Chosen for their hardiness under the tough African conditions and for their profitable production reputation, the Beefmaster cattle, is the selected choice for the Alzu Stud.
Beefmaster cattle are used as a mother line in the breeding program for reasons of survival, fertility and longevity, with a 90% conception rate contributing to the success of the breed.
Alzu Beefmasters' bulls have a higher weaning weight and more profit
Buying a bull isn't all that
difficult. The secret lies in buying
a bull that can add real value
to your business. And value
addition is indeed what Alzu
Beesmasters focuses on.
Leon du Toit, a member of the
well-known Du Toit family from
Alzu Farm near Middelburg in
Mpumalanga and manager
of Alzu Beefmasters, says:
"We take the guesswork out of buying a
bull and provide a performance-tested,
commercially orientated Beefmaster
packed with the desired genetics that can
take your business to another level."
Alzu Beefmasters originated in 2005
from a Tuli X Angus cow herd base. They
then used Beefmaster bulls to optimise
weaning weight and to increase the
profitability of the Alzu Farm's cattle branch.
"The Beefmasters achieved this
objective and our weaning weights
improved by 30%. These results gave rise to
High weaning weights
Leon says the most important trait in
their selection is high weaning weight,
but coupled with low birth weight. The
herd's average birth weight is 33kg and the
average weaning weight, including heifers
and bulls, is 265kg.
"The Beefmaster is an exciting new
breed that has not yet been discovered by
commercial farmers. However, if I look at
what the Beefmaster has done for Alzu, the
profitability aspect is amazing."
Together with the weaning weight
trait the breed's other inherent traits are
hardiness and adaptability, as well as good
Leon manages Alzu Beefmasters
according to his so-called "five commands"
which involve the following:
• First commandment: Only select according
to Tom Lasater's six essential
traits on which the breed was originally
built. They are temperament,
fertility, weight, conformation, milk
production and hardiness.
• Second commandment: Strive for reproduction
• Third commandment: Do performance
testing in a controlled environment.
• Fourth commandment: Use direct
selection. In other words, select for the
desired trait. Don't play with combinations
that could end up highlighting
only certain traits.
• Fifth commandment: Utilise nature's
The ideal Alzu Beefmaster
According to Leon, the ideal Alzu
Beefmaster bull is precocious and wellmuscled,
with a loose skin, a smooth coat
and a medium sheath. The bulls must be
able to walk strongly and show vibrancy,
which is a good indication of high libido.
"When it comes to type, I prefer a bull
that is more inclined towards Indicus, with
a smooth coat, but complemented by
Taurus muscling. We have a bull for every
taste. Some of our bulls are more inclined
to Indicus and some to Taurus.
"The cows in the Alzu herd are mediumframed
animals, but they easily wean calves
weighing more than 50% of their own
body weight. When you think about Alzu
Beefmasters, you think of better weaning
weights that lead to added profits. This is
what we stand for."