The first beef breed developed entirely on American soil, the Santa Gertrudis is nicknamed “America’s original beef breed!” It’s easy to see why these cattle are so popular with ranchers everywhere! Santa Gertrudis Cattle are hardy, and thrive in hot and humid climates. They are easy to manage, and are resistant to most parasite-borne diseases.
Because of their general hardiness, Santa Gertrudis Cattle do very well when simply turned out to graze! It is often said that Santa Gertrudis Cattle are the heaviest of the beef breeds. They are indeed massively built, and show a hint of the Bos indicus hump worn by their ancestors! The modern Santa Gertrudis pedigree includes 5/8 Shorthorn blood and 3/8 Brahman blood, and the cattle are a deep, bright, cherry red in color.
On occasion, Santa Gertrudis Cattle will show small white marks on the face or flanks. Their bodies are deep and long, well muscled and powerful. Their loose skin, especially in the navel, brisket, and neck areas, characterizes their Bos indicus descent! Used strictly as beef cattle, Santa Gertrudis have high quality meat, good carcass yields and high feedlot gains!
They are very hardy, and resistant to insects and sun in addition to heat and humidity! Developed on the King Ranch in Texas, Santa Gertrudis get their name from the general area around the ranch, the Rincon de Santa Gertrudis! In 1910, Tim O’Connor donated the first Brahman-Shorthorn cross to the King Ranch.
Years of experimentation with crossbreeding these two types of cattle resulted in Monkey, a red colored bull who became the sire of the entire Santa Gertrudis line! Monkey’s offspring were acknowledged as a completed purebred in 1940, and since then the performance of Santa Gertrudis beef cattle has impressed farmers everywhere.
Over 283 herds of Santa Gertrudis are registered in the herd book, and breed standards are very strict! Because they are so hardy and fast growing, Santa Gertrudis steers may be turned out into the pasture at almost any age!
These cattle are hardy and tick resistant, and are well suited to the hot, humid climes of the United States Gulf of Mexico states! In order to breed a Santa Gertrudis calf, the parents must be certified and accredited with an inspector from the breed’s association, passing rigid standards.
If accepted, Santa Gertrudis cows have good maternal instincts and make attentive, caring mothers. They are known for their good milk production and easy calvings. Santa Gertrudis make good crossbreeders, as well, imparting general vigor and thick muscling with good beef conformation.