Crossbreeding with Santa Gertrudis
If you are
considering or doing Cross Breeding Santa Gertrudis is the
ANSWER! In the Stud industry the biggest problem is that
breeders forget what the cattle industry is about. Stud
breeders can thus start living in their own small world in
colour markings and pedigrees that they forget what is
really important, namely the requirements of the commercial
breeder. If stud breeders would listen to what the
commercial breeder says and produce what he wants, he will
always be in business. Commercial breeders attend auctions
and tend to buy the cheapest bull on sale, no matter what
breed it is, it is going to be the new bull / breed in his
What we should be striving for is to be producing the
biggest amount of saleable beef from the grass growing on
the farm. To achieve this goal, we must breed cattle
that will maintain high standard in the following production
characteristics: fertility, milk production, vitality,
weight gain, length, muscling and temperament. Cattle must
also possess constitution, of which the Santa Gertrudis
breed has ample.
Characteristics with a low heritability, e.g.
fertility, the most important characteristic of breed
production, cannot be improved upon quickly by
selection, but can be greatly enhanced by using Santa
Gertrudis bulls in the crossbreeding programme.
Mortality goes hand in hand with fertility. Dr Rex
Butterfield of Australia once said: “A dead calf still
has a distressingly poor growth rate even if we know why
he is dead”. Santa Gertrudis cows have a very low calf
mortality rate and are renown for producing calves op to
16 years of age.
Production is just as important. The commercial
breeder cannot afford to try and rectify this
characteristic by selection alone when he can do so by
using another breed. It is probably the highest single
factor that will determine how many kilograms of beef a
cow will produce over twelve months, because milk is a
food. In the case of the weaner calf producer, the
weaning weight produced by the breeding cows per hectare
is the correct measurement to use.
Fertility is very important, and therefore one must
not overlook the cow. It is of the utmost importance
that one’s cows are highly fertile.
vigour is not heritable. With crossbreeding you can
find the desired combination to suite your conditions
and production system. The bigger the genetic variation
between breeds, the better the hybrid vigour. In
extensive conditions the best results of crossbreeding
will be achieved by crossing an European breed (Bos
Taurus) with a Zebo (Bos Indicus) breed or a developed
breed such as the Santa Gertrudis.
this, the crossbreeding programme must be correctly managed
(do not buy the cheapest bull on sale). In any crossbreeding
system selection with performance and conformation in mind,
is just as important as in stud breeding. Thus, one of the
most important aspects in a crossbreeding programme is the
bull in use. The purchase of a bull must be seen as in
investment and not a burden or liability. It is mainly the
bull that will determine the quality of your future herd. In
influence of the last three bulls you bought into the herd
is nearly 90%. The long term effect of a good or poor bull
in the future herd is there-fore clearly noticeable.
Ask yourself the following questions:
natural feed resources are available?
cultivated fodder is economically available?
feed resources, what system of production is the most
most importantly, do I like the breed?
What is a
It is a bull that when you look at him and his
performance records (BLUP figures) and his ancestors and you
think he should breed you better calves with better weaning
weights than your previous bull, the chances are good that
it is a better bull. If the bull meets all your
expectations, then you should buy him.
By using a
Santa Gertrudis bull, you can of course need only
concentrate on one breed because the pure Santa Gertrudis
weighs as much at 18 months as other breeds with the
advantage of crossbred hybrid vigor. You have the added
advantage of having an uniform cherry red herd.
quality for the consumer so that he can feel
satisfied and gets value for money.
quality for the butcher so that he can keep his
customers happy and make a profit.
quality for the feedlot owner so that he can keep
the butcher happy and also make a profit.
quality for yourself because you want to be proud of
your product and you deserve to make a profit.
“Cattle breeding is a simple process - the secret is just to
keep is simple”
A Member of the Santa Gertrudis Cattle
Breeders’ Society of South Africa.
Annual sales held under the auspices of the
Santa Getrudis Society.
Joint Jocharl & Santarust Sale
14 August 2020
Don’t miss this opportunity to get your hands on Jocharl
Santa Gertrudis genetics, the product of 40 years of
Get more information
Considering cross breeding Santa Gertrudis!
Are you striving for is to be producing the biggest amount
of saleable beef from the grass growing on the farm?
More about cross breeding