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Grass Fed Blog from Indian Creek Angus

Why we cross-breed our cattle

Why we cross-breed our cattle

It was once believed that purebred cattle were the best way to produce great beef. But in the last number of years, scientists and cattle ranchers have recognized the benefits of cross-breeding, or what is called heterosis. Heterosis means hybrid vigor. It is a way to increase the positive traits of a breed. Like mutts among dogs, cross-bred cattle tend to be stronger and healthier and exhibit few of the negative traits that purebred animals can.

Here at Indian Creek Angus, we are learning more every day about what makes great beef. Studies show that crossing Angus or Herefords (the British breeds) with Charolais, Limousin or Brown Swiss (the Continental breeds) creates a really strong cow with excellent beef. So that’s what we are doing. Our herd is primarily Angus, with Angus-Hereford mixes called Black Baldies. To diversify our herd, we have just purchased an excellent selection from a Charolais herd that we will cross with the Angus and Baldies.  In addition, we have one young bull that is a Braunvie, which is like a Brown Swiss. The cross between the Angus and Charolais will produce a gray colored cow, like the Braunvie or Brown Swiss. By crossing these lighter colored breeds with the Black Angus, we will get superior beef and a more heat tolerant herd.

Hereford cross, Motley-face Angus and Black Angus calvesOur new Charolais mother and calfOur young Braunvie bull--really still a teenager!

4 Comments
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000362646047 Benjamin Bagwell

    Lanier started doing that twenty years ago much to my disagreement. Guess he’s right for a change. Do make a meaner cow though.

  • Bigjtransport

    I am so curious about starting to cross over our black angus with swiss.  We have been keeping a couple swiss cows for one of our customer farmers and the are with our angus and the get along so well…My concern is will the angus/swiss cow produce so much milk for her calf and be trouble some with mastitis?

  • Dax Stringer

    Respond to Bigjtranspot’s comment I own a Brown swiss last year she had a Angus cross bull calf on her and she did not get  mastitis the calf grew alot better then my family’s beef calves when i sold the calf last october he weighed in at 600 to 700lbs and was the second biggest calf my family sold last year. this year she had a gelbvieh cross heifer that is 9mths now And weighs 800lbs ! so pretty much she put a lot of her own feed consumption into last years and this years calf.

  • Ashley Rose Sanders

    Does anyone know what to expect from the general attitude and temper of a char/angus heifer. I just purchased 2 12month olds at auction at an awesome price and am curious of what to expect.