Originating in England, the Hereford was introduced to Australia in 1826, making it one of Australia’s oldest established breeds. It has become one of the most influential and numerous of the beef breeds, spreading widely across Australia, but particularly in the central and south eastern states.
The Hereford is horned, with a deep red coloured body and a creamy white face, chest, flanks and leg points. It is an adaptable, fertile, docile breed that combines milk, growth and carcase into an optimum and profitable animal.
The breed is highly marketable at any age or degree of finish. As weaners, Herefords are in strong demand from growers and fatteners. As yearlings, they suit both pasture finishers and lot feeders. As older cattle, they suit the pasture fatteners who target the heavy carcase export trade. They produce ideal prime carcases for all domestic and export market segments from 150 to 350kg carcase weight.
Being one of the most numerous breeds means that cattle are available for sale in large lines of similar types for restockers and feeders. It also means there is a wide selection of bulls for sale in all areas at commercially realistic prices. Semen and embryos from the top performing animals within the breed are also readily available for domestic or export sale.
The Hereford breed has a considerable range of performance data available. EBVs are available to directly compare Herefords across the breed in Australia and New Zealand. Seventeen traits are analysed to produce EBVs for milk, growth, fertility, carcase quality and mature cow weight.