Braford News | Volume 34 | Issue 4 | Winter 2020

Page 1



Harvey Ranch Okeechobee, Fla.

Jim & Rene Harvey, Owners • 863697.6624 Ronnie Trythall, Manager • 863.697.2182

s a x e T th u o S f o s g Kin Top Quality Cattle • Only the Best Bloodlines

HR LAWMAN 638 F | UBB 20170712

HR CHARLIE BROWN 550G | UBB 20181074

Elliott Stanton


We hope to see you at the TBBA Show!

124 Mann Rd | Poteet TX 78065 C: 832-291-8349 | O: 210-331-8727



United Braford Breeders P.O. Box 808, Reynolds, GA 31076 UBB Registration Office P.O. Box 1177, Kingsville, TX 78364 Braford News is the official publication of the United Braford Breeders (UBB). It is published four times a year and is supported by paid advertisements and subscriptions. Advertising and subscription information can be obtained by contacting the editor. Editor: Bailey K. Herrin, Production: Herrin Livestock Services 816.824.0002

Zoetis is a corporate sponsor of United Braford Breeders POSTMASTER: Send address changes to P.O. Box 808 Reynolds, GA 31076. The publisher reserves the right to refuse publication of any material which we feel is unsuitable for the publication. Although the highest journalistic ethics will be maintained, the United Braford Breeders limits its responsibilities for any errors, inaccuracies or misprints in advertisements or editorial copy. Advertisers and advertising agencies assume liability for all content of advertisements printed, and also assume responsibility for any claims arising from such advertisement made against the publisher. Advertising rate card is sent upon request. Articles from this publication may be reprinted with the permission of the publisher. Copyright 2020 United Braford Breeders



PRESIDENT’S NOTES, by robert mills


EXECUTIVE’S NOTES, by bailey k. herrin




NJBA UPDATE, by miriam hargrove


RISING FROM THE RUBBLE, by neil melancon






GASTROINTESTINAL MICROBIOME IN HIGH- AND LOW-EFFICIENCY BEEF CATTLE, by c. b. welch, j. m. lourenco, t. r. krause, t. r. callaway, t. d. pringle








BY: ROBERT MILLS, UBB PRESIDENT 2020 has proven to be a very interesting and challenging year. I do not think it will be soon forgotten. Three major issues have made news that changed our normalcy: the worldwide pandemic, the U.S. presidential election, and a hurricane season that has devastated our friends and fellow breeders in Louisiana. The COVID-19 virus has changed and/or cancelled many events since March. Some of our smaller hometown businesses are closing. Livestock events and cattle trade shows have been cancelled or have been forced to go to a virtual-type setting. Many bull sales and production sales have gone to an online sale system. Even our very own “Advancing the Breed” sale has also been moved to the online system. I know that we are all missing the excitement of a live sale as well as the fellowship; still, it is better to move to this system than to have to cancel the event altogether. More information will be coming soon on this sale that will be held Dec. 1-4. Please remember the Adams Ranch Sale on November 12. If you have never attended their sale, you are missing out on a spectacular event. Mike Adams and the rest of the Adams family are carrying on the tradition of this exceptional and educational event. Please try to add it to


your “must do” trips of the fall. You will not be disappointed. For our members who like to show at the open “major” stock shows, this fall 2020 show season has been nothing but disappointments with cancellations. However, the Texas Braford Breeders and Elliott Stanton are hosting an event on Dec. 4 and 5. Check on their new website for scheduling and the list of activities for this first annual meeting and show. Elliott has gathered major sponsorship to put together an event that will be fun, memorable and open to all. In closing, let us not forget the most important challenges that our fellow breeders are facing. Many have lost everything – including their homes, equipment, cattle and personal belongings – because of the horrific hurricanes. I know that many have sent supplies, as well as their labor, to help where they can. If you find yourself with free time on your hands this fall, consider reaching out to these people to help rebuild fences – or to help in whatever else they could use extra hands to clean up and rebuild. The South Louisiana families are tough, resilient people who will recover and rebuild their communities. Please continue to keep these friends and families in your thoughts and prayers.


Advancing t he

Braford Breed Online Sale • December 1 - 4, 2020 ONLINE SALE HOSTED BY

Selling Performance-Selected, Ranch-Ready Bulls 18 Coming 2-Yr-Old Braford Bulls 5 Coming 2-Yr-Old Braford Plus (Braford X Red Angus blend) Bulls 1 Coming 2-Yr-Old Odd Percentage Braford Bull Bulls Available for Viewing in Gonzales, Texas.

Cattle data, photos & videos available at • Email to request a mailer.

Regional Sales Contacts: Rhea Shields, UBB Bull Development Program Chairman • 225.279.3212 Jim Harvey, Florida • 863.697.6624 Bill Rainer, Alabama • 903.780.6455 Rodney Roberson, Texas • 936.569.4872



EXECUTIVE’S NOTES BY: BAILEY K. HERRIN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR This year still continues to test our faith and patience. Many of our members were directly impacted by Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Delta – all in the short span of two months. One thing that I have learned about our members is that they are resilient and persistent. I fully believe that they will build back better and stronger than before. If you were one of our members who were affected, please know that you are in our prayers. Just remember – if He leads you to it, He will lead you through it. The Bull Development Committee is excited to announce Advancing the Braford Breed XIV. There will be approximately 25 bulls that are ready to go to work at your operation. Data, photos and videos will be posted at The sale will be hosted by SmartAuctions online at and will run from Dec. 1 to 4, ending at 8:00 p.m. CST. Please note that the sale closes racehorse-style. This means that the bidding will run for an additional five minutes every time someone bids. All of the lots will end at the same time – so if you get outbid on your top bull, hopefully you can snag your second choice. The bulls are available for viewing at Graham Land and Cattle in Gonzales, Texas. Another exciting event in December is the Texas Braford Breeders’ first Winter Classic and Banquet. Trust me – you

don’t want to miss this. The Winter Classic will have a Braford Female, a Braford Bull, and an F1 Female Show. Entry forms and award applications can be found on their website. Check out the next page for more information. 2020 claimed another casualty. The Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo have been canceled. We are crossing our fingers that the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, along with the Dixie National Livestock Show and Rodeo, will persevere. Inventory time is quickly approaching! We are hoping to have herd inventories mailed out by Dec. 1. Please remember that these are due by Jan. 31. On Feb. 1, fees will increase through March 31. All cattle that were not turned in as active will be deactivated on April 1. Keep in mind that reactivation of a cow is $100. If you need any assistance with your inventory, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Emma at 361516-0530 or I know that this year has been full of ups and downs – seemingly more downs. The good news is that we are in the final quarter of 2020, and there won’t be an overtime! I’ve tried to look for the positive experiences over this past year. The first thing that comes to mind is having the honor to serve as the Executive Director for the UBB. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed meeting many of you and getting to know your families. I want to thank everyone for the continued support of the UBB and the revitalization of the Braford News magazine. As we bring 2020 to a close, let’s remember all that there is to be thankful for.

UBB DIRECTORS President | Robert Mills | Athens, Texas | 903.676.8930 | Vice President | Bill Rainer | Union Springs, Ala. | 903.780.6455 | Secretary | Elliott Stanton | Poteet, Texas | 832.291.8349 | Treasurer | Corey Doucet | Lake Charles, LA | 337.802.5473 | Region 1 Directors | Florida Zach Adams | Fort Pierce, Fla. | 772.215.6268 | Dr. Jim Harvey | Okeechobee, Fla. | 863.697.6624 | Will Moncrief | Tallahassee, Fla. | 850.544.5195 | Region 2 Directors | Louisiana Bryan Alleman | Rayne, La. | 337.278.2586 | Corey Doucet | Lake Charles, La. | 337.802.5473 | Scott Harrington | Iowa, La. | 337.496.5189 | Region 3 Directors | Texas Robert Mills | Athens, Texas | 903.676.8930 | Rodney Roberson, PhD | Bullard, Texas | 936.569.4872 | Elliott Stanton | Poteet, Texas | 832.291.8349 | Region 4 Directors | All Other States Jonny Harris | Screven, Ga. | 912.294.2470 | Toni Meacham | Connell, Wa. | 509.488.3289 | Bill Rainer | Union Springs, Ala. | 903.780.6455 | 6 BRAFORD NEWS l WINTER 2020

NEW MEMBERS Olivia Baham Devillier Cattle Company Alexis Fontenot Grace Cattle Co Growing M Cattle Ansel Hodges Madilynn Stanley Stephenson Cattle Company Annie Trahan Twin P Cattle Adisyn Walker Wonderway Farms

Texas Braford Winter Classic December 4-5 2020 • Marion, Texas

December 4

• Noon to 5:30 PM • Check-In at Country Church, Marion, TX • 6:30 PM • Texas Braford Breeders Association Banquet ($12 Ribeye Steaks, Open Bar, Live Band & More!)

December 5

• 9:00 AM • Open Braford Heifer & Bull Show, Followed By F1 Female Show • Noon • TJBA General Membership Meeting • 1:00 PM • TJBA Show


• Accepting Nominations for the Texas Braford Breeder Hall of Fame Award • TBBA Fall 2021 Scholarship • Show Heifer Stipend Award

Texas Braford BReeders Association • 210-331-8727 West Oaklawn Road • Pleasanton, Texas • 78064

Visit for more information, entry forms, award applications & sponsorship opportunities.


BY MIRIAM HARGROVE, NJBA PRESIDENT I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Miriam Hargrove, and I am a senior at Manvel High School in Manvel, Texas. I have owned Braford cattle for the last four years, and I have loved every minute of it! That first year, I jumped into the association with both feet as a Director and Ambassador. Since that time, I have remained active as a part of the Executive Committee. This year, I am honored to be elected to represent the UBB youth as the incoming President of the National Junior Braford Association. During my tenure, I plan to focus on introducing more youth to the Braford breed and

encouraging them to join the association. It truly is a way to learn valuable lessons while making lifelong friends. Right now, our country and especially many of our families are enduring a rough time. Despite the hardships, it has been inspiring to see everyone in the Braford family come together to help each other out in any way possible. We will continue to pray for safety and healing for our Louisiana families. If you have any ideas, or if I have not had the chance to meet you, please stop by and see me at our next show. I hope to see everyone in December!

NJBA DIRECTORS President | Miriam Hargrove | Manvel, Texas Vice President | Kaitlyn Johnson | Iowa, La. Secretary | Brynlee Boudreaux | Iowa, La. Treasurer | Hailey Sheffield | Pearland, Texas Reporter | Kalli Smith | Gilliam, Ark.


Director | Hayden Hyman | Fouke, Ark. Director | Gracie Lambright | Danbury, Texas

For Sale Private Treaty

50 Hereford & 30 Braford Coming 2-Year-Old Bulls 110 Open Hereford Heifers Hay For Sale: Square & Round Bales Available

Greenview Farms, Inc. 334 K-Ville Road Screven, GA 31560 Jonny Harris | 912-294-2470

Paul Harris | 912-294-2472




How One Storm-Battered Louisiana Family Keeps Raising Cattle After 200 Years, Severe Storms By Neil Melancon of This Week In Louisiana Agriculture


BB member Leslie Griffith has raised cattle in a mostly quiet corner of Grand Chenier, Louisiana, where his family has worked the land in Cameron Parish for the last 200 years. He says “mostly quiet” because every so often a hurricane comes through that makes life miserable for the folks who live in this area. Two massive storms, Hurricanes Laura and Delta, have barreled through the land this year alone. Laura has done the most damage that Griffith has ever seen. “I lived through Audrey, Rita and Ike,” Griffith recalls. “I learned real quick the power these storms can have. We rode out Audrey, and that was the last time we stayed for one of these big storms.” In 1957, Leslie and his family rode out Hurricane Audrey – first in their home, then in the attic, and then in a tree. His dad cut a hole in the roof for them to climb out of as the Gulf of Mexico rushed in. The roof broke from the house and their makeshift raft wound up in a tree. Members of his family would get separated in the strong currents and winds – so at one point, 11-year-old Leslie Griffith was lashed to the tree with a rope. 10 BRAFORD NEWS l WINTER 2020

The hurricane took a tragic toll: “My grandfather didn’t make it; unfortunately, he drowned in the storm. We found his body wrapped around one of the other trees along with so much debris.” The tree that they survived in still stands at Leslie Griffith’s ranch. A divot in that tree where the raft bobbed up and down in the waves is one of the few reminders of that storm more than 60 years ago. “He peered over the roof during the storm, and all he saw was the Gulf,” Griffith’s wife, Peggy, says. “I can only imagine the terror. That’s why we don’t stay for storms anymore.” Debris, like the kind that has been left by every storm, can be seen around the 1,600 acres of Lazy Acre Ranch these days. The Griffith home was up on pilings, but after Hurricane Rita in 2005, which devastated the coast. Rita gutted their home, which had to be renovated. A testament to how strong Laura was can be seen in the bricks on top of the trees that survived the storm. Leslie’s home was demolished in the winds that topped 150 mph, along with cattle pens and all their fencing. It sounds like a lot, and it is. Griffith and his family are

survivors, though. For one, they have a lot of help. Leslie and his son, Jared, hauled Griffith’s commercial cattle to their ranch in Welsh, an hour north of the coast, where they are surviving on the 90 acres Griffith bought after Rita. “I also want to thank Tim Strohe in Thornwell; he took my 30 Braford mama cows and a Braford bull,” Griffith says. “Six of my other bulls went to Cut Off, Louisiana, with Paul Dufrene of Triple Son Ranch. I can’t thank them enough. That’s what we really need right now; we’re good on money and supplies. I’m just going to need manpower to rebuild everything. That is where the second source of Griffith’s strength comes in. He is a Vietnam veteran, having served in the U.S. Army. He is one of seven individuals to have earned both the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Combat Medical Badge. Partway through his tour, the Army needed people to be trained as medics, so he and a buddy volunteered. “We were out in the field giving IVs to each other and practicing some of the other field medicine techniques,” Griffith explains. “After a couple of weeks, they put us back out in the field with medic bags and we did what we could to patch soldiers up.” He came back from Vietnam with few possessions, but he treasured his dog tags – with an addition: a small metal disc with the Serenity Prayer embossed on it, a gift from his uncle. “I’d pray with it every night,” Griffith says. He stands in front of the ruins of his home, where an MIA/POW flag lies below the American flag he flew. “Like so many of my other memorabilia, though, it got swept away in Laura.” Signs of life are appearing in Cameron, weeks after the storm. The oaks are starting to thrive. Cattlemen, like Leslie, are starting to think about how to fence this area back in for their cows. That is why the National Resources Conservation Service was out there this week, trying to find out how to best help Leslie. Although it is not in his job description, Mark Norman, a soil conservationist with NRCS, came back with a surprise after surveying the fields: Leslie’s dog tags. An emotional Leslie thanked Mark – also a U.S. Army veteran, of Afghanistan and Iraq – from one vet to another. As Leslie prepares to move once more, ahead of Hurricane Delta – on a similar storm track as Laura – he affirms that no matter what, this is still Griffith land. “My address will be 1003 Oak Grove Highway, Grand Chenier, ’til I die.” Griffith’s voice is strong and resolute, belying his 75 years of age. The conviction in his voice that has gotten him through war and disaster is evident. It is also familiar. Every cattleman has to battle just to stay alive, and Griffith is no different. With help from good neighbors – as well as his son and now grandsons to hopefully carry on the family tradition – there is no doubt that Lazy Acres will be busy with the tradition of cattle next year, next storm, and for the foreseeable future. Editor’s note: You can read about the Griffith family and their struggle with Hurricane Audrey in the book, Hurricane Audrey: The Deadly Storm of 1957 by Cathy Post.




ECONOMICS OF BEEF BULLS: Selection & Fertility

By Lee Jones DVM, M.S., Associate Professor, UGA College of Veterinary Medicine


regnancies matter. Reproductive efficiency is a priority in beef herds. If producers depend on natural service, then bulls contribute to at least half of reproduction and at least as much to the future of the cow herd through the bull’s daughters. Selecting the right kind of bull (from the right program) and a fertile bull is an important investment – not just in the calves sold each year. The bull leaves his influence in the kind of daughters and cows kept in the herd for 2-3 decades. While a good, fertile bull might be half the reproduction equation of a herd, a bad one could be 100-percent responsible for reproductive failure. While we can never guarantee that all bulls will be successful breeders, there are steps we can take to pick bulls that are up to the task of achieving an effective, efficient reproductive program. Bulls affect the economics of cow/calf systems by getting cows pregnant and by breeding them early. The best bulls don’t have to rebreed many cows. Even under the best herd conditions, not every breeding results in a sustained pregnancy. Some matings don’t result in conception, while some do but don’t result in pregnancy. Research has shown that only 70-80 percent of natural services actually result in a pregnancy under the best management conditions. If the bull has any fertility issue, then cows may not get bred early or may not get bred at all. The most productive cows calve early 12 BRAFORD NEWS l WINTER 2020

in the calving season, resulting in older, heavier calves. In a study done on the King Ranch in Texas in 1986, researchers compared the pregnancy rate (PR) of a random group of bulls to ones that had passed a complete Breeding Soundness Evaluation (BSE). What they found was that in the herds that used bulls that passed the BSE, there were 5-6 percent more pregnant cows than in the herds that used the randomly selected bulls. In another 2011 study done in Brazil in Nelore cattle, researchers found that using bulls that passed a BSE not only improved calf production by 31 percent, but calf weaning weights increased by 50 pounds because more cows got bred earlier and calves were older at weaning. Every mating that doesn’t result in a pregnancy means the cow has to recycle (21 days +/- 3 days) for another chance to get pregnant. Every cycle means the calf is 45-50 pounds lighter at weaning. Therefore, sub-fertile bulls not only have more open cows; the cows that finally do get bred have lighter calves. They cost producers money in two ways. Table 1 is an example of the cost of infertility in a herd of 35 cows, which would be typical for many Southeast herds. The example assumes that 25/35 cows are cycling at the beginning of the breeding season and the fertile bull has a 60-percent conception risk compared to 30 percent for the sub-fertile bull.

Table 1 Fertile Sub-Fertile Age at Weaning Fertile Sub-Fertile

First Second Third Fourth 15 12 5 2 8 8 6 4 240 (550#) 220 (510$) 200 (470#) 180 (430#) 8250# 6120# 2350# 860# 4400# 4080# 2820# 1720#

1 Open 9 Open 17580# 13020#

1Weaning weights were calculated using a 70# birth weight. Calves gained 2#/day to weaning at 6-8 months.

As you can see from this example, the fertile bull was able to produce 4,560 pounds more calf at weaning and had eight more bred cows than the one that was sub-fertile. Plain and simple, sub-fertile bulls cost the cattle industry money. Lots of money. Studies tell us that 1 out of every 8-10 bulls is sub-fertile. That means that at least 1 out of every 8-10 herds is losing over 2 TONS of calves not produced each year just because of the bull. That cheap, sub-fertile bull not only costs $500-600 to carry each year; he also costs his owner over $5,000 per year ($120/cwt) in lost revenue and more open cows! Not very cheap, in my opinion! What is a BSE? The Breeding Soundness Evaluation was developed by the Society for Reproduction (now the Society for Theriogenology) decades ago as a standard to use to determine the breeding fitness of bulls. A BSE is a thorough examination of the bull to determine if he is fit to breed cows. First, the bull must pass a physical exam. He must be sound with no lameness and have good feet and legs; he must have no vision impairment and no evidence of disease or other physical abnormalities. Then there is a reproduction exam – sort of like what proctologists do for men. Then there is a semen/sperm evaluation. Sperm are examined for shape of head, midpiece and tail as well as progressive motility. Sometimes, sperm might be motile but they may not swim straight and forward. Studies that look only at overall motility miss this important point. Sperm that don’t swim straight can’t get to the egg to fertilize it. The sperm also have to have the right morphology or shape. This is checked using a microscope under high (400-1000x) magnification and a special stain that allows sperm shape to be seen clearly. Studies show that more bulls are failed for morphology than for any other reason. So, it is important to perform that part of the procedure correctly. Though the BSE is thorough, it doesn’t evaluate breeding capacity (number of cows the bull is capable of breeding) or libido (enthusiasm for breeding). These traits have to be determined by observing the bulls with the cows. Fertile bulls also pass on their genetics better than sub-fertile ones. Bulls that breed more cows earlier have more daughters in the herd. Their daughters also are old enough to breed because they were born earlier and have reached puberty earlier compared to younger, lighter

weight heifers. Bulls that pass a BSE also have larger scrotal circumference (SC). Studies have shown that daughters from bulls that have larger SC reach puberty earlier and breed earlier than daughters of bulls with smaller SC. Therefore, bulls that are fertile and pass a BSE have a more beneficial impact on the herd for years – even years after they leave the herd. By contrast, the sub-fertile bull costs money and leaves younger, less productive daughters as well as fewer calves to sell. Why Don’t Producers Use BSE? A 2008 USDA survey found that only 1 in 5 owners with fewer than 50 cows had BSEs done on their bulls. Of course, fewer than half of these herds have a controlled breeding season either – so perhaps reproductive efficiency isn’t a high priority among that group of producers. But the benefits of using fertile versus sub-fertile bulls is well known. So, why aren’t producers asking their veterinarians for this service? Perhaps it’s because of a bad previous experience. I have talked with farmers who won’t even discuss this because they felt that the procedure was too hard on the bulls. 20 years ago, I would have agreed – but not today. Our modern equipment is much smoother and doesn’t elicit the negative reaction we used to see in the bulls tested. Maybe it’s facilities. It takes a sturdy, large chute to handle a mature bull. Not every farm has a chute or alley big enough to accommodate a big bull. A few veterinary practices have haulin facilities capable of handling bulls. Check around to see if there is one nearby. Whatever the obstacle, it’s worth finding a way to have the procedure done. Buying a Bull Don’t buy a bull that hasn’t passed a BSE: a real BSE. I have heard too many owners complain that they didn’t have calves one year because their bull “went bad” when in fact the bull had never had a proper BSE done. This is critical when buying a yearling bull. There are more problems found in yearling bulls than in mature bulls, and that makes sense. Get a form from the seller. Each bull that passes an official BSE gets an individual form with all the findings recorded. This is especially important if the bull fails to breed and needs to be rechecked. Though the BSE is a good procedure, some bulls pass but don’t or can’t breed cows. Bulls are a good investment. Buying a good one pays dividends for years – even decades. WINTER 2020 l BRAFORD NEWS


Dancing Diamond Ranch




searching for your next herd sire! It’s can be long road to find the right bull for your herd. But don’t worry, we have you covered. We are offering some unique Braford and Braford Plus genetics in the December 4, 2020 Advancing the Breed Online Sale

Selling December 4, 2020 • SmartAuctions Online Sale

Lot 231

Lot 235

First Generation Braford

Multiple Generation Braford

Lot 307

These bulls, plus many more sell!

Thunderstorm R Cattle Co.

49870 US HWY 69 N • Bullard, Texas 75757 936.569.4872 •

Braford Plus

Wayne Boozer Brafords 850 CR 796 • Douglass, Texas 75943 936.569.6062

Semen & Embryos Always Available • Cattle in Bullard & Douglass, Texas 14 BRAFORD NEWS l WINTER 2020

Selling Registered Braford Bred Cows and Pairs Private Treaty

Quality genetics for the Braford and commercial industry! Bryan Alleman, Owner 337.278.2586 • • 2709 Abbeville Hwy. • Rayne, LA 70578


Texas Braford BReeders Association • 210-331-8727

wesT oaklawn road • PleasanTon, Texas • 78064




GASTROINTESTINAL MICROBIOME in High- and Low-Efficiency Beef Cattle C. B. Welch, J. M. Lourenco, T. R. Krause, T. R. Callaway, T. D. Pringle


ntroduction: In beef production systems, 60 percent to 75 percent of total costs come from feed. Recently, there has been a push to increase feed efficiency in order to lessen this input cost. The goal is to identify cattle that grow rapidly while consuming less feed. One measurement utilized to determine feed efficiency in beef cattle is residual feed intake (RFI), which is calculated as the actual feed intake of an animal minus the animal’s predicted feed intake, assuming similar growth. Therefore, a negative RFI value is more desirable to producers because the animals are eating less than expected for their body weight and level of growth. Overall, low-RFI steers cost the producer less money, in terms of feed, without sacrificing growth or product yield. Although feed efficiency can be genetically selected for some breeds, one associated problem is the high variability of feedefficiency expected progeny differences (EPDs). One of the largest sources of this variation comes from diet type and digestibility of nutrients. Fortunately, the digestibility of the diet is largely influenced by the microorganisms (microbiota) in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which can be predicted from the analysis of their genetic material (microbiome). A better understanding of the relationship between RFI and the microbiome of cattle may provide a means of manipulating

feed efficiency by increasing how effectively the animal can extract energy from its diet via its GI tract microbiota. The majority of energy (e.g., volatile fatty acids) that cattle use for growth and maintenance is a fermentation byproduct from feed that is being digested by the microbiota in the rumen. Since most GI bacteria are specialized and break down certain nutrients, the differences in the bacteria present can have a direct influence on the efficiency of the animal. For example, amylolytic bacteria are better at degrading starches found in concentrate diets and cellulolytic bacteria are better at degrading forages. So, by having more efficient bacteria present in the GI tract, more energy is made available to the host for absorption and utilization. While the rumen is generally thought to be the most important segment of the GI tract in terms of energy production for ruminants, the bacteria present in the hindgut (i.e., cecum and colon) can play an important role in secondary fermentation and nutrient absorption. Since previous research has yet to define which bacteria and what GI location(s) are important for driving feed efficiency, we investigated which bacterial families are associated with efficient and inefficient cattle as well as which GI location is most important in terms of increasing the feed efficiency of the host.

Table 1. Performance of inefficient and efficient steers (n=10/group) during the finishing period. Trait Initial weight, lbs. Average daily gain, lbs./day Daily dry matter intake, lbs. Feed:Gain ratio, lbs. feed/ lbs. gain Residual feed intake

Inefficient 1084.2 1.92 29.5* 15.4* 1.97*

Efficient 1058.7 2.14 21.5* 10.0* -1.93*

*Denotes a significant difference in performance (P ≤ 0.05) between inefficient and efficient steers.


Benefit to the industry: As the cost of feed continues to rise, the feed efficiency of cattle is becoming increasingly more important. Increasing feed efficiency of steers could potentially increase profit margins of producers by allowing them to spend less money on feed. One downside to feed efficiency selection using EPDs is the large degree of variation associated with measuring feed efficiency. By discovering the bacteria that influence feed efficiency, we should begin to account for additional variation in host feed efficiency. The addition of this microbiome data could then directly benefit the producer by making genetic selection tools for feed efficiency more accurate. Further work is needed to identify the individual bacteria consistently associated with an increase in host feed efficiency and determining whether alterations in those bacteria can be utilized in a practical setting to improve nutrient utilization in cattle.

Family Ruminococcaceae





Relative Abundance, %

Results: During the feedlot finishing trial, the steers from both efficiency groups (inefficient and efficient) displayed similar performance in terms of growth (Table 1). Average body weight was the same for both groups at the beginning of the feedlot trial and both maintained the same average daily gain throughout the trial. Nonetheless, the efficient group had the advantage of consuming less feed per day, leading to a lower daily dry matter intake than the inefficient group. This growth and intake pattern implied that efficient steers could extract more nutrients to maintain similar growth using less feed. The inefficient steers consumed on average 5.4 pounds more feed to gain 1 pound of body weight when compared to the efficient steers. As a result, the efficient steers should increase the profit margin of the feedlot, allowing cow/calf producers to demand a higher price for efficient cattle compared to inefficient cattle when marketing them. Our data did not show any differences in the rumen microbiota between steers in terms of efficiency status; however, the microbiome data indicated that more bacterial species were found in the cecum of efficient steers compared to inefficient steers. The greater number of bacterial species present in the cecum may increase the hindgut (large intestine) fermentation capacity. This additional fermentation could undoubtedly extract more nutrients from the feed, overall increasing feed efficiency in the host. One of the bacterial families highlighted as important for host feed efficiency in the hindgut was Ruminococcaceae (Figure 1a). This bacterial family was found in greater numbers in both the cecum and feces of efficient steers versus inefficient steers. In addition to its increased abundance, Ruminococcaceae was strongly correlated with feed efficiency in both hindgut locations, thus highlighting the possible importance of this bacterial family and the potential for it to drive feed efficiency. On the other hand, Bifidobacteriaceae was found to be

associated with low feed efficiency in cattle (Figure 1b). The cecum and feces of inefficient steers had a greater abundance of the bacterial family Bifidobacteriaceae compared to the cecum and feces of efficient steers. This point was further supported by the negative correlation seen between the relative abundance of Bifidobacteriaceae and the feed efficiency of the host, which depicts the detrimental effects of this bacterial family on feed efficiency in beef steers.

22 20 18 16 14 12 10




Family Bifidobacteriaceae





Relative Abundance, %

Study design: To determine differences in the GI microbiome of efficient and inefficient steers, Angus cattle were genetically selected for five years to be high or low in feed efficiency and either high or breed-average in their marbling. The steers used in the study were raised at the Northwest Georgia REC in Calhoun, Ga. After weaning at 8-9 months of age, they were backgrounded and transported to Brasstown, N.C., where they entered a commercial feedlot at roughly 14 months of age. During a 110-day feedlot trial, each steer’s average daily feed intake of a corn-corn silage mixed ration was measured using a GrowSafe BeefTM System. Body weight was measured at the start and conclusion of the feedlot trial. Residual feed intake was calculated following the trial and the steers with the 10 highest and 10 lowest RFI values were transported to the UGA Meat Science Technology Center in Athens, Ga., where they were slaughtered. On the kill floor, contents from the rumen, cecum and rectum were collected for 16S rRNA analysis to determine the bacterial composition in each GI location. The groups of steers were divided into two groups for analysis, each containing 10 steers: inefficient (high-RFI) and efficient (low-RFI).

5 4 3 2 1 0




Figure 1. Abundance of the bacterial families Ruminococcaceae (a) and Bifidobacteriaceae (b) in the rumen, cecum and feces of inefficient and efficient steers (n=10 steers/treatment). *Denotes a significant (P ≤ 0.05) difference between the inefficient and efficient steers. **Denotes a trend toward significance (0.10 ≤ P ≤ 0.05) between the inefficient and efficient steers. WINTER 2020 l BRAFORD NEWS




By Lee Jones, DVM, MS, University of Georgia


lostridium spp are anaerobic, spore-forming bacteria found in the environment and intestinal tracts of many animals. They exist in the environment in two forms: living bacteria or dormant spores. Some dormant spores can even be found in tissues of healthy animals. Some of the organisms invade tissue and produce toxins while others produce toxins outside the body that are absorbed or ingested by the unsuspecting animal. Diseases caused by Clostridia spp are nearly always fatal. Many times, animals affected by Clostridia spp are suddenly found dead with no clinical signs observed. Blackleg Probably, the most common disease caused by these organisms known to most farmers is blackleg caused by Clostridium chauvoei. Mostly, blackleg affects animals under 2 years old but can affect older, non-vaccinated animals too. The spores are ingested or already circulating in the animal and infect muscle tissue usually following injury such as bruising or other trauma. The infection causes swelling in the muscles and subcutaneous tissues, which leads to lameness. Gas bubbles can often be felt under the skin like small bubble-wrap packaging material. The animal is usually extremely lame and has a high fever, though most times the disease progresses so rapidly that the animal is often found dead. At postmortem examination (autopsy), the muscle is almost black (hence the name) and necrotic with gas pockets under the skin and in the tissue. A rancid odor might be noticed. Diagnosis is usually from characteristic necropsy lesions, but a laboratory can confirm presence of C. chauvoei bacteria. 18 BRAFORD NEWS l WINTER 2020

Red Water Disease Clinically called bacillary hemoglobinuria, the disease is caused by C. haemolyticum. Red water gets its name from hemoglobin making the urine red. The spores of the organism germinate in the liver following trauma or injury caused by liver fluke, abscess or infection, liver biopsy or other cause of liver damage. Toxins from the organism destroy red blood cells releasing hemoglobin, which collects in the bladder. Symptoms include severe depression, fever, difficulty breathing, anemia and gut pain (colic). Postmortem signs might include an offcolored area of liver necrosis, blood in intestine and red urine. Animals are usually suddenly found dead and treatment of affected animals is often unsuccessful. Enterotoxemia Enterotoxemia, also known as overeating disease, is a common disease affecting young, rapidly growing livestock including cattle, sheep, goats and even foals. It is caused by enterotoxins produced in the intestines from C. perfringens types A, B, C or D. Different types usually affect different species, with D mostly affecting sheep and goats but occasionally cattle; type C affects cattle but infrequently also types B and A sometimes affect adult cattle. In young livestock, it is often an acute disease, with many dying before clinical symptoms are seen. Usually, sudden death of the best-growing, unvaccinated animals is the first sign. In calves, there might be diarrhea, but abdominal pain (colic signs) and convulsions often precede death. Sometimes animals found dead may have signs of paddling where the legs were moving on the ground as the animal suffered a painful death. On necropsy,

bloody inflammation of the small intestine is common. The small intestine is usually bright red or deep purple, depending on how long the animal has been dead before examination. The pericardial sac is often fluid filled with areas or spots of reddening in the heart muscle. Malignant Edema Malignant edema is a disease caused by C. septicum. Like other Clostirial bacteria, it also is commonly found in the environment and feces of livestock. It gains entrance into the body through wounds and can be introduced into the birth canal following a difficulty in calving causing an infection in the tissues around bruised or injured tissue. Symptoms include not eating, high fever, depression or lethargy, and severe swelling around the infected site. Animals often become “toxic” and die within 48 hours of infection. The swollen tissue may “pit” when pressed due to excessive fluid accumulation. Gas formation is uncommon. On necropsy, the tissue will be wet, dark, necrotic and foul-smelling. Black Disease (Infectious Necrotic Hepatitis) Spores of C. novyi circulate through the body and lodge in the liver. The organism multiplies in damaged tissue following liver fluke migration and produces a potent necrotizing toxin (alpha toxin). The toxin may cause portions of the skin to die and turn black, hence the name. Necropsy usually includes grayish to yellow necrotic liver tissue as well as migratory tracts or scars from flukes. Often, there may also be an enlarged heart sac and fluid in the chest. C. sordellii Infections can lead to GI or muscle infections. Generally, the first sign is sudden death. More commonly found in feedlots, the most frequent findings on necropsy are severe swelling and necrosis in the neck and brisket often accompanied by a foul odor. Tetanus Tetanus is caused by toxins produced by a neurotoxin produced by C. tetani in necrotic tissue. Many animals are susceptible, including humans; however, dogs and cats seem more resistant, with horses, lambs and people being most susceptible. While relatively rare in drier, cooler climates, C. tetani is common in warmer, wetter regions, especially in cultivated soil and areas contaminated with fecal material. The spores are not able to grow in normal viable tissue. However, favorable conditions of necrotic tissues allow the bacteria to multiply. As the cells die, they release neurotoxin. The toxin causes localized uncontrolled spasms of voluntary muscles, often affecting the muscles of the mouth (hence the common name “lockjaw”) but quickly spreads to other parts of the body as the toxin circulates in the blood. Affected animals may go into full body rigid spasms and even respiratory failure. Though cattle are more resistant than sheep and goats, it can occur 2-4 weeks following banding of scrotum, tail or horns. Animals need to be given a vaccine containing tetanus toxoid at the time of banding. Some producers also give tetanus antitoxin, though the practice may not be beneficial due to the long incubation time and clearance of the antitoxin within 7-10 days. Vaccination with tetanus toxoid appears to be more

effective. The common 7-way vaccines do not contain tetanus. Read labels carefully to see if the vaccine contains tetanus. If animals do get tetanus, treatment with antitoxin and removing the necrotic tissue may help, but retreatment is required and recovery can be very long. Most of the time, animals do not respond. Botulism Botulism is caused by animals consuming toxins in food produced by C. botulinum. There are seven types (A through G) – with A, B and E affecting people and D most often affecting cattle. The common source of botulism poisoning is decaying carcasses in animal feed such as silage or haylage but also potentially spoiled silage, decaying grasses or grain. Botulism cases in cattle are quite rare in the U.S. and occasionally occur in horses, but widespread outbreaks in migratory waterfowl are common. Botulism causes a flaccid muscle paralysis that usually progresses to generalized paralysis, difficulty chewing and swallowing, and death by respiratory or cardiac paralysis. Some outbreaks in cattle occur after feeding silage contaminated by a decaying carcass. Typical signs include loss of control of tongue and progressive paralysis. Treatment is usually futile. C. difficile C. difficile is a common environmental bacteria that causes diarrhea and colitis in many livestock species as well as humans. Care should be used when caring for calves with diarrhea, as humans can contract C. difficile from livestock if good hygiene is not practiced. Silage or haylage/baleage can be contaminated if a lot of dirt is picked up during harvesting. Maintaining silage cutting height to avoid cutting stalks too low helps keep ensiled feed free from C. difficile. Adult cattle can get a chronic diarrhea from consuming feed with C. difficile. Diseases caused by Clostridium spp typically affect one animal at a time, rarely causing disease in multiple animals at the same time. Clostridial disease is not contagious (spread from animal to animal). Animals acquire the bacteria from the environment. Most of the time, animals die from diseases caused by Clostridia so quickly that there is no chance to treat one and treatment is often “too little, too late” if attempted. Even if symptoms are observed, owners need to be able to quickly diagnose and treat appropriately. Penicillin is the antibiotic of choice for most Clostridial infections. However, antibiotics are effective only against the bacteria but not against the toxins produced. Other additional care may be needed and beneficial. Consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible if you suspect a problem related to Clostridial disease. Vaccines stimulate very effective immune protection, and all cattle should receive at least two doses prior to weaning or before 1 year of age. Read and follow label directions and make sure the vaccine contains the protection you want. Most common Clostridial bacterin/toxoid vaccines (frequently referred to as 7-way vaccines) contain chauvoei, septicum, novyi, soredellii and perfringens C and D toxoid. Most do not contain haemolyticum or tetanus, but there are combination vaccines available that also contain one or both of these. WINTER 2020 l BRAFORD NEWS


Corey & Jodie Doucet 120 Tans Rd. Sweetlake, LA 70607


Robert and Carol Mills Trey Abney 15535 C.R. 1123 • Athens, TX 75751 903.489.0869 • 903.489.0837 Heifers, Bulls And Semen Available


RMR 5199 MUSCLES 1054

Semen Available!

Nathan Hyman |Owner & Operator | 903-826-3666 20 BRAFORD NEWS l WINTER 2020


UPCOMING EVENTS November 1, 2020 Commitment Forms due for Bulls born Dec. 1, 2019 to Feburary 29, 2020 Commitment Forms due for Heifers born March 1 to May 31, 2020 December 1 - 4, 2020 Advancing the Braford Breed Sale Online at SmartAuctions December 4 - 5, 2020 Texas Braford Breeders Association Banquet & Winter Classic Show Marion, Texas January 31, 2021 Herd Inventories Due to UBB Office PO Box 1177, Kingsville, TX 78364 February 1, 2021 Commitment Deadline for Spring Issue of Braford News March 4, 2021 International Braford Sale Houston, Texas March 6, 2021 UBB Braford & F1 Shows at Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Houston, Texas March 31, 2021 Late Deadline for Herd Inventories Mail to the UBB Office PO Box 1177, Kingsville, TX 78364 April 1, 2021 Commitment Deadline for Summer Issue of Braford News June 15 - 19, 2021 Florida Cattlemen’s Convention Marco, Fla. July 1, 2021 Commitment Deadline for Fall Issue of Braford News October 19 - 21, 2021 Sunbelt Ag Expo Moultrie, Ga. Send calendar additions to


A recommendation from the UBB Show Committee was made to replace the Braford Base Show at Houston and other UBB sanctioned Braford Open Shows with a Braford F1 Show. Cattle in these shows must be true F1s out of registered/UBB enrolled Brahman and Hereford. If bred, these F1s must be bred to Brahman or Hereford bulls or bulls that will produce purebred Brafords. If shown with a calf at side, the calves must be registered with the UBB and must be purebred Brafords; ¾ Brahman and ¼ Hereford; or a ¼ Brahman and ¾ Hereford. Along with this change in breed composition, an F1 Braford Show Female of the Year award will be created. Show points will be assigned using the same point system as the Braford Show Female of the Year award. For an F1 Show Female of the Year to be awarded, there must be a minimum of three (3) F1 Braford Open Shows during the show sequence and each must have a minimum of twenty (20) F1 Braford females that compete in the show ring. An award for both the exhibitor and the breeder will be presented using the Braford Point System, as long as the owner and breeder are UBB members at all times while points are being earned. NJBA, LJBA and TJBA are still allowed to have a Braford Base Show and are not required to replace their Braford Base Show with a Braford F1 Show. The UBB Board voted to replace the Braford Base Show with the Braford F1 Show at all UBB Sanctioned Open Shows on June 18, 2020.

AD INDEX Adams Ranch............................................... BC Advancing the Braford Breed Sale..........5 Alleman Cattle Co...................................... 15 Bill Rainer Cattle Co.....................................9 Bovine Elite.................................................... 20 Dancing Diamond Ranch......................... 14 Doucet Brafords.......................................... 20 Greenview Farms...........................................9 Harvey Ranch.............................................. IFC JMH Cattle........................................................3 KG Cattle Services..................................... 20 LA111 Cattle Co......................................... 20 LS Brafords..................................................... 20 NPH Brafords............................................... 20 Rock Crest Ranch....................................... 20 Stanton Ranch.................................................1 Texas Braford Breeders Assn............ 7, 15 This Week In Louisiana Agriculture.... 14 Thunderstorm R Cattle Co.... 14 Wayne Wayne Boozer Brafords........................... 14

Interested in advertising, email



To View Live Auction Go To

November 12, 2020

Annual Field Day, November 11, 2020 CATTLEINMOTION.COM

Bulls 50-60

Bred Heifers 175-190

Adams Ranch is following Covid 19 State and County requirements.

Open Heifers 50 Buyers must register online for a bidder number



8:00 A.M. Cattle Preview - Small Groups

11:00 A.M.

12:00 NOON




ABEEF®, ARBRA®, ARRAB®, & ARGEL® are registered trademarks that identify Adams Ranch Braford, Red Angus, and Gelbvieh cross cattle that meet criteria for a sound production animal that is free from genetic flaws. Adams Ranch is the Certifier.


Adams Ranch Office (772) 461-6321 Office Fax (772) 461-6874 P.O. Box 12909, Fort Pierce, Fla. 34979-2909 Adams Ranch website: Call Billy Adams for Bulls (772) 370-0114 Call Buddy Adams for Heifers (772) 201-4966