Luings in Canada

 

 

Luing Bonus, a Scottish import who had a huge influence on the Canadian Luing gene pool

Snowlander bull in Charlie Flick's herd at Edgewood, British Columbia 1977

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Cows grazing corn a -35C December day

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Luing cattle were first imported to Canada in 1973 by the late A.R. "Sandy" Cross of Rothney Farm, Calgary. At Rothney, the Luings flourished among Sandy's world-renowned herds of Shorthorn and Galloway cattle. Other Canadian Luing breeders in the early days included the Churchs at Lochend, Lufts at Kathyrn, Sears at Nanton, Wearmouths at Cochrane and Wolfendens at Brisco, British Columbia.

 

The Canadian Luing Cattle Association was incorporated in 1975 with the objective being the encouragement, development and regulation of the breeding of Luing cattle in Canada. Canadian Luing cattle have proven themselves hardy, long-lived, productive mother cows on some of the toughest ranches in Western Canada influenced by two crucial factors:

 

1. A limited genetic pool developed from superior foundation stock.

In many breeds a limited gene pool is bemoaned, but it can also have benefits. It was very difficult and expensive to import Luings from Scotland, therefore, the animals brought to Canada tended to be the best examples of their type. From this sound foundation, breeders kept the bloodlines tight enough to ensure genetic prepotency. Rigorous selection based on functional efficiency, under real ranch conditions, has ensured that Luings can handle anything Canadian weather or grazing challenges throw at them.

 

 

2. The contribution of the Snowlander cattle to the Luing gene pool.

Snowlander cattle were developed by Charlie Flick at Edgewood, British Columbia, in the 1930s by initially crossing a polled Shorthorn bull with his herd of Highland cows. From this initial cross the cattle were developed into a breed in the same manner as the Luing in Scotland. Charlie, later in partnership with his grandson Dave Bilinski, refined their new breed for forty years before the very best of the Snowlander females were infused into the Luing breed in the late 1970s through a grade register. The Snowlander cattle at Edgewood had to survive largely on a diet of browse which grew among the tall timber on the rocky mountain sides. Like the severely challenging conditions the Luing breed was developed under in Scotland, this ensured that the cattle had built-in foraging ability. The Snowlander influence also introduced polled genetics into the Canadian Luing cattle population.

Winter grazing old grass in January

© 2019 Iain Aitken