The Crowfoot Cattle Co. Angus herd now includes over 800 breeding females plus replacements. About half of the cattle are Black Angus and the other half Red Angus. We have also developed a herd of 30 Black-Red Gene Carriers. This is a project that we are very excited about! It is literally the best of both breeds, or colors if you will.
The gene causing red/black is the Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone Receptor Gene (MSHr), also called the Melanocortin Receptor 1 gene (MC1r). This gene has two common alleles ED and e. In addition, a less common allele, E+, also called "wild type" occurs. When ED is present in an animal, it is black. This is the dominant allele in the series. Cattle that are ee are red and this is the recessive genotype. So homozygous Black Angus cattle are ED/ED and Red Angus cattle are e/e. When a ED/ED is mated to an ee the offspring are Black hided-red gene carriers ED/e. When a Black/Red Gene Carrier is mated to a black homozygous there is a 50% chance the progeny will be a Black/Red Gene Carrier and a 50% chance the progeny will be homozygous black. When a Black/Red Gene Carrier is mated to another Black/Red Gene Carrier, there is a 25% chance the offspring will be homozygous black, 25% chance the offspring will be Red and 50% chance the offspring will be a Black/Red Gene Carrier. When a Black/Red Gene Carrier is mated to a red hided mate there is a 50% chance the progeny will be red and a 50% chance the progeny will be a Black/Red Gene Carrier. Red Angus mated to Red Angus can never have a black calf no matter how much Black Angus there is in the pedigree. Homozygous Black Angus mated to homozygous Black Angus can never have a red calf no matter how much Red Angus is in the pedigree.