Fertility and Ease in Calving
The single most important economic trait in the cattle industry is that of fertility. That ability of a cow to give birth to a live calf each year of her productive life. The first calf should arrive at the cow’s second birthday and a subsequent calf every 12 months.
An infertile cow is like a piece of machinery that produces nothing, yet requires space, maintenance and labor — and costs money. Fertility is a genetic fact that can be transmitted. The British White may be the most fertile of all beef breeds. Those that own them swear by them.
British Whites are noted for their calving ease! A small polled head and average birth weight between 70-75 lbs. is normal. Calving difficulties with heifers are rare and unheard of with mature cows! BRITISH WHITE bulls provide that rare quality of throwing a medium to small calf that grows well.
Efficient and Trouble Free
Sometimes known as “easy keeper”, meaning that an animal efficiently converts feed into pounds of gain or maintenance. Most people can easily understand the importance of this trait but the economic implications sometimes escape them. A British White bull that was placed on a 140 day test at the University of Missouri gained at the rate of 4.04 pounds per day with a feed efficiency ratio of 5.5 pounds of feed consumed per one pound of gain.
Excellent Milking Ability
If it’s a beef cow, why worry about milking ability? Good question, and there is a logical answer. The baby calf will grow and add weight based upon its mama’s ability to produce ample quantities of rich milk. Anyone who has ever seen a herd of British Whites knows that an abundance of rich milk is available for the baby calves. She is an excellent mother and even a heifer with her first calf produces much rich milk.
The cows have well set udders with a minimum of fatty tissue and teats that hold their shape. It is not uncommon to see 14 and 15 year old British White cows with udders tightly set and well shaped teats.
Lean and Tender
Today’s consumer does not want fat or tough meat for a variety of reasons. One of these being weight consciousness and the movement toward low cholesterol content. At the same time they do not want to sacrifice taste and tenderness. The British White meets all of these requirements.
Purebred or crossbred steers will finish out at 1100 to 1200 pounds and grade choice. A 63%-66% carcass to live weight is not uncommon.
Superior Maternal Instinct
British White cows have maternal instincts superior to the average cow. First calf heifers claim their calves, get them up and started faster than any other breed. Cows that do not claim their calves are unheard of in this breed. British White cattle are easy calving and very rarely need assistance and have an enormously high percentage of live calf drops.
British Whites also incorporate the nursery system of protecting groups of calves by a guard cow while the remainder of the herd grazes.
Growth and Hardiness
BRITISH WHITE cattle have a hardiness that enables them to forage, graze, survive and do well on very poor pasture. They have the ability to stay in good condition and breed back regularly where some breeds would have a tough time surviving.
They thrive in either extreme heat or cold. British Whites have proved themselves in all kinds of weather extremes, see our membership list to get an idea of the geography covered.
Perfect for Cross Breeding
British White bulls transmit the superior qualities of the breed to their offspring. Breeders have discovered that they have less calving problems with cows and heifers of all breeds when crossed with a British White bull. Yet the good growth is still there. It is very common for a 1,000 LB cow to wean a British White calf at well above 500 lbs. strictly on grass.
Edited from Morris Halliburton