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Best Breed For Arid Southwest

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SYR

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Our ranch is located in the mountains 1 hour NE of San Diego (Santa Ysabel, Ca). 22 inches of rain per year. Historically we ran a Brangus cow calf operation selling yearlings. The Brangus performed well but lately Red Angus has my attention as well as some other breeds that our known for calving ease and heat tolerance.
The South African breeds are interesting and I was wondering if anyone had experience with Mashona or Bonsmara crosses with Angus.
Also for how temperate our climate is should I even worry about heat tolerance or just make Red Angus the backbone of our operation since we are selling at weaning or yearlings depending on how the grass came in.
Any thoughts would be much appreciated, thank you.
 

Brute 23

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They are running Bonsmara down in Laredo and here on the Texas Gulf Coast. They will handle the dry, and heat. I have seen Bonsmara cows bred to Angus bulls first hand and the calves are impressive.
 

greybeard

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Brute 23":2wqw5you said:
They are running Bonsmara down in Laredo and here on the Texas Gulf Coast. They will handle the dry, and heat. I have seen Bonsmara cows bred to Angus bulls first hand and the calves are impressive.
http://bonsmara.co.za/eng/bonsmara-breed/more-about-us/

"to finally come across the best performing crossbreed sample, 5/8 Afrikaner and 3/8 Exotic Hereford/Shorthorn." =Bonsmara

I know what Afrikaner is. What, is an "exotic Hereford/shorthorn"...or is it just the Hereford part that is 'exotic'?
And just what makes a cross 'exotic'?
 

Brute 23

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greybeard":3uge27ze said:
Brute 23":3uge27ze said:
They are running Bonsmara down in Laredo and here on the Texas Gulf Coast. They will handle the dry, and heat. I have seen Bonsmara cows bred to Angus bulls first hand and the calves are impressive.
http://bonsmara.co.za/eng/bonsmara-breed/more-about-us/

"to finally come across the best performing crossbreed sample, 5/8 Afrikaner and 3/8 Exotic Hereford/Shorthorn." =Bonsmara

I know what Afrikaner is. What, is an "exotic Hereford/shorthorn"...or is it just the Hereford part that is 'exotic'?
And just what makes a cross 'exotic'?

No clue on all that. I just know they are hardy like a Brahman with out the leather or attitude. I'm hoping to get a couple next year.
 

dun

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In the 60s we ran cattle S and SE of san diego. Back then we used generic angus hereford crosses and Santa Gertrudis bulls. The offspring were bred back to gerts and did much better then their mothers had. The resulting (roughly 3/4) gert cows were bred back to either angus or hereford.
 

WalnutCrest

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SYR":1suip8su said:
Our ranch is located in the mountains 1 hour NE of San Diego (Santa Ysabel, Ca). 22 inches of rain per year. Historically we ran a Brangus cow calf operation selling yearlings. The Brangus performed well but lately Red Angus has my attention as well as some other breeds that our known for calving ease and heat tolerance.
The South African breeds are interesting and I was wondering if anyone had experience with Mashona or Bonsmara crosses with Angus.
Also for how temperate our climate is should I even worry about heat tolerance or just make Red Angus the backbone of our operation since we are selling at weaning or yearlings depending on how the grass came in.
Any thoughts would be much appreciated, thank you.

I have some experience with Mashona, but not in your neck of the woods.

Why move away from your adapted Brangus cows?

Are they red Brangus or black?

I'd think red Brangus bred Mashona as the beginning of a three way rotation would be a pretty solid way to go. AI everything the way you wanted them bred within the three way rotation, then run a terminal bull as cleanup. Keep your own replacements. This way you get to keep a tight breeding window, you get cows and herders breed the way you want, and all late calves are breed terminal (add you'd probably not want to keep herders that come late anyhow.
 

wbvs58

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We used to have a poster on here, Jilleroo from NW Qld which would similar rainfall if not less at the moment and most days in summer over the 100 mark in your speak. They had a reasonably large operation running Charolais and Charbray cattle both cows and bulls with only a little Xbreeding. She maintains the light coat collar has them grazing during the day, they certainly handled the conditions well and buyers were lining up for the calves.

Jilleroo might be lurking and hopefully might comment, Happy New Year Jilleroo.

Ken
 

WalnutCrest

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Reading to the light color in the heat ... our Aubracs graze much more persistently in the heat than the commercial black Angus we have.
 

Rafter S

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Like WalnutCrest, I'm not clear on why you're considering moving away from Brangus. What improvement do you expect from red Angus?
 

Mr. Greenjeans

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I would stick with your Brangus cows and run a complimentary continental bull that would allow you to retain heifers (e.g. Gelbvieh). You might consider researching the Santa Cruz cattle that are used on the hot, dry King Ranch here in Texas. Santa Cruz were extensively studied and developed as a composite of 50% Santa Gertrudis (3/8 Brahman, 5/8 Shorthorn) 25% Red Angus, and 25% Gelbvieh. You would be able to develop your own version with your established herd in a short amount of time.

We run Gelbvieh bulls on our Angus and Brangus with birth weights typically in the 65-75 pound range. Birth to weaning weights have been exceptional with added docility a plus. Watch out for HIGH milk, ww, yw EPD's that would be detrimental due to your arid environment. The Aubrac breed is known to be good foragers and would be a good choice if they were more readily available and wouldn't incur docked rates at the sale barn in your area due to color. Gelbvieh are routinely found with homozygous black and homozygous polled characteristics if those things are desired.

Regards,
Green jeans
 

ALACOWMAN

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Brangus cows for sure, a good F1 brangus would be nice, a Braford if you can buy em ""or find em"""cows for the environment, bull for the market...
 

ALACOWMAN

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greybeard":p6uz9ywd said:
Brute 23":p6uz9ywd said:
They are running Bonsmara down in Laredo and here on the Texas Gulf Coast. They will handle the dry, and heat. I have seen Bonsmara cows bred to Angus bulls first hand and the calves are impressive.
http://bonsmara.co.za/eng/bonsmara-breed/more-about-us/

"to finally come across the best performing crossbreed sample, 5/8 Afrikaner and 3/8 Exotic Hereford/Shorthorn." =Bonsmara

I know what Afrikaner is. What, is an "exotic Hereford/shorthorn"...or is it just the Hereford part that is 'exotic'?
And just what makes a cross 'exotic'?
I just consider anything outside the norm,to be exotic :cowboy:
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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ALACOWMAN":1148ezpf said:
greybeard":1148ezpf said:
Brute 23":1148ezpf said:
They are running Bonsmara down in Laredo and here on the Texas Gulf Coast. They will handle the dry, and heat. I have seen Bonsmara cows bred to Angus bulls first hand and the calves are impressive.
http://bonsmara.co.za/eng/bonsmara-breed/more-about-us/

"to finally come across the best performing crossbreed sample, 5/8 Afrikaner and 3/8 Exotic Hereford/Shorthorn." =Bonsmara

I know what Afrikaner is. What, is an "exotic Hereford/shorthorn"...or is it just the Hereford part that is 'exotic'?
And just what makes a cross 'exotic'?
I just consider anything outside the norm,to be exotic :cowboy:
Because that was NOT written in USA. So, the british breeds are "exodic" to them.
 
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SYR

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Thank you to everyone who replied. The truth is we are becoming very interested in management intensive grazing and want to compliment our genetics to be efficient graziers. Our brangus have performed well for us, though I believe the red color might offer some even better heat resistance but maybe that's just being hopeful. I guess my biggest concern is finding the most low maintenance animals we can find as far as calving ease, parasite resistance, and the ability to efficiently graze low quality forage in the winter since we graze year round with a tight 3 to 4 months of green grass.
We have used set stock/continuous grazing for decades and while the working hours were low , the profits have slowly eroded away. So now as I plan our management intensive system and install infrastructure I just want to optimize our genetics for that type of program. Thanks in advance for any thoughts.
 

elkwc

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When I think of arid SW I think of 10" or less and 45 acres or more to run a cow a year. In those conditions with predators a Hereford cow will consistently bring in more pounds of calf than anything else. But in your conditions I would think a Beefmaster or a Braford might work.
 

Bullitt

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elkwc":3rmgbhz1 said:
When I think of arid SW I think of 10" or less and 45 acres or more to run a cow a year. In those conditions with predators a Hereford cow will consistently bring in more pounds of calf than anything else. But in your conditions I would think a Beefmaster or a Braford might work.

Beefmaster cows would work very well. They are half Brahman so they can handle heat. I would suggest you put a continental bull over the cows, since Beefmaster was created using Hereford and Shorthorn cattle. I think a Simmental or Charolais bull would be good for producing commercial calves. You could also bring in a Beefmaster bull to produce replacement heifers.

I am also curious why you want to move away from Brangus cattle. They handle the heat and sell well. You could put an Angus bull on the Brangus cows to get less ear, as they say, if needed in your area.
 

WalnutCrest

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It's good to see you back.

Mr. Greenjeans":28ksxfhp said:
<snip>

The Aubrac breed is known to be good foragers and would be a good choice if they were more readily available ...

<snip>

If you're looking for Aubrac genetics, I believe we have the largest and most diverse fullblood Aubrac genetic bank in private ownership outside of France.

They're not that hard to find... I'm only a phone call (or email or PM) away.

PS - Run a homo black bull over a F1 Aubrac cow and you'll get a black calf ... so taking an Aubrac bull to your Brangus cows (keeping all the heifers) ... then ... putting either a Mashona, Brahman or Angus bull on them ... you'd have yourself a nice three (or four) way rotation with Indicus (Brahman), Taurus-British (Angus), Taurus-Continental (Aubrac) and Sanga (Mashona) ... should give you maximum hetetosis (especially if you don't run the Aubracs and Angus bulls in successive generations).
 

greybeard

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Bullitt":11m5kxtb said:
Beefmaster cows would work very well. They are half Brahman so they can handle heat. I would suggest you put a continental bull over the cows, since Beefmaster was created using Hereford and Shorthorn cattle. I think a Simmental or Charolais bull would be good for producing commercial calves. You could also bring in a Beefmaster bull to produce replacement heifers.

Agreed. I'm not in the arid part of Texas but that's what I'm doing with my beefmasters. I'm using a Char-sim bull tho. Knocks the horns off the calves too. Calves have been high % smokies or blonde with only a few r&w. Reds usually turn smoky before weaning time.

I've never seen one, but have seen some pics posted here at CT from NQL Oz of Droughtmasters. Brahma/shorthorn. They sure look good.

(I'm sure someone will be along to scream about how much hard calving Char genetics cause but that hasn't been my experience at all.)
 

1982vett

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SYR":3hq86fcg said:
Our ranch is located in the mountains 1 hour NE of San Diego (Santa Ysabel, Ca). 22 inches of rain per year. Historically we ran a Brangus cow calf operation selling yearlings. The Brangus performed well but lately Red Angus has my attention as well as some other breeds that our known for calving ease and heat tolerance.
The South African breeds are interesting and I was wondering if anyone had experience with Mashona or Bonsmara crosses with Angus.
Also for how temperate our climate is should I even worry about heat tolerance or just make Red Angus the backbone of our operation since we are selling at weaning or yearlings depending on how the grass came in.
Any thoughts would be much appreciated, thank you.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel....but if you want to tinker, be mindful of what your market wants and will pay for.
 

ALACOWMAN

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SYR":1l0h84t7 said:
Thank you to everyone who replied. The truth is we are becoming very interested in management intensive grazing and want to compliment our genetics to be efficient graziers. Our brangus have performed well for us, though I believe the red color might offer some even better heat resistance but maybe that's just being hopeful. I guess my biggest concern is finding the most low maintenance animals we can find as far as calving ease, parasite resistance, and the ability to efficiently graze low quality forage in the winter since we graze year round with a tight 3 to 4 months of green grass.
We have used set stock/continuous grazing for decades and while the working hours were low , the profits have slowly eroded away. So now as I plan our management intensive system and install infrastructure I just want to optimize our genetics for that type of program. Thanks in advance for any thoughts.
the hide color will only play a small role in those two..the heat and insect tolerance is what your shooting for.. the angus will take off straight to the water holes,the Brahman tend to graze on their way to it..
 
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