New Cattle Better Equipped to Handle Texas Heat

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Thursday, August 30, 2012 - 3:12pm

Last summer was rough on Texas ranchers.

Herds had to be sold early due to a lack of feed, or money to buy feed.

Fortunately, researchers at the Texas A&M Agrilife center in Overton, are working to find just the right combination of breeds to make cattle that can handle the summer heat.

The key to that is the Brahma.

Named for the Hindu god of creation, it is an Indian breed that has the traits ranchers are looking for, up to a point.

Dr. Jason Banta is a beef cattle specialist.

His team is trying to take what are essentially European breeds from a temperate climate and make them tougher.

The Brahma's toughness in rough climates is a trait that can be bred into more popular breeds, but the Brahma is also the Rodney Dangerfield of cattle.

They can't get any respect.

Breeders want their toughness, but not their looks.

So they are trying a 25% cross breed, and a 50%.

The goal is cattle that can handle the heat, so store shelves have the meat.

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