Docility and Brahman Cattle: Breeding ‘Quiet’ Brahman Cattle for Sale – Some Thoughts

Genetics and the science of breeding have fascinated human beings for a long time. The first “caveman” who domesticated a dog, probably chose that dog from among the wolves, choosing an animal that had a “new gene” for docility. Everyone knows that the relationship between dog and man has been one of the most successful in evolution. Similarly too is the relationship between humans and cattle: breeds are bred for their characteristics. Brahman Cattle, for example, are well-known for their heat-resistance and their ability to be cross-bred to make F1s with many great characteristics for beef. We at Moreno Ranches are passionate about superior genetics. One of our proven herd sires here at Moreno Ranches,  +Mr. 3X He’s Got The Look 40/2, was recently ranked among the top 20 in the Brahman breed for docility.

Brahman Cattle and Breeding in ‘Quiet’ Docility

One of the newer ideas in cattle breeding is docility. Breeding Brahman cattle as it were, not just for their heat resistance or superior beef qualities, but for their personalities. It is well-known that the breed is already one of the more gentle.  There are many, many photos of children next to the cattle, something that one might not see with the Angus breed, for example.  A November, 2010, study by the American Angus Assocation, for example, goes very in-depth to measure the docility of cattle, with a six-point scoring system.  “1” being the most docile, and “6” being the most aggressive.  According to the study –

Cattle behavior has been documented to influence economically important traits. Researchers at Colorado State University (CSU) have studied cattle temperament as related to beef cattle production systems, handling facilities and carcass end product. Data from the Iowa Tri-County Steer Carcass Brahman Docility - Quiet Brahman Cattle for SaleFuturity (TCSCF) reflects a difference of $62.19 per head in net dollars returned between the most docile category vs. the most aggressive category of cattle evaluated. Quality grade was also greatly enhanced in the more docile cattle, with double the percentage of carcasses grading USDA Prime and premium Choice.

You can read the full study, here.

Moreno Ranches: Superior Genetics & Brahman Docility

In the recent ABBA trait leader report, one of our senior herd sires ranked among the top twenty in the breed for docility: +MR 3X. (Read it here). Here’s a little about him. Mr 3X He’s Got The Look 40/2 is the past ’95 National Champion bull that won every show he was ever shown in. 40/2 is a legendary bull that has produced so many great ones over the years. Many of the distinguished Brahman breeders would say he is one of the most influential bulls from the 1990’s. Currently one of his sons, LB Mr Derringer Manso 953/3, is being used in Locke Brother Red Brahman program and is widely influencing the breed in Australia as well.

Breeding Docile, Quiet Brahman Cattle

What this might mean for the Brahman Cattle industry is that we have a ‘natural advantage’ in breeding Brahman cattle for docility.  Breeding ‘Quiet Brahman Cattle’ might seem a bit touchy-feely, but the economics of the attribute speak for themselves. What do you think?

Brahman Cattle Breeding and Low Stress Techniques

We at Moreno Ranches are always striving to be the best breeder of Brahman cattle in the United States, if not the World. Like all goals, the importance is not necessarily in “achieving” the goal, but in the striving for it. One of the more novel aspects of genetics and breeding is the “personality” of the cattle themselves. Every cattle rancher wants Brahman cattle that are easy to handle, with docility being an attribute in the cattle to strive for.  Here, as believers in superior genetics, we recognize the proverbial debate between “nature” and “nurture.”  By “nature,” we try to select Brahman cattle for breeding with superior genetics as measured by docility; by “nurture,” we strive to have cattle handling and best management practices to encourage the desired behaviors.

Cattle Handling and the Disposition of Brahman Cattle

Brahman Cattle and DocilityOur cattle herdsmen spend a lot of their time with the cattle, and their goal is to “train in” the right kinds of characteristics. By having a systematic management system for the cattle, and the kinds of tried-and-true techniques, we handle our cattle in as quiet a manner as possible. Our stress-reduction tactics intend to give the cattle the kind of environment or “nurture” where their “nature” as gentle giants can be expressed. We are eager to discuss cattle disposition with potential buyers, and with anyone interested in breeding superior Brahman cattle.  We are also eager to discuss the genetics of “breeding in” docility as a desired trait.

Herman Detering and Low-Stress Brahman Cattle Handling

Among the more famous practitioners to whom we look for inspiration is Herman Detering. He is famous for “low stress” cattle handling and techniques.