1986 - Volume #10, Issue #3, Page #19[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Texas Ranchers Breed Brahmanstein Cattle
Some "Brahmansteins" look a lot like Holsteins with black and white coloring. But others are all black or even red and white. All have big Brahman ears.
"Many farmers, especially in the south, have had Brahman crosses in their cow herds for years. They usually notice that they're the best mother cows and, often, the best producers. We're the first association to actively and carefully breed the best Holsteins with the best Brahmans," says Damuth. He has a herd of 120 Brahmansteins and is president of the 50-member Brahmanstein Breeders
Association which collectively owns about 5,500 registered animals.
The association has been actively breeding Brahmansteins' in Texas since 1977 and made its first sale of 600 heifers to South America in 1979. Since then, Damuth says, it's been impossible to keep up with demand.
"Brahmansteins are in high demand in third world countries where they need disease-resistant animals that'll produce both beef and milk. Many small farmers own just one or two animals," explains Damuth. Many large dairies in South America have also begun to stock Brahmansteins, however, and Brahmansteins have proven to be one of the best receptor animals for embryo transplants due to their easy calving ability and good mothering tendencies.
Brahmansteins bulls are bigger than Holstein bulls but the cows are about the same size. Calves have slightly smaller birth weights but much higher weaning weights, says Damuth. He notes that even though the association makes most of its sales to foreign countries there are standing orders from U.S. beef breeders for culled animals that don't fit association standards. "They want to work them into their beef herds," he notes.
Damuth says association officers are careful in selecting new breeders and they inspect each new animal before it is registered. Officers plan to limit the foundation herd size for the breed to 10,000 animals, says Damuth.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bill Damuth, Brahmanstein Breeders Association, P.O. Box 798, Canton, Tex. 75103 (ph 214-479-3224).
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