Farmer Pete had been looking on farmstock for cattle, just to keep an eye on prices, when he found a herd of about 20 Braford cows and calves for sale near Wondai, which is tick-free. So off we went to have a look at the herd. The owner wasn't actually sure how many cows were there (and they are very difficult to count, as they don't stand still). Eventually we made an offer which the owner accepted and so began the work to organise for the herd to come to Cheslyn Rise. This involved transferring the money, booking a transport company, preparing our yards with food and water and then finally, helping to load them on the truck. In truth we're still trying to figure out how many cows we have! We have 52 animals in total, and some of the heifers have turned out to be cows, so we think its now 25 cows, 23 small calves and 4 larger steers and heifers. We are still trying to watch them in the yards to work out which calf belongs to which cow, they don't stay together for long, the calves tend to run around and play together. We have a friend with a Braford Bull for sale, so he will be coming to the property when we are sure that all the cows have finished calving (so that we can have them all in calf at the same time).
The Braford breed is a consistent cross between Brahman and Hereford cattle, first developed in Australia in the 1940s. Brahman cattle are originally from India, they are from the Bos Indicus species of cattle, and coming from hotter areas they are better adapted to a hot climate and more resistant to parasites than the European Bos Taurus species. Brahman typically have a hump on their back, floppy skin around their necks, droopy ears and can be grey or red in colour. Hereford cattle are a traditional meat breed originating from England. They were bred on pasture and are known for high efficiency of feed conversion, high fertility, docility and moderate size. The gives the Braford the following characteristics:
- Temperament - docile and active, good foragers on pasture
- Calving ease - small calves at birth, with good weight gain
- Fertility & heat tolerance - high calving rate, even in hot weather
- Resistant to Eye Cancer, bloat & parasites - while these can be problems for Herefords, the addition of the Bos Indicus genes is reported to improve these conditions in Brafords.
- Taste - apparently they taste really good, we will find out for ourselves soon enough!
What do you think of our new cows?