The Santa Gertrudis breed was named after the location where it was developed, the Rincon de Santa Gertrudis land grant in Kingville, Texas. The breed descends from a cross of a carefully monitored cross of Shorthorns and Brahmans since 1910. The Santa Gertrudis, 5/8 Shorthorn and 3/8 Brahman, was recognized as a purebred in 1940. Because of its adaptability to all types of weather, from hot and humid to desert conditions, the Santa Gertrudis is raised in many places from Canada to South America, and is used in various crossbreeding programs worldwide.
Appearance / health:
The Santa Gertrudis cattle are solid cherry red in color. Because of the dark color and Brahman skin (thick hide with sweat glands, complete with loose folds of skin around the neck and chest), they are heat and tick resistant. The body is well muscled, providing quality beef; mothering ability, calving ease, excellent weight gains, and quality milk make the breed a favored livestock.
Like other livestock, cattle require regular vaccinations and inoculations (for example, rabies inoculations) for disease prevention and health management. Similar to other mammals, cows can suffer a variety of ailments and health issues. A veterinarian should be on call and provide regular checkups and monitoring for the entire herd.
Behavior / temperament:
Cattle are docile animals that have strong maternal instincts. They are big and bulky, and could, therefore, inflict harm without intending to. Handling and brushing them constantly while juvenile will help train them to be calm and trusting around humans, which is helpful especially when they need to be attended to by the veterinarian or groomer.
Housing / diet:
Housing for cattle is essentially to give them shelter from extreme weather conditions. Barns, rub-in sheds, stalls, and other structures like windbreaks, should be available where the cows graze. Aside from manmade shelters, trees and tall bushes can provide resting places for cattle to minimize heat stroke or wind chill.
Shelters will give the cows the option to seek safe haven from strong winds, extreme heat or cold, and heavy rains. Shelters should be strong, stable, spacious, well ventilated, and waterproof. Barns should be provided with water supply, and stalls should be lined with hay. They should also be cleaned regularly.
Sprinklers and other cooling systems are recommended for areas that overheat during summer months. Professional and humane fencing should be provided. All poisonous plants should be removed from the pasture; and hay should always be kept dry (wet hay grows molds, becoming a health hazard for cows).
A good quality pasture for grazing is the basic dietary requirement of cattle. The recommended pasture size per cow is 10 acres, without which, the diet should be supplemented with hay. The recommended quantity of hay is an average of 2% of the animal’s body weight per day (or 2 lbs. of hay per 100 lbs. of body weight). Supplements include grain mixes, protein and mineral cubes, and salt blocks, depending on the type of cow, its uses, and the local climate.
Providing a constant supply of fresh water is essential. An adult cow consumes an estimate of up to 20 gallons of water per day.
good forager, nice red coat, harsh environments, prime beef cattle, resistant breed
occasional temper issues
Good Beginner Breed, regular checkups, awesome nursing ability, salt block
A Good Beginner Breed
This hybrid breed is easy to raise. If you want to grow a herd quickly, raising either pure Santa Gertrudis or cross-breeds will speed things up, since they are incredibly fertile.
They can also throw healthy calves for many years, and they throw them like magic. I ONLY witnesses one birthing issue with the Santa Gertrudis, and that was due to a pelvic deformity that no one was aware of until too late.
Once the calves are born they thrive on the rich milk and can gain several pounds a day. At market age, these cows weigh heavy but have lean meat, making them excellent beef cattle. When crossed with other beef breeds the quality of the meat just gets better.
A perk for many who raise cattle is that this breed is tolerant of both heat and cold. They need very little special care, and are easy to handle. The bulls can be a bit leery of strangers though, and aggressive if approached without caution. The cows however are fairly docile unless they have calves. Those with horns tend to be more aggressive and can even be dangerous. When crossed back to a tamer breed such as Angus they lose this aggression quickly.
Despite the occasional temper issues, I recommend Santa Gertrudis to beginners due to how easy they are to raise. You can quickly build a hardy, healthy herd of prime beef cattle that will reward your efforts immediately.
They are not the most attractive breed however, so if you are looking for something showy and plump, you might want to try a Hereford or an Angus. The Santa Gertrudis tend to be bowlegged with slight humps. But if you don't mind a field full of waddling hunchbacks, you will probably be happy with this breed..
From JKinsey Mar 3 2014 7:39PM
A great Texas breed, especially for those just starting out with cattle.
Being that I was raised in Texas, my opinion of the Santa Getrudis (which was created on the King Ranch and was also America's first beef cattle breed) might be a little prejudiced, but I think the benefits of the breed speak for themselves, especially for folks just starting out with cattle.
They're an incredibly tough, hardy, and resistant breed, being able to flourish in harsh environments as well as being resistant to heat and parasites. In addition to Texas, they've flourished in other inhospitable environments such as Australia.
In addition to being tough, they're an incredibly beautiful breed. They're cherry red coloring makes them stick out in a herd, and they a great show animal for kids involved in clubs such as the Future Farmers of America.
Finally, if you're just starting out with cattle and you want to put one in the freezer for the family, they're an excellent beef breed that's easy to raise and corral. They are undeniably one of the most unrecognized breeds out of cattle we ever raised..
From mshawnkirby Jul 30 2015 2:37PM