Origin of Breed
The Braford breed was invented to establish durability in herds, first beginning on Alto Adams Jr.’s. In 1947, Adams began using Hereford bulls on his Brahman ranch in St. Lucie County, Florida. The resulting calves were phenomenal, however, the bulls that he used to produce them had extreme problems with feet, eyes and general livability. Adams discovered that his Herefords could not adapt to Florida’s environment and that Brahman-Hereford crossed bulls would increase the health and longevity in his herd. He wanted consistent and efficient results under the hot, humid conditions of the area. Consequently, the Braford Breed was invented. Brafords have also been independently developed in Australia in 1946 and are gaining popularity as a hardy, high performance breed.
Braford cattle are approximately 3/8 Brahman and 5/8 Hereford. The Braford is red with white underbelly, head, and feet. They are stockier than a Hereford, getting the stockiness from the Brahman. They are primarily used for beef and rodeo purposes. They have strong, well-boned legs and sound feet enabling them to walk long distances between feed and water points. They cope well with uneven and rocky terrain. Brafords are not susceptible to eye problems, blight, bloat or sun-caused problems like Herefords. Their hooded eyes have characteristic red patches around the eyes, which help in preventing eye cancers, pink eye and sunburn.
Brafords are known for their superior maternal ability, milking ability, calving ease, fertility and productive longevity. Using Braford bulls purebred or crossbred cows allows cattlemen to produce excellent replacement females who posses the Braford “maternal edge.”
Brafords do best in warm climates due to their heat and insect resistance because of a chemical in their blood. Due to their Brahman genetics, they can tolerate extremes of temperature and continue to thrive under drought conditions. They are easy keeping and do well under range conditions while adapting to other systems of management. Brafords have a high rate of gain efficiency and do well in commercial operations as well as feedlots.
Development in America
Brafords originated in St. Lucie County, Florida in 1947. Their popularity has grown due to the demand for more durable and maternal cattle.
Registry and Improvement Programs
The International Braford Association (IBA) was chartered in 1969 to begin registering Brafords. The American Hereford Association formed a second Braford organization called the American Braford Registry (ABR) in 1985. The ABR eventually moved its records away from the Hereford association and for the period that the International Brangus Breeders Association processed their records, the organization was known as the American Braford Association (ABA). After many successful years of registering and promoting Braford cattle in the United States and foreign countries, the International Braford Association and the American Braford Association joined forces on June 1, 1994, to form the United Braford Breeders (UBB).
The United Braford Breeders is headquartered in Nacogdoches, Texas. They provide registration for all qualified animals, a junior program, a points program, several junior shows, and resources for all registered breeders.