Bonsmara cattle are well-known for producing high quality beef. Originating in South Africa, the breed was scientifically bred and strictly selected for economical production in the extensive cattle grazing regions in sub-tropical climates.
History of Bosmara cattle
In the years before WWII, noted that British breeds did not have the required heat tolerance for the sub tropics and that the Afrikaner did not perform as well in terms of calving regularity. As a scientific experiment, Professor Jan Bonsma created the base of the breed through many cross and back-cross matings of the Afrikaner, Hereford and Shorthorn.
Strict selection of breeding animals lead to rapid progress, and within 20 years after the initial cross-breeding, a superior cattle breed was recognized. Named after Professor Bonsma and the farm that the animals were bred on, the Boasmara cattle breed proved itself to perform significantly better bushveld of the Northern Transvaal to other breeds. Weaning weights were about 20% higher than parent breeds and calf mortality was much lower than in the British Beef breeds.
Cattle breeders became increasingly impressed productivity of this adaptable, functionally efficient breed, resulting in the number of active breeders increasing from only 37 in 1970 to 450 today.
Bonsmara calves now represent roughly 45% of all birth notifications of Beef and Dual Purpose breeds. The sustained use of Bonsmaras has led to constant improvements in weaning weights (at 205 days of age) of cross-bred herds. There have also been studies showing good results for calving percentage, weights of heifers as well as veld and feedlot adaptability.
The Bonsmara is an excellent beef breed of choice due to being strictly selected for growth, fertility and functional efficiency – the economically important traits emphasized by the master breeders of the cattle industry.
The Bonsmara is red in colour. They are horned but are typically de-horned to conform with breed standards. Body conformation and traits have all been selected for to satisfy the commercial requirements of today’s international market.
Facts about the Bosmara:
• Well adapted to sub-tropical climate
• Calving ease
• High quality meat
• Calm temperament and easy handling
• Performance tested and inspected to minimum breed standards
• Suitable for use in cross breeding