Developed on the King Ranch located in the southern regions in the state of Texas, the Santa Gertrudis cattle are a tropical breed of cattle bred mainly for the production of beef.
The name of this particular breed of cattle was derived from the establishment of the King Ranch founded by Captain Richard King upon receiving the Spanish land grant.
In 1940 the United Stated Department of Agriculture formerly recognized the breed as the first cattle bred for the production of beef within the United States of America.
The Santa Gertrudis cattle breed was initially developed by the King Ranch by successfully crossbreeding the Beef Shorthorn, formerly from England and Scotland with the Brahman bulls which were bred within the United States and imported from India.
The resulting Santa Gertrudis breed cattle was observed to consist of 5/8 Beef Shorthorn and 3/8 Brahman. The King Ranch in 1918 acquired 52 Brahman bulls which were not pure breed to mate with 2500 Shorthorn purebreds. The American Brahman breeds during this period was nonexistent and pure-breed Brahmans were not available within the United States.
One of the Brahman bulls purchased during 1918 was known as Vinotero.
During this period the bull was used to mate with one of the Shorthorn breed cows which resulted in the birth of a bull Monkey in 1920. This bull effectively became the sire which would be used to establish the Santa Gertrudis breed cattle within the United States.
The birth of their new sire and the decision to introduce line breeding to their stock resulted in the development of a hearty breed of cattle to be used in the production of beef.
The breed was noted to have a distinctively red color along with a few characteristics typically observed in the humped or Brahman cattle and the Bos Taurus appearing polled and horned in some instances.
Aside from being seen as a source of high quality beef, the breed was also found to be excellent producers of milk, strong maternal instincts, tolerant to extreme heat, parasite resistant, and ease of calving.
The steers produced from this breed were seen as potentially easy to sell to be used as food often showing good weights and notable weight gains irrespective of the methods used in feeding.
The Santa Gertrudis Breeders Association was founded in Texas, Kingsville in 1950. The association today accepts fourth generation breeds of the Santa Gertrudis cattle to be effectively recognized as purebreds having been inspected and found to pass the requirements stipulated by the Standard of Excellence.
There are over 12,000 registered breeds of the Santa Gertrudis located within the United States of America.
The Santa Gertrudis cattle breed because of its ability to adapt to harsh climatic conditions were exported to Australia in 1951. Within a year after the foundation of the Santa Gertrudis Breeders Association the breeds were inspected and classified accordingly.
In1954 The Santa Gertrudis Association of Australia was formed. 1994 saw the establishment of the Santa Gertrudis Group Breed-plan in Anna Creek Australia which today stands as the largest cattle station of its kind raising the Santa Gertrudis breed.
The Santa Gertrudis breeds are often found as having a slick, smooth, and short reddish coat, sometimes with the underline being white in color.
Their characteristics bear a strong similarity to the Zebu breeds often referred to as the humped cattle or domestic Brahman cattle found in Southern Asia where they are bred as draught, oxen and dairy cattle. The hide of the Santa Gertrudis is loose with naval and neck folds.
The bulls are seen to have what is generally referred to as a slight Zebu-type hump with large to medium sized ears and can appear either polled or unpolled.
The female cows are highly fertile giving birth to small calves, allowing calves to be delivered without any difficulty or complications, a trait which is in high demand by cattle men and ranchers.
They are also observed to be seen as an excellent source of dairy products which allows the cows to wean a much heavier calf than other breeds. The average Santa Gertrudis cow will remain in her productive years well past her 12th birthday giving birth to her first calf at the age of two with the ability to produce an additional three calves when compared to other breeds.
As such the average Santa Gertrudis breed cow can remain within the breeding herd for as long as 18 years.
The carcasses produced from young Santa Gertrudis breeds are rich in muscular content with little or no fat. Steers which are older are also seen to produce a high grade of beef similar in characteristics and widely accepted by most premium world markets.
The Santa Gertrudis cattle breed has been established as one of the leading producers of quality beef within the United Stated and worldwide territories. This has resulted in the breed being used extensively in crossbreeding to provide some of the most outstanding results in cattle development.
Cattle men and ranch handlers interested in acquiring selective breeds of the Santa Gertrudis cattle for their herds can view available livestock including:
The Santa Gertrudis Bluebonnet Classic located in Hallettsville Texas, the Bluebonnet Classic Sale offers potential buyers the option to purchase some of the finest Santa Gertrudis female cows and a limited number of premium bulls on an annual basis.
Five Oaks Ranch located in Valley Mills, Texas is a family owned purebred ranch developing high performance polled cattle breeds. For the past 23 years they have offered Santa Gertrudis gain-tested and polled sires and females for sale through their annually held production sale.
The Corazon Cattle Company located in Albuquerque Texas operates with over 50 registered heads of female Santa Gertrudis breeds. Through their website owners can locate a wide range of cattle offered for sale.