Nguni Cattle Advantages, Disadvantages, Facts, Weight, Milk, Origin

The Nguni is a Southern African cattle breed. They are a crossbreed of various Indian and later European cattle breeds that were introduced to Southern Africa by Bantu-speaking tribal groups (Nguni people) during their relocation to the North of the continent. The cattle breed is moderate in size and well-adapted to highveld grazing.

Nguni cattle belong to African Sanga cattle linked with the Negro/Bantu community of Africa's pastoralist cattle culture. Research shows that these cattle have attributes of both Bos taurus indicus and Bos taurus, indicating that they have a genetic makeup between these two species

Physiologically, they're different from both. Natural selection has undoubtedly influenced what they have become over many generations. The southward relocation of the Khoi people from the central lakes region of Africa brought the forefathers of the modern Nguni of South Africa into the country. These cattle are still noticed in areas where ancestors of the Nguni tribe's original groups settled, including Swaziland, Zululand, and Mozambique.

The Nguni was designed to be a draught animal, and still it is. It is becoming more common as a beef breed under good production practices. The regions in which Nguni livestock occur are the harshest and most disease-ridden areas in Africa. These areas are vulnerable to dry spells and other natural disasters that Mother Nature can throw at us occasionally.

    Nguni Cattle Advantages

    The cattle are heat and light-resistant, with densely pigmented skin hidden in fine short hair in a variety of color combinations (Black, white, red, brown, cream, and dun). Cows live long productive lives, producing ten or even more calves. Nguni cattle are thought to be less susceptible to dystocia due to their curving rumps, small uterus, and low birth mass. 

    They establish a high level of tick resistance and immunity to tick-borne diseases. The incidence of disease and mortality are both poor. They are great foragers, grazing and browsing on steep slopes as well as dense undergrowth. Nguni fatten well in both organic grazing and feedlots. The Nguni's historical evolution has ended in a breed with a strong personality and the mothering capacity.

    Nguni Cattle Advantages, Disadvantages, Facts, Weight,  Milk, Origin

    Nguni Cattle Disadvantages

    Nguni Cattle have no major disadvantage like some other native breeds of Africa. The only exception is that they are small to moderate size and have an average weight in terms of beef production.

    Nguni Cattle Facts

    Nguni cattle are medium-sized creatures with a wide range of colors and patterns. Their multicolored skin easily distinguishes them. Brown, black, dappled, golden yellow, spotty, or white are some of their colors and patterns.

    The humps on the cattle are tiny and almost non-existent. The bulls, on the other hand, have solid rather than fatty cervio-thoracic humps that are well-developed and rounded. Bulls and cows both have horns and always have black tips on their noses.

    Nguni Cattle Weight

    The average weight of cows is around 300-400 kg while the average weight of bulls is close to 500-600 kg. Calves have an average birth weight of 22.5 kg and wean at about 175 kg; they develop at a rate of 0.70 kg per day before weaning.

    Nguni Cattle Milk Production

    Nguni cattle are used for milk and meat production; they also serve important cultural and social functions. Although the Nguni's body structure seems to be more dairy than beef, it is primarily considered for beef production and work. The milk yield over 298 days was 1200 kg/lactation.

    Nguni Cattle Origin

    Nguni cattle originated in Africa around 8000 years ago and are descended from both Bos taurus and Bos indicus cattle. As tribes moved south into Africa, they brought their cattle with them. The cattle transformed into the sturdy breed known as the Nguni as a result of natural selection and ecological connection.

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