Thursday, 21 August 2014


People farm for different reasons. Some for subsistence and survival others for love.  For some folks its simply tradition.  But these days,  farming is a way of making good money.  Whatever the reason is, the same way that no soldier goes to war with no weapons, no farmer should farm with no vision, goal or plan.

So what do I mean by this?  Farming is an investment.  For every investment, there is the right time for it.  The article is about marketing cattle during the right time and tips on how to accomplish so.  

It is very important to always do your r-e-s-e-a-r-c-h.  Find out more about the auctioneer you want to do business with. Do they have a good track record? Are they expensive? Are they customer friendly and advising?  Different livestock auctioneers that I know of in Namibia are Agra, MeatCo, Blaauwberg, Namboer, Windhoek Livestock Auctioneers, and Karoo-Ochse.

Part of doing research is to determine the chains of demand and supply. Is it the time of the year when cattle importers (like South Africa) are in need of more beef?  I may think that when the demand drops, so do the prices.  It is important to deal directly with livestock agent. The agent suppliers the auctioneer at the auction. He receives weights, sorts and marks the cattle prior to the auction. 

Another good way of doing research is getting auction prices from auctioneers directly.  Agra has an awesome website with updates on their livestock prices.  Upon getting the prices, for a longer period of time (perhaps 2 years) one should see a pattern in these prices.


Monday, 18 August 2014


The Gertrudis is an obvious breed of exceptional quality.  My love for this breed started when my late grandfather had purchased a bull from a breeder near Grootfontein about ten year ago.  We kept the bull for roughly seven years and sold it.  As of now, the blood line is still very much preserved in the herd together with other breeds such as the Simmental and Braunvieh.  My grandpa's bull was tall, huge and very muscular in frame. He was very very calm and went into the 'mangaa'  easily.

What is Santa Gertrudis?

The Santa Gertrudis is a beef breed of cattle developed in Southern Texas on the King Ranch.  The breed resulted from mating the Brahman bull with the Beef Shorthorn cows.  Now what in the world is a Beef Shorthorn?  This is a breed from England and Scotland developed in the 1820s.  The development was primarily for diary and beef production. The Gertrudis is 3/8 Brahaman and 5/8 Shorthorn. 

The breed is cherry red in color with a short, smooth, silk coat.  The ears are medium to large.  One of the major characteristics of the Gertrudis is its hooded eyes.  This results in the resistance to cancer and pink eye sickness. My favorite key characteristic is the lines on the neck and navel.   Really cute!

Why farm with the Santa Gertrudis?  
  • A very good mascular medium sized frame.  The mature bulls can weigh up to 900 kg and 500 kg for females. The more the KGs the more the dollars, the happier the farmer. 
  • These animals are very hardy and adapt very well to various climatic conditions.  They easily adapt to extreme cold climate and very hot conditions in Southern Africa.
  • These cattle have a lifespan of 13 to 15 years, conceiving yearly.  WOW!!  
  • The are excellent mommies with good milk production and good udders. The calves have a larger birth weight compared to other breeds.  This results to increased weight at weaning. 
  • Very fertile with few rates of abortions or still births. 
  • Perform very well in the veld and under feedlot conditions.
  • Have very dominant genes.  Can crossbreed with 'simple' cattle and produce a good line of calves. 

I absolutely love this line of cattle.  They are just true beauties.
For more information about the breed in Namibia visit
The above pictures were taken from


Sunday, 17 August 2014


The interactive breakfast meeting was a great success.  A large audience attended this meeting held on the 27 June at Agra/Bank Windhoek Ring.  The meeting was facilitated by an Agra member, Dagmar Honsbein. Presentations were done by teams from the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Affairs, Feedmaster and from Agra.

It was noted that animals need food for reproduction, growth and survival.  The animal breeders need their cattle herds to be optimized for income from sales, milk and meat.  The animals need protein, energy, water, vitamins, minerals and vaccines. The cheapest and most effective way of feeding animals is directly from the rangeland.  But obviously, the quality of rangeland changes with seasons.   In winter, the rangeland becomes depleted in protein, minerals and vitamins. Thus it is recommended to supplement what is 'lacking' in the rangeland.  An important aspect discussed was deficiency symptoms in animals.  Below are the deficiencies of various food groups and their symptoms.

1. Protein
Loss of weight, weakness and/or no energy.
Joint problems
3. Phosphate
Eating of objects with no nutritional value such as bones, and plastics.  Lack of phosphate also results to Botalism (Ombindu in otjiherero)
4.Vitamin A
Eye infections, abortions, and retained placentas.

The sources of nutrients was discussed.  These sources of proteins are  fishmeal, lucerne and urea respectively.  The yellow maize and molasses provide energy. Lastly, vitamin A is from injectables and maize.

Alot of research was done by the Feedmaster group inorder to enhance the quality of 'licks'.  The research was done based on difference areas of Namibia (sandy and hardeveld areas). Feedmaster also discussed the differences in their licks and how they are mixed.  It is very important to read labels and ask for advice before purchasing licks from suppliers.  The licks that are already mixed (ready to use) are cattle lick 40, cow and calf lick and eco-grassveld lick.  The cattle mix 4:1:5 and dry veld concentrate require mixing.

Overall, the meeting was very informative.  Attached below is the link to the presentations.


I certainly think that this breakfast meeting is meant for me...

I always wondered what kind of supplementation livestock need during different times of the year and why.

Animals need basic nutrients to survive, sustain themselves and maximize performance. These nutrients include carbohydrates for energy, protein for growth, minerals for function, vitamins for function and lastly water.


  • To find out how supplementation will maximize cattle performance.  Its also interesting to know what supplements livestock in various production cycles need.  For example, what would a pregnant heifer need? Or an active bull? Or what supplements does a lactating cow need?  What is the nutritional need for 'general' growing livestock?
  • To find out what are the building materials/ingredients of these supplements.  That comes to the possibility of one making their own to cut out cost and increase the quality of the product.   
  • Its interesting to know if there is a way to fatten livestock during winter/autumn for marketing during early spring.
  • To get quotations and recommendations.



It is always a little weird when one writes about oneself.  Always wonder if you are giving to much info or not.  In any case, my name is Yolanda.  I am 20 something years of age, born and raised in Windhoek.  But during my pre-kinder garden years, I stayed in Otjituuo/Okatjoruu in Grootfontein district. I attended junior education at Namibia English Primary School, followed by Delta Secondary School Windhoek for secondary education level.  I ended up at the  University of Namibia.  I hold a bachelor's degree in Geology. Currently, I am an exploration geologist in Omaheke Region.

My passion is all about cattle, goats and sheep. I have loved livestock since I was a little girl because that is primarily what I was exposed to.  My aim is to share my basic knowledge and experience in farming, especially for those that have not farmed before and are thinking of the possibility.  If you do not know where to start, start by r-e-s-e-a-r-c-h.

I really hope that we can interact in this subject.