King Ranch

Ranching & Cattle

Located on the edge of the Wild Horse Desert in South Texas, King Ranch has over 170 years of experience raising and breeding profitable beef cattle that thrive in one of the harshest environments of the United States.

The Profit PROVEN® American Red and Santa Gertrudis breeds developed on King Ranch are efficient, with annual production costs regularly below the industry average and high in yield. Even in drought conditions, mature King Ranch American Red cows have maintained a 90% pregnancy rate with 28% less feed, hay, and mineral expense than other cow-calf operations in the region* while consistently grading 80% or higher USDA Choice+ and Prime.  

King Ranch is now partnering with other commercial producers in heat-challenged locations on adding American Red cattle and genetics to their herds to help them increase the longevity, fertility, adaptability, efficiency, and profitability of their operations.

Interested in partnering with King Ranch Cattle Operations on incorporating King Ranch bulls, cows, calves, or genetics into your operation?

Contact Darrell White at 830-255-8869 or to learn more.

American Red

The American Red breed brings a valuable combination of traits that can benefit the beef industry. The breed’s ability to optimize maternal traits, growth, and carcass characteristics in a heat-tolerant package makes them a highly sought-after choice for beef producers. Developed in partnership with Santa Gertrudis Breeders International and the American Red Angus Association, the breed was tested in the hot and arid environmental conditions on King Ranch to optimize its cost-effectiveness and profitability for commercial beef producers: 

  • King Ranch’s American Red cattle consistently offer impressive grading at 80% or higher USDA Choice+ and Prime.
  • King Ranch American Red annual production costs are consistently below the industry average with 28% less in feed inputs.
  • The average effective lifespan of an American Red cow on King Ranch is 8.4 years old.
  • In 2023, approximately 1 in 5 cows on King Ranch, totaling 4,600 females, thrived beyond a decade in age while maintaining a productive capacity.
  • A cow achieving a 10-year lifespan generates an impressive 59% more income compared to a counterpart with a mere 6-year lifespan.

Data-Driven Cattle Improvements & Predictability


Since its founding in 1853, King Ranch continues to drive ranch, yard, rail, and profit improvements in cattle performance as well as range management techniques. Our present-day operations aspire to new levels of excellence through a mix of time-tested experience and the latest data-driven genetic practices. The results provide more accurate predictions on fertility, efficiency, carcass quality, and longevity for King Ranch cattle and the commercial operations we partner with. 

Our purebred Santa Gertrudis cattle unit serves to produce the seedstock for King Ranch’s commercial cow-calf operation. Through genetic improvements, our cattle perform in one of nature’s toughest environments as well as compete against an ever-improving national supply of feeder cattle. 

To effectively make selection decisions, in the early 2000s, King Ranch developed its own within-herd Expected Progeny Difference (EPD) system which is continually updated and used to guide the management of our herd today. Having our own EPD database allows us to make data-driven management decisions in order to produce the most profitable animal possible. With performance data on over 90,000 animals, King Ranch currently has one of the most robust cattle databases in the world.  

King Ranch was the first to utilize the single-step genomically enhanced EPD model. This system balances rigid phenotypic selection parameters and cutting-edge within-herd EPDs, including a suite of carcass, growth, and fertility EPDs as well as King Ranch PROVEN® indices: King Ranch PROVEN® Fertile, King Ranch PROVEN® Carcass, King Ranch PROVEN® Growth, and our total index King Ranch PROVEN® Profit. 

King Ranch DNA and parentage tests 100% of their herd bulls and females. Fertility and calf performance data is included in our King Ranch PROVEN® within-herd EPDs. The King Ranch PROVEN® EPDs, unlike any other beef cattle production system, are heavily weighted with commercial performance data to accurately quantify the most profitable and economically relevant traits. 

Cattle Services

Steeped in history, rich traditions, and a culture of innovation, King Ranch is a Profit PROVEN®, progressive, vertically integrated ranching operation. Our 20,000+ head commercial cow-calf enterprise remains the emphasis of our ranching operations. 

Commercial Cattle

 King Ranch sells bulls, females, feeders, and calves to producers and other segments of the industry via Private Treaty. King Ranch also offers “Females to Order,” which include: 

  • Open Replacement Heifers
  • Bred Heifers
  • Bred Cows


Typically, it is more economically feasible to manage costs rather than add value to the cow/calf business. One of the exceptions to this rule is capitalizing on top-tier genetics, primarily by multiplying the very best genetics in the world through a well-managed embryo transfer and artificial insemination program. Today, King Ranch ETs and AIs many of our purebred females to ensure that the cattle being produced meet current market demands and specifications.  


King Ranch calves have proven performance in the feedyard with efficient feed conversions, strong daily gains, minimal health issues, and consistent profitability. As a result, they compete on a national level in terms of marbling, ribeye area, hot carcass weight, and yield grade. 

Purebred Santa Gertrudis and Certified American Red Sale Bulls

250 Santa Gertrudis & American Red bulls will complete gain test and will be available for sale at the beginning of every spring.

*Data collected by Texas A&M Agrilife Extension. “2022 Estimated Costs and Returns per Animal Unit” – District 11.