They were bred together to combine the excellent beef quality of Angus with something a little hardier, like the Brahman.
- Brangus is an interesting type of beef cattle that has developed from the Angus and Brahman breeds. Most guidelines say that they should be about 37.5% Brahman and 62.5% Angus!
- Brangus cattle were bred to combine the excellent beef quality of Angus with something a little hardier, like the Brahman. Their distinctive look comes from their fairly large ears, loose and folded skin, quite a pronounced hump on bulls' backs and a rounded rump.
- Bulls can weigh up to 900kg, while cows usually reach about 500kg.
- The first Brangus breeding association was established around 1949 in the USA. It was initially called the ‘American Brangus Breeders Association’, but since 1949 it has grown exponentially, and nowadays it goes by IBBA (International Brangus Breeders Association).
- Brangus cattle are either completely black, or completely red. This is usually a sign of a pure Brangus that has the necessary combination of genes from both its Brahman and its Angus ancestors.
- The breed is naturally polled, making it ideal for farmers who worry about keeping horned animals in close proximity to other livestock. As well as this, the process of dehorning can be time-consuming for farmers and distressing for calves.
- The Brangus breed can thrive in most climates! In areas with high temperatures and humidity, they can avoid any issues such as dehydration or over-heating. In colder climates, their coat provides sufficient warmth.
- They can even produce beef efficiently on pastures that aren’t very lush. Sparse foraging areas are no problem for the breed, who can be hardy when it’s necessary for them to survive.
- The Brahman’s healthy traits have ensured that Brangus cattle are quite good at resisting common bovine diseases! Problems like bloat or ticks are rare in Brangus cattle.
- Their strong maternal instincts, inherited from the Brahman lineage, also mean that calves are well-protected against predators. However, be aware that over-protective dams can be dangerous for your farm.
- Farmers have the Angus genes to thank for Brangus cattle’s high fertility and good milking ability! Brangus cows have high conception rates and calve earlier, while their offspring are often heavier and sturdier at birth.
- Their temperament is pleasant, and this is handy for one-person farms. However, it’s always important to take extra care around bulls, regardless of breed! Take a look at our article on Bull Safety to remind yourself of the dangers.
- Brangus cattle mature slightly later than other breeds. Brangus bulls can be used for servicing at around 18 months, and they usually reach the end of their servicing days around their 12th birthday.
- Heifers can breed after they reach 14 months of age and they usually have their first calf after their second year. They can keep calving until their mid-teens!
- They gain weight quickly, and the breed’s carcass quality is excellent, producing lean meat with almost no excess fat. In comparative studies, Brangus cattle were shown to have great marbling quality. The meat also has high levels of tenderness, scoring about 97% in the study compared with the pure Angus score of only 94%.
For a more general overview of how to choose a breed that suits your farm, you can also read our article on Beef Cattle: Choosing the Right Breed for You.
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