The first question people ask is what is a Red Charolais?? Were they bred up from a Red Angus? The answer is that the Red Charolais is Pure Charolais genetics; they are not crossed with red cattle to make them red. A typical white colored Charolais is really red but has a dilution gene causing it to dilute to white.
Palomino and buckskin horses also have this same dilution gene. If you bred a sorrel horse to a palomino you usually get a colt that is palomino which is really diluted sorrel. When you breed palomino to palomino you get a cream horse. Each back cross makes the horse whiter. The white Charolais has been bred white on white for a thousand years making them snow white because of these stacked dilution genes. The white head on a Hereford is a true dominate color and will be white faced when crossed on any other color and breed. White Charolais will only dilute another breeds color making smokey’s and tans, ect.
The Red Charolais results when a rare individual Charolais does not have the diluted gene allowing it to be its true red color.
Other than their unique red color, the Red Charolais produced by the Stenberg’s are being bred to express more length and depth with less leg than the traditional whites. We concentrate heavily on reducing birth weight and pushing weaning weights to their limit. We feel that the Red Charolais that we are producing has tremendous potential for the cowman either for crossbreeding or even as a straight bred, because the Stenberg Red Charolais is less extreme than its white cousin and is being developed for range production.
In a no BS summary, the Stenberg Red Charolais is a pure Charolais and not bred up from another red colored breed. They are shorter legged with great length and heavy muscled with explosive growth. By being a pure bred Continental they will fully express heterosis on British cattle resulting in 50 to 100 lbs of added weaning weight and go on to kick butt in the feedyard.
In the 1960’s Joe Stenberg and young son Jerome saw the need to inject performance into the low growth straight British cattle of that time. These straight British bred cattle had great maternal traits and were very efficient on poor range, but, they just did not grow. A big calf was 400 lbs off the cow and got pig fat toooo fast in the feedyard. Joe and Jerome bought their first Charolais from the Kingview, Litton, and Kailer Ranches in Missouri and the Michaela and Yates Ranches in Texas.
The results were amazing. These first Char X calves outweighed their straight bred herd mates by 100 lbs or more and went on to perform on feed. It doesn’t take a brainiac to realize that Charolais genetics is a valuable tool for the cattleman.
The Stenberg Red Charolais are a much improved version of these original Charolais cattle with easy calving, body depth and enhanced carcass while pushing growth to maximize levels.
The interest in Red Charolais is overwhelming there is also interest in Red Factor Charolais which is usually a first generation mating between a white and red Charolais. Also there is growing interest in Black Charolais which usually are bred up from black hided cattle. Although pure Black Charolais cattle do exist.