Docile temperament with high fertility and maternal ability.
The Hereford breed is originally from the British county of Herefordshire. It is considered one of the oldest bovine breeds in the world, with evidence of its existence since 1562. These first Hereford breeders shaped their cattle with the idea of a high carcass yield and production efficiency, and thus firmly fixed those characteristics that remain today in the breed.
Beginning in 1742, with a Silver breed calf and two cows, Pidgeon and Mottle, inherited from his father’s property, Benjamin Tomkins, he is credited with having founded the Hereford breed. This happened 18 years before Robert Bakewell started to develop his theories on animal husbandry. From the beginning, Tomkins’ objectives were saving in food, natural aptitude to grow and gain from pasture and grains, rusticity, resistance, and precocity, characteristics that are still of paramount importance today. Hereford was the first English cattle to be recognized as a true breed.
The Hereford breed was introduced in Brazil by neighboring countries Uruguay and Argentina. In 1907, breeder Laurindo Brasil, from Bagé, inaugurated the Herd Book of the breed in the country, by registering the “Alfo” bull, imported from Argentina. However, before the official registration dates, many “pampas” crossed the fenceless borders between countries populating the gaucho fields. Since then, the breed has grown significantly in Brazil, especially in the southern states, where the climate is more similar to its country of origin. With its ancestral characteristic of great adaptability, it has become an indispensable tool in industrial crossing programs.
The modern Hereford is dark red to yellow-red, with white parts in its head and upper line, in addition to its dewlap and lower line. Herefords with white flanks and white marks below the knees and hocks are also common. Most animals have short, thick horns that normally curve on the sides of the head, but there is a trend for polled animals in North America and the United Kingdom.
Adult males can weigh up to 820 kg, while mature females can weigh around 540 kg. They are muscular, of medium to long length, good leg length, large size, with defined and smooth passages. They are also well developed in the areas of valuable cuts – loin and hindquarters.
These cattle are known for their vigor, their ability to feed on fodder, and their longevity. Many females live and produce calves over the age of 15. Bulls are able to remain profitable at 12 years of age or older.
Hereford animals will excel in various types of climate, such as in the snow of Finland, in the heat of northern Transvaal, will withstand the harsh climate and grazing of northern Uruguay or the subtropical areas of Brazil, and will continue to thrive.
Herefords are generally docile and fast growing, with good quality beef.
- Reproductive performance
- Feeding efficiency
- Optimal size and growth
- Proven superiority in confinement and carcass yield
- Low maintenance costs
- Ideal musculature
- Great maternal ability
- Adaptability and robustness
- Superior liveliness
- Good bodily conditions (maintenance)
- Crossing advantages