By Wayne Southwood

Eloff Muller made the decision of a lifetime when he changed to Boran cattle. He is mainly a Merino sheep and Boran cattle farmer in the Mossel Bay district. He farms extensively on veld that varies from sour in the rocky mountain areas to sweet veld nearer to the coast. It is a hard part of the country to farm in. The rainfall is between 400 to 650 mm per year, that is not reliable.

Before changing to Boran cattle, he was farming with a large framed European breed for 40 years. Eight years ago he did some experimenting with the Nguni in the harsh mountainous parts of the farm and he was pleasantly surprised by the results. Producing beef is all about kilograms or profit per hectare for Eloff. The smaller framed indigenous breeds turned out to be more hardy and effective under his farming conditions.

A year ago Eloff sold all the large framed European catle and replaced them with Boran, which he said had all the qualities of the other indigenous breeds, and even more.

Eloff said that the really successful stud farmers are only the top 3% of breeders, and that is where he aims to be. He has therefore bought the best possible genetics so as to be ahead of the bunch. He has bought from the Keta Boran stud of Mr Terry Mclintock of Vryburg, 65% of Ellof’s cattle originate from Kenya, 22% from Zambia, and 3% from Zimbabwe and the rest own breeding. Eloff has spent a lot of money acquiring the best cattle possible and this is clearly seen when walking through the herd.

Eloff has two of the top stud bulls in the country; TLM 02 12 is one of the main stud bulls that come out of K6 2459 from the famous Mogwooni herd and out of a Segera cow in Kenya. Eloff had some cows of this bulls breeding, and he could see how well he was breeding. He has good length of body, good sheath and testicles as well as good pigmentation. This is also a deep and well muscled bull with great width.

He is one of a kind says Eloff.

TLM 02 11 is the other main stud bull. He is from the Ol Pejeta line and also out of a Mogwooni cow from Kenya. On the sale where Eloff obtained most of his cattle the TLM 02 11 embrio calves (of which there was almost 70) stood out by far amongst the others. This was the main reason why Eloff decided to buy and to use him as a stud sire in his own herd.

Why Eloff went for Boran

The cows ability to wean up to 69% (Boran average is above 50%) of the mother’s mass at 205 days. His cows average around 450kg. The bull calves wean at 55.8% and the heifer calves wean at 51.6% on 205 days. The National average for SA beef breeds is 45.2%

They handle the harsh conditions well and get into calf sooner.

They are well adapted and efficient.

Temperament, herding instinct, tick resistance (his cattle has up to today never been put through a dip), good pigmentation and strong eyebanks.

The cows are low on maintenace and this is the direction that farmers are going to nowadays.

The Boran has incredible hybrid vigour when crossed with any breed. It has the ability to put meat in the right places and produces an animal that is deeper, wider and with more spring of rib.

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