Lowlines are a breed of small beef cattle that were developed in Australia from an Angus herd a few decades ago. They are small black cattle, polled, stocky, docile, and very easy to raise. Also, due to the selection carried out on these animals during a major research project in Australia, the Lowline cattle breed is particularly effective in converting grass into meat. Additionally, due to their docile nature and easy handling, they are an excellent choice for those new to cattle farming, whether on a small or large scale.

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Quick Facts About Lowline Cattle Breed

Breed Name:Lowline
Place of Origin:Australia
Uses:Meat production
Bull (Male) Size:950 to 1,350 pounds
Cow (Female) Size:650 to 950 pounds
Coat Color:Black
Lifespan:12 to 25 years
Climate Tolerance:All climates
Care Level:Beginner
Milk Yield:Low

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Lowline Cattle Breed Origins

The Lowline cattle breed originated in Australia. They were developed through selections from an Aberdeen Angus herd. These had been established in the Trangie Agricultural Research Center (TARC) in 1929 to supply quality breeding stock to the beef industry in New South Wales. However, it was not until 1974 that a major research project was launched at the Trangie Research Center, to evaluate selection for growth rate on herd profitability.

The objective of this project was to establish whether large or small cattle were more efficient converters of grass into meat. This project lasted 19 years. However, after 15 years of selection, researchers found that Lowline cattle were about 30% smaller than the other group while being equally efficient at converting grass into meat—quite an impressive feat!

In 1992, when the research project ended, the Lowline cattle herd was sold to private cattlemen. These came together to create the Australian Lowline Cattle Association (ALCA).

Lowline cattle are now bred in many countries like Australia, Canada, the USA, New Zealand, the UK, and China.

Lowline Cattle Breed Characteristics

Lowlines cattle are black, compact, and polled.

But, contrary to popular belief, the Lowlines cattle breed is neither miniature nor dwarf. They are certainly more compact and smaller animals than the Aberdeen Angus, but they are nevertheless real beef cattle. Indeed, due to the genetic selection practiced on these cattle for several decades, Lowlines are particularly effective in transforming grass into meat. This breed-specific characteristic is sought after by many cattle producers, due to lower production and maintenance costs than larger breeds.

Cows weigh between 650 and 950 pounds and adult bulls can weigh between 950 and 1350 pounds. These are about 110 cm at the hip and adult females 100 cm. Newborn calves weigh no more than 50 pounds.


The Lowline cattle breed is raised primarily for its high-quality meat. Indeed, the meat is well-marbled and tasty, and the carcass yield is high. However, the milk yield of cows is low.

Appearance & Varieties

The Lowline is one of the smallest cattle breeds. The coat is almost exclusively a smooth, solid black, but can exceptionally be red.


The Lowline cattle breed is mainly produced in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK, and the USA.

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Are Lowline Cattle Breed Good for Small-Scale Farming?

Lowlines are hardy cattle that calve easily, have a good temperament, and are very efficient at converting grass into meat. Their meat is also excellent in terms of taste, texture, and tenderness. These cattle are therefore perfectly suited to small-scale farming.

Indeed, their small size and docility make them easy to handle, even for beginners in the field. Additionally, their small size minimizes equipment requirements, and their feed efficiency improves a farm’s carrying capacity. In short, they offer smallholders and farmers with limited acreage the opportunity to raise high-quality and docile cattle.

In short, the Lowline cattle breed has every reason to be so popular, both among large producers and small breeders. And although not dwarf, these sturdy black cattle are nevertheless small enough to keep the costs of running a farm low, while producing high-quality meat.

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