About Qhina Ngunis
Qhina Ngunis was started in early 2004. Our cattle run near Fort Beaufort in the famous Smaldeel area of the Eastern Cape. This ground forms part of the well known 45000ha Kat River Conservancy and apart from cattle carries an abundance of wildlife.
Veld type and Climate
The veld is predominantly Eastern Cape False Thorn Veld. Average annual rainfall is about 450mm. This falls mostly in summer when the mercury can get well above 40 degrees C.
This area is fantastic cattle country, provided that the breed you keep can survive severe periodic droughts, high parasite levels their associated diseases.
Our cattle run on virulent Heart water, Gall sickness and Red water veld. Dipping either by plunging or spot treatment is done when necessary so as to prevent tick damage. Cattle are immunised annually against black quarter, anthrax and botulism as well as BVD and IBR.
From the outset we have focused on acquiring only top quality Ngunis.
Females – The first of the 140 Qhina cows came from the dispersal of Mr. Victors Biggs’ herd. We have since bought cattle from many of the top herds in the country.
Sires – Currently our two main sires are LP 03-94 and FF 04-55.
We make use of two 90-day breeding seasons (Nov to Jan and May to Jul). Single sire mating takes place during these periods after which the bulls are removed from the cows. Heifers are mated between 15 and 18 months and all females are expected to calve and rear a good calf, annually or be culled.
Our Ngunis are strictly selected to be functionally efficient based on the following factors.
General appearance – Animals must be well balanced and perfectly adapted with a smooth tick resistant hide and docile temperament. Bulls must be strongly masculine and females beautifully feminine, both with strong muzzles.
Conformation – We look for a medium framed animal that is correctly proportioned. Strong emphasis is placed on beef qualities.
Growth – We want normal birth weights and rapid growth in all progeny. Heifers must reach a mate able weight between 15 and 18 months.
Production – This is based on fertility (ICP and age first calf), milk production (weaning index) and growth of calves through to 18 months (12M and 18M indices).
We believe that, over time, we can improve our herd’s potential to produce beef, without detracting from its other desirable traits, (fertility, disease resistance, ease of calving etc.) by selection based, in part, on performance data. The best way to measure a dam’s milk production is by recording weaning weights and comparing weaning indices. Any calf performing at 10% below average is culled. In most cases the dam is also culled. Performance based selection is again done at 12 and 18 months so as to be able to compare growth of the calves and the growth potential of future calves of the dams and sires in our herd. Here the extremes on both sides of average are removed from the herd.
It is by culling the under-performers that we will improve our beef production.
By culling the extreme performers we will maintain our desired frame size, fertility, disease resistance, efficiency etc. that we chose the Nguni for in the first place.
Our objective is to breed medium framed, well fleshed, highly fertile, highly efficient, and disease resistant cattle so as to supply replacements for our own herd and those of fellow Nguni breeders.
Glenam and Nicky Knott
Cell: 083 236 6573
Tel/Fax: 046 645 2914