Santa Gertrudis Cattle: American Holstein Cow

The Santa Gertrudis cattle name comes from the legacy of lands of the Spanish Crown called Santa Gertrudis. It was developed by Captain Richard King in 1853. On the ranch, King Ranch of Texas, USA and officially recognized in 1940. In addition to being the first defined breed of cattle developed in the North American continent with 3/8 of Cebu and 5/8 of Shorthorn. It was the best combination for its adaptation and production.

The Santa Gertrudis’s first breed of cattle developed in North America was created by controlled matings and crosses, to adapt to warm climates. The method used for the formation of the Santa Gertrudis breed was the following: After the first crossing with the original bulls, approximately seven-eighth Brahman on pure Shorthorn cows.

Santa Gertrudis Cattle

Subsequently replacing these Borden bulls with bulls of a better type and more uniformity of the highly selected Brahman rodeo. The most cattle butcher type was developed with blood percentages of about three-eighths Brahman and five-eighth Shorthorn.

Characteristics of Santa Gertrudis Cattle

Santa Gertrudis cattle its color is clear or dark uniform red, the skin pigmented red. This breed usually has a large, muscular body. They are huge everywhere with a pronounced hump and large hindquarters. Usually, the head is wide, the profile looks convex, the ears of medium size too long, slightly fallen; the horns are antlers. The neat neck, the soft and muscular back with free movements. It has a broad chest, a straight back, well-arched ribs, a broad long rump that fell from front to back.

The broad and muscular hindquarters. Skin with colored pigmentation, loose, with skin folds (double chin, navel) and pink mucous membranes. It has good adaptation to subtropical and temperate climates; They tolerate heat and take advantage of hard grasses. The bulls have a slight hump on the cross. Her color is attractive cherry-red hair and her hair is short and soft. You may also like to read Jersey cow.

White spots are allowed that do not exceed half the area of the lower line of the body and some white hairs on the tassel. There is a mocha variety. He is intelligent and of docile handling with a calm temperament. The weight of adult bulls is around 850 to 1000 kg. Cows are very good mothers who produce milk and who help wean heavy calves.

Also, the female having a milk production from 6 to 11 lots. and the duration of breastfeeding is between 7 and 10 months. The Santa Gertrudis, without being a race specialized in producing milk, has good productions under grazing conditions. You may also like to read Angus Cattle.

So we can use early weaning, being so you can get more calves to the cow. The females of this species have a very good conversion of grass and grain into meat. While the cows of this species weigh between 550 and 700 kg. The calves, when born thin and elongated. Precocity is one of the qualities that has given renown to the race. Also, the weight at birth is 32-37 Kg and at 18 months they are around 390-400 kg, with yields to the carcass of 60-61%.


The great resistance to heat and insects, rusticity, propensity to gain weight and early maturity of Santa Gertrudis cattle make it an economic breed at the same time. That is why farmers consider this breed to be profitable for meat production. The Santa Gertrudis breed produces excellent quality meat with an acceptable amount of fat.

With a higher yield in the later quarter. It is tender, of excellent flavor, good color and with moderate interstitial fat. Today the selection tends to obtain an animal of intermediate size, great functionality, and good hindquarters. You may also like to read Highland Cattle.

Special Feature

Santa Gertrudis cattle have the natural resistance to heat, as well as pests and parasites. It shows rusticity and tendency to gain weight, tends to early maturity, shows resistance to tropical diseases. It adapts very well to warm places, where there are places with average temperatures of 31 ° C., And precipitation greater than 2 000 mm. by year.

In recent years Santa Gertrudis meat has been exported to different European countries. The meat was sent to Germany and Belgium and other South American countries through private breeders. They are also very docile and easy to handle animals. An animal Santa Gertrudis, with little source of calories and food, still has its shiny coat. Another very good characteristic of this breed, with respect to producing meat, is that it has a high fattening, more than breeds such as Angus, Hereford, or Charolais.


Santa Gertrudis cattle are a breed of beef cattle that was developed in the North American continent by Captain Richard King. The ranch is located in Texas and it was officially recognized as a breed back in 1940. This crossbreed has 3/8s Cebu and 5/8 Shorthorn bloodlines which make it best for its adaptation to production on farms with sandy soils like those found at King Ranch. We hope this guide has helped you learn more about these beautiful animals! Good luck if you plan to raise them yourself!

As a reference: Wikipedia

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