To breed fertile, well adapted, economically efficient Bonsmara cattle:
This means female animals that fall pregnant at 12-14 months of age (earlier puberty) during a short mating season (63 days) and managed to deliver a calf every year with acceptable growth (doing well in feedlot and as a backgrounder) under natural veld conditions with a strategic lick supplement program.
Futhermore we strive to breed low input genetic’s in sync with nature. All our females must be profitable which we measure with the self develop GPI Index (Global profit index)
My belief is that any studbreeder must first be an effective, profitable commercial breeder. Our cattle must first be outstanding commercial animals before they can breed genetic’s for someone else.
The level of management were decided upon 25 years ago and I stick to it. That was natural veld with a phosphate supplement in summer and a maintenance lick in winter with the changes of the seasons. I also believe we must increase the stress levels under which the animals must perform to a level that create a 10-15% fall out. I believe this is the only way by which you can keep the level of your genetic’s improving.
I never up my management level to help poor performers “survive”. Rather find reason to cull than excuses to keep an animal in the herd. Under this management level the HANZYL BONSMARA breeding objectives are simple. A Dividend from every cow (from the age of 2 years) each year either a calve or herself. She must have a retention rate of > 50% after her 4th calf and must have a average GPI > 90. Firstly we try to identify the cream ASAP and to selct for fertility rather than against infertility.
Considering individual traits I mainly concentrate on the economically important once
- Birth DIR EBV = Breed AVE + (to low birth mass leads to to low WM)
- W Dir EBV = Above breed ave and W Mat on breed average or slightly below
- 365 day EBV on breed average
- Restiction on Shoulder height (size)
- Above ave scrotum circumference
If we are brutal on reproduction and as long as we don’t increase the input level nature will show us the ideal size. At the moment the cows that are the best performers regarding reproduction weigh’s around 480-510 kg at weaning. They manage to produce a calf that weigths 48% of their own body in > 400 days.