Tropical breeds in cold climate

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townfarmer

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We've got a small block of land at Eukey on the New England tableland in Queensland Australia. It's a relatively cool climate with winter mornings often getting down as low as -8 C/17F. On average rainfall 30 - 34 inches pa. I'm new to the cattle industry but I'm suprised at the numbers of brahman and brahman influenced breeds in the area. I'm assuming that they must burn a lot of energy and fat stores maintaining body heat with the lack of coat. I'm interested to hear people's experiences with tropical breeds in cool climates. Does the cold impact growth and weight gain? Is drought tolerance a reasonable trade off?

Andrew
 

novatech

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You are dead on about the cold burning up calories on the Brahman cattle. It is as bad a people here raising black Angus in South Texas. What is 34 degrees pa? Is that the same as per year. If so that is our average and we have been far short of it for a number of years. What are your summer temps.? I like Hereford for the lower temps. and tough conditions. Seems like they can acclimate to just about any conditions.
 
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townfarmer

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pa (per annum). Yeah that's per year. 34 inches is our long term average. Like yourself we haven't had close to that amount of rain over the past five years. Our average summer temperature is 27C/80F. 35C/95F would be a very hot day here.
 

Brandonm22

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Brahmans really won't have a problem with winter lows of 17 degrees F. Your climate is probably better suited to Bos Taurus breeds; but the Bos Indicus won't shrink in that kind of climate. Now tell me that it regularly gets to minus 17 degrees F and I think you are going to have some problems.
 

Northern Rancher

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Our brahmaX rodeo cattle get through -40F up here-I'm not sure straight Brahma's would do as well but halfbloods are ok.
 

Australian

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Come down the road a bit and see my Brahmans. They manage the cold very well. There are 4 Brahman herds in our area and the same further south near Glen Innes and the same around Armidale. We breed British cattle and cross them with our pure Stud Brahmans. Our cold is no where near as cold as the US or Canada. So its hard to compare with their experiences.Tropical cattle are much more adaptable than British bred cattle. Some European cattle maybe a bit more hardy than British.
Colin :tiphat:
 

alacattleman

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if i were raising brahman in a cooler climate,,, a spring calving season and and allow em to fleshin' up good going into winter
 
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townfarmer

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Thanks everyone for the replies. I had no idea bos indicus cattle were that versatile. I knew they excelled in extreme heat and marginal country.
 

novatech

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Yep they can make it just fine. Trouble is they are not efficient at doing it. They must consume to much feed/grass/hay to fight off the cold. They require more energy. Most everything about the Brahman is designed to give off heat. Probably the least efficient breed for cold climate. This is one of the reasons feeder prices drop in the fall on eared cattle.
Choose a breed for your environment. Your winter feed bill will reflect the decision.
 

alacattleman

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Australian":bfurlr2o said:
You are way off the mark there. Our Brahmans are always in good condition during winter they do not need grain or hay. British cattle are much more high maintenance. Brahmans coats thicken up so they don't loose as much heat as you think.
just shows to go you,, the difference in enviroment we have alot of wet colds here that will make those body temps plummett ......... but some how some way im probably wrong
 

Brandonm22

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alacattleman":2ggulqe2 said:
just shows to go you,, the difference in enviroment we have alot of wet colds here that will make those body temps plummett ......... but some how some way im probably wrong

Yep a February where the night time lows gets down to only 28 degrees F with highs around 48 sounds pretty mild......but it COULD rain 20 of those 28 days and the cows always have mud up to their bellys too. Alabama The Beautiful.
 

LoveMoo11

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I live in Maine and there are some folks here who raise Brahmans, they show them as well. They seem to do fine, but I believe they may keep them in the barn during the winter.
 

alacattleman

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LoveMoo11 said:
I live in Maine and there are some folks here who raise Brahmans, they show them as well. They seem to do fine, but I believe they may keep them in the barn during the winter.[/quote] i bet they do,, if they want any thing too show,other than hide and bones.
 

dun

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While any cattl;e may do well in an environment they aren;t adapted to, the certainly won;t thrive like ones that are adapted.
The reason eared calves don;t sell well for winter feeding in the north is they don;t do as well as non-eared calves in cold weather.
That alone should suggest that tropical breeds, i.e Brahman influence aren;t the optimum for colder climates.
You could grow oranges in Alaska but it wouldn't be very profitable.
 

angie1

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dun":794qu0eg said:
While any cattl;e may do well in an environment they aren;t adapted to, the certainly won;t thrive like ones that are adapted.
.
Exactly. I looked a couple years back at Beefmasters ~ really wanted to get some. I read a lot trying to assure myself they would tolerate our winters ok due to the shorthorn and hereford influence. Nothing I read supported what I hoped to be true, and there was plenty of discouraging information so I tossed the idea. Sure woulda been neat though! From what I read, they not only had problems with the cold winters, but spring rain through May was very hard on them as well.
 

alacattleman

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angie":2jja10te said:
dun":2jja10te said:
While any cattl;e may do well in an environment they aren;t adapted to, the certainly won;t thrive like ones that are adapted.
.
Exactly. I looked a couple years back at Beefmasters ~ really wanted to get some. I read a lot trying to assure myself they would tolerate our winters ok due to the shorthorn and hereford influence. Nothing I read supported what I hoped to be true, and there was plenty of discouraging information so I tossed the idea. Sure woulda been neat though! From what I read, they not only had problems with the cold winters, but spring rain through May was very hard on them as well.
i think there was a poster on here that actually moved south, so they could raise brahman.
 

Australian

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Townfarmer Bos Indicus cattle will be quite ok for you to use. Winters are no where near as harsh as the US or Canada. We don't have heavy snow.Just make sure you have a good temperament animal. As I said in my post to you. They do very well at our place which is the same altitude as you.
 

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