You’ve probably seen Black Baldies, the black cattle with the white faces. The Black Baldy, however, is not a true breed, but any combination of breeds that will produce the hallmark coloring.
White-faced black calves can be produced by crossing any black breed with any white-faced breed, such as Hereford or Simmental. Generally, though, Baldies are the offspring of an Angus/Hereford mating.
There is also a miniature Black Baldy produced by crossing a Lowline (a small Australian breed derived from the Angus) with a miniature Hereford.
The primary use of a Black Baldy is for beef. Some commercial cow/calf producers, however, keep their Baldy heifers to breed more beef cattle. While the resulting calves do not display as much hybrid vigor as their mothers do, this practice takes advantage of the enhanced reproductive performance that hybrid vigor imparts to Baldy cows.
The miniature Black Baldy is also a beef animal, but is more commonly seen on small farms.
The Black Baldy is generally known for docility and good nature, though not for intelligence.
Hybrid vigor is the main reason for crossing two breeds of cattle, and it is a trait in which the Black Baldy excels. The breed has earned a reputation for being healthier than either purebred cattle or more nondescript “mongrels.”
- Hybrid vigor.
- Adaptability to most climates.
- Suitability of miniature version for small acreages.
- Good calf survival rate.
- Mothering ability.
- Good growth rate.
- Efficiency of beef production.
- Qualification for most premium beef programs, including Certified Angus Beef.
- Acceptance at most sale barns.
- Difficulty and expense of continuing a crossbreeding program if using Baldies for breeding.
- Occasional calving problems.
- Tendency to put on fat at the expense of muscle.
- Only average beef quality.