Zim indigenous cattle breeds on sale at ADMA

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-Inaugural Zimbabwe National Indigenous Cattle Breeds Sale on Africa Day

-Tuli, Mashona and Nkone on sale

By Conrad Mwanawashe

ZIMBABWE’S largest agricultural expo, ADMA Agrishow, will this year introduce the inaugural Zimbabwe National Indigenous Cattle Breeds Sale on Africa Day.

Zimbabwe’s three indigenous breeds, the Mashona, Tuli and the Nkone, are doing “so well around the world and not only in Zimbabwe,” according to Mark Hook, Chairman of the Zimbabwe National Indigenous Breeds Sale. Hook is also Chairman of the Nkone Cattle Breeders Society of Zimbabwe.

ADMA is running from May 23-25 2024 at the Agricultural Research Trust (ART) Farm, in Pomona Harare, Zimbabwe.

“The rest of the world is learning about our African indigenous breeds, how hardy they are, tick resistant and how fertile they are, and their longevity. Longevity is a big thing in the cattle industry. You don’t want to keep replacing your cow with heifers and our Zimbabwean breeds live a long time and are very fertile,” said Hook.

The ADMA Agrishow is where all major agricultural dealers and
manufacturers come together to showcase their products on offer in Zimbabwe

“We tied in with the ADMA Committee to get livestock back into the show so we’re working together. We thought this is the ideal opportunity to get the indigenous breeds on the map and have their own sale.

“We encourage you to the cattle section at ADMA. The national indigenous breeds inaugural sale will be at 10am on May 25th, on Africa Day and it’s quite fortunate that we’ll have our Zimbabwe Indigenous Breeds sale on Africa Day. We’re welcoming you to come and learn about our own Zimbabwean breeds,” said Hook.

The Tuli

Jan Kageler of Oldonyo Tuli Stud will be bringing a bull and five heifers to the indigenous breeds sale.

“These are five golden heifers. They are two years old and are already pregnant. I’m prepared to sell them to someone who wants to start up or wants to add to the Tuli herd because I’ve the cows that bred these and I can breed some more next year,” said Kageler.

“It is good news that we have three Zimbabwe breeds at the ADMA Show for everyone to see.
We all have a big thank you to ADMA show for allowing us to
bring our cattle here showing our indigenous breeds, the Tuli, Mashona and the Nkone.

Tuli cattle result in very high-quality beef, renowned for its flavour, tenderness, juiciness and excellent marbling.

Robust, sturdy and steadfast, these amazing, beautiful animals can well withstand our often-harsh climatic conditions and thrive, regardless, producing great meat and milk.

The Mashona

Maree Osborne, Chairperson of the Mashona Cattle Society of Zimbabwe is upbeat about the indigenous breeds sale.

“Come and have a look at what the real Mashona looks like and chat with the owners and you get a feel for what the Mashona can do for you. All good cattlemen have an element of Mashona in their herd,” said Osborne.

The Mashona is highly resistant to physical tick damage and infection with tick-borne diseases and the same characteristics repel flies and other biting insects, with the high quantity of sebum secretion also helping to repel insects.

The small size and low metabolic rate of the Mashona is to great advantage. Highly adapted to adverse nutritional circumstances, survival and production even in dire conditions are superior to larger breeds, with maintenance requirements of cows being lower.

With their small size and mobility, their ability to forage even when temperature and
UV radiation are very high, and their durable teeth,
Mashona cattle are very efficient, selective grazing animals.

The Mashona is docile and its relatively small body size further facilitates handling and management. Under ranching conditions, herd and maternal instincts are well developed.

Females graze in groups which allows for more efficient use of bulls in the breeding season. At calving time, a few matrons guard the calves in a nursery area while their dams are grazing, protecting them and warning the rest of the herd if danger threatens. Bulls take naturally to single sire herds and exhibit good herd control.

The Nkone

The Nkone are multi coloured, horned and between the Mashona and Tuli in size. Their multi coloured hides were favoured by the warlike Nguni tribes (Matabele and Machangana), each fighting regiment had its unique cowhide shield colour-pattern from selected herds.

The Nkone Cattle Club was formed in 1966. The name was changed to the Nguni Cattle Society in 1999 which ceased to function around 2005. The society was resurrected as the Nkone Cattle Breeders Society of Zimbabwe in 2020 and the Nkone breed is again increasing from virtual extinction.

“It’s the first time ever there’s solely and indigenous breeds sale. It’s a national sale and if anyone wants to start up with cattle or to improve their cattle, these are the breeds to go for,” said George Hulme, Vice Chairman of the Nkone Cattle Breeders Society of Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwe National Indigenous Breeds Sale is sponsored by Fivet, which offers management support and quality products aimed at increasing the profitability, sustainability, and efficiency of its diverse portfolio of livestock and poultry farmers.

Fivet’s management support includes on-farm biosecurity and vaccination audits,
herd health planning and monitoring, on-farm technical training,
veterinary investigation and tailor-made recommendations.

Product range covers all aspects of animal production including, disease prevention products, therapeutic drugs, sanitisers, environmental control products, equipment and instruments, a wide range of nutritional basemix, lick block feed products and supplements.

“We would also like to thank our partners, Fivet, who have given us a lot of sponsorship to promote this sale and also they are going to help all the exhibitors with feed for the week that animals are going to be there,” said Mark Hook the Chairman of the Zimbabwe National Indigenous Breeds Sale.

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