Page 104

Working Ranch - March 2016

environment in the U.S.” The Chianina influence is frequently seen in the club calf scene because they provide nice lines and a showiness that’s hard to beat. In fact, they are sometimes written off by commercial cattlemen because of their success in the show ring. But they have more to offer than just good looks. Chianinainfluenced British cattle often improve gain at 4 pounds or better per day, reduce fat, reduce carcass waste, and have a positive impact on quality. GENETICS EVOLUTION “Chianina genetics have changed from the 1970’s when they first arrived in the U.S.,” says Jill Miller of Talmo Ranch in Talmo, Georgia. “Like any other breed, there were bloodlines that had to be deleted. Our Chiangus and Chiford cattle do above and beyond what we need them to do—raise their calves, breed back on time, hold their own in the show ring, and feed out in 12-14 months for slaughter.” Miller says, “Adding Chianina genetics would add growth and provide longevity and profitability to any 104 | WORKING RANCH | MARCH 2016 cow-calf operation.” Longevity, adaptability and durability have allowed producers of Chianinainfluenced cattle to sell cows that were still healthy and productive well into their teens, which isn’t always possible with other breeds. Given the benefits to be had with Chianina influence, the American Chianina Association supports both purebred breeders of Chianina as well as crosses including Chiangus (Chianina x Angus), Chiford (Chianina x Hereford), the Red Chiangus (Chianina x Red Angus) and the Chimaine (Chianina x Maine Anjou). The ancient influence might be just what you were looking for. It was for John Higgins. “In 1986 I was looking for some replacement heifers, some Angus or an Angus cross,” says Higgins, a commercial cow - calf breeder of Chiangus in Watertown, Tennessee and past president of the American Chianina Association board. “I wanted something that would do well in the southeastern heat on fescue pastures. I stumbled across 10 Chiangus heifers and fell in love. We’ve never looked back.” “They have to deal with the sun and don’t get any special treatment, no silage… just grass and some minerals,” says Higgins. After adding the Chianina influence, “our weaning weights jumped 100 pounds a head.” “If you’re in the cow-calf business, go with a composite. The Chiangus can provide bulls for terminal or maternal use, or moderate or smaller bulls, or bulls that are more performance oriented. The Chiangus bulls don’t fit a certain peg, they are flexible and you can get what you want. Whether it’s longevity or performance, there is a Chiangus to meet your herd’s needs,” says Higgins. Chianina crosses are typically smaller by design, with cows weighing in from 1200-1600 lbs. and mature bulls in the 1900-2300 lb. range. Some Chiangus bulls out on grass. CK CATTLE, HOPE HULL, AL AMERICAN JUNIOR CHIANINA ASSOC., ACA ARCHIVE


Working Ranch - March 2016
To see the actual publication please follow the link above