Breeds for Changing Climates

There is no question that some breeds of cattle fit a particular environment better than do others. There is also no question in my mind that the climate is changing. So if you believe as I do, then the next question seems to be how do I adjust or change my operation to meet these changes. Do I change breeds? Which breed will do the best in this situation? I do not believe it would serve any purpose to begin to name breeds and connect each with a particular climate situation. We all can think of extreme examples. For instance, if we were going to ranch in Alaska we would probably not use Brahma breeding. It is a truth in the cattle business that there are more differences within a breed than there are between breeds. It has been proven over the years that cattle are very adaptable animals. As a matter of fact, cattle are found all over the world. But there is no question that some breeds are better suited for certain climate conditions. Here's What We Raise We have over the years made good money with stockyard cattle. Locally born and bred stockers as well as breeding cows bought at the sale barn have been consistent moneymakers for us. On the other hand, I have seen cattle brought in to this part of the U.S. from other environments that are very different from the weather in south Louisiana, and those cattle do not do so well. It’s worthwhile to raise cattle that are adapted to where you are. So should we change breeds and change nothing else to deal with cha

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3 thoughts on “Breeds for Changing Climates

  1. Don,

    Herding cattle here in West Central Texas in yet another drought. Seems as though I have spent more years working in a drought than not and the sad thing is it isn’t getting any easier. I have gradually worked on transitioning my herd to Brangus genetics for the drought tolerance. However even some within the breed are better than others at handling the heat and minimal grass situations. One thing I would add to your article is, how well will the breed sell and does it effect the price. It makes it difficult when your cattle buyers prefer a black calf and penalize others.

    1. Don, Over the 50 plus years that I have been in this business I have never had animals that I could not sell at a profit because I never was to concerned with the market but about my cost of production. It is a fact I believe that very few cows die of old age in the US. The secret if there is one to be profitable is to keep production as low as possible.

      1. I agree with managing your costs, its been years since I haven’t made a profit. But, I do believe in doing everything I can to maximize my profits which includes giving the market the animals that bring the highest prices. Much of the pre-conditioning I do prepares the animals for the premium sales which does just that. When I obtain the high dollar point for my calves weight class and spent the least amount possible to get there, I know I have done the best I could have done. Best of luck to you in your operation.

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