MURRAY GREYS ARE NOW THE THIRD LARGEST BREED IN AUSTRALIA
A Breed of Moderation, Calving Ease, High Fertility, Good Feed Conversion, and Quality Carcass
The Murray Grey breed originated in Australia at the turn of the century with the crossing of a Shorthorn cow and Black Angus bulls. Murray Greys are now the third largest breed in Australia and, because of their superior carcass traits, are in strong demand for export to Pacific Rim countries.
In 1990, members of the Northwest Murray Grey Association developed a guideline of standards that assist not only Murray Grey breeders but anyone who is interested in buying Murray Greys. Consistent breeding with these standards in mind has enabled breeders to offer buyers a marketable product that provides extreme calving ease and good growth ability. Following are some comments from cattle ranchers as to why they are now using one of the fastest growing breeds in the northwest United States.
Rancher Joel Ballenger, 3-B Ranch, Heron, Montana, states, "I started in the cattle business, cow/calf, in the late 1950s in western Montana. In the early 1970s I got into the A.I. breeding program using a very large European breed of bulls. It did not turn out as I had hoped. Spending 24 hours a day in calving season and feeling great if I got a 70% calf crop, to say nothing of the cows that were lost, was not encouraging.
"Our meat processing plant was fully operational at this time and, to meet our demand, I started buying outside steers from a ranch nearby that raised Murray Greys. I was very impressed with these calves. They were so calm and easy to handle in the feedlot. They gained weight much faster than most calves, but that isnt all. We couldnt believe how well they marbled out and the dressing percentage was outstanding. Then, after the customers that bought the Murray Greys started calling and letting us know about the excellent flavor and tenderness of the meat, I was really sold on them. I purchased all the Murray Grey calves I could after that! I couldnt sell anything else to those people who had tried the Greys!
"Over the years, we have developed a large herd of Greys of our own and have continued to be impressed with the calves. We believe that Murray Greys will soon become the most wanted breed of cattle in the world. They all have good traits that other breeds dont have. Their calm nature makes it a pleasure to work them, allows them to gain weight and finish out so well, and it also makes a difference in the flavor and tenderness of the meat. Murray Greys are just plainly the best of all breeds!"
Rancher Rod Davis, Twin Falls, Idaho, states, "I am extremely pleased with the Murray Grey cross breeding to Hereford heifers. The calves are well proportioned, with low birth weights, and have extreme growth. I notice that the Grey cross calves are easy to handle which means a lot -- they are more efficient in the feedlot with a mild disposition. Murray Grey bulls are ideal for heifers.
Commercial breeder Steve Cellmer in Montana agrees and adds, "They calve easy and will wean in the center of the main body of the herd out of first calf heifers. The Greys are very easy keepers."
In addition to the calving ease quality of Murray Greys, the H/C Ranch in Idaho has found the Murray Greys to be the best all around breed they have used. "Not only have they proven to be excellent on first-calf heifers, but they also produce an extremely marketable calf from the main cow herd."
Murray Grey carcasses are known to be extremely well balanced for both muscle development and fat cover. They also possess a moderate level of marbling, which is extremely important in todays marketplace. Larry Roberts of Iowa Beef Producers (IBP) recently reported that out of a 247 head total of crossbred Murray Grey steer, 87.85% graded choice or prime.
Little Red Feeders, Ltd., of Alberta, Canada, states, "The Murray Grey steers are very easy fleshing and the good disposition adds to this fleshing ability. Recently, an entire pen of steers gained an average of 3.08 pounds per day."
Murray Grey breeders are confident when they answer questions about their breed. This is confidence built from proven results throughout the cattle industry and from many satisfied customers. Find out for yourselves! For further information, breed standards, breeder listings, and a video upon request, please contact the Northwest Murray Grey Association, toll free, at 1-800-437-6977.
This page was last updated May 10, 2000