Santa Gertrudis Bulls have been used extensively in mid north coast herds and are delivering considerable weight gains in weaner calves.
This has been particularly the case in British breed herds – Hereford, Angus, Murray Grey etc where a high degree of hybrid vigour occurs.
Stokes Butchery at Wauchope have been using Santa Gertrudis bulls, from Geoff and Mary Butler’s Kamawa Stud, over their Hereford cows.
The calves have been going straight off the cows into the butcher shop, with no grain suppliment. Off coastal pasture, they are meeting Stokes’ very stringent standards – they are the right weight and top quality.
Stokes Wholesale have a reputation as the best butcher shop in the region – only selling the best quality meat from the best cattle.
The Santa crosses suit them as they have an ideal fat level and presentation with no compromise in good eating meat.
It should be noted that Santa Gertrudis were bred out of the best and largest British breed herds in the United States at King Ranch in Texas – an area where the climate is similar to much of Australia. They were named for the Spanish land grant where Captain Richard King originally established the King Ranch.
King Ranch retained two thirds of the British breed in the Santa Breed – they were determined to retain the top eating quality they already had, but to attain a degree of resistance and tolerance to heat, ticks and flies.
The sheer extent of the herds used and time taken, allowed them to produce a new breed with outstanding growth, and a thick solid frame and legs.
Santa cross weaner calves are frequently 50kg heavier than pure bred calves from the same cows.
Kamawa produces two tooth bullocks off coastal pasture 100kg heavier than our other breeds.
In addition to these weights Santa Gertrudis do not have calving problems, and Kamawa and the other Santa studs in our area have paid a lot of attention to docile temperament.
Buffalo fly and ticks are less of a problem and are more easily controlled.
Geoff and Mary Butler who have been breeding Santas for 28 years, have bulls for sale, mainly polls, at Kamawa Wauchope plus small numbers of heifers.