Nguni cattle

The breed from the past for a sustainable future, producing the most kilograms of beef per hectare at the lowest cost.

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Sales of Nguni Cattle and Semen

Nguni Cattle Experts

Nguni cattle can be classified under Sanga cattle, entirely an African breed made up of both Bos Taurus and Bos Indicus cattle ( classified as Bos Taurus Africanis). The first Sanga cattle originated around 1600 BC in the region that is now Ethiopia and Somalia. Rock paintings discovered in the Sahara desert estimated to be nearly 8000 years old depict Sanga like longhorn cattle.

The name Nguni refers to the present day Nguni people who migrated from the North of Africa with their Sanga cattle crossing the Zambezi to Southern Africa around 590 AD. Through natural selection and environmental interaction the Nguni cattle evolved into the breed we know today. Edwin Rous now breeds Nguni  cattle in NSW, Australia.

  • Exceptional fertility
  • Early sexual maturity
  • Ease of calving and excellent mothering ability
  • High resistance to internal and external parasites
  • Longevity
  • Placid temperament
  • Thrive on native pastures
  • Small birth weight calves (22-25 KG)
  • Bulls can be used to open heifers of different breeds.
  • Horned and polled animals
  • Ability to graze and browse
  • Exceptional meat and hide quality
  • The Nguni is a highly suitable dam line for cross breeding
  • Their high blood urea and rumen ammonia levels mean that Nguni cattle can utilise and convert low quality forage into protein without supplementing their feed.

My Nguni history

My grandfather Percy Graham farmed Aberdeen Angus cattle and later my father and mother Robin and Lyn Rous continued farming with black Angus cattle. My mother experimented in cross breeding using an Nguni bull in a terminal cross with our Angus heifers. We were so impressed with the progeny that looked like the Speckled Park cattle. In the early 90’s my brother Trevor and I started farming full time and as a result from the increased interest in Nguni cattle and the higher prices paid for pure animals we changed to a pure Nguni stud farming system.

We sourced a  broad genetic base throughout Southern Africa where my brother Trevor and I selected for smaller framed animals. We often travelled to many remote areas in acquiring our breading animals.  The smaller framed cattle came out of an area of Zululand called the Makatini where the grass was ‘sour’ and less palatable to grazing animals.  The smaller framed animals we found were able to produce a healthy calf often with less feed than a bigger framed cow. We strived to keep things as natural as possible and selected animals that were able to adapt to our farms in the Karoo with only rock salt as supplement.

In 2007 my farm was bought by the ANC government. I flushed embryos from some of my cattle and exported them to Australia. In 2008 my family and I moved to Australia and have finally settled with my Ngunis in the Gundaroo district of NSW. I have the same genetic base but find that the cattle are growing bigger and are doing exceptionally well with only a rock salt as supplement feed.

I believe Nguni  cattle are the cattle from the past for a sustainable future making them perfect for any program for grass fed ,organic or from paddock to plate.

Edwin Rous

Frequently asked questions

Where are Nguni Cattle from?

The name Nguni refers to the present day Nguni people who migrated from the North of Africa with their Sanga cattle crossing the Zambezi to Southern Africa around 590 AD.

What colours do Nguni Cattle come in?

Nguni cattle are the multi-coloured cattle belonging to the Nguni people of Southern Africa –The Xhosa, Zulu, Swazi and Venda people.

Why don’t you dehorn the cattle?

Horned animals have their hierarchy in the herd. Horns are used for thermo-regulation and cooling of the animal. Horned livestock are better able to defend themselves and their young from predators. It is historical to the Nguni cattle breed to have horned and natural polled animals coexisting with each other. Seeing patterned horned animals is pleasing to the eye.

Do Nguni cattle have calving difficulties?

As Nguni are an adapted breed,the cows have a sloping rump for calving ease ( this creates a bigger pelvic area). Calves have a birth weight of between 22-25 kg. So very few calving difficulties have been recorded.

Find out about sales of animals and embryos

Get in touch to find out more about Nguni, their fertility and resistance to diseases and how they can form an important part of your business.