Brahman vs. Hereford

December 16, 2019

In the beef industry – especially in the south and the gulf coast area – Brahman cattle and Hereford cattle are quite possibly one of the best combinations for crossbreeding. The maximum hybrid vigor (or heterosis) is achieved when you cross breeds that are different. In this blog, we will compare the differences between Brahman cattle and Hereford cattle. Together, when used in crossbreeding, you can maximize the strengths and weaknesses of breeds to achieve a great beef animal for the specific environment. 

Brahman Cattle Pros and Cons

  • Heat tolerant – especially important for gulf coast, desert and south Texas environments. 
  • Longevity – A Brahman cow is proven to have greater years in production, meaning more possible calves in a lifetime and more money for the rancher.
  • Insect resistant – Able to repel insects like ticks, mosquitos and flies.
  • Most are naturally horned but a growing number are polled
  • Excellent fertility and mothering ability.
  • Brahman bulls have longevity and are very aggressive breeders. 
  • The marketability of a Brahman F-1 – especially a female – is always very solid in the southern U.S.A.
  • A great junior program – the AJBA – for youth Brahman kids, including a show for F1s. 
  • The Brahman F-1 Golden Certified and F-1 Certified Program is a great program for verifying Brahman cattle in crossbreeding and get a premium. Options offered for a tag or certificate through the ABBA. 
  • When used in crossbreeding, Brahman can help you achieve the greatest hybrid vigor — meaning more pounds — which usually also means more money back in the producers pocket if you are selling by the pound, or on the rail.  Here’s a great guide about using Brahman in crossbreeding.


  • Brahman not necessarily built for cold climates, however when crossed with a Bos taurus breed the resulting offspring is much more cold adaptable. 
  • Will cause an increase in birthweight if using Brahman bulls on Hereford cows, so select bulls with care on birth weights. Our rule, a bull with a 79 pound or less actual BW would be suitable for Hereford cows. Also look at their BW EPD. Read more about Brahman effect on Birth Weight.
  • Genomic enhanced EPDs not available in general through the Brahman Association, but B.R. Cutrer, Inc. does offer this tool within our own herd to buyers. 
  • No breed association sponsored beef program, however B.R. Cutrer does offer Brahman Country Beef as an option for its clients to participate in through our cooperator program. 

Hereford Cattle Pros and Cons

  • Great maternal breed.
  • Very gentle.
  • Good carcass quality for marbling and tenderness.
  • Earlier maturing than Brahman. 
  • Can be both horned or polled, similar to Brahman.
  • Easily recognized by their white face.
  • Great for crossing with Brahman to get the F-1 Tiger Stripe or F-1 Chocolates.
  • Excellent fertility.
  • American Hereford Association offers great tools for their members like a wide variety of selection tools and indexes to help in breeding decisions including genomic enhanced EPDs.
  • A great junior program for youth Hereford enthusiasts.
  • Offers Certified Hereford Beef program
  • Hereford Advantage program is a great opportunity to market your 50% Hereford cattle. (The other 50% could easily be Brahman). 


  • May not do as well as a purebred Brahman in extremely hot climates since they are a haired breed. However when crossed with a Brahman the Brahman x Hereford F-1 is much more heat adaptable. 
  • Does not offer an F-1 show for Brahman x Hereford cattle like the AJBA does. 

Here at BRC, the majority of our customers are using Brahman in a crossbreeding program, and commonly the other breed in their system includes a Bos taurus breed like Hereford or Angus, and then a terminal breed like Charolais for a bull. We are also seeing clients using Akaushi as a cross in their program. 

We are huge fans of crossbreeding to achieve the best possible cattle for your environment. If you live in the southern United States, it makes a lot of sense to utilize Brahman and Hereford genetics in your program to achieve the best of both worlds. 

If you are considering incorporating crossbreeding into your ranching operation, we encourage you to visit the American Brahman Breeders Association and American Hereford Association websites, and learn about the breed and it’s association services. These are two great organizations that are ready and able to help their members get the most out of their ranching experience. 

We hope you found this blog informative, and if we can assist you in providing low birthweight Brahman bulls for your crossbreeding program, or provide you with Brahman replacement females for sale to go in a F-1 program, we would love to visit with you. Or, if you’re looking for Hereford genetics, we have several great recommendations of top Hereford breeders we would be glad to put you in touch with. 

To get started in finding the perfect Brahman for you, fill out our “Buy a Brahman” form, or give us a call at 979-532-9141 or email 

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