The Grass-Fed Breed
The Grass-Fed Breed
Crispin Murray Grey Cattle is a family owned and operated farm and ranch in Western Oklahoma near Thomas. We operate farms in both Dewey and Custer counties. My great-grandfather came to this area in 1897 and our family has been raising cattle since that time. So our family has been in the cattle business for well over 100 years. Over the years, we have primarily been in the commercial cow-calf aspect of the industry. We have normally sold our calves after the stocker phase to be fattened in commercial feedlots.
During the past few years, I believe a new trend is developing and will develop further in the American cattle and food industry. The American consumer is becoming much more health oriented and more conscious about what they feed their family and where it was produced. They want to know the origin of their food and they want to know that it is safe for their families to eat.
New research in the food industry is indicating that grass-fed beef, just as my great-grandfather raised over 100 years ago and fed to our family, may be a great choice. This research seems to indicate several substantial health benefits for grass-fed beef. Grass-fed beef requires different genetics than the genetics required for present day commercial beef production. Most present day genetics will not allow an animal to fatten to a satisfactory grade to provide the eating quality that the consumer wants and demands for their family, on grass alone.
We at Crispin Murray Grey Cattle are changing our genetics and marketing strategy to meet the anticipated huge demand for grass-fed genetics in the future.
The Murray Grey breed of cattle began in Australia along the Murray River in New South Wales. In 1905, on the property of Peter and Eva Sutherland a light roan shorthorn cow, when bred to various Aberdeen Angus bulls produced only grey calves. She had produced twelve of them by 1917, which were the origin of this breed. The herd was sold to Helen Sutherland in 1929, who started a systematic breeding program. Mervyn Gadd started a second Murray Grey herd in the early 1940s as a commercial venture, using a Grey bull from the Sutherlands and breeding up from Angus cows. Butchers began to pay a premium price for the Greys because of their consistent high cutability and less waste. Murray Greys began to win carcass competitions in the early 70's and have continued to dominate the steer and carcass classes at the Royal shows in Australia. Murray Greys are one of the two preferred breeds for importation to Japan, due to their easy fleshing and high quality meat production. The Murrays have also started to win carcass competitions at the Calgary Stampede in Canada. Greys and their crosses can be found producing in Canada, and South America; in the United States, they can be found in the Western areas, in the Corn Belt, the Plains from north to south, and in the hot climates of the deep south. They are, of course, a major breed in Australia and New Zealand, and Murray Greys are presently being introduced in various areas of Africa.
BREED CHARACTERISTICS: • Size: They are a true medium-framed animal that can maintain body condition easily. • Polled: Murray Greys are naturally polled and take the horns off crossbred calves. • Calving Ease: The calves are small and quick to their feet. They grow quickly and are adaptable to all climates. Many commercial producers buy a Murray bull to use on first calf heifers and are pleased enough with the results to use the bull on all their herd. • Docile: Murray Greys are calm to work with and are known as the "gentle builders of beef". Their good nature is especially important to part-time producers; ease of handling saves time, money, and temper! • Color: The hair color ranges from very light silver to chocolate or dun grey; some animals are even black but the majority are silver to a silvery-khaki color. Their skin has a dark pigmentation, which helps prevent cancer eye.