6415 West SH21
Bryan, Texas 77807
Phone: (979) 822-6359
McDonald Ranches was established by Darryl and Ann McDonald in 1966. They purchased their first Red Brangus cattle in 1969. While always maintaining a small herd of Red Brangus cattle, they, along with their son Darryl, Jr. and his wife Karen, were primarily commercial cow/calf producers, with a herd that consisted of almost 800 head. But in 2008, a phone call from Mike Levi and the lure of “the big red muley” resulted in a decision to get back in the registered cattle business.
With that decision, came a commitment to produce functional cattle that work for real ranchers. They believed in extra growth while keeping all the EPD traits balanced. This would prevent the cattle from requiring extra nutrition, or special attention to function, while performing more efficiently. They would demand that balanced genetics be above the breed average to consistently produce high performing and fast gaining cattle. Based on their commercial operation, they felt it was still important what a calf weighs at weaning or yearling age. They believed that disposition, considered by many a “convenience trait”, was, in fact, a necessity. Their target product would be the generally accepted 3/8 X 5/8 animal.
Mike had informed them of a herd of approximately 100 young, multi-generation Red Brangus cows that were available. These were 1/2 blood embryo transfer cows out of some of the best genetics ever produced by the legendary Paleface Ranch. With advice and assistance from Don Cox, they decided to purchase the cattle. Subsequently, they began the search for the best ¼-blood Red Brangus bull they could find. They landed at Marvel Farms where Dan and Sandra Marvel had produced a young ¼-blood bull named Red Gator. A partnership resulted and Red Gator went on to win Grand Champion at the Houston Livestock Show and Supreme Champion at the Miami International Show. But more importantly, he was the highest rated Red Brangus bull ever tested by GeneStar. He had 8 stars for feed efficiency and 15 stars total; he was the perfect bull to compliment the decades of work Mike Levi had done at Paleface Ranch.
McDonald Ranches now has the first calf crop out of this planned mating weaned and they are excited by the results. The bulls and heifers both had 205-day averages over 600 pounds. The calves have the volume, bone, muscle and balance they had envisioned. And, based on the comments of cattlemen who have seen them, their excitement is justified.
Going forward, they want to sell bulls that are designed to add pounds of muscle and extra weight in a quality package that is problem free. Whether used on crossbred cows, straight bred commercial cows or registered cows, bulls that have the genetics and performance to add value; big, stout, sure footed, thick, heavy muscled bulls. They want to produce and sell females that exhibit calving ease, fertility, milk production and carcass traits that are important to all cattlemen.
McDonald Ranches has ranch locations in Bryan and Hearne, Texas. Visitors are always welcome.
“Shaping the Future...”