The Red Angus Breed
A happy cow will always provide a better tasting burger!
Our cattle are all Registered Red Angus. "Registered" simply means that they are documented with the American Red Angus Association. The only difference between Black Angus and Red Angus is their hide color. The Red Angus breed actually derived from the Black Angus breed. Black Angus cattle carry recessive genetics for red hides. If two recessive genes are inherited by the offspring from each parent, the offspring will wear a red hide. In the 1950s, cattlemen started to collect these "undesirable" offspring from Black Angus herds. They then began to breed them together to create the Red Angus breed we have today. The "superior" meat qualities most Black Angus are claimed to have is actually mirrored in the Red Angus. The benefit to raising Red Angus over their Black brothers and sisters, is that they're known to have calmer temperaments and be easier to handle. It is believed that their red coats are more tolerant of the sun and therefore aren't as high strung like the Black Angus can be.
Deer Run Farm started solely as a Red Angus beef operation in 1996 just after the farm was purchased. After careful consideration and lots of contemplation, the family decided on the Red Angus as the farm's breed of choice after only just learning about the breed from a neighboring farm at the time. Four Red Angus bred heifers were purchased that Fall from the Zepp family. Many cows, calves and cow-calf pairs were shown in several fairs and competitions in the early days of Deer Run Farm. The herd has since slowly grown by keeping quality heifers and purchasing a few a long the way. Now the farm is home to nearly 100 head of cattle that includes 37 mother cows, their calves and their weaned teenagers.
All of our cattle are born and raised on the farm. They live pretty pampered lives having two barns to live in during the winter and plenty of pasture to graze on during the Spring, Summer and Fall. Our chosen mother cows will live out full, healthy lives on the farm. Most of their calves will be grown out for beef over 18-24 months, while a few selected heifers will be raised to put back into the herd as replacement mothers. We currently have two herd bulls, Angus and Double Chunk, whom handle well and do excellent jobs of breeding our cows.
Each year we participate in the Penn State Bull Test in March where we will send an additional one or two bull calves for testing. This program allows us to see where our herd's genetics compare to those of other local farms. Information we gather from the test helps us better select offspring to maintain the highest quality and most performing cattle we can. We also participate in the Virginia Beef Expo in April. This is a sale that we will take one to three bred (or ready to breed) heifers. It's important to us to continue registering our cattle through the ARA so that we can continue to participate in these tests and sales.
Our cows are foraged raised and grain finished with all feed produced directly on our farm. This means that they graze on pasture during the Spring, Summer and Fall months while being fed balage, corn silage, and other grass roughage we produce directly on our farm during harvest season. (Interested in understanding the differences in feeding methods? Check out this short and sweet article called, "Beyond Beef Basics: Grass Fed, Grain Finished & More".) We don't use any hormones or unnecessary antibiotics. Occasionally we treat our cows to apple flavored horse treats just to remind them that we appreciate them!
Visitors are welcome to come see our operation and hang out with our cows! It's always evident in the cows' behavior and calmness that we treat them just like family. Every cow has a name and every cow has a personality on our farm. We're always happy to share our joy of them on our Facebook page.
Anyone in the "mid-atlantic northeast" states with Red Angus looking to connect we encourage you to join the Mid-Atlantic Red Angus Association!