In Africa, the humble cow is a symbol of wealth. The more cattle a man owns, the greater his wealth and status is within the community. Traditionally, indigenous cattle (Tuli, Nguni, Shona, Afrikaner) are exchanged as “lobola”, or “bride price”, and are otherwise kept alive for as long as is possible, only being slaughtered when unable to breed or produce milk.
The indigenous cattle will be the preferred choice for the Shangani Sanctuary, and farmers will be encouraged to cross breed for improved beef production.
Commercialization of the industry, upgrading for bigger size, faster growth and good marbling for beef consumption is done through cross breeding with imported Bos Taurus (Hereford, Sussex or Simmental) and Bos Indicus (Brahman or Beefmaster) bulls.
The indigenous breeds are naturally acclimatized to the Highveld conditions, successfully surviving droughts and hot, wet summer conditions, and have an inbuilt immunity to tick borne diseases and worm invasions. Cross bred cattle will retain this natural immunity.
The cattle will be herded during the day, and corralled – kraaled – at night, as is done traditionally.
Ecologically the cattle will take the place of buffalo within the Sanctuary, as they have similar grazing patterns.
Pezulu Abattoir will purchase at market value any cattle on offer. The value added for the Sanctuary farmer will be substantial as transport costs, auction commissions, and veterinary permits will not be required.
The cattle purchased will be inducted into the spacious, humanely operated feed pens, or go for direct slaughter.
A similar scenario is envisaged for sheep and goats.