Know your cattle: The Bonsmara breed

The Bonsmara is an outstanding beef breed, developed in South Africa.

bonsmara cattle
Bonsmara cattle were scientifically bred so that they could adapt to South Africa’s sub-tropical climate.
Photo: Wayne Southwood

The Bonsmara was bred at the Mara and Messina Research Stations under the guidance of Prof Jan Bonsma, who wanted to develop a cattle breed that was better adapted to South Africa’s subtropical climate.

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The first calves were born in 1943. N310 (Frits) was one of the first bulls to play a role in the breed’s early development.

He was followed by N406 (Edelvaar), who was followed by an outstanding son – T342 (Edelheer).

The Agricultural Research Council says the Edelheer line is the breed’s most dominant and sought-after line today.

Animals can only be registered with the Bonsmara Cattle Breeders Society if performance-test results are available.

No competitive showing is allowed and a breeder must register a minimum of 30 animals to qualify as a member.

Bonsmara beef is tender, tasty and succulent, with an even cover of fat.

For more information, contact the Bonsmara Cattle Breeders Society on +27 (51) 448 6084, e-mail [email protected], or visit bonsmara.co.za.

Source: Beef Cattle Management (ARC-Animal Production Institute, Irene).

This article was originally published in the 27 May 2011 issue of Farmers Weekly.