Red Hide Helps Beat the Heat


by Candace Krebs 

Better heat tolerance is one factor helping to explain why red-hided cattle seem to be stealing some attention from the black-hided ones these days.

Innovative bull marketer Kit Pharo is one of several cattlemen across Colorado to offer customers a choice between the two at his bull sales.

Earlier this year he published a column on the topic of hide color in his widely read newsletter, which is distributed to around 20,000 cattle producers worldwide, noting that Red Angus cattle have been “getting the short end of the stick” for three decades.

“I think they have some advantages,” Pharo said by phone from his ranch near Cheyenne Wells. 

“Personally I do prefer them, but we still sell more black bulls than red bulls. Our cowherd right now is about 50-50.”

Pharo and others believe Red Angus is on the verge of becoming a more prominent breed as long-held preferences shift.

“We started out with red-hided cattle 25 years ago, and we didn’t start selling the black ones until the late 1990s and that was because of the demand,” Pharo said. “Now there is growing interest in the red cattle, and the prejudice against anything without a black hide is not as prevalent as it used to be.”

Brian Axtell, of Anton, tells a similar story.

“We do see an increase in demand for the red cattle,” he said. “The red heifers seem to have higher demand than anything else out there right now.”

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Source:  La Junta Tribune-Democrat

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