The Speckle Park breed is a Canadian creation. Speckle Park were created and developed in two western Canadian provinces – Saskatchewan and Alberta. Speckle Park as a breed consistently produce moderate sized well marbled carcasses with a minimal fat cover. Speckle Park do all of this in a harsh winter environment on very basic food stuffs. Speckle Park are now also at home in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, England and the United States.
Often described as “the beef breed with the colour bonus” SP have a range of spectacular colour patterns. The “classic speckled” pattern is black sided with a white top line and underline, a black or grey head and spots on the rear quarters like the Appaloosa horse. The black sides may be broken into many smaller black spots of various sizes on a white ground. Some are white with black points on the nose, ears, skin around the eyes, and feet and legs. Teats are black. Speckle Park also produce some solid black progeny. All of the colour patterns have pigment in the right places for sun and snow. Speckle Park also grow extremely heavy coats in winter and then slick off quickly for the spring and summer.
Speckle Park are moderate sized animals. Mature cows typically weigh 545 kg (1200 lbs), and mature bulls weigh 910 kg (2000 lbs) or a bit more. Calves average 34 kg (75 lbs) at birth and wean between 250-260 kg (550 – 575 lbs). Finished carcasses on the rail typically have an average weight of 330 kg (725 lbs).
Speckle Park also bring to the cattleman many other highly desirable traits: polled, early fertility, calving ease, vigorous calves, milking ability, and manageability of cows and bulls.
Speckle Park were developed over a period of fifty years and are now a distinct pure breed with a closed herd book as stipulated by the Canadian Animal Pedigree Act. The breed’s genetic base is British and derives primarily from black Angus, a Teeswater Shorthorn and an unidentified white bull with coloured points.