Red Brangus

The Red Brangus is a breed of hybridised cattle developed to optimise the superior characteristics of Angus and Brahman Cattle. The breed's hybridisation stabilises at a ratio of 3/8 Brahman and 5/8 Angus. The breed is relatively new respectively, with the first breeding trial conducted in 1912 in Jeanerette, Louisiana, United States. of America[1]

Red Brangus
Red Brangus Bull
Conservation statusLeast Concern
Country of originUnited States of America
DistributionEurope, Australasia, Southern Africa, North America, South America
  • Male:
    850 kg (1870 lb)
  • Female:
    550 kg (1210 lb)
Skin colorRed and or Black
Horn statusPolled
  • Cattle
  • Bos (primigenius) taurus

Red Brangus are a polled breed of cattle with a sleek shiny coat and pigmented skin, their ears are medium to large in size, with typical floppy skin neck rolls associated with bos indicus breeds.[2] The Red Brangus breed has a multitude of desirable traits and characteristics. Overall the breed has an extremely docile and calm temperament, the breed is extremely versatile and is able to be grown under many conditions either on pasture or grain rations. The Red Brangus favour warm to hot climates, however they have been observed to grow a long coat when subjected to colder weather.[3]


The first known attempt to breed and develop the Red Brangus was conducted in 1912 in Louisiana, United States of America. The trial cross breed a pool of Red Angus and Brahman cattle producing the Red Brangus. Subsequently, the trial was also used to determine the suitability of the breed when exposed to adverse climatic conditions.[4] Following this trial, Red Brangus breeders from over 16 states and Canada, organised the American Brangus Breeders Association, which later changed its title to the International Brangus Breeders Association (IBBA).[5] The IBBA was created to produce a data base, so that other breeders could access information about other animals. The website can be used to identify a specific animal and information regarding that animal. For example, if a breeder wanted to investigate an animal's 400 day weight, they could use the website to locate this information using the animals unique identification information, accessing their unique EBV. There are now over 7 countries that are part of the IBBA since its beginning on July 2, 1949 these include Argentina, Australia, Canada, Central America, United States of America, Mexico, and Zimbabwe.[6]


The Red Brangus was first established in Australia in the early 1950s. The breed quickly began to gain attention and a positive reputation for its easy calving, parasite tolerance, heat tolerance, maternal instincts and high longevity. The breeds first breeding programs were established in the tropical areas of Queensland by breeding Red Angus cows and Brahman bulls.[7] Since its introduction to Australia in the early 1950s the breed can now be found within; New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory and as of 2012 Tasmania. The breeds popularity has grown astronomically due to its ability to thrive in Australian climates whilst outperforming the breeds parental breeds.[8] Red Brangus are able to be produced within Australia for a number of reasons, the ability for the breed to adapt to different climatic conditions allows the breed to thrive, whilst also being able to adapt to various feed and pasture conditions from lush pasture to harsh drought conditions.[7]

United States of America

Red Brangus were first trailed in Jeanerette, Louisiana, United States during 1912. The trial was conducted to create a breed of hybridised cattle that was heat tolerant whilst also displaying favourable phenotypes. By 1930 over 16 ranches had grown, developed and produced the animal with owners noticing an increase in growth compared to pure breed Angus. Over the next 20 years, popularity for the breed began to increase with many more producers opting to produce this fast growing, heat tolerant animal.[4][9] The Red Brangus is now found in over 30 states of the United States of America, ranging from souther states such as Texas, all the way up to northern states such as North Dakota. This locational diversification demonstrates the breeds ability to adapt and thrive in a variety of climates that the breed is placed into. Although the same breed of cattle, each location of herds may vary slightly as each herd adapts to climatic conditions, feed conditions and many more varying factors, these small adjustments are what allows the breed to be farmed virtually anywhere within the United States of America.

Distribution Around the World

The Red Brangus's popularity around the world has slowly grown since its introduction in the early 1930s globally. Since its development, the animal has been highlighted by producers for its easy calving, calm temperate and versatility in many climatic conditions. Commonly and most popularly, Red Brangus' are grown and produced across the United States of America. Australia is also a dominant producer of Red Brangus as the breed has grown its popularity since its introduction in the early 1950s. Canada, another large producer of Red Brangus, has also been commented to produce an animal that thrives in hot climates, whilst producing extremely muscular animals. Other countries such as South Africa, Argentina, Zimbabwe, Central America and South America all produce the Red Brangus.[10] As the breed has grown substantially in popularity around the world countries have begun to understand and discover its highly desirable characteristics, as it continues to grow as a breed, more and more countries will begin to produce the breed. The breeds versatility allows it to be grown in areas of poor feed conditions all the way up to areas of high quality. Subsequently, the breeds versatility in climatic conditions also allows the breed to be produced in a variety of locations around the world.[11]

Breed characteristics

Red Brangus’ have been bred and developed to thrive in tropical and sub-tropical climates around the world. The breed combines disease resistance, hardiness and supreme maternal instincts associated with the Brahman breed whilst the Angus breed adds ultimate carcass quality, superior marbling, incredible fertility, high maternal and milking abilities. Small calving weights within the breed are another key feature with calves averaging 31-35 kilograms (70-75 pounds) in weight. Although a low birth, the animals have a high 400 day weight showing that they grow quickly. The breed usually perform extremely well in feed lot conditions, with weight gain and marbling a key feature for the breed.[7]

The Red Brangus reaches puberty substantially earlier compared to other breeds; heifers (female cattle over 12 months but have had no calves) usually are ready to breed at 14 months of age, calving 9 months later. Similarly, bulls are matured and able to be put onto heifers and cows at around 14 months of age. Bulls, heifers and cows maintain their fertility and productivity past many other breeds, with bulls able to service cows past the age of 10, whilst cows are able to calve up to 15 years of age.[12]

The Red Brangus’ size is a favourable option for medium to large farms. Bulls range from 850 kg to over 1,000 kg whilst females range from 550 kg to 700 kg. The red mutation may not be favoured by traditional farmers who seek to produce an animal with a black coat, however, the red colour helps to eliminate pink eye and sunburned udders which allow these animals to thrive under extremely hot climatic conditions. This versatility allows the animal to be grown and successfully produced on many types of properties; from a wide-open grazing, to a feedlot farm, these animals will thrive in a wide range of settings. As the Red Brangus are naturally polled, it eliminates the danger and need for dehorning.[13]

The Red Brangus is a docile and calm animal when placed in low stress environments, this characteristic has meant that the animal has the ability to deepen fat deposits resulting in larger fat coverage over the whole animal. The size of the Red Brangus means that the animal continues to grow up until the age of 2 years where its growth begins to plateau. This continual growth allows farmers to chose whether to grow an animal out fully to around 900 kg or to sell the animal as a steer at around 600 kg. Quick growth assists the animals ability to grow and develop in the shortest amount of time, a characteristic that farmers find favourable as they have the ability to grow more animals over the same amount of time compared to other breeds.[5]

Red Genetic Mutation

Red Brangus receive their unique coat colour from a mutation within the animal's genome. The distinctive red colouring occurs when an animal receives a receive red gene from its parents. An animal must have 2 recessive alleles in order for the animal's phenotype to display a red coat. This means that the animal will be homologous. A carrier (an animal that contains one black and one red allele) has a 50/50 chance of passing on the mutated colour gene to their offspring; these animals are heterozygous as they contain 2 different alleles for the red coat gene.[14]


Above is a table of a punnet square displaying the assortment of alleles, two recessive alleles must be present for an animal to display the red coat.

The red genetic mutation has positively impacted the Red Brangus in many ways. Firstly, compared to the Black Brangus, the red brangus has been shown to withstand direct sunlight and higher climatic temperatures for longer of periods of time without showing signs of stress and discomfort. This is a highly favourable characteristic for the breeds as when placed in locations such as Australia and Indonesia, which notorious for extremely intense sun. The red coat colour of the Red Brangus does not absorb light in the same way that the black coat does, but it reflects light allowing the animal to survive in direct sunlight without its internal body temperature from rising.[16] A high internal body temperature has the ability to cause stress and discomfort to the animal. This stress and discomfort may cause the animal to stop eating to find shade in order to cool down. This lack of eating and substitute to find shade will cause the animal to decrease its rate of growth and over several hot months may result in up to an 80 kg of possible weight gain lost.[17]


Overall the Red Brangus is an extremely healthy animal known for its disease resistance and overall hardiness. The animal thrives in almost all climatic conditions ranging from extremely hot and harsh climates to cold and bitter climates. The breed is able to thrive in regions of high temperature and humidity whilst also thriving in cold and freezing conditions. The animal is able to avoid health issues (such as overheating and dehydration) due to its colour, the red colour is able to reflect light rather than absorbing it and bos indicus characteristics. These animals are also suited for colder climates. When exposed to colder temperatures, animals have been observed to grow a thick coat to keep warm. Their overall good health means that they are non-susceptible to common bovine diseases and common problems such as bloat and tick issues. These are extremely rare in Red Brangus.[18]

Due to the hybridisation between the Angus and Brahman breeds, there is the chance that genetic mutations may occur that are found within each species. These include, but are not limited to; syndactylism, osteopetrosis, osteopetrosis with gingival hamartomas, arachnomelia, proportionate dwarfism with inflammatory lesions, aggrecan type dwarfism, chondrodysplasia, dwarfism, crooked tail syndrome, muscular hyperthrophy, glycogen storage disease type II, glycogen storage disease type V and protoporphyria.[19] These conditions have to ability to be life-threatening and often result in calves being born still. These mutations are usually passed down to off spring during mitosis, animals that carry the mutation but do not display it have a 50% chance of passing the mutation onto offspring. If both the cow and bull carry the mutation, there is a high possibility that the calve may display the phenotype of the disease. This can be detrimental to farmers if multiple animals display the disease and a farmer will usually sell cattle that carry a genetic mutation if it is not desirable.[20]


  1. Epstein, Mortimer, ed. (1935-08-25). The Statesman's Year-Book. doi:10.1057/9780230270640. ISBN 9780230270640.
  2. Liboriussen, T. (1982), "Sire Breed Influence of Various Beef Breeds on Calving Performance, Growth Rate, Feed Efficiency, Carcass and Meat Quality", Beef Production from Different Dairy Breeds and Dairy Beef Crosses, Springer Netherlands, pp. 82–93, doi:10.1007/978-94-017-0847-0_8, ISBN 9789048182756
  3. "Cattle breeds: Brangus". 2007-09-13. Retrieved 2019-05-12.
  4. S P, Milton Chew (1935). Year Book of Agriculture. United States of America: U.S. Government Printing Office.
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  7. "Introduction". Retrieved 2019-05-12.
  8. "The Australian Brangus | The official publication of the Australian Brangus Cattle Association Ltd". Retrieved 2019-05-30.
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  10. "Red Brangus Cattle at". Retrieved 2019-05-12.
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  12. BRANGUS CHARACTERISTICS (PDF). San Antonio, TX 78263, USA: International Brangus Breeders Association. 2008-02-20. p. 1.
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  14. "The Red Colour". Red Angus. Retrieved 2019-05-12.
  15. "Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International — CC BY-SA 4.0". Retrieved 2019-05-12.
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  17. "Heat Stress In Beef Cattle | Iowa State University". Retrieved 2019-05-30.
  19. Ciepłoch, Aleksandra; Rutkowska, Karolina; Oprządek, Jolanta; Poławska, Ewa (2017). "Genetic disorders in beef cattle: a review". Genes & Genomics. 39 (5): 461–471. doi:10.1007/s13258-017-0525-8. ISSN 1976-9571. PMC 5387086. PMID 28458779.
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