus brethren. Their docile temperament during breeding means the safety of the heifers are not as big of a concern for ranchers, especially while they are not being monitored.
A full grown bull can range from 900-1,200 pounds with heifers coming in between 700-1,100 pounds and both are usually solid black with the occasional deep red coat. They have a keen ability to get fat on grass alone which allows them to be raised and finished in the pasture. They have a high ribeye area per 100 pounds (a standard measurement of yield) and though the cuts are smaller, they have a high quality of tenderness and taste. They are a very healthy breed of cattle that are not as susceptible to common beef diseases like eye cancer. This means less veterinary intervention and a more natural end product.
Low Lines are vital to Diamond Mountain Ranch and similar ranching operations that prize quality over quantity while ensuring that the health and well-being of the herd is directly translatable to our customers.