Hereford heifers

Specifications of Hereford heifers

  • Age pregnant heifers: between 24-32 months at time of calving
  • Age open heifers: 6-12 months
  • Pedigree registered
  • Beef production

Hereford History

The Hereford cattle / livestock breed is a grazing beef breed, and the herdbook has been founded around 1600-1700 as a product of necessity. In the 17th and 18th century, the first documents are recorded of the Hereford cattle / livestock breed in Herefordshire in the West Midlands of England.

Farmers near Herefordshire, England, needed to produce beef for the expanding food market created by Britain’s industrial revolution. The farmers understood the success of breeding cattle which was so efficient in converting their native grass to beef. One of the most important things was the high yield of beef that came from the Hereford cattle / livestock breed.

Mr. Benjamin Tompkins Senior and Junior are one of the founders of the breed, around halfway the 18th century. The first Herd Book has been published in 1846 after expansion of breeders in the 18th and 19th century. The Herd Book Society has been started in 1878 to register the right data and information.

18 years after Mr. Tompkins, Robert Bakewell started developing his theories of breeding Hereford cattle. From the start, Mr. Tomkins has his own vision and strategy on feeding, to gain weight from grass and grain, and to breed a profitable breed. Hereford cattle/livestock in the 17th and early 18th century was much larger than they are today. Many Herefords weighed 3,000 pounds or more. A Hereford Bull in 1839, named Cotmore, weighed 3,900 pounds at a show. Since then, the type and weight of the Herefords cattle /livestock became less extreme and more efficient.

Till the 18th century, the breed looks red and white and were similar to other cattle in the South of England. Hereford cattle / livestock were cross bread in the 18th and 19th century with other types of beef cattle. The colour changed a little bit, but the white head is still its trademark.

In 1817, Mr. Henry Clay, United States Senator, imported the first Herefords from the United Kingdom to the United States. Kentucky was their new home base. From 1840, bigger amounts were imported from the UK into the USA. Later on, the Hereford cattle / livestock has been exported to many countries like; Canada, Ireland, Mexico, South America, Australia, Russia, Argentina and Kazakhstan.

Hereford cattle / livestock at moment are all polled. For farmers this is an advantage, so they do not have to dehorn their herd anymore and animals cannot wound themselves with the horns. The colour of the Hereford cattle / livestock is red and white. The weight of the calves at birth is 30-40kg, and heifers calve very easy. Bulls can become around 1200kg and the cows are around 800kg.

The breeding goal of today’s Herefords cattle / livestock, is how to improve the return on investment by reducing their costs of feeding and forage conversion. Herefords cattle / livestock have an early maturity and longevity, that makes it economically interesting for farmers to farm with them. Also a great fertility is an interesting advantage of Hereford cattle / livestock. Dams produce about one calf per year. The characteristics of Hereford cattle / livestock breed can be described as calm and pleasant, permitting an easy way of management of the herds.

Today, Hereford cattle / livestock is still grazing in the fields of Herefordshire, England.