Welsh Black offers the following options to the purebred breeder and the commercial cross breeding cattleman to aid in a progressive and profitable breeding program.
The red animal has no black genes and a red bull on a red cow will produce a red calf.
The Welsh Black where predominately horned although now naturally polled cattle are predominate in both red and black. The hardy Welsh Black has a thick hair coat that can remain long and will persist indefinitely depending on the climate, yet in the heat of summer they sleek right down. Years on the rocky hills of Wales have given them tough, hard, black hooves less prone to injury. They also have a thick hide which helps with insect tolerance and little to no sunburned udders, plus a rumen capable of breaking down very coarse fibre. They withstand the cold extremely well, however if the temperature is permanently high, they remain quite sleek. Their black pigmentation helps them to withstand extreme heat. They thrive on diets and in conditions that would not maintain less well-adapted breeds.
The Welsh Black cow truly exemplifies the breed's economic characteristics. Her performance earns the slogan "The Brood Cow Breed"
Welsh Blacks have been selected for milk production throughout history. Cows give an even flow of milk with 4% butterfat over long lactations enabling them to maximize the benefits of the crossbred calf.
Genetic fertility is envied and can be maintained at the standard 283 days under tough range conditions. Many heifers cycle under one year of age.
The quiet, easily handled cow is considered in her prime at 10 years. Some Canadian cows have produced 14 calves by 16 years of age and are still producing.
A mature cow weighs 1100 - 1400 pounds and has a large pelvic arch, resulting in very minimal calving difficulties even with the large beef-type terminal sires used in crossbreeding.
Mature Welsh Bulls weigh from 1900 to 2500 pounds. Birth weights generally range from 70 to 90 pounds with 1 or 2 assists per 100 calves.
With a thick hide and dense hair coat, these cattle will feed and finish without the need to lay down a thick outer fat layer. They will slaughter at about a year of age in the 1100 - 1300 lb. range, with a lean carcass with excellent marbling and above average cutability.
For cross breeding the Welsh Black Bull offers a quick growing crossbred calf that will produce a quality carcass at today's preferred weight.
The most important contribution of the Welsh Bull is through his replacement heifers with immediate profitable improvement in any herd's reproductive performance. The black baldy and black percentage crosses have achieved an enviable record as the "near perfect" commercial brood cow. For the cow-calf man Welsh Black can show the way.
Welsh Black crossbreds have been shown at 4-H shows since 1974 with many notable successes. The Canadian Welsh Black Society have initiated achievement awards for 4-H members who show Welsh Black sired animals in appreciation of their promotion of the breed. If you show a Welsh Black sired calf your 4-H leader can help you apply for your award.
Import - Export
Embryos and semen have been imported from New Zealand and Wales to increase the gene pool in recent years. Live animals and genetics have been exported to Austrailia, Germany, Mexico, New Zealand, and the U.S.A.
Bull Test Station
Welsh Black bulls have been tested under government supervision since 1982. The Alberta Welsh Black Association operated the an annual bull test until they ceased business,so now it is managed by the breeders that consign to the test.
Bull testing enables breeders to measure and therefore identify the genetic gain potential of individual animals or different bloodlinies under uniform environmental and management conditions compared to their contemporaries.
The young bulls are fed a growing ration and finish the test ready to go to work. Breeding soundness evaluations are conducted at the end of the test.
Welsh Blacks are kept under varied conditions around the world and adapt to almost any environment. Until the late 60's, they were mainly known as a hill breed in Wales, living and doing well on poor terrain and in extreme weather conditions. Since then they have flourished in the Canadian winters, in the hills of New Zealand and in central Mexico. Their black pigmentation seems with stand the extreme heat better them most breeds and their thick coat in winter enables them to withstand the cold better.
The Welsh Blacks ability to live off the land without elaborate management or expensive feed has entices many producers to take interest in the breed.