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A herd of Brafords for Cheslyn Rise

I wrote recently about how we were intending to raise steers on Cheslyn Rise with a long term plan to buy a herd of cows to breed cattle, so that we weren't tied to buying and selling through the sale yards.  We were on the look out for a suitable herd, but never expected to find them so quickly!  We are quite picky, we wanted to buy an established herd of about 20 cows that had been together for a few years, they had to be all one breed, and a breed that was suitable for our property, and they were preferably from a cattle tick-free area, so that we didn't have to pay to have them inspected for ticks.




Farmer Pete had been looking on farmstock for cattle, just to keep an eye on prices, when he found a herd of about 20 Braford cows and calves for sale near Wondai, which is tick-free.  So off we went to have a look at the herd.  The owner wasn't actually sure how many cows were there (and they are very difficult to count, as they don't stand still).  Eventually we made an offer which the owner accepted and so began the work to organise for the herd to come to Cheslyn Rise.  This involved transferring the money, booking a transport company, preparing our yards with food and water and then finally, helping to load them on the truck.  In truth we're still trying to figure out how many cows we have!  We have 52 animals in total, and some of the heifers have turned out to be cows, so we think its now 25 cows, 23 small calves and 4 larger steers and heifers.  We are still trying to watch them in the yards to work out which calf belongs to which cow, they don't stay together for long, the calves tend to run around and play together.  We have a friend with a Braford Bull for sale, so he will be coming to the property when we are sure that all the cows have finished calving (so that we can have them all in calf at the same time).


The Braford breed is a consistent cross between Brahman and Hereford cattle, first developed in Australia in the 1940s.  Brahman cattle are originally from India, they are from the Bos Indicus species of cattle, and coming from hotter areas they are better adapted to a hot climate and more resistant to parasites than the European Bos Taurus species.  Brahman typically have a hump on their back, floppy skin around their necks, droopy ears and can be grey or red in colour.  Hereford cattle are a traditional meat breed originating from England.  They were bred on pasture and are known for high efficiency of feed conversion, high fertility, docility and moderate size.  The gives the Braford the following characteristics:
  • Temperament - docile and active, good foragers on pasture
  • Calving ease - small calves at birth, with good weight gain
  • Fertility & heat tolerance  - high calving rate, even in hot weather
  • Resistant to Eye Cancer, bloat & parasites - while these can be problems for Herefords, the addition of the Bos Indicus genes is reported to improve these conditions in Brafords.
  •  Taste - apparently they taste really good, we will find out for ourselves soon enough!
I've written more about the Braford Bull here, and the Braford breed in general here.

What do you think of our new cows?






Comments

  1. A Brahman and Hereford cross has to be a good thing, they are beautiful and you are lucky to get a herd like that. I'll bet that brightened up your winter day!

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  2. Congratulations! Sounds like you've put some thought into it. I've never heard of this mix before but it sounds like they are perfect for your needs. Exciting!

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  3. And I thought to just look at them, they were Herefords. Now I have learned about a new breed Brafords. Are they considered a breed in their own right, or are they only considered a hybrid?

    I think it's really exciting to try them out on your new property, and I'm sure you all have much learning to do together.

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  4. Brilliant news Liz! I've never heard of this cross before but it really sounds like you've got the best beasts for your environment. Brahmas...I think I can picture that type of cow from documentaries on India? Can't wait to hear how they taste (all Hindus please tune off for that post ;)

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  5. Thanks all, Braford is actually a breed, even though it sounds made up. In Australia there are several Brahman crosses that are considered breeds in their own right, including Brangus (Brahman/Angus), Droughtmaster (Brahman/shorthorn) and the USA Santa Gertrudis (also Brahman/shorthorn).

    ReplyDelete

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