Defining the black/red carrier

Posted April 17, 2024

By Rachael Oliver, RAAA assistant director of commercial marketing

What exactly is a black/red carrier? This question seems to have become a more popular topic recently.

Since Angus were created with a red gene considered as a recessive allele, it carries over to other cattle when mated to that specific animal holding the red recessive trait. This recessive gene still means that animal can be a classified as a purebred if not crossed with any other outside breed. They are technically in American Angus, but since RAAA is an open herd book, we allow producers to register those animals in our system and can still be classified as purebred Red Angus.

You may ask if this animal is classified as a purebred Red Angus, why is it under a category 2 status? In RAAA's rules and regulations, it defines the eligibility of category 1 and why a black/red carrier registered with RAAA is still a category 2, as listed below.


a. The sire and dam of any animal for which an application for registration is being made, must be registered with an association that is a member of the World Angus Secretariat in good standing.

b. Animals must be solid red in color and must be polled, with no disqualifying characteristics.

c. The actual birth date

d. The actual weaning weights and dates

I. Calves weighed under 90 or over 310 days of age are not eligible for registration in category 1A or 1B

Because a black/red carrier is black-hided, it meets the disqualification standards of RAAA’s rules and regulations listed below:

iii. BLACK PIGMENT: Animals with black pigmentation must have black pigmentation on the nose, around the eyes and the anus to be considered ineligible for category 1A or 1B.

iv. Progeny of multiple sire groups

V. Missing actual birth date, or weaning weight and date

b. Any animal that has one or more disqualification(s) at the time application is made for registration or is discovered to have one or more disqualification(s) after registration, will be placed in category II. 

After reading outlined rules and regulations for being considered a category 1, producers should still feel confident knowing that a black/red carrier animal is purebred. More importantly, producers should remember that a calf crop sired from those bulls can still qualify for our Feeder Calf Certification Program.