Braunvieh found their way to the US from the Swiss Alps, where they are known for being hardy, dual purpose mountain cattle. The success Braunvieh have in the US today is founded on centuries of selection in Switzerland and upon records on milk and meat performance being established there in the 19th century.
Braunvieh cows will typically weigh 1,100 to 1,400 pounds and mature bulls 1,800 to 2,500 pounds. The breed is moderate in size and frame. High butterfat, feed efficient Braunvieh defy the maternal and carcass antagonism, as well as the marbling and muscling antagonism found in so many breeds.
Braunvieh and Braunvieh cross cattle can be harvested at an efficient endpoint and reach an acceptable quality grade before carcasses get too big. This eliminates those later, costly days on feed.
Braunvieh females are proven to be fertile and early maturing. At U.S. MARC, it was shown that the average age at puberty for Braunvieh cross heifers was 332 days and the percent of Braunvieh cross females pregnant at 550 days was 93%.
With their ruggedness and typical docile disposition, Braunvieh adapt well to tropical areas, grasslands and high altitude ranges. The natural dark pigmentation around eyes makes pinkeye unlikely.
Braunvieh is a German word which translated into English means Brown Cow. Full blood Braunvieh are various shades of brown in color, with a white muzzle. Purebred and Percentage Braunvieh can be most any color, but are typically black, dark brown, or traditional brown with a white muzzle.
Braunvieh are a moderate framed highly adaptable breed known for possessing and defying the antagonistic traits of marbling and muscle and also maternal and carcass. Braunvieh are also at the forefront of recognized Feed Efficient breeds and are leading the industry in identifying efficient bloodlines.
Braunvieh cattle in the US come from dual purpose origin so they are very good milkers with typically sound udders. Braunvieh are documented to be a maternal breed by Meat Animal Research Center data which found Braunvieh cross females to excel in early puberty and high fertility when compared to other breeds.
Being developed for thousands of years in the Swiss Alps is likely the key to Braunvieh’s vigor and survivability. The upper reaches of the Alps can experience wide daily swings from high temperature during the day to very low temperature at night. According to MARC data, Braunvieh calves had the highest rate of survival from birth to weaning of all Continental and Bos Indicus breeds tested.
Introducing Performance tested Braunvieh Bulls to your commercial cowherd takes a lot of the guesswork out of your bull buying decisions. The history of added value brought by using Braunvieh bulls just makes the decision to buy Braunvieh bulls that much easier.
Many producers who introduced Braunvieh cows to their herd come looking for more after they find those cows are their best producers and are still in their cowherd years longer than other breeds. Data on the JHL Ranch confirms this when comparing Angus sired and Braunvieh sired replacement females introduced into their cowherd from 1998 to 2001. Today 47% of the 224 head of Braunvieh cows are still in the herd while 28% of the 373 Angus cows remain.
Contrary to a sometimes circulated myth, Braunvieh are not crossbred or hybrid cattle.
Braunvieh are a docile breed. The name in English means brown cow. These cattle originated from the Swiss Alps and are long, strong and correct beef type animals. Due to their desirable traits of reproductive efficiency, adaptability and carcass quality Braunvieh are used in all major countries of the world.
Many producers who introduced Braunvieh cows to their herd come looking for more after they find those cows are their best producers and are still in their cowherds years longer than other breeds. Braunvieh cows have been documented repeatedly for their ability to remain productive in cowherds for 10 or more years. Certain stayability comparisons between Angus and Braunvieh sired replacement females within common Midwestern herds have shown that, by percentage, nearly twice as many Braunvieh cows remained in herds after 10 years of production.
Franz Betschler is a commercial cattle producer who backgrounds and feeds cattle outside Ashland, Kansas. Over the past few years, Franz has developed a commercial cowherd of Braunvieh and Braunvieh cross females which he breeds to Gardiner Angus bulls. The calves as you might expect are quite good.
Franz likes what the Braunvieh cows deliver to his operation. They are functional with good maternal traits and the calves bring premiums as they go up the production chain.
Dr. Harold Garner has built an accomplished career as a veterinarian and professor of veterinary medicine as well as numerous research and successful development endeavors related to vaccines and antiserum. Dr. Garner is also a livestock producer who knows and has owned Braunvieh influenced cattle.
Randy Olson is a commercial rancher from southeast Kansas that likes the multiple positive results that Braunvieh has brought to his family’s operation. Randy says he considers the Braunvieh x Angus female to be this generation’s equivalent of the black baldy cow.
The Olson operation has seen their Braunvieh influenced calves work at all stages from weaning to feedyard performance. On the female side, the cattle have remarkable maternal traits.
Bob and Marilyn Brink raise registered Braunvieh cattle in the Kansas Flint Hills near Piedmont. Brink Livestock has raised Braunvieh for years. Genuine maternal quality in the pasture as well as consistently measureable feedyard performance in terms of yield and grade are facts about the breed.
Marilyn serves as President of the Braunvieh Association of America and knows the cattle have what commercial cattlemen need today from raising them herself. The cattle marble without increasing external fat, they are efficient and are sought by feedyards who know their capabilities. Marilyn says interest in Braunvieh forms once people get informed about them.
John Hall is a longtime commercial and registered beef producer from the ranch country about Clarendon, Texas. John and his wife have introduced many cattlemen to Braunvieh as well as raise their own in both commercial and registered ventures. John knows the capability of Braunvieh females in a beef production – they are exceptional.
Scott Cooper has worked as a meat processor for more than 30 years and operated a custom packing business in Wellington, Texas. Scott has processed Braunvieh cattle from Todd Hill and notes that the cutability of the carcasses are remarkably free of excess waste despite their considerable size. Scott says many carcasses simply add waste with increased weight gain. Not so much with the Braunvieh.
Todd and Karra Hill operate the Diamond H Ranch south of Childress, Texas and raise some the nation’s best Braunvieh cattle and is home to the noted sire Ranger 11R. The Hill family has a tremendous cowherd that ranges out on rough open country where they have to make a living under often difficult conditions. Todd says that Braunvieh make the most sense when you consider the whole picture.
The Diamond H has a two prong breeding strategy. The majority of the herd is registered and a portion of the herd that remains full blood. The Diamond H uses both full blood and purebred matings. AI breeding is used extensively to bring in the finest genetics available. The main focus is the production of purebred seed stock that will assist the astute commercial cattleman to increase his profitability per animal. The Diamond H emphasis is polled, black, and calving ease in a package that will perform. Further emphasis is placed on moderate framed, efficient and fertile cattle.