About Bushkloof Ngunis
Our Nguni herd was started in 2001 & runs extensively on the farms Merino & Richmond in the Fort Beaufort district of the Eastern Cape. These properties could be described as classic Eastern Cape valley bushveld, consisting of a density and variety of edible browse species & to a lesser extent sweet grasses. The succulent valley bushveld and rugged terrain provides diverse habitats & boasts an abundance of game including Bushbuck, Duiker & Kudu. Our Nguni are as much a part of the environment as any of as any of these animal species, they are very good foragers and graze and browse on the rugged slopes as well as in the thick bush.
Rainfall is variable from year to year with relatively dry winters. The area is semi- arid and is prone to droughts and other realities that nature throws at us at various times of our farming lives. Even under these conditions our feeding and supplementation costs have been kept to an absolute minimum.
Our area is one of the most disease-ridden tracts of Africa and is a heartwater endemic area. We also have incidents of redwater and gallsickness. Since farming with Nguni cattle mortalities have been kept comparatively low. Our cattle have developed an excellent resistance to ticks and an immunity to tick borne diseases, they are seldom dipped & the consequent cost of dipping has been greatly reduced, however hand dressing of udders & other softer areas of the animals body is done on a regular basis to protect from damage done specifically by the bont tick.
Our breeding herd comprises of about 90 cows. We do not adhere to a specific breeding season, however we do find that most of our calves are born in spring to early summer. Single sire mating is done & dams are specifically selected to run with certain bulls. Unrelated bulls are used on each generation.
Our aim is to produce a medium to small framed animal, which will have a long productive life, by producing & raising calves yearly. They must also be easily adaptable to our extreme conditions & at the same time conform to the standards of the breed society.
Our herd originates mostly from Morgan bloodlines & initially embryo transfers were done to maximize the genetics from top producing cows which were purchased. A variety of herd sires have been used from across the country, including LEB00 115 (Rusty) who was used extensively in the herd until 2008.
Vernon & Julie Sparks
Cell: 083 277 0762
Tel/Fax: 046 645 1514