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Senepol cattle like hot weather.

All breed associations make their breed sound like the best thing to hit the market since cattle were first domesticated. However, here's one that is different and may well have a place on a homestead in a hot and humid or semi-desert area.

The Senepol breed was developed on the island of St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands by crossing the N'Dama breed from Senegal in Western Africa with the Red Poll breed early this century. The requirement was for a breed which would do well in a tropical climate and on the sparse and generally low in nutrition native grasses. The grass range on St. Croix could be described as a semi-desert.

Senepol cattle look much like Brahman crosses with a hump on their shoulders and pronounced dewlap. However, they are a reddish brown color, naturally polled and without the pronounced downward ear of the Brahman.

The Red Poll breed used has long been known in the U.S. as a hardy, dual-purpose breed with the Senepols apparently having the Red Poll's hardiness, birthing ease, early maturity and maternal ability and the N'Dama's heat tolerance and ability to do well on scrub land. In St. Croix it is not unusual for this breed to go several days without water, living off sparse guinea grass. Since grains would have to be imported, no supplemental feeding is done there.

The breed is said to be extremely docile and easy to work to the extent excess male calves are not made into steers, and they have done well as far north as Kentucky and Tennessee and in hot semi-desert areas in the West.

If the Senepol breed sounds like something you would be interested in, the Senepol Breeders Association can be contacted in Kansas City, MO at (800) 736-3765 (800-SENEPOL) for further information.
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Author:Scharabok, Ken
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Date:Mar 1, 1993
Previous Article:Multiple births in cattle are rare, and not always desirable.
Next Article:Pasture management: size and sub-division.

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