Key ingredients for successful beef production are:
- Adaptability to the environment
- Production potential
An animal’s reproductive performance is closely linked to its adaptability and nutritional levels.
The Brahman’s improved efficiency of production over breeds is closely linked to its unique digestive system attributes:
- The ability to recycle nutrients through the blood stream and saliva promotes digestion
- Reduced water intake means reduced urination resulting in less nitrogen loss and higher blood nitrogen levels
- Maintenance of higher intake levels of low quality feed
- Low maintenance requirement
- Slower rate of protein turnover enables muscle and body tissue development to continue on low feed intake
- Brahmans remain productive longer
- Reduced sulphur demand for hair growth means more available for amino acids associated with growth and production
- Lower rumen liquid volume and higher rumen bacterial fat results in higher levels of energy rich compounds in the blood stream.
Tolerance to heat is a major economic factor in tropical beef production. When the body temperature rises cattle become stressed, resulting in reduced feeding time and feed intake, increased water consumption, wasted energy panting, poor quality meat and even death.
The Brahman’s heat tolerance is controlled by, dark pigmented skin dissipates internal heat increased number, efficiency and size of sweat glands, sleek coat which reflects sun increased area of loose skin and slower metabolic rate which means less heat generated Studies have demonstrated that Brahmans have a greater reproductive response to improved levels of nutrition than other breeds because of their ability to close down their reproductive system as a survival mechanism when under stress. Under adequate levels of nutrition Brahman’s fertility will equal that of other breeds.
The Brahman’s resistance to cattle tick is of major economic importance because of less chemical use and increased weight gain.
The Australian Brahman’s resistance to cattle tick is related to:
- immune response prevents ticks developing
- reduced tick burden on pasture and on animals
- sleek coat does not favour attachment of tick larvae
- chemicals in sweat gland act as repellent.
Feedlot Performance and Feed Conversion Efficiency
Outstanding results have been achieved by Brahman cattle in feedlots. Four groups (total 1039 head) of North Queensland Brahman cattle finished through Aronui feedlot achieved weight gains of 3.13 to 2.38 kg/head/day over 100 days and showed feed efficiency ratings up to 54% above the feedlot average.While these results are exceptional, growth rates of over 1.8kg/day over 100 days are common.
Resistance to tropical internal parasites is also linked to their superior response and ability to tolerate stress.
High Yielding Carcase
The Australian Brahman’s impressive production performance on the hoof is backed up by an equally impressive performance as a carcase.
- Lower rumen content means higher dressing percentages
- Superior yield of saleable meat is a result of:
- Excellent muscle development
- Uniform even fat cover
- Less intramuscular fat which means less waste
(Below) Graph showing influence of genotype on the relationship between saleable beef yield and rump P8 fat thickness in the three groups of steers.
High Growth Rate
On the grass or grain in feedlots, Australian Brahmans have demonstrated an ability to achieve high growth rates and excellent feed conversion. Their low maintenance requirements means there is a greater proportion of intake available for growth and their efficient digestive system means they can maintain higher levels of low quality intake.
What do Others Say?
“99% of our Brahman bullocks graded premium Jap ox, of which 90% were 4 tooth or less, and they dressed 322kg to return $930 at 280c/kg.”
Ian Thompson, Bacchus Downs, Nebo, 1994 Brahman Bullock Producer of the Year.
“As feedlot operators we find the Brahman breed to be very good performers in the lot. They have very good feed conversion ratios and they have very good heat Tolerance. Whilst their daily gain might not be as high as some other breeds, they certainly come in with a better feed conversion ratio. And it’s dollars down their neck for dollars return that counts.”
Bob Conaghan, Barmount Feedlot, Nebo
“Brahman blood cattle are superior performers in terms of reproduction and lower mortalities on our northern breeding properties and in the hot wet conditions at Tully River.”,
David Crombie, Managing Director, QNTP
The Bottom Line – Your Profit
To achieve maximum benefit from the cattle you produce you need…
- Production efficiency
- Marketing flexibility
- Acceptable risk
…because your greatest profit centre is inside your boundary fence. If your cattle are not as profitable at home they won’t make it up once they leave.
- On grass or on grain
- Local trade or live export
- Jap ox or Korean
- In good and poor seasons
Brahmans continue to record PERFORMANCE YOU CAN BANK ON…WHEN YOU NEED IT MOST.