Afrikaner Cattle: Origin, Characteristics & Uses

Afrikaner cattle is a genetic gold mine for beef production. The breed of cattle is considered to be suitable for those farmers planning to start a beef farm.

The features and production rate of cattle breed has made it be on high demand in so many countries not only in South Africa.

In this post, you will discover information about the history and origin of the breed, physical characteristics, and also the uses of the cattle.

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History & Origin of Afrikaner Cattle

According to research, the Afrikaner breed of cattle originated from South Africa. The strain of animals are mainly raised for beef production, and they are also known as Africander.

The breed of cattle was raised by the Khoikhoi community since 1652 before the invasion of the Dutch colony in South Africa.

According to history, the ancestors of the cattle breed are said to have originated from Asian Steppes. The migration of the cattle breed to Africa occur some 2000 years ago.

During the migration period from the Asian Steppes, most of the breed moved southwards in Africa, and they are regarded as the oldest breed of cattle in Africa.

The research conducted by our experts’ shows that the breed of cattle shares coancestry with other cattle breeds such as Nguni cattle and Drakensberger cattle.

The population of the breed of cattle is becoming extinct, and this started in around the 20th century due to the introduction of exotic breeds of cattle.

The extinction is brought about by low fertility, inbreeding and reproduction rate among the cows. Crossbreeding with exotic breeds is also among the reasons why the number of cattle race is decreasing.

The introduction of the  Brahman Cattle breed in South Africa triggered the complete extinction of the cattle among commercial farmers. However, the cattle breed still has found its way to Australia and Zimbabwe.

Afrikaner Cattle Characteristics

Size and Weight

The cattle are medium to large-sized animals. The average weight of a mature cow is about 450-600 kg while that of the bull is between 820 and 1090 kg.

Climate Tolerance

The breed of cattle can survive well in the native climate. However, they tend to be hardy and robust hence giving them the ability to tolerate high temperatures and humidity.

Body Shape and Coat Color

They have long legs and a slender body that is masculine. They have a small thoracic hump like that of Sanga cattle. The coat color of the animals is deep red. Bulls tend to be larger than cows, but both have a height of about 152cm.


Both cows and bulls have horns. The horns are typically long and lateral but turn upwards. It is advisable to dehorn them in case you are running a commercial cattle farming business.

Common Cattle Diseases

The breed of cattle is highly resistant to tick-borne diseases. Management of the cattle breed is quite easy and economical.

Behavior and Temperament

Afrikaner bulls and cows have good temperaments. The practice makes it easy to handle and manage them in the cattle farm even if you are a dummy.

Fertility Rate

The cows have good fertility, and they tend to have well maternal. They are typically used for crossbreeding research. They are the reason behind the development of Herefords and Shorthorns cattle breeds.

Uses of the Cattle Breed

During the ancient period, the Khoikhoi community uses the breed of cattle for milk and meat production. Also before the European settlement in South Africa, the cattle were used as draught animals.

You should note that Afrikaner cows are a poor producer of milk and they are typically known for commercial meat production.

Afrikaner Cow Picture

Use the image below to get hidden features of the cattle breed that can help you in identifying them in a group of livestock. The model includes:

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