The Lowline Breed

Whispers at Kenilworth is a registered breeder and stud for Lowline Cattle – a niche breed of beef cattle developed in NSW with genetics that can be traced back to the original Aberdeen Angus herd to arrive on our shores. You could say that Lowline are like a regular Angus beast that has been left a bit too long in the tumble dryer!

Lowline cattle are a unique breed developed at the Trangie Research Station in N.S.W. as the result of a research project started in 1974. They were bred at Trangie and Glen Innes as a part of project to investigate the implications of selection for growth rate.

At the same time a high growth rate line (High Line) and a randomly selected line (Control Line) were established. This experimental method was chosen to produce rapid divergence from traditional within herd selection. Yearling bulls were selected for low growth from birth to yearling age.

The herd was based on Angus, and it was kept closed from 1974. It was built up to exceed 400 head. Despite some objections from other breed societies “Low Line” cattle were released into the industry in the early 1990s and the research herd has now been dispersed.

Why we chose to breed Lowline?

As “Queen Street” farmers we chose this breed for their docile and sociable temperament – wait until you meet “Rocco”- , their manageable size, higher stocking rates on a small acreage, ability to calf easily and produce quality beef.

The 43 acres at Whispers grows grass at a rate of knots that is hard to comprehend. This being driven by rich fertile river flat soils, high rainfall, and daily dew from the river, so cutting grass using a tractor and slasher became an endless chore for the entire summer. After several years of leasing out our paddocks for very low rates, Rick suggested we get a small herd of our own to eat the grass, with a bi-product of a little beef from time to time. His research of suitable breeds quickly brought him to Lowline Angus, and we met a local family in Kenilworth who had a well-established Lowline stud, located “between 2 vineyards”… and also the name of their property and stud.

We carefully hand-picked 4 breeder cows, 3 with calves on foot and one expecting – our selection criteria being highly scientific – charisma, cute face, nice size and pretty female calf! A year later we added a bull to the herd, and our little group has since grown to over 30 animals.

The animals are bred for 3 different markets – stud stock, pets and beef…. not to mention tourist attractions for the many visitors to “Whispers at Kenilworth”. The beef is sought after for its natural grass fed properties… no fertilisers are added to the paddocks. Animals lead a stress free life on quality river flat grasses, river water and other than monthly tick sprays and annual vaccination for common illnesses, do not receive any other growth interventions or health treatments.

Our cattle do not need grain to reach full maturity and are therefore raised as grassfed/natural raised beef. We have personally tasted Lowline beef (from our herd) that was completely grass fed. Result? Absolutely delicious…tender, lightly marbled and flavourful.

In addition, grass-fed beef is healthier than grain fed beef. It has:

·More health promoting vitamin E and beta carotene
·More omega 3 fatty acids (considered a good fat). Omega 3 originates in the green leaves of plants and algae.
· Three to five times more CLA. In early research studies CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) looks to be one of the most potent cancer fighters.
·Less total fat and calories. Grain is used to speed growth and add bulk, so it makes for fattier animals.
·Less omega 6. Grain is high in omega 6 fatty acids. Omega 6 has been linked with a number of disorders and diseases.
·Decreased risk of E. coli bacteria. Grain feeding makes a cow’s digestive tract more acid. This acidic environment speeds the growth of E. coli bacteria.

Whispers Cattle Stud stock are for sale now ….

The females are registered pedigrees and grass eating steers are also available at a range of sizes and ages. For those interested in starting a small scale breeding program, various cows with calf on foot are also available as a package.

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