IMHO, there are a lot of composite breeds that perform well in the high heat, high humidity climate and that also have more than acceptable carcass qualities. One should typically look for something with 3/8 Brahman blood and 5/8 English (or Continental). For example, consider Brangus, which is 5/8 Angus and 3/8 Brahman. Also Santa Gertrudis (5/8 Shorthorn 3/8 Brahman). Simbrah (5/8 Simmental, 3/8 Brahman). King Ranch Santa Cruz (1/2 Santa Gertrudis, 1/4 Red Angus and 1/4 Gelbvieh). And of course many folks breed a Charolais bull to tiger stipe cows (tiger stripe being 50/50 Brahman & Hereford) or to a Beefmaster cow (Beefmaster being approx. 1/2 Brahman, 1/4 Hereford and 1/4 Shorthorn. Black Brangus and "tigerstripe" are easily the most popular in my necl of the woods.
My latest bull is a Chiangus (5/8 Black Angus and 3/8 Chiannina) which hopefully will make for some Angus carcass qualities, heat tolerance of Chiannina and a less "ear" than a composite calf with any of the 3/8 Brahman influence.
Why would a Chiannina have more heat tolerence then any other continental breed?
> IMHO, there are a lot of composite
> breeds that perform well in the
> high heat, high humidity climate
> and that also have more than
> acceptable carcass qualities. One
> should typically look for
> something with 3/8 Brahman blood
> and 5/8 English (or Continental).
> For example, consider Brangus,
> which is 5/8 Angus and 3/8
> Brahman. Also Santa Gertrudis (5/8
> Shorthorn 3/8 Brahman). Simbrah
> (5/8 Simmental, 3/8 Brahman). King
> Ranch Santa Cruz (1/2 Santa
> Gertrudis, 1/4 Red Angus and 1/4
> Gelbvieh). And of course many
> folks breed a Charolais bull to
> tiger stipe cows (tiger stripe
> being 50/50 Brahman &
> Hereford) or to a Beefmaster cow
> (Beefmaster being approx. 1/2
> Brahman, 1/4 Hereford and 1/4
> Shorthorn. Black Brangus and
> "tigerstripe" are easily
> the most popular in my necl of the
> My latest bull is a Chiangus (5/8
> Black Angus and 3/8 Chiannina)
> which hopefully will make for some
> Angus carcass qualities, heat
> tolerance of Chiannina and a less
> "ear" than a composite
> calf with any of the 3/8 Brahman
> Why would a Chiannina have more
> heat tolerence then any other
> continental breed?
I'm not really certain that it does. I initially got interested in Chiangus some years ago after viewing straight Chianina bulls and some Romagnola bulls at the Houston Livestock Show. (Certainly didn't want anything as large as a straight Chianina)
I did a little checking back then and found that Chianina apparently were developed in areas of Italy that were a good bit hotter than the "homeland" of many of the other continental breeds (or at least that's my impression). And I also read a few reports from test stations, ranch to rail, etc. that showed the Chiangus to have a lot of merit from an overall carcass standpoint --- but I just stayed with Beefmaster and Brangus cattle at the time. (I acknowledge that those reports may have just been self-serving, cherry picked results put out by someone with a particular agenda).
I went to replacement bull auction earlier this year with the intention of buying a black Brangus bull. But I viewed the pen of Chiangus for quite some time, liked their dispositions, butts, etc. And they were raised in a part of South Texas that is even more inhospitable than my area. Then, when nobody seemed to want to bid on these guys I picked up one for what I thought was a real good price. Time will tell.
I have to admit that, based on my observations and discussions with a lot of cattlemen in my general area, the continental breeds seem to do just fine here as well. For example, I have neighbors that run straight Simmental and Charolais and they seem to do just fine in the summer. I suspect that I, and many others in these parts, am a little too hung up on the issue of heat & humidity tolerance. Probably I got into that mindset some years ago when early in the summer a neighbor put 45 fresh Simmental heifers in a big pasture next to me, along with two young straight black Angus bulls. It turned out to be a particularly hot and opressive summer and it seemed like every time I looked the Angus bulls were standing in the shade of pecan trees (maybe they were just smart). Anyway, the following spring the guy's calf crop wasn't nearly what I thought it should have been and I attributed that to the bulls, perhaps wrongly so. Some of the heifers may have been problems. But I know that in recent years a lot more breeders in southeast Texas are offering straight black Angus cattle and they seem to be doing well, so maybe the heat thing is not really a valid issue.
> I have found that quality Texas
> Longhorn cattle thrive well in
> heat and still produce a lot of
> valuable lean beef-ground, steaks,
> or otherwise.
Not to mention that any self-respecting Texan (Aggies included!!) with enough "front pasture" space would like to have a few Longhorns out of respect for the breed's history, nostalgia, etc. (despite the way the order buyers treat the calves at the weekday sale barns).