Our main focus is not to change the breed, but to maintain the traits by selecting cattle producing the highest mass of beef per hectare.
It also implies that we aim for maximum kilograms meat for the amount of feed consumed, and with the lowest possible input cost.
Bulls are with the cows permanently for two reasons:
• To be as close as possible to the original natural environment
• Maximizing and identifying fertility of the females
After weaning, all male animals are evaluated to make a first cut on bull selection. Those that don’t make the cut are castrated. All males (bulls and oxen) will be put into the “berg kampe” and a second selection for bulls is made within the first 12 months. Due to the sentiment of feedlots towards Nguni’s, oxen are kept on the veld until they reach a weight on the foot of at least 400kg and then slaughtered.
Between fifteen and twelve present of females are selected annually for replacement females and the rest put up for auction. Any animal showing temperament problems, even after weaning and branding, are either culled or used for terminal cross breeding. All cattle are weighed monthly. This allows a close inspection of every single animal on a monthly basis.
Changes in weight could be evaluated on the spot. Feeding issues could be investigated and addressed if necessary. The Afrikaans saying “ jy moet meet om te weet” is true. During the past few years a wealth of information has been gathered and used to adapt the management and business approach.
Some of these findings will be published on the Toverveld WEB form time to time to share with other farmers and also to get feedback and input from them.
Since 2014 Toverveld participated in the genetic evaluation of its herd. From time to time bulls and cows from other Nguni studs will be purchased to introduce specific genetic traits. The genetic as well as visual evaluation of the cattle will be the consideration in our selection criteria.