Acquired: Worked with animal (didn’t own)
Oklahoma, United States
Posted Mar 03, 2014
I won't say that any breed of cattle are particularly smart, but the Beefmaster bull I worked with made some cows look like they should be members of MENSA. He was always getting lost in his own pasture and sometimes we had to show him where the water source was. Again. During storms when other cows headed for shelter, he would panic and run in circles, sometimes running into trees or through fences.
But, he wasn't chosen for his intellect, but rather his ability to breed quality calves. And that was one thing he could do without any help from humans. Although he was cross-bred to Hereford and Santa Gertrudis cows most often, the calves tended to resemble Beefmasters predominantly. They carried the same qualities too, weighing heavy and growing fast.
Beefmaster calves are a little hard for smaller cows to deliver, especially if it is their first time. The calves grow well though, and whether purebred or cross-bred the Beefmasters were extremely hardy in both cold and hot weather. Because they weigh heavy when weaned, the calves sell well at market. Sometimes they are docked a few points due to physical traits such as their very small ears.
They forage well and can thrive even on poor drought grass during the summer. They will need extra supplemental feed in winter, more than some breeds. But everything they eat goes straight to muscle, creating a nice lean beef with just the right amount of marbling.