The Braford Breed

PHILOSOPHY

Braford Bulls
Bringing quality Braford breeding stock to the commercial cattlemen of the world.

Brafords are bred from the Atlantic to the Pacific with the highest concentrations of U. S. Braford breeders currently located in Louisiana, Texas and Florida. UBB members are also found in Mexico, Australia, and several other countries. The future of the UBB is directly related to the expanding interest in the no-nonsense, functional Brafords produced by UBB members. With more members registering more Brafords, the UBB will have the resources to better serve its membership in efforts to improve and promote the attributes of registered Braford cattle.

American Brahmans and Herefords have been crossed with desirable results as long as the two have been available to American cattlemen. Dr. Jay Lush, recognized by many as the father of modern animal breeding, evaluated systematic crossing of Brahmans with Herefords in Texas throughout the 1920s. Dr. Lush observed that the commercial use of these two breeds involved little more than using Brahman bulls until you got too much Brahman in the cattle then switching over to use Hereford bulls until you got too much Hereford content and then back to Brahman bulls. Unfortunately, many cattlemen are still using this seesaw approach to breeding cattle today as they try to capitalize on the favorable attributes of the Brahman and Hereford blend and the added benefits of heterosis. Today’s UBB Brafords offer a potent alternative to the inconsistencies of the seesaw routine, especially for today’s progressive producers who require the proven productivity of Braford breeding, as well as the consistency and simplicity of managing purebreds.

Environmental adaptability, productive longevity and a general policy of moderation have a lot to do with development of consistent cowherds and long-surviving cattle operations. UBB Brafords have the attributes appreciated by cowmen operating enduring cattle operations.

The Braford breed has been built by cowmen who realize that the purebred business is not a contest or race to see who can produce the most extreme animal to register and promote. Extreme animals have a difficult time functioning under ordinary, or worse yet, challenging circumstances. When the grass gets a little short, or when the extra help or pampering is not economically feasible, extreme cows have a tendency to stop producing altogether while the more moderate, functional, Braford cow keeps on producing to help pay the bills.

The superiority of the Braford-sired females yields dividends for years and generations to come. With hustling, hard-working Braford bulls, you’ll also get steers that are hardy, efficient and the right size for today’s market target. 

UTILIZING BRAFORDS

BRAFORD FEMALES

Research on Brahman and Hereford crossing was conducted throughout the 20th century and it continues today. Most of this research has concentrated on F-1 Braford cows that have been proven maternally superior in Louisiana, Texas, Florida, Nebraska and virtually everywhere they have been evaluated, including Canada. However, an F-1 Braford cow cannot produce another F-1 Braford. Therefore, the greatest obstacle to using F-1 Braford cows is the difficulty of procuring a consistent supply of quality replacement heifers at reasonable prices. Continuous crossbreeding programs involving Brahmans and Herefords can produce Braford-type replacements. But, the inability to maintain uniform and consistent breed composition, and the problem of the breed composition extremes observed by Lush, have limited the usefulness of Brahman-Hereford rotational crossbreeding.

While some try to attribute the superiority of F-1 Braford females to maximum hybrid vigor, there is little doubt that the blending of desirable Brahman and Hereford characteristics makes the Braford females extraordinary. Hybrid vigor is transient, that is to say it is continually diminished as you get farther away from the F-1. Braford breeders begin with top Brahman and Hereford genetics and they maintain and enhance Braford superiority with generation after generation of selection for productivity. UBB Braford females, as well as replacements out of your adapted females and sired by UBB Braford bulls, offer a sensible solution to the “breed or buy” replacement female dilemma.

Brafords have always been recognized for their superior maternal ability. Early puberty, fertility, calving ease, optimum milk production, maternal aptitude and productive longevity are attributes that have earned Braford females this distinguished reputation. Using Braford bulls on adapted purebred or crossbred cows allows cowmen to produce excellent replacement females with the Braford maternal edge. 

 

BRAFORD BULLS

Braford bulls are not terminal sires. Braford breeders have been careful to increase growth rate in their cattle while avoiding associated large increases in mature size that can reduce the ability of Braford bulls and females to function in everyday conditions. By avoiding the “bigger is better” syndrome that plagued the purebred cattle business for years, Braford breeders have also avoided associated problems of difficult calving and market steers that are too big to fit industry needs when finished. While many breeds are struggling to downsize their cattle to get closer to market demands, Braford breeders have always concentrated breeding efforts on producing moderate-sized cattle that produce optimum fed steers and female offspring that make efficient moderate-sized cows. Braford bulls have developed the reputation for being trouble-free and aggressive breeders that can be used without problems on both heifers and cows.

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