“What Red Angus Adds to a Crossbreeding Program”

By Payton Fehringer
Payton Fehringer
2593 Lakeview Road
American Falls, Idaho 83211
Phone: (208) 226-5043 Grade: 7th
“What Red Angus Adds to a Crossbreeding Program”
“What Red Angus Adds to a
Crossbreeding Program”
Breed complementary occurs from combining the desirable characteristics of two or more breeds to
achieve a higher frequency of desired genes among the crossbreds than could be found within a single
breed. Red angus have shown to dominate in fertility, calving ease, optimal milk flow, fleshing and
foraging ability, longevity, and low maintenance costs, therefore making them the obvious choice for any
cow/calf operation.
Different breed excel in different traits. British breeds, including Red Angus, are traditionally
categorized as maternal, efficient cattle that produce high quality carcasses. Therefore it would make
since to cross with other breeds that lack these qualities. The superior traits that Red Angus possess make
them especially well suited for rotational systems due to their balance of cow herd building traits with
end product traits.
Rotational systems may be a two-breed or three-breed rotation. The goal of a rotational system is 1)
Generate females which combine the complementary cow herd traits of parent breeds while building
acceptable levels of maternal heterosis into the cow herd and 2) Building “reputation” feeder cattle that
excel in the feedlot and carcass traits that will keep buyers bidding aggressively.
Red Angus Formulas a) Red Angus x Terminal Continentals including Charolais and Limousin, produce
feeder calves that excel in both gain and conversion. Red Angus complements marbling and fewer days
to finish. b) Red Angus x Maternal Continentals such as Simmental and Gelbvieh, improve production
efficiency and can lower birth weights. Also Red Angus can put a more moderate size on the offspring,
decrease maintenance requirements, and extend longevity. c) Red Angus x British breeds such as
Herefords are polled, pigmented, easy fleshing, and docile. Red hides also reduce summer stress and
“baldy” steers reach choice grade with fewer days on feed. D) Red Angus x Brahman Derivatives such as
Brahmans can adapt and be heat tolerant. In regions where there is heat, insects, and humidity this cross
is beneficial.
Although crossbreeding can be very beneficial, there is still a need for high quality purebred cattle.
Seed stock resources are still very important to the success of a good crossbreeding program. Red Angus
combines true multi-breed genetic evaluation, Total Herd Reporting, and a focus on Economically
Relevant Traits to provide bull customers with the most reliable genetic predictions in the industry. This is
where my family fits into the equation. We produce high quality purebred cattle that can be put back
into registered herds or be used in crossbreeding programs. We concentrate very much on the beneficial
maternal traits within our herd to remain efficient and productive for many years to come.
Page 1
“What Red Angus Adds to a Crossbreeding Program”
Fehringer, Shawna. Personal interview. 1 April 2012.
The Common Denominator. Red Angus Association of America, 4201 I-35 North, Denton, Texas 762077442, Phone: (904) 387-3502.
Red Angus Cattle. Website. 2012. 1 April. 2012
Page 2