Why Brahman? Why Hereford?

By Keaton Dodd

Brahman and Hereford cattle are two of the most popular breeds in the USA.

Are you starting a beef cattle enterprise? Selecting a breed of cattle that fits your environment is one of the more important choices for a successful business model. When it comes to picking cattle that work for you, it would help to consider if they fit your environment/climate. We live on the gulf coast, so the breed of cattle best designed for us, Brahman, would most likely not be the best option for an outfit located in Montana. If we were to consider Hereford however, they may withstand a colder climate more successfully but see reduced performance in a tropical setting.

Brahman bulls bred to Hereford cows produce the best F-1 cross for the south.

Let us discuss the pros and cons of both breeds.

Brahman Pros:

  • Heat Tolerant
  • Insect resistance
  • Parasite resistance
  • Extremely maternal
  • #1 breed for hybrid vigor
  • Unrivaled longevity
  • Efficiently convert on grass
  • Increase muscling
  • Heart healthy beef product

Brahman Cons:

  • Less adaptable to colder climates but still work in crossbreeding in cooler area
  • No breed wide branded beef program (however BRC has Brahman Country Beef)
  • Increase in birthweight when crossing with Bos Taurus breed
  • Some breeders have lost sight of the udder quality, so you need to choose a supplier like BRC who focuses on this.
  • Some breeders have also lost sight of the importance of reproduction and fertility and longevity because they are so focused on embryo transfer. Again so you’ll need to choose a supplier like BRC who cares about this.

Hereford Pros:

  • Adaptable
  • Successful in multiple crossbreeding systems
  • Super maternal
  • Earlier sexual maturity
  • Known for docility
  • Quality beef and access to the Certified Hereford Beef program
  • Great association services and programs

Hereford Cons:

  • Do not do as well as Brahman in a tropical environment, but will crossbreed very well with Brahman
  • Eye pigment and eye cancer
  • Less longevity than Brahman

Who should we choose Brahman and Hereford cattle?

That seems to be a frequently asked question among consumers and beef producers. The answer is both.

On the gulf coast, where our operation is located, as well as tropical locations around the globe, Brahman cattle have proven to thrive. However, if you are in a colder climate area you may find that Hereford fits best. Two great breeds of cattle built to meet today’s beef industry needs and they complement each other very well.

If you are interested in implementing a crossbreeding program, we encourage you to visit the American Brahman Breeders and American Hereford Association. 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 we can assist you in finding a low birthweight brahman bull to breed Hereford cows, or some Brahman replacement females to produce those sought-after tiger stripe Golden Certified F1’s contact us at 979-532-9141 or office@brcutrer.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.