Red Brangus: The Breed That Offers the Most for America’s Cattle Producers
Published on Wed, 07/03/2019 - 12:23pm
Red Brangus: The Breed That Offers the Most for America’s Cattle Producers
By Steve Weisman
America’s cattle producers are always looking for an edge to upgrade their herd genetics, while at the same time looking to improve their bottom line. More and more producers from across the country are finding that the Red Brangus breed is meeting these demands. After all, what producer wouldn’t want a herd that includes the following attributes: gentle dispositions, ability to thrive in a range of climates, predictability and uniformity at market time, versatility, early maturity, calving ease, milking ability, high performance, uniformity in mature size, longevity for longer production and optimum marketability!
Let’s learn more about this breed known for its hybrid vigor. The Red Brangus breed is the result of breeding Black Angus cows with gray Brahman bulls in the 1930s in central and south Texas. While the offspring were both black and red, it was the red calves that proved themselves superior in terms of growth, fertility and hardiness. Cattle producers have since found the Red Brangus cattle combine the hardiness, disease resistance and incredible maternal instincts of the Brahman breed with the superior carcass quality, fertility, maternal and milking ability of the Angus. Registered Red Brangus cattle are solid red and naturally polled. The recognized and established percentage of Brahman and Angus/Red Angus blood is 3/8th Brahman to 5/8th Angus or Red Angus. Foundation parents can vary depending upon the breeding path taken. Multi-generational breeding of the established 3/8th x 5/8th has created predictability of their inherent beneficial traits and uniformity of their characteristics.
Robert Blocker, owner of Northern Camps Ranch near Markham, Texas, appreciates the Red Brangus attributes in his commercial cow/calf operation. "I have used bulls from several various breeds in our commercial cow calf operation. After comparing their performance and results, I have settled solely on Red Brangus. The bulls are specially well adapted to my Gulf Coast tropical conditions being resistant to the heat, humidity and insects. At the same time, these bulls have the vigor, fertility and phenotypic qualities of other breeds. Red Brangus bulls simply last and perform longer."
Marcos Borges, President of the International Red Brangus Breeders Association (IRBB), is a true believer in the Red Brangus breed and encourages cattle producers to check out the IRBB website (http://redbrangus.org/) to learn what makes the Red Brangus such a special breed. “The Red Brangus is a breed that can adapt to any environmental extremes. Red Brangus simply don’t have the issues that other breeds have. They can handle both the intense heat and humidity of summer and the extreme cold of winter. Their red hide reflects the direct sunlight in the summer so that they continue to sustain themselves and forage while other breeds will head to the shade or water, spending extensive time out of the sun and heat.”
In addition, the eye pigmentation of Red Brangus virtually eliminates pinkeye and eye cancer. Reports from the feedlot operators claim that Red Brangus are healthier and hardier in the lot, resulting in faster weight gains and more pro table feeding. Just what does pro table mean?
Allen Goode. Vice President of the IRBBA, follows up with this explanation. “Varying the percentages of Brahman and Angus blood helps give the breeder the freedom to select what they want from each breed. In other words, they can determine what they want in their hybrid vigor.” Producers find that Red Brangus bulls introduced to any cow herd base will increase efficiency and profitability while maintaining hide color preference to capture market premium of the herd. Introducing the Red Brangus genetics will add power and performance through heterozygosity. At the same time, the hybrid vigor will reduce input costs through hardiness, longevity, fertility and gentle dispositions. Plus, carcass quality and research documented rates of feed conversion validate the merits of the Red Brangus breed.
Originally, the Red Brangus were located in central and south Texas and along the humid and heat of southeast United States. Their hardiness led to them being raised in Mexico, Central and South America, Australia and even South Africa. Now, they have a growing presence in the northern part of the United States. Now, they have a growing presence in the western and midwestern parts of the United States. Each decade has found that more and more cattle producers are moving toward the hybrid vigor that the Red Brangus breed offers.
Ken Stewart of Triple P Cattle, who has managed large ranches in the southeastern United States, has many positives to say about the Red Brangus breed. "When managing large Ranches in the southeastern United States and specifically in Florida, it didn't take long for me to realize a Red Brangus bull was the optimum choice to use on commercial cows. Besides the obvious color advantage for heat and insect tolerance over other breeds, we found that depending on your seed-stock supplier you can produce all of your replacement females and still have a desirable steer to sell that will rival most any other breed option in terms of performance and overall carcass quality. When you add up all the advantages, it is an easy decision to use Red Brangus, and I truly believe that if you properly source your genetics, they will ‘do it all’ and complement every sector of the beef industry. In my opinion, producers in this region would have a hard time finding a breed that suits their environment any better."
Initially, producers are often surprised that while the Red Brangus bulls weigh 1,800-2,000 pounds and the cows between 1,000 and 1,200 pounds, the calves are usually small to moderate between 70-80 pounds. Yet their growth rate is incredibly fast with weaning weights being much heavier than other breeds. As a result, their maturity age is much younger than other breeds.
Red Brangus offer both commercial and seedstock producers a variety of production and marketing options. Heifer calves stand right beside their steer mates with tremendous post weaning performance in the feedyard, or they can be marketed as top- notch replacement females.
In terms of carcass merit, the Red Brangus is known for its ability to consistently yield USDA Choice grade carcasses. Tests and research projects over the years have had 85 percent of the Red Brangus stamped USDA Choice. Records show that Red Brangus sired calves continue to top national markets and commercial cattlemen consistently receive top dollar at local auctions. Packers desire the manageable size of their carcasses and consumers demand the Yield Grade 2, USDA Choice carcass that Red Brangus consistently produces. Red Brangus is documented as the breed yielding more Certified Meat Sires than any other American breed.
Borges notes that the IRBBA exists to provide marketing avenues for registered Red Brangus cattle within the continental United States as well as tropical areas around the world. Marketing is achieved through the association website, social media outlets, advertising, private treaty sales, breeder production sales, yearly shows and an annual Association sponsored sale known as the Genetic Edge Sale. Registration of cattle, administrative functions and Total Herd Reporting are accomplished by the International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA).
In summary, producers who utilize the Red Brangus breed trust the percentages: 3/8th x 5/8th to provide heat tolerance, consistency, adaptability, longevity, fertility, carcass merit, slick hair and above all hybrid vigor that will increase herd genetics and the producer’s bottom line! For more information, contact the International Red Brangus Breeders Association ( www.redbrangus.org/) or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.