This article is about the colour variety of the Hereford cattle breed. For the hybrid type, see Black Hereford (hybrid)
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The Black Hereford is a beef cattle breed, derived mainly from Hereford cattle (normally red and white), but with some mixture from black Angus cattle, resulting in black cattle with a white head and finching.
Like red Herefords, Black Herefords are becoming known for their feed efficiency and docile temperament. If a registered Black Hereford is crossed with a registered red Hereford and the resulting progeny is black, then it may be registered with the Black Hereford Association. The Black Hereford breed was formed to create cattle that would pass on the desirable traits of the red Hereford, but with black and white coloring. Like red Herefords, Black Herefords are often crossed with black Aberdeen Angus cattle to produce heterosis ("hybrid vigor") in the progeny, producing a type commonly known as the Black Baldy.
The American Black Hereford Association was established as a non-profit corporation in 1994, by the late John Gage. The first Black Herefords to qualify for registration were recorded in 1997. In 2003 the Black Hereford received international breed designation by the National Association of Animal Breeds. By 2005 the association implemented its own EPD ratios for individual animals. These EPD (Expected Progeny Difference) ratios help producers use performance data collected from each animal and its offspring to accurately predict the performance of future offspring. The ABHA is experiencing strong growth throughout the United States with a surge in both breeder membership and animals registered.
Many cattle breeders desire the traits of the red Hereford cattle, but want black cattle, as black cattle tend to bring more money at market
Also, many breeders want to introduce Hereford type traits into their black cattle while maintaining the black color. The Black Hereford allows breeders to accomplish both of these goals. The Black Hereford is an efficient, docile cattle breed used mainly to produce beef.