Differences Between Grass-Fed and Grain-Fed Angus Cattle

Blog | December 11th, 2017

While Angus cattle are revered throughout the world for their attributes and flavourful meat, there are still distinct differences between the ones that are grass-fed and grain-fed. Both types of feeding methods have their advocates. Certain cattle farmers and ranchers know that it is more cost-effective and easier to grain feed since it requires less time to bring the Angus to market. On the other hand, the cattle farmers and ranchers who grass feed their Angus know that this method is more environmentally friendly and a more natural way of eating for the cattle. Experts agree that each of the feeding methods produces differing results in the beef from the cattle. We share these differences in the following details.


Grass-fed Angus beef typically cost a bit more in the grocery stores and meat markets. This is due to the fact that it takes longer for the grass-fed cattle to mature for market in comparison to the grain-fed cattle and that the farmers or ranchers require additional pasturelands for their herds.


Grain-fed Angus males and females are fed a combination of cereal grains such as barley, sorghum and wheat along with protein from canola meal or cottonseed. Also, their diets are supplemented with minerals, vitamins and fibre, such as hay. On the other hand, grass-fed Angus herds are allowed to forage pastures rich in grass and legumes for their primary source of nutrition. How does each feeding method affect taste? Grain-fed Angus beef has more marbling the grass-fed does which provides rich flavour to the meat while grass-fed Angus beef tends to have a gamier flavour due to its higher mineral content from the pasturelands. Now, some grass-fed cattle may be finished off with grain to increase their weight gain, so this will influence the flavour of their meat.

Marbling and Texture

The reason that grain-fed Angus beef has a rich flavour and tender, moist texture is the marbling throughout each cut. Since grass-fed Angus beef has less of this marbling for the most part, it is drier and a bit chewier than grain-fed is. You can use a heart-healthy fat to cook this meat in if you feel the need to in order to improve its drier texture.

Health Benefits

Today, the general opinion is that grass-fed Angus beef is healthier since it is lower in calories and contains higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and linoleic acid. The lower calorie count is attributed to the grass-fed Angus beef having less marbling. As a viable source of protein, though, both grain-fed and grass-fed Angus are even.

For further facts about the differences between grass-fed and grain-fed Angus cattle, consult with Southfork Angus. We specialise in providing quality Angus seed stock that is highly adaptable to various conditions.

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