Livestock Cropping & Pasture General Farm

What does composite cattle breeds mean?

The term “composite” as used in beef cattle breeding refers to crossbred cattle that result from the mating of crossbred bulls to crossbred females to form a new line or population. Some breeds of cattle such as Brangus (3/8 Brahma : 5/8 Angus) are a composite. Hybrid or crossbred cattle can be produced by mating purebred bulls of one breed to purebred females of a second breed, composites are generally produced by a continual crossbreeding system that utilizes crossbred females and crossbred bulls.

Composites can be produced in a “closed composite” system whereby no additional genetics is added, thus requiring a large population (1500+ cows) to prevent inbreeding.

A more common system of breeding composites is an “open composite” system that allows continual input of genetics from outside sources to prevent the buildup of inbreeding, thus eliminating the need for a large population and allowing the breeder to take advantage of outstanding bulls of various breeds or crossbreeds as they become proven.