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Discussion Starter #1
Any advice on what breeds of dual purpose cattle would do well in north Florida?
We are somewhat close to the coast so we don't get too many hard freezes, but my experience has been that a lot of things (people, plants and animals!) can't take the heat and humidity of summer here.

There seems to be a lot written about cattle than can survive the cold (no wonder!) but I don't see much written about cattle than can take the heat and thrive. The only ones I have encountered so far are the Long Horn and "Cracker Cattle" (which are being marketed as pets, because the breed is almost extinct).

Thanks in advance for any helpful advice.
 

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We have a young bull that I raised on my Jersey cow, that we got as an orphan from a nearby ranch. I thought he was a Red Angus until a few months ago, when one of the ranch hands was here & saw him in the pasture. He told my husband that he is a "Hotlander". He said they have a herd of them, & that they were developed for hot climates. That's all I know about them-my husband didn't ask any questions, but there should be some information somewhere about them.
 

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There are a lot of breeds that will work,what is your market?? I would think about a Brahma based breed like the brangus or braford,maybe the beefmasters ,also you have alot of commercial cows that show the ears .Its a matter of your market and personal choice that will pick the breed you need.
 

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i agree with the brahma influence, from what i've heard and read anyways. i've never had cattle anywhere but here. you do want to check on your market though, as james said. anything with any "ear" at all sells for lots less here.

jena
 

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I've gone to the cattle auction barn north of Ocala Fl. The bulk of the feeders sold there just off the cow were local calves with lots of ear. Some looked like angus brahma cross. They were selling good, but the same calves up here would not bring close to the standard beef calf price.
You mention dual purpose. Are you wanting to milk the cow you get? I don't know if anyone milks a brahma cow or not. I guess you could. Might want to pet her a little before you try.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I can remember seeing lots of Brahmas around here when I was growing up, from twenty to forty years ago, but I don't see so many now. My Daddy used to have a phrase "mean as a Brahma bull" to describe someone who was really mean...I don't think I would want to start out milking a Brahma cow, and I've also have never heard of anyone milking one.

I want a cow for milk, and that will have calves that will have some meat on them, something that is hardy in our heat and humidity...just a homestead kind of cow.
 

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leaping leon said:
I want a cow for milk, and that will have calves that will have some meat on them, something that is hardy in our heat and humidity...just a homestead kind of cow.
Why don't you just buy a Jersey & breed her to a beef-type bull? If it's a bull, it will be the best meat you ever ate. If she has a heifer, buy a bull calf & let her raise both. You can still milk her, if you don't need a lot of milk. My Jersey raises from 3 to 5 calves a year & I milk her when I want some. (We don't use much).
She really pays for her keep.
 

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There are 5 bulls and 108 cows here, 12 miles from Disney; they do not need any special treatment or shelters. Just about every breed known are present, they apparently have no problem handleing the heat. This is zone 9,zone 10 is also well stocked with cattle, there are major cattle ranches near Lake Ohocobee, zone 10 also. Cattle survive in Cuba, hotter yet. Any animal born here is fine for the heat.
 
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Have you considered the Florida Cracker cattle breed? They're apparently an offshoot of the Longhorn but with the horns less big and ability to survive anywhere in the wild.

Ted
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes, indeed. I was very interested when I saw some at a local fair, but the only breeders I know of in my area are selling them only with an agreement that they will not be used for beef, and they will not be crossed with other breeds; the reason they give for this is that Cracker Cattle are an endangered breed. I didn't even inquire about price, because I can't afford cattle that are being sold as pets, even if they wouldn't be nearly useless in a homestead.

I was especially interested since Cracker Cattle have a reputation of being able to forage here and gain weight when more domesticated cattle starve.

If you know of anyone who is selling any for what they were bred for, as dual purpose cattle, and at an affordable price, (crossbreeds would be welcome) please let me know.

My family has lived in north Florida since early in the 1800's and it would really mean something for me to raise the same kind of cattle as my ancestors.
 
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