1.The Bonsmara cattle was bred by a professor by the name of Jan Bonsma of the Messina Livestock Research Station that's based in South Africa. Prof. Bonsma wanted to breed a breed that combined the calving ability of British breeds with the heat-tolerance quality of tropical breeds.
2.The name is of course derived from Professor Bonsma and the name of the farm where the breed was developed, Mara.
3.Bonsma experimented with breeding Afrikaner cows with five other types. Hereford and Shortthorn progenies of the Afrikaner cows were the most successful during performance trials. Results of the experimental breeding showed that weaning weights of the cattle at 240 days were 20% higher than those of the parent breeds at the same age!
4.Calving percentages were much higher among the mixed-breed progeny, and calf deaths were significantly less common than in other breeds!
5.The accepted genetic make-up of Bonsmara is now officially recognised as 5/8 Afrikaner and 3/8 Shorthorn or Hereford.
6.Nowadays, the Bonsmara breed is the strongest beef-producing breed in South Africa! They can adapt to most climates however; how would they do on your farm?
7.The thorough breeding work of Professor Bonsma has allowed for comprehensive pictorial genealogy of the breed to be available. The level of scale photography that exists for Bonsmara cattle means breeders can see the full journey of the breed from first experiments to final breed establishment.
8.Official Bonsmara cattle are usually branded on their right shoulders with a symbol unique only to the breed.
9.Aesthetically, the breed has been created to conform to commercial requirements of the modern beef market. They’re usually red in colour with standard body conformation.
10.Naturally, they are horned; however, being polled is a fundamental part of the breed requirement. This is something farmers may want to consider, as the dehorning process can be time-consuming and distressing for young calves.
11.tudies saw that Bonsmara cattle are docile and pleasant to handle. This is handy for one-person farms; however, it’s important to always be cautious around all bulls, regardless of breed!
12.Their meat is considered to be very high quality, and they’re efficient as beef producers in extensive cattle grazing situations. These beef qualities, as well as their fertility, are easily passed on when Bonsmara are crossed with other breeds.
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