The Braford was created to provide a consistent and efficient product for beef production. The breed was made by a cross between a Hereford bull and a Brahman cow. They carry the characteristics of both breeds. This was first done by Partin and Hudgins breeding, Alto Adams Jr. in Florida, 1947. It took a few attempts to get the right genetics as the first bulls suffered with poor feet and eyes and were not used to the Florida climate.
They began experimenting with various types of Brahman-Hereford cross bulls. Eventually he identified Braford bulls that were producing calves that met his needs and he used these bulls and their offspring to form what is recognized as the Foundation Herd of the Braford breed in the United States. By basing bull selection on weaning and yearling weights and allowing natural selection to eliminate calving problems, Adams Ranch Brafords improved through the years to the point that Adams Ranch began to think of breed development and recognition.
There is also a separate blood line in Australia. The Australian Braford breed was developed in Queensland in the period between 1946 and 1952. It is now a stabilized breed with approximately 50 percent Hereford and 50 percent Brahman genetic background.
The Braford is red like a Hereford with white underbelly, head, and feet. It is stockier than a Hereford, getting the stockiness from the Brahman. The Braford is primarily used for beef, but sometimes used for rodeo.
Brafords are known for superior maternal ability. Early puberty, fertility, calving ease, optimum milk production, maternal aptitude and productive longevity have earned Brafords this distinguished reputation. Braford cattle are approximately 3/8 Brahman and 5/8 Hereford.
Brafords also have heat and insect resistance beacause of a chemical in their blood, this also makes them ornery by nature. They do best in warm climates.
Brafords have always been recognized for their superior maternal ability. Early puberty, fertility, calving ease, optimum milk production, maternal aptitude and productive longevity are attributes that have earned Braford females this distinguished reputation. Using Braford bulls on adapted purebred or crossbred cows allows cowmen to produce excellent replacement females with the Braford maternal edge.
Braford bulls are not terminal sires. Braford breeders have been careful to increase growth rate in their cattle while avoiding associated large increases in mature size that can reduce the ability of Braford bulls and females to function in everyday conditions. By avoiding the “bigger is better” syndrome that has plagued the purebred cattle business for years, Braford breeders have also avoided associated problems of difficult calving and market steers that are too big to fit industry needs when finished.
The Braford has been created in the US and Australia, it is growing in reputation and has been exported to countries such as Malaysia, New Guinea, New Zealand, Western Samoa, South America, South Africa and China.