In South Africa, most beef calves are finished in feedlots and carcass weight is therefore a key factor when determining the price to be paid per animal. Carcasses that do not meet specifications are generally penalised. Genetic selection can be used to address traits such as undesirable carcass size or fat cover. For this reason, carcass traits should also be an important consideration when selecting beef cattle.
Determining carcass quality
The Boran Cattle Breeders’ Society undertook a test project to determine the growth and carcass quality of the Boran. The project was used to measure growth, carcass, meat quality, and conformation traits. The feed intake of individual bulls was also measured to determine their feed conversion and growth ability.
Feed conversion ratio is economically important because it quantifies feed efficiency – it, therefore, forms part of the breeding goals and selection criteria of breeders. It is here where the importance of the well-known phrase ‘You must measure to know’ really comes to the fore.
Meat quality is a vital consideration among consumers. Although environmental factors have a huge effect on meat quality, especially tenderness, the genetic basis of the end product should not be neglected as it also has a decisive impact on meat quality.
The tenderness of meat cannot be measured on a live animal, nor is it correlated with any of the other traits of the animal. Meat tenderness can therefore not be predicted by measuring any of the animal’s other traits. The only way to predict the tenderness of the meat is to measure the carcasses and to include information from genomic markers in estimated breeding values.
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Shongololo Boer Goat Stud: Only The Best Will Do
South African Boer goats have proven popular worldwide for their ability to improve indigenous goat breeds. In addition, Covid-19 restrictions necessitated the establishment of electronic auctions, making it easier for foreigners to acquire outstanding genetic material exported by agents via established channels.
Feed Additives: A Veterinary Perspective
In an already volatile environment, dairy profit margins vary as milk prices and feed costs shift annually. Feed costs represent the largest input cost (an estimated 35 to 70% of the variable cost) in the production of milk. As a group of feed ingredients, feed additives can cause a desired physiological response in a non-nutrient way, such as pH shift, growth or metabolic modifier, and will usually be cost-beneficial.
Guard Against Lumpy Skin Disease
Most parts of the country received good rains during the rain season and producers are generally very optimistic. Wet seasons unfortunately come with their own set of challenges and veterinarians have cautioned livestock producers to keep an eye out for elevated biting insect loads, which may lead to conditions such as lumpy skin disease (LSD).
Climate-Related Hazards: How Smallholders Can Mitigate Its Consequences
Rainfed crop production remains the main source of food security and livelihoods for rural communities in South Africa but presents the challenge of climate variability due to its high dependence on weather variables such as rainfall and temperature.
Tips for a successful AI programme
The success of an artificial insemination (AI) programme depends on several factors that are largely within the control of the producer. It is interesting that those producers who take a hands-on approach to their cattle and inspect them regularly are also the ones who achieve the greatest success. Before his passing, Stockfarm spoke to Koot Louw, a well-known reproduction technologist from Brandfort in the Free State, about his insights into and advice regarding the AI process.
Pay Attention To Orf In Your Flocks
Some of our readers may have treated or heard of sheep or goats that have been infected with orf (vuilbek).
Sanele Mbele: Where Passion And Skill Meet
Passion for farming runs strong in the Mbele family’s veins. Sanele Mbele, from the farm Rietspruit in the De Jagersdrift area near Dundee, has inherited this passion in huge dollops.
Land Reform: Case Studies In Kwazulu-Natal
Land reform in South Africa is complex. Land reform solutions are equally complex and within partnership and development models, this is no different – but there is hope. KwaZulu-Natal has several types of partnership models and the wide variation in farming systems, as well as their different needs, set each model up for different strengths and weaknesses.
Brahman Breeders In Limpopo Have A Winning Plan
Several breeders from the Bosveld Brahman Club in Limpopo are applying genetic excellence and genotypic correctness to stimulate the demand for their bulls. At several of the last auctions, the minimum standard of bulls was raised to achieve this goal.
A Brahman Dream Comes True
For as long as he can remember, JP Mlangeni wanted to be a farmer. It might have taken a few years, from being a teacher and later a businessman, but his dream finally took shape and today he runs a fully-fledged breeding and commercial Brahman farming enterprise in Mpumalanga.
Jimmy Butler seems to have finally found a home, and the Miami Heat are the better for it
Farming profitably on leased land
Richard Mashinini runs a flourishing commercial farm in the Free State. He spoke to Annelie Coleman about his education and the people who helped him succeed, and the uncertainty of farming on rented land.
A beginners' guide to auctions
Livestock auctions offer a relatively safe way for farmers to trade their animals, with a fairly low barrier to entry. Cornel Landman and Anton Vos spoke to Glenneis Kriel about factors that producers have to consider when participating in these events, and the administrative processes that need to be adhered to.
Feed conversion testing brings greater profits
More meat per herd per year is the golden thread that runs through a profitable cattle enterprise, and genetics play a crucial role in the herd’s advancement. While DNA testing is useful for genetic selection, it can’t determine feed conversion rates. This is where Phase D performance testing comes in. Lindi Botha reports.
CELEBRATING THE WILDERNESS
“Humanity can no longer stand by in silence while our wildlife and nature are being used, abused, and exploited.
In the frame
Everything you need for beautiful windows, selected by Amelia Thorpe
‘Use top-quality cows for commercial success'
Simmentaler stud owner Willem Botha from the eastern Free State says the quality of the breeding cows in a beef cattle herd is crucial to producing the best product and hence fetching the highest prices. This makes them a key component of profitability. Annelie Coleman reports.
Young carries Hawks past Bulls
LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Trae Young bounced back from a subpar outing to score 42 points as the Atlanta Hawks overcame Zach LaVine's 50-point performance with a 120-108 win over the Chicago Bulls on Friday in Atlanta.
JOSH'S BULLS ARE BAK IN BUSINESS!
BULLISH Hereford ensured their unpredictable season has at least one more chapter to write as a thrilling penalty shoot-out victory at the EBB Stadium took them to a first-ever FA Trophy semi-final.
Genetics forged in the Alps help Braunvieh excel in SA
Since its introduction to South Africa 114 years ago, the Braunvieh, with its good walking ability and non-selective grazing habits, has adapted well and can thrive under some of the harshest conditions in the country. Hans Bester and his three daughters run the Witbek Braunvieh stud on Sussiesdeel farm in Vrede, Free State, and spoke to Annelie Coleman about the advantages of this hardy breed.