British White Cattle Selection Guide

  Yerling Heifer - British White Cattle

      In my opinion the above picture shows correct conformation of what a Top Quality British White or any other beef cow should look like.

     This picture was taken 3/25/09 and the heifer had maintained this condition through the winter on grass and a little extra protein in the form of range cubes, about 3 pounds per day. I especially like her structure, straight lines, spring of rib, volume, depth of body and muscling.

 Picture of above cow 18 months later with her first calf.
British White Cow and Bull Calf
This picture was taken late afternoon 10/20/10. The bull calf is 7 months.
I estimate the calf’s weight to be about 600 pounds. Picture quality is not
good but it shows what kind of calf a good cow can raise.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

British White Beef Cattle Body Parts Illustrated
Body Parts Illustrated

  This illustration names or describes the various parts of a beef animal. You should learn the terminology and learn to visually point out to yourself or others where each part is located on the animal. It will help you make an informed british white cattle selection decision.

  When making a selection of purebred British White Cattle for breeding purposes, pedigrees should be considered because they will assist you in detecting and identifying outstanding bloodlines and be of assistance in planning the mating and breeding programs.

  Selection for correct British White Cattle can get complex because you will want them to reproduce regularly over a long period of time, have enough vitality to maintain themselves in thrifty condition mainly on forages and produce calves and/or yearlings that have enough weight and quality to be profitable when sold.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

British White Cattle Muscling Areas Illustrated
British White Cattle Muscling Areas Illustrated

British White BULLS
  Long thick muscling is desired. It is indicated by the length and size (thickness, circumference) of the major muscles in the forearm, fullness and bulge of muscle in the stifle area above the rear flank, and the length, thickness and bulge of muscle in the round and down the top. Very thick, short, rounded extreme muscling in the shoulder and round, which hinders locomotion, gives “double muscled” appearance, and is usually not desired.

British White FEMALES
  Long, smooth, moderate thickness of muscling is desired. Short, thick, bunchy muscling is usually a disadvantage, as it may be related to light milk production and reproductive inefficiencies.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

British White Cattle Fat Condition Illustrated
Areas to observe for fat deposits in determing the fat condition of
British White Cattle

  The degree of finish or fat condition may vary depending on nutrient levels, parasites, season of year, and genotype and sex of the animal. Bulls should be trim with a thin even distribution of fat and not show excessive wasty deposits of fat, even when on high nutritive levels, or during the non breeding seasons.

  It may be detrimental to excessively fatten heifers or cows as they deposit excessive fatty tissue in their udder and around their reproductive organs which may result in decreased milk production and inefficient reproductive rates.

  Females will normally deposit more fat in the brisket, along the underline and over the ribs and back, than bulls. Cows and bulls in good flesh will winter cheaper and more efficiently than those who are poor doers and have little fleshing ability.

  ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

British White Cattle Capacity and Volume Illustrated
Areas to observe to determine Capacity and Volume of British White Cattle

  Study this illustration well because you will want your British White Cattle to have adequate depth and width of body for efficient rapid growth and easy keeping ability. You will want to look for cows and heifers that look feminine with refined heads, long, narrow, clean necks; angular body shape with smooth shoulders and adequate body capacity. Compare the areas labeled in this illustration with the actual heifer shown at top of page; Length of Body, Depth of Body and Rib Shape (Spring of Rib).

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

British White Cattle Correct Structure Illustrated
This illustration will help you visualize the correct internal structure
as you go about the selection of your British White Cattle.

Below is a short list of five things I recommend to get you started as you begin looking for areas to confirm the Structural Soundness of British White Cattle.
1. Correct set of feet and legs is necessary for cattle to travel and remain sound during a long productive life.
2. Uneven, small, curled or twisted toes, and crooked feet usually result in lameness and should be discriminated against.
3. Postlegged, extreme knock-kneed, splayfooted, sickle hocked and long-weak pasterns are all conditions which may result in unsoundness and should be considered faults.
4. Straight shoulders and short straight pasterns are not desired.
5. Hardy black hooves, I do not recommend any part of the hoof to be white.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

British White Cattle Society
Recommended Standards

The British White breed was first established in England. Listed below are Recommended Standards as published by the British White Cattle Society of England.

  • Character: The BRITISH WHITE is a naturally polled, large and hardy native breed exhibiting the dual characteristics of beef and milking ability.
  • Colour: Must be white with black or red points, viz., nose, muzzle, pigment round the eyes, ears, teats of cows or rudimentary teats of bulls. Hooves and splash or spots of colour on the front of each fetlock. The skin showing dark pigmentation.
  • Head: Free from slugs or rudimentary horns. It should be of a fair length from eyes to muzzle, which should be broad. The heads of bulls should be masculine in character and of cows, fine and feminine.
  • Body Conformation: Animals should be functional and free moving on sound feet, with a long level top line, not rising at the root of the tail, broad and expanding over the loins to hips, pin bones well apart especially in the bulls. The shoulders gently sloping and well set in, the ribs well sprung. The underline should be level. The hindquarters long from hook to pin, buttocks being well fleshed down to the hocks, which when viewed from the back, should be straight, turning neither inwards or outwards.
  • Udder: Level, well developed but not pendulous, the teats of moderate size, set evenly and pointed to the ground. It is important that the rudimentary teats of bulls should be wide set and well developed.
  • Skin: Should be fine and handle well.

Click HERE for more Cattle Selection Information
and link to video Version.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~