No matter how good the terminal sire in a commercial beef herd is, if you have the wrong type of suckler cows you will lose money. A cow that can produce a good quality calf year after year, unassisted at birth on a low maintenance feed and provide plenty of milk for a growing calf is always going to be sought after.
The modern Beef Shorthorn can produce these qualities in cows, with a quiet temperament and a hardiness that enables them to thrive on poor grass at 1000ft. When visitors unaccustomed to the modern Beef Shorthorn are taken around the farm they are amazed by their quiet temperament and their beefing qualities.
The maternal traits of the breed have always been recognised.
- That is why over forty four breeds of cattle in the World used the Beef Shorthorn to upgrade their breeds.
- That is why when the Continental breeds went to Australia, the Shorthorn cows were chosen by the big Continental cattle breeds to up grade their herds of Charolais and other exotic breeds.
- That was one of the reasons why the Beef Shorthorn was the first breed to be exported to many of the Beef producing countries of the world.
Now that Beef eaters in Britain are asking for tastier beef, the well marbled beef of the Beef Shorthorn will be in demand as it is in Australia. If Beef is going to compete with other meats it has got to concentrate on the quality of taste, economy of production (Formula: Kgs of calf produced from Kgs of cow per annum) and finally ease of management ie: temperament of the cow. Flighty nervous cows make poor mothers. Having taken all these factors into account you will need to look long and hard at the Beef Shorthorn to play a part in this equation.