We began the Brangus Stud in 2011 when we bought 50 heifers from Allan Green whose father imported the first Brangus animals into the country from America. We decided on Brangus because of their medium size, being naturally polled, ease of calving and good carcase quality.
The Red Brangus was first bread in America around 1912. In looking at improving their herd genetics, they decided on breeding a cross between the Red Angus and Brahman cattle with the idea of optimising the superior characteristics of the two breeds. This included the suitability of the breed when exposed to adverse climatic conditions. They noticed that they grew faster and had more meat than the British purebreds that were popular at the time. They since spent many years making sure that the breeding results became predictable.
Apart from being incredibly hardy, they have a gentle disposition and ability to thrive in climates typical to South Africa. They are extremely versatile and go through their calving and milking abilities with ease. Red Brangus cattle combine the hardiness, disease resistance and incredible maternal instincts of the Brahman breed with the superior carcass quality, fertility, maternal and milking ability of the Angus.
Our breeding policy has been to buy semen from the best local and international bulls for artificial insemination and then use top quality local bulls as “pick-up” bulls. A couple of outstanding cows were also bought, which were super-ovulated and flushed and the embryos inserted into surrogate cows. All animals bought are not only selected on their phenotype but also on their EBV’s (genotype).
A few years ago when the herd had grown considerably, John Baxter (probably the most experienced Brangus Judge in South Africa) visited us and selected only the exceptional cows to form part of the core herd. John visits us annually to do a super selection after the society inspectors have been, so that only the best animals are retained in the stud. We are also part of the Veld Bull test group where the performance of young bulls is measured and evaluated under natural grazing conditions. We are at the moment growing the stud to the point where we have sufficient animals to be able to host our own annual stud sale of bulls and females from a maximum of 500 stud cows.
In 2022, the Firth Red Brangus business division won a coveted second-place spot in the Brangus Cattle Champion Of The World competition, in the 2022 Brangus-Champion of Asia/Africa division. Other medals and awards include several Four Star awards for Breedplan completeness and first place National Champion at the Brangus National Show 2022.