‘Choose good-quality Beefmaster bulls for heavier weaners'
Farmer's Weekly|March 12, 2021
Hal Budler, who runs the Budler Beefmaster stud in the Eastern Cape, says that breeding with top-quality bulls is the most effective way to improve weaning weights. He also strictly selects for maternal traits to produce adaptable and hardy Beefmasters.
Hal Budler

Hal Budler, a beef master breeder in the Tarkastad and Sterkstroom districts in the Eastern Cape, runs his Beefmaster stud and commercial Beefmastertype cattle on semi-sweet to sourveld. Budler has been breeding commercial Beefmaster-type cattle for the past 40 years. He registered his stud in 2009.

“We have had a closed female animal herd for 40 years and have used our own bulls and supplemented with bought-in bulls in a population genetics programme to improve the average of the herd continuously.

“We use our own bulls for one year and then we sell them at our annual bull sale in July every year. It’s a form of line-breeding to promote consistent true-to-type breeding,” he says.

“Forty-two years ago, I became frustrated with a crossbreeding programme that resulted in a 225kg average weaning weight and a conception rate of 80%, which happens to be the district average. I knew I could do better!”

After reading the philosophy of Tom Lasater, the founder of the Beefmaster, on breeding cattle, and attending lectures by Dr Jan Bonsma, Budler stopped the crossbreeding programme and began breeding Beefmaster-type cattle.

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