SUSSEX CATTLE – DID YOU KNOW?
Sussex cattle have been around since at least the 18th Century when they were first developed from traditional draught oxen and other English breeds.
This beef breed originated around the counties of Sussex, Kent and Surrey in the Weald region of south-eastern England.
Their colouring is mainly red, sometimes with an off-white tail switch. Their coats are sleek and thin in the summer, while a thicker coat grows during the winter, allowing them to thrive in both extremes!
Plenty of sweat glands allow the cattle to keep cool in more humid weather, meaning they can adapt to more than just the damp English climate!
There are polled and horned strains available, so think carefully when breeding Sussex cattle! In Australia, the polled strain dominates. Some farmers may not wish to go through the effort of dehorning young calves, but may worry about keeping horned livestock in close proximity to other animals.
The Sussex breed has spread across the globe, reaching as far as New Zealand and North America. In New Zealand however, they’re considered a rare breed because of low numbers!
A popular trait is their ability to move across pastures with little stress, combined with their ability to forage in even the toughest conditions.
In historical references to the breed in ‘Agriculture in Sussex’ by Arthur Young, these cattle are described as ‘remarkable’ for their delicate flesh and fine hides!
Sussex cattle are stubborn, but quite calm! This makes them easy to handle, just as soon as you convince them to cooperate! However, it’s important to always be cautious around all bulls, regardless of breed! Check out our article on Bull Safety to remind yourself of the necessary precautions.
Cows weigh about 585kg, while bulls can reach nearly 950kg!
Their good genetic traits are easily passed on to progeny, especially when crossbred with other breeds that need to improve their beefing ability and thriftiness!
Calving is usually a simple process with few complications. Calves weigh about 30-40kg at birth.
Sussex cattle remain fertile and can keep reproducing right up into their teenage years! They can calve regularly under commercial conditions.
Sussex cattle mature early and have plenty of muscling. Their carcasses have high levels of saleable meat, and the beef is tender and flavoursome.