Common Livestock in South Africa

Common Livestock in South Africa

Cattle and Goats

Breed Characteristics and Physiology
Afrikaner Muscular back and loins Preferred dam line Low to moderate maintenance Lateral twisting horns Small to medium frame
Bonsmara Adapted Preferred dam line High growth efficiency Superior carcass traits Medium to Large frame
Drakensberger Adapted Smooth black coat High fertility Low susceptibility to ticks Medium frame
Nguni Adapted to harsh climates Preferred Dam line Well-pigmented Low maintenance Small frame
Tuli Adaptability Fertility Popular crossbreeding Carries Polled gene Medium frame
Breed Characteristics and Physiology
Angora Relatively small Starts breeding in 1 year for bucks and 18 months for doe 1 kid per litter Require lots of fresh green pasture for grazing, and should be sheared in spring Weigh from 49.9kg to 101.6kg Good for breeding, fibre (Mohair) and pets
SA Boer Large in size Starts breeding in 7-8 months 1 to 2 kids per litter Require environment where they can forage Weigh from 89.81kg to 134.71kg Good for breeding, skin and meat
Kalahari Red Large in size Starts breeding in 1 year for bucks and 18 months for doe 1 to 3 kids per litter Can withstand most environments Weigh from 75kg to 115kg Good for breeding and meat
Savanna Medium in size       Weigh from 25kg to 30kg  
Saanen Medium to large size Starts breeding in 1 year for bucks and 18 months for doe 1 to 2 kids per litter Adaptive to most gardens and larger areas Weigh from 55.79kg to 84.82kg Good for breeding, milk, pets and shoes
Toggenburg Medium in size Starts breeding in 1 year for bucks and 18 months for doe 1 to 4 kids per litter Require a lot of space with a lot of fresh pasture Weigh from 54.88kg to 74.84kg Produce higher butterfat
British Alpine Medium to large size Starts breeding in 1 year for bucks and 18 months for doe 1 to 5 kids per litter Require more grazing space Weigh from 61.23kg to 77.11kg Good for milk, breeding and skin

Sources for further reading

Mapiye, C., Chikwanha, O.C., Chimonyo, M. & Dzama, K., 2019. Strategies for sustainable use of indigenous cattle genetic resources in Southern Africa. Diversity11(11), 2-14, available at https://www.mdpi.com/1424-2818/11/11/214/pdf

Abin, S., Theron, H.E. and Van Marle-Köster, E., 2016. Population structure and genetic trends for indigenous African beef cattle breeds in South Africa. South African Journal of Animal Science, 46(2), 152-156, available at https://www.ajol.info/index.php/sajas/article/download/137700/127263

Pienaar, L., Grobler, J.P., Scholtz, M.M., Swart, H., Ehlers, K., Marx, M., MacNeil, M.D. & Neser, F.W., 2018. Genetic diversity of Afrikaner cattle in southern Africa. Tropical animal health and production, 50(2), 399-404 available at https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Frederick-Neser/publication/320473206_Genetic_diversity_of_Afrikaner_cattle_in_southern_Africa/links/5ac49352458515564eaf6b2e/Genetic-diversity-of-Afrikaner-cattle-in-southern-Africa.pdf

van Marle-Kӧster, E., Pretorius, S.J. & Webb, E.C., 2019. Morphological and physiological characteristics of claw quality in South African Bonsmara cattle. South African Journal of Animal Science, 49(5), 966-976, available at https://www.ajol.info/index.php/sajas/article/download/191567/181740

Van Marle-Köster, E., Visser, C., Sealy, J. & Frantz, L., 2021. Capitalizing on the potential of South African indigenous beef cattle breeds: a review. Sustainability, 13(8), 1-10, available at https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/13/8/4388/htm

Visser, C., 2019. A review on goats in southern Africa: An untapped genetic resource. Small Ruminant Research, 176, 11-16, available at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S092144881930080X?casa_token=_HdNtyBkBSoAAAAA:ZwdYLDLCg56MhFzW0LY07JMgRXaBWQahJRQb634Qlz_bvBic8lcuBY-o1EYWooyYbjoiHOnoEA

Visser, C. & van Marle‐Köster, E., 2018. The development and genetic improvement of South African goats. Goat Science, 19-36, available at https://www.intechopen.com/chapters/56318

Irvine, K., 2019. Domestic animal Breeds, available at https://domesticanimalbreeds.com/

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