The Bonsmara.  

Posted by Wyatt

For some of you guys your probably wonder what is a Bonsmara is, well today I am going to educate you on this breed of cattle.
As most of you know, my favorite breed of cattle is Hereford, not only because I have grown up with them but because of the Jr. Program. So what would you get is you crossed Hereford, Shorthorn and Afrikaners? well you guessed it, a Bonsmara. During the years prior to World War II a need was felt for a beef breed which could produce economically in the sub-tropical regions of the Transvaal and Natal. Not with standing their adaptability to the climate, the indigenous Afrikaner-type cattle did not have the desired growth potential, they were relatively late in reaching sexual maturity and many of the cows did not calve regularly. And the exotic British beef breeds available at the time performed well in the more temperate regions but could not keep up the same production in the hotter environment. They were also more susceptible to the tick-borne diseases which were prevalent in the sub-tropics. The Department of Agriculture consequently decided to test the performance of various cross-breds between the indigenous and exotic breeds on its experimental farms, Mara and Messina. Bulls of five British Beef breeds were used on Afrikanner cows and the progeny then performance tested. After pilot trials it was decided to continue only with the better performing Hereford and Shorthorn cross-breds. Ultimately three-quarter Afrikaners were mated to half-breeds to obtain progeny with 5/8 Afrikaner and 3/8 Hereford (thats right Hereford) or Shorthorn blood. 

So how did they get the name?  The name "Bonsmara" was derived from "Bonsma", the man who played a major role in the development of the breed, and "Mara", the farm on which the animals were bred.

he Bonsmara has been scientifically bred and strictly selected for economical production in the extensive cattle grazing regions of South Africa.
The Bonsmara has become so popular that it has grown to be numerically the strongest beef breed in South Africa in less than 25 years.

 So how did I come to know this breed, stay tuned and tomorrow I will let you in on the secret behind my experiences with them.

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 23, 2011 and is filed under , , , , . You can leave a response and follow any responses to this entry through the Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom) .


India is having huge population of Indigenous breeds of cattle, India is one of the fastest emerging economies today.It thereby opened doors for additional indusrties for Organic agriculture ,In other wors, agriculture was made too much industry dependent; organic fertilizer , pesticides , herbicides , fungicides , nematocides and so on..Organic livestock need to be produced by selective breeding of Indigenous cattle.
Livestock on organic nature some of the famous cow breed like Kankrej, Gir , shahiwal, Khilari and Dangi need the special attention for said concept.Cross breed from other countries will loss special good charactors of Indigenous Zebu cattle.

Thank you for the comment vedic Application in Agri-livestock-dairy. I know the importance behind breeding cattle that are from your country, and I can tell you that when the Bonsmara's came to Canada they struggled with the climate. Where as local cattle had no problems however I believe introducing other breeds some times introduces a stronger hybrid vigor, then other breeds that are found locally. Thanks for your input Wyatt


Many thanks.