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-   -   Favourite cattle breed? (http://www.thecattlesite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4133)

Rhodie November 2nd, 2009 19:28

Favourite cattle breed?
 
What is your favourite breed or crossbred type of cattle?
Give your reasons and mention if you are, or have in the past owned or managed this type. Let us see if we can start a discussion on this topic.

joncowcare November 24th, 2009 13:23

Hi Rhodie,
My own personal favourite breed is the Brown Swiss.
I prefer large cows which considering my upbringing with the short, stocky Friesians and Shorthorns is probably surprising.
I like their temperaments, good all round health aspects, their higher than average milk/butterfat content and the way they hold themselves.
I used to show cows years back and although mainly used the HF's every now and then found a BS for the part.
I've managed herds up to 320+ size and while they were mainly HF there have always been a few BS thrown in for good measure !
Hope this helps ?
Jon

Rhodie November 24th, 2009 18:26

How do you find the Brown Swiss in your area? Do they milk well off grass, or does their size mean they need subsidising, especially in winter?

joncowcare November 25th, 2009 12:26

Hi Rhodie,
Here in the UK you may be aware that most herds are housed during winter and this means that they will be fed a TMR consisting of a base of grass/maize silage with soya etc. to supply the extra protein.
In summer they milk very well off grass but as with most breeds in the UK will be given a top-up in the parlour of 16-22% protein 'cake' depending on their stage of lactation/yield.
I should just explain that most farms here supplement their cows diet as the yields expected of them are just not possible off grass alone. [this goes for the large and small breeds]
It's not unusual to have a herd average yield of 7,200 and with some of the modern genetic based cows giving yields of 13-14,000 ltrs in their 1st lactation you will appreciate why supplements are needed ?
It probably explains the very tight margins we have to work to !
I hope this helps, how do you find them ?
Jon

Rhodie November 27th, 2009 19:03

Do you ever use composites of milk breeds to take advantage of heterosis and blending of different breed traits?
I saw several breef herds in Namibia using Brown Swiss to increase size and milking capacity in three way crossbreeding programs. The Bruinvieh is more commonly used being a beef type similar to the Brown Swiss, but there is a preference on the part of some cattlemen to use the 'Swiss. They do well in the dry climate with good quality natural forage throughout the year.

joncowcare November 30th, 2009 15:02

Hi Rhodie,
Ahhh . . . Hybrid vigour eh ? Well it has been used for centuries and it's why we have the massive cows we do today.
Take a look at the double-muscled Belgian Blue or Charolias beef breeds, on the dairy front we have the HF's, a mix of the short stocky Freisian with the lanky high-yielding Holstein.
It's interesting to know that the BS does well in your country, when you mention about natural forage would that be a rye-grass hybrid or some other grass like Timothy or one of the fescues or even legumes like alfafa ?
Thanks !
Jon

Rhodie December 4th, 2009 19:33

Jon, the native grasses and legumes of Southern Africa cover a wide spectrum of climate adapted grasses, some farms have irrigated pastures such as kikuyu or stargrass which are often oversown to ryegrass for winter grazing. Lucene is popular as an irrigated crop for hay or limited grazing.

Many exotic cattle breeds (British and European) are kept in the cooler regeons, and often as crosses over native cattle for F1 and terminal crosses, all dairy breeds are exotics. I bred Tuli cattle while living in North Carolina due to my experience of their fertility and easy keeping in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, I had self established Bermuda on my property there, the field was an old cotton field when I bought it with mixed, rough herbage, the rotational grazing resulted in the improvement in grass type and bio mass.

Luis, are you breeding the South Devon or the "Red" North Devon? I had some experience managing North Devons for a while, and have used the bulls in a grass finishing program.

dr_shafique79@hotmail.com December 6th, 2009 08:28

favorite breed or crossbred type of cattle
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rhodie
What is your favourite breed or crossbred type of cattle?
Give your reasons and mention if you are, or have in the past owned or managed this type. Let us see if we can start a discussion on this topic.


my favorite breed of cattle is SAHIWAL CATTLE of pakistan.it is beautiful high yielder and resistant to ticks. it is most preen and beautifully naturally decorated cattle of the world.

Rhodie December 6th, 2009 14:06

Do you farm the Sahiwal under intensive conditions on improved pastures, or are they more often on native grazing so utilising their adaptation to their environment? Are they usually kept mainly for milking, or are they considered a dual purpose breed in Pakistan?

joncowcare December 7th, 2009 11:25

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rhodie
Jon, the native grasses and legumes of Southern Africa cover a wide spectrum of climate adapted grasses, some farms have irrigated pastures such as kikuyu or stargrass which are often oversown to ryegrass for winter grazing. Lucene is popular as an irrigated crop for hay or limited grazing.


Hi Rhodie,
Interesting to hear about your forage and rotations, do you ever use your grass for silage or hay ?
Lucerne [Alfafa over here] is gaining in popularity for it's protein content but there have been some problems with bloat, is this an aspect of it you have encountered ?
Take care !
Jon


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