The Brangus is yet another Brahman-derived breed developed for the challenging conditions of the South. As usual, Southern cattle breeders were searching for ways to adapt superior beef breeds such as the Angus to their climate.
Research began in the early 1930s at the USDA Experiment Station in Jeanerette, Louisiana. Cattlemen simultaneously conducted their own experiments, and through trial and error the right combination of Angus and Brahman was discovered. By 1949, a new breed had taken shape that was roughly 5/8 Angus and 3/8 Brahman. This composite creation was called the Brangus.
Originally, both black and red Brangus cattle could be registered as purebreds. In 1959, however, the breeders’ association decided to follow the example of the Angus registry and accept only black cattle. Dedicated breeders of Red Brangus believed that their cattle had superior heat tolerance and formed their own organization. Both the Brangus and the Red Brangus are becoming increasingly popular in the South.
The Brangus is a versatile beef breed. It has proven itself on both grass and grain, both as a purebred beef animal and as a cross with other breeds.
The well-bred Brangus is calm, quiet, and cooperative with its handlers. Its curiosity and self-confidence give it additional charm.
Prospective owners of Brangus cattle should be aware, however, that irresponsible breeders who do not strive for good temperaments in their livestock do exist. A poor-quality Brangus can be both unpredictable and aggressive.
Also, Brangus cattle must be handled gently and frequently or they become excitable, and therefore the breed is recommended mainly for experienced cattle owners. They respond best to people they are familiar with and have learned to respect.
The Brangus is hardy and resistant to many diseases and health problems, particularly bloat. Both color varieties excel in resistance to hot-weather difficulties such as pinkeye and sunburn, but the Red Brangus is sometimes considered to have a particular advantage under pressure from extreme temperatures.
- Heat tolerance, especially in Red Brangus.
- Insect resistance.
- Disease resistance.
- Efficiency under most management styles, whether forage- or feed-based.
- Ability to thrive in some of the harshest conditions.
- Early maturity.
- Exceptional calving ease.
- Good survival rate.
- Superior mothering instincts.
- Fast growth.
- High yield of meat.
- No excessive fat.
- Black Brangus qualifies for premium programs such as Certified Angus Beef.
- Difficult temperament for beginners to handle.
- Tendency to jump fences.
- Limited cold tolerance.
- Lower conception rates than Angus.
- Discounted in sale barns outside of the South for Brahman influence.