Brangus Cattle Breed

History

The Brangus breed was developed to utilise the superior traits of Angus and Brahman cattle. Their genetics are stabilised at 3/8 Brahman and 5/8 Angus.

The combination results in a breed which unites the traits of two highly successful parent breeds. The Brahman, through rigorous natural selection, developed disease resistance, overall hardiness and outstanding maternal instincts. Angus are known for their superior carcass qualities. They are also extremely functional females which excel in both fertility and milking ability.

A review of the development of the Brangus breed would take us back beyond the founding of the American Brangus Breeders Association in 1949; however, registered Brangus descend from the foundation animals recorded that year or registered Brahman and Angus cattle enrolled since then. Much of the early work in crossing Brahman and Angus cattle was done at the USDA Experiment Station in Jeanerette, Louisiana. According to the USDA 1935 Yearbook in Agriculture the research with these crossed started about 1932.

During the same period, Clear Creek Ranch of Welch, Oklahoma and Grenada, Mississippi, Raymond Pope of Vinita, Oklahoma, the Essar Ranch of San Antonio, Texas, and a few individual breeders in other parts of the United States and Canada were also carrying on private experimental breeding programs. They were looking for a desirable beef-type animal that would retain the Brahman’s natural ability to thrive under adverse conditions in combination with the excellent qualities for which the Angus are noted.

The early breeders from 16 states and Canada met in Vinita, Oklahoma, on July 2, 1949, and organised the American Brangus Breeders Association, later renamed the International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA), with headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, and eventually San Antonio, Texas, where the permanent headquarters has been located since January, 1973. There are now members in nearly every state, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Central America, Argentina, and South Rhodesia in Africa.

Characteristics

Brangus cattle are black or red, polled, with a sleek coat and pigmented skin. Their ears are medium to large and the skin is loose, with neck folds. The rump is slightly rounded, and the bulls have a moderate hump.

The Brangus have a good temperament which was originally selected for when the breed was created.

Mature Brangus bulls generally weigh between 1,800 and 2,000 pounds, while mature females generally weigh around 1,100 to 1,200 pounds.

Bulls mature by two years of age and are ready to go into service by 18 months. Heifers are ready to breed by 14 months of age and deliver their first calf at 24 months of age. The bulls can remain in service through age 12, while the cows can produce calves beyond the age of 14.

This breed is considered to be very versatile being high performers on pasture and in the feed yard and have also proven resistant to heat and high humidity. Under conditions of cool and cold climate they seem to produce enough hair for adequate protection.

The cows are good mothers and the calves are usually of medium size at birth.

Statistics

  • Resistant to heat and high humidity
  • Hardy in cold climates
  • Good mothers
  • Resistance to ticks and bloat
  • A good forager
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Average to slightly late maturing
  • A carcase without excessive fat

Comparative

Research at Louisiana has indicated that Brangus cows increased their weights during the summer months while Angus cows lost weight, indicating that they were more adapted to coastal climates.

In recent carcass tests conducted by Texas A & M University confirmed the ability of Brangus to produce exceptionally high quality carcasses. Three hundred thirty (330) steers by seventeen Brangus sires, and thirty two Angus steers by 2 high marbling accuracy Angus carcass sired were used in this test. The nineteen sires were randomly bred to predominantly Brangus females. The cattle were managed alike, fed at Tri-State Feeders and harvested at Iowa Beef processors, Amarillo, Texas.

The Warner-Bratzler Shear Force Test was conducted on ribeye samples from each of the steers. Ninety-seven percent (97%) of the Brangus samples scored “tender” or better, while 94% of the Angus samples tested tender. Fourteen of the seventeen Brangus were more favorable that the Angus average. According to the 1990 National Beef Tenderness Survey, the average for shear force rating was 7.4 lbs.

Distribution

The Brangus can be found all over the USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Argentina and South Rhodesia in Africa.