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Van Wyksdorp - Klein Karoo South Africa | 2015 (1)

Publication Date : 2015-05-03
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NGUNI CATTLE FARMING IN THE KAROO

If you’ve ever dreamed of a farm in the Karoo, and better still, one that allowed you plenty of leisure, family time and long cups of coffee on the stoep, consider Nguni cattle. Most of the cows have daunting sicklemoon horns, their defence against predators. Even the legendary super-jackals would think twice before tackling such a protective, well-armed mother. There are plenty of calves – and that’s the main advantage of owning Ngunis. They are far more fertile than any other breed. And because they haven’t been bred to have unnaturally large rumps, they give birth quickly and easily.

Nguni 2.jpg

And so it seems with the Nguni cattle breed – that it has always been with us: for as long as there were people in Africa, their lives have been intrinsically tied to their cattle. DNA evidence suggests that the Nguni descends from both Bos Taurus and Bos Indicus cattle and drawings and hieroglyphics from ancient Egypt show the multicoloured cattle with their lyre-shaped horns. 
 
Archaeologists date these Egyptian pictures to around 8000 years ago; since then, man’s unquenchable appetite for more land and open spaces drove him relentlessly southwards across the African continent. Africa must have had a great deal to offer ancient cattlemen, but the move also brought everything else that Africa could offer in terms of harsh weather conditions and disease. 
 
These cattle not only overcame, but the ones who got the genetic nod thrived under the African sun. Cattle became symbolic of man’s wealth and status and, as ancient man trekked south into Africa, his life, culture, language and entire existence revolved around and depended on his cattle.
 
This symbiotic pastoral and nomadic lifestyle brought the Nguni cattle to the banks of the Limpopo River around 2000 years ago. As the tribes split up to settle in different areas, distinctive cattle ecotypes developed, but they are still collectively known as the Nguni – the same name attributed to the tribes identified by this collective name. 
 
The Nguni breed is positioned ideally today to capitalise on environmental, economic, political and consumer trends. The fact that it lives in harmony within its environment and is therefore more resistant to disease than other breeds, makes it less dependant on pharmaceutical inputs, which in turn has a positive influence on the environment and removes a significant input cost. 
 
The Nguni breed is a symbol of the achievements of the ancient continent; refined by time, its genetic code sifted by the harshness of the continent, it seems, some say, that the Nguni has always been here. This resulted in a keen interest in the Nguni by the commercial farmers of South Africa, and the Nguni has now grown numerically to be the second largest stud beef breed in South Africa, with 31200 females older than two years recorded on South Africa's national database (Integrated Registration and Genetic Information System-INTERGIS) on 1 April 2010. (Extracts from Nguni Journal 2007 and 2011)

Article Courtesy of Kevin Watermeyer and www.ngunicattle.com

Also SEE http://karoospace.co.za/nguni-cattle-vs-sheep/

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Citation :

COPYRIGHT | vanwyksdorp.com | Klein Karoo | South Africa

KINGDOM / PHYLUM
Animalia, phylum Arthropoda
CLASS / ORDER / SUB ORDER
class Insecta
order Lepidoptera
Heterocera Rhopalocera
SUPERFAMILIES
Hesperioidea Hedyloidea Papilionoidea
Papilionidae, Pieridae, Lycaenidae, Riodinidae, and Nymphalidae
AUTHOR / COPYRIGHT
Author : James Smith
Photography : Dean Jones
Video : Malcolm Johnson
Copyright John Smith

 

ingdom Animalia, phylum Arthropoda, class Insecta, and order Lepidoptera. Generally, the order Lepidoptera is broken down into two sub-orders: Heterocera (the “varied-antennaed” moths) and the “club-antennaed” Rhopalocera, the sub-order to which the butterflies belong. The Rhopalocera sub-order includes 3 superfamilies: The true butterfly superfamily contains 5 families of butterflies: Papilionidae, Pieridae, Lycaenidae, Riodinidae, and Nymphalidae.

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