Categories: Cattle

Keeping Sussex cattle healthy

The Sussex breed’s strong prepotency in terms of muscling, fertility and adaptability makes it the ideal beef breed choice for Namibia’s extensive farming conditions, says Cobus van der Merwe, a Sussex breeder farming in eastern Namibia.

St Blaize, owned by Cobus and Angie van der Merwe, is situated 30km south-east of Gobabis, Namibia.

“Our core business is breeding genetically superior Brahman and Sussex cattle that are functionally efficient, adaptable, fertile and calm,” says Cobus. “We aim for outstanding beef quality, backing it up with accurate goal-orientated performance testing.”

In order to maintain cattle health, the St Blaize stud herd receives a phosphate lick all year round with an additional protein lick in winter. The only cattle on St Blaize to receive additional supplements are bulls being prepared for the annual production sale.

Cattle are inoculated against anthrax, black quarter and botulism, while heifers are also inoculated against brucellosis. All receive Multimin and Vitamin A injections every four months.

Cobus rotates a pour-on and spray dip to treat ticks and other external parasites, varying the active ingredient to prevent resistance build-up. Sale bulls are inoculated against lumpy skin, rabies, bovine viral diarrhoea and infectious bovine Rhinotracheitis, and are tested for trichomoniasis and vibriosis.

The St Blaize herd is kept on the veld with no additional feed except the usual summer and winter licks.

Anaplasmosis is the main disease affecting the stud. “The Sussex, like other European and British breeds, are not as resistant to tick-borne diseases as the indigenous and Bos indicus breeds are,” explains Cobus. “But strict selection has improved our herd’s resistance to anaplasmosis. To feed a growing population, increasing production and productivity through improved genetics is essential.

The only way to achieve this, according to Cobus, is to breed and supply genetically superior prototypes to commercial cattlemen to improve the long-term sustainability and profitability of their herds.

Extracted from ‘St Blaize Sussex: investing in good genetics pays’ by Annelie Coleman (FW, 22 August, 2014).

Published by
Caxton Magazines
Tags: animal health livestock diseases Namibia Sussex cattle

Recent Posts

  • Caxton
  • South Africa
  • Use only text

Double life sentences for farm attackers welcomed

The double life sentences recently handed down to six convicted farm attackers by the High Court in Vryheid have been…

12 hours ago
  • Caxton
  • South Africa
  • Use only text

‘Agriculture department to focus on reform, market access’

The newly formed Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development under the leadership of Minister Thoko Didiza, is still…

14 hours ago
  • World

US farmers brace themselves for further crop damage

Farmers in the US have expressed concern about the hot, dry conditions currently being experienced, which comes shortly after the…

1 day ago
  • Agribusiness
  • Featured Home Image

How African superfoods inspire local agripreneur

Indigenous African ingredients and food traditions are underrepresented on the local and international markets. Black Umbrellas Global Entrepreneur Week 2018…

1 day ago
  • Caxton
  • South Africa
  • Use only text

OVK increases turnover despite ‘challenging conditions’

The agribusiness, OVK Group, has announced an increase of 8, 55% in turnover for the 2018/2019 financial year compared with…

2 days ago
  • Featured Home Image
  • Letter from the editor

How to turn Africa’s food fortunes around

Should African countries fail to increase food production and processing to become at least partly self-sufficient, it will be one…

3 days ago