Origin of Breed
In the 1930s, the Charbray breed originated in Texas when Charolais bulls from Mexico were crossed with Brahman cows. Charbray are 5/8 Charolais and 3/8 Brahman. The calves that were produced weaned heavier, finished faster and carcass quality was unusually high. Thus, the Charbray breed was established for their durability and productivity.
Charbray are a large, very rugged breed that is heavily muscled through the loin and quarters. At birth, calves are generally light tan but usually lighten to a creamy white in a few weeks. The Charbray bull is structurally sound and have the ability to travel the distances required of bulls, even in hot, humid environments. They have been hand selected for clean, tight sheaths, fertility and early testicular development. The Charbray female is fertile and early maturing. They normally reach puberty at 14-17 months and calve around two years of age with rapid rebreeding and good milk production.
The Charbray is a versatile beef breed that combines the hardiness and tick resistance of the Brahman with the leanness and docility of the Charolais. Charbray-sired calves have low birth weights; yet, they still possess outstanding feed-converting ability and weaning weights. The Brahman infusion in Charbray maintains their tick resistance and hardiness. One of their most desirable attributes is their foraging ability under drought conditions and their quick response to improved seasonal conditions. Remarkably, the Charbray female has the ability to breed under stress conditions while still rearing a calf with a high carcass quality. Charbray maintain the heat, drought and parasite tolerance in tropical areas, while still boosting the carcass quality and growth rate of their progeny.
Charbray calves show excellent performance in the feedlot. Due to their resistance to heat, humidity, parasites and diseases, they benefit southern feedlots. They grow rapidly and have outstanding feed converting ability, whether fed on grain or grass. They normally reach slaughter weights at 12 to 15 months and produce very lean meat. They are usually Yield Grade 1 and 2 carcasses, which require little or no fat trimming. Charbray return premium prices and are in great demand from feedlots, processors and for the live cattle trade. These cattle carcasses are heavy, high yielding and suitable to all markets, especially the export market.
Development in America
The Charbray breed was established in Texas in the 1930s. During the late 1940s and early 1950s, breeders established the American Charbray Breeders Association and the American Charolais Breeders Association. Producers using other beef breed cows to produce Charolais through successive generations formed the International Charolais Association. In 1957, the American and International Associations merged into today’s American-International Charolais Association. In 1964, the Pan-American Charolais Association, whose registrations were based on performance rather than genetic content, merged into the AICA. Three years later, the American Charbray Breeders Association also merged with the AICA, bringing all Charolais-based breeds in the United States under a single breed registry.
Registry and Improvement Programs
Charbray Cattle are registered under the American-International Charolais Association, which is headquartered in Kansas City, MO.