Hereford-cattle ares one of the UK’s oldest native beef breeds, originating in the County of Herefordshire in the mid 1700’s, later spreading to most parts of the UK and the rest of the world. In Denmark, Germany and The Netherlands you will find more than 6.000 Pedigree Hereford-Cattle and more than 600 Breeders.
The advantage of Hereford-Cattle are:
For the Hereford breeders the animals are beautiful. They are Cattle with a natural character. The breeders like the type: A powerful well-proportioned animal with a height of 135 to 150 centimeter, the characteristic white face, the white line on the neck, the red coat and of course the well-muscled body.
A number of firm arguments
Starting with calving. The Herefords breed is known for easy calving. The birth weight is low, in general between 30 and 40 kg. In combination with the fine bone structure, in most cases it leads to calving without the need for help from the farmer.
Hereford cows are selected for their good milk production, resulting in an excellent growth spurt for their calves. Normally this results in weaning weights at 200 days of 270 kg for male calves and of 245 kg for female calves.
After the weaning period, the Hereford cattle grow well on a diet of grass and some minerals. Concentrates are not necessary.
The Hereford produces high quality ‘marbled’ meat with a good quantity from cheap forage: The average weight of bulls at an age of 1.5 years is 500 kg.
The quality of the meat is also high in animals of a greater age. Meat lovers state that Hereford meat from cows of 6 or 7 years still has a distinctive flavour, full taste and tenderness, which cannot be met by other breeds.
The Hereford cattle are famous for their good temperament. This eases management and operating, improves the growth rate and enhances beef quality.
Another big advantage of the cattle are their toughness and sustainability. Even during the winter a stable is not needed. E.g. in Canada Hereford cows calve during the winter season sometimes with temperatures of 20 degrees Celsius below zero and snow without any problems for the cows and their calves.
An expensive stable infrastructure is not needed to keep Hereford cattle during all seasons of the year. Dung depot problems are avoided.
Good examples are the private breeders and nature conservation organizations with their Hereford cattle which are used for the maintenance of the nature grasslands.
Health problems are almost not existent with this strong breed. The veterinarian is a seldom visitor on Hereford farms.