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Lowline and calf
Lowline calf with her sire in background
A four day old Heifer Calf with mother.
Five week old Heifer Calf with Sire in the background.

The Breed

Australian Lowlines are essentially 'miniature' Angus cattle, the by-product of a 30 year research project conducted by the New South Wales State Department of Agriculture at it's Agricultural Research Centre located at Trangie, NSW.

In all, approximately 12 bulls and 30 cows/heifers were acquired by Trangie during the 45-year period from 1929 to 1964. The herd then remained closed for the next 30 years. It is from within this herd that the Lowlines were derived.

The first phase of the project, from 1963 to 1973, looked at using selection procedures based on genetic principles and measured performance.Funded by the then Australian Cattle and Beef Research Committee, the project sought to demonstrate, from within a stud herd, the application of selection procedures based on sound genetic principles and to isolate superior genetic material and to make this available to the Australian beef industry.

Phase 2 involved the establishment of three closed lines, a high, low and a control line in order to create a rapid divergence in growth rate between the two extremes.In this manner, it was expected that the differences between the Low and High lines achieved over a 15-year period would equate to a 30-40 year program of breeding in one direction only.

As a result of their breeding and the selection process followed, Lowlines are, on average, between 100 and 110 cm tall at the hip. Smaller and larger animals currently exist within the herd and the Australian Lowline Cattle Association, formed in 1992, has yet to determine a definitive height standard for the breed.

Some Lowline Benefits
Like their Angus forebears, Lowlines are black and naturally polled.
Being smaller-framed the Lowline's feed requirements are less than those of larger sized cattle.Stocking rate of 10 against 6.
Just as all Lowlines share a diminutive size, as a result of the Trangie research experiment, they also carry the prime beef qualities, and potential, of their ancestors.

The Trangie Breeding Policy
In the 1940-50's, the breeding policy of the Trangie stud was to produce early maturing animals with good fleshing qualities and which demonstrated an economy in the utilisation of feed - traits that persist within a number of animals within the Lowline breed.

Because Lowlines were selected on the basis of a single trait, namely their rate of growth to yearling age, the degree of variability between animals in relation to other criteria increased. As a result, it is difficult to categorise animals as a homogenous type. This 'variability' is one of the main advantages of the breed.

While no two Lowlines are identical, there is sufficient variation within the Lowline gene pool to enable breeders to develop the type of animal they want. While some breeders are attracted to the idea of producing small, easily managed animals that are ideal for small areas, other breeders are more intent on maximising the production of beef per hectare. Lowlines are perhaps the only breed of cattle in the world today that can fulfil both requirements.

Lowlines at Hoon Hay Valley Organic Farm
Hoon Hay Valley is a registered Stud with the Australian Lowline Cattle Association and all its animals and future offspring's registered Lowlines.

 

 

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Lowline Cross Cows (in calf)