When it comes to cattle; do you know your breeds?
Angus, Devon, Waygu... Do you know of Holstein, Hereford, Galloway, Simmental, Brahman?
Meat or milk, each animal has unique characteristics that help a farmer, rancher or homestead decide which fits their goals.
Over 330,000 registered in the U.S, good mothers, easy calving -- Loved for their well marbled steaks.
DCR's Experience: They're wonderful cattle; docile, get a heck of a lot fatter in less time than our cows. But -- short legs. A black coat. We had to build a portable shade for 4 of ours a few years ago... It gets over 115 degrees here, Joshua Trees and Palo Verde are the best shade you've got.
Originating from England, they are liked for their early maturity and easy fattening. Longevity, mothers calving past 15 years old.
DCR's Experience: We once had a purebred Hereford bull - His name was OX and he was over 3.000lbs. They are wonderful foragers... like the angus - they too, have short legs. OX gained well when its flat land towards Alamo Lake, but by the Badlands and Date Creek Mountain he'd drop weight. Plus, he threw big babies - Our first time heifers and cows didn't really appreciate that.
Cattle at Date Creek Ranch
We love our crossbreeds! Don't let that jab at being less than' pure' distract you - These cattle are chosen for their unique ability to adapt, forage, easy calving and health!
Purebred X Purebred
These cattle either have a full blood Brahman mother, or Angus and are crossed with a Sire of a full blood as well. This creates "hybrid vigor" in these cattle. Any calves that they have would NOT be considered an "F1".
We have a batch of ol' "texas Cows" as we call them. About 11-12 years old. Docile, unless they've got a calf on them. Great foragers, a calf each year, they're the ones we look to, to teach all the youngins' the ropes. They're muti-colored, which means they are much better equipped for our hot summers. Strong build, for carrying babes and climbing mountains!
Brahman x Hereford
With the feeding efficiency of the Hereford and easy weight gain, plus the build, foraging skills and heat tolerance of the Brahmans - We have some amazing, hardy animals who thrive in the Mojave/Sonoran desert. Easy calving, great Mothers.
Developed in the late18th and early 19th century from self-colored Bernese and Swiss Brown cattle used on the local red or red spotted cattle. Originating in Bavaria, Germany, the first Gelbvieh introduced to the US in the 70's were due to artificial insemination. Originally bred for meat, milk and work. Ryans' herd of 11 cows is majority Gelbvieh with a few crossbreeds (They are from our larger herd, and named Suzy Q, Ruby and Stella). They are some of the most relaxed, fat cows we have most of the year!
Originating from Africa, these cattle showed superiority over other local stock for ease in the harsh conditions in the local area. "During 1945, 3000 acres were set aside in the same area for the establishment of a cattle breeding station. With the fencing complete in the 1946/47 rainy season a herd consisting of 20 cows and a bull were purchased from local people. Between 1947 and 1950 the station was run by Mr Harvey in addition to his other duties. In 1950 however it was decided that the Station was to serve the whole lowveld and Mr Harvey was appointed as full time officer in charge. The station was extended to 20,000 acres and as development and fencing increased, the herd was also increased." (Link) This breed really won the hearts of the people!
Ol' TOM. TulixBrahman.
We had to re-home him after we learned he was very good at jumping or knocking fence down and going where he wanted. He was also older, therefore his fertility was not up to par.
Gelbvieh X Brahman
A mix of the best! With the superiority of the Gelbvieh and the strong endurance of the Brahman, we love our crosses!
Can you see what our favorite mix is?
DEBO, our future bull :-)
Brahman X Angus
Perfectly marbled and flavorful meat, these type is another favorite! Strong, sturdy Mothers and well-developed calves are just a few our of our requests from these breeds.
#502 is a sweetheart... #114 not so much when her babies are near!
Originating from India, these cattle developed incredible adaptations due to insufficient feed, parasites and pests. Known for their humps, excess skin, long ears and beautiful horns, these animals are some of the best to have in our desert environment. Through time, they developed more effective sweat glands, which allows them to sweat more freely! Yay!
PALOMA, a great mother, gentle and quick to gain weight once she calves (as pictured, her calf is roughly 1 month old) We love her!
calves on pasture
As you can see, we are definitely liking the hardiness and adaptability of our Brahman cattle. I also prefer their meat to that of Angus, as I feel it packs a lot more flavor!
We also do not de-horn any of animals, we have never needed to! If we do get an overly-goofy bovine with a knack for swiping at you, we usually just tip the horns (remove the top, pointy part) and they realize we mean business and eventually settle down. Some of our cattle are naturally 'polled' which means they never develop horns. We find it vitally important to keep our animals as nature intended. Plus, we want our Mommas to be able to defend their babes from mountain lions or coyotes if necessary!
One more bit of knowledge, so you can show off when you come across cattle.
Cattle are called Bovine.
Cows: Breeding female bovine
Heifer: Female bovine, no calves
Steer: Castrated male bovine
Bull: Breeding male bovine
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