The Hazeldean Senegus herd is based at our Riverina property at Hay, in southern New South Wales.
Bulls are sold in August at our Hazeldean Northern Performance Bull Sale at Jackson, Queensland, 80 km east of Roma.
The Senepol breed
The Senepol is a tropically adapted Bos Taurus beef cattle breed developed over the last century on the island of St.Croix in the Caribbean.
The breed derives from Bos Taurus N'Dama cattle from Senegal in West Africa - renowned for their survival capabilities, natural heat tolerance and inherent insect resistance - and Red Polls- a breed noted for superior fertility, milking ability, carcase and docility.
The breed is naturally polled.
Senepols have become sought after in tropical areas around the world because they are:
Research conducted in the USA and central and South America conclusively identified Senepol cattle as superior for heat resistance. This allows the Senepol to graze during the hottest part of the day, ensuring its ability to maintain good body condition. The Senepol breed produces the highest percentage of weaned pounds per dam weight and has high quality tender beef and high yield grades.
Senepols crossed with other breeds result in excellent F1 animals.
The Senepol crosses produce animals that are uniform in both phenotype and colour thus avoiding colour patching.
US Research has shown:
In addition to the above, we know that our Angus genetics, after 60 years of performance breeding, have a high degree of predictability in reproductive performance, growth and carcase quality and that we have achieved high standards in all three of these sub sets.
When we first embarked on our Senepol program we thought it a shame not to be able to use some of the excellent genetic material in our Angus herd in our Senepol program. Indeed it became obvious that although the Senepol breed had some outstanding individuals, there was a lot of variation within the breed.
When we became aware of the US research demonstrating that heat tolerance is not diminished or ‘watered down’ with subsequent infusions of Angus we were convinced the Senegus path was the right one to go down. The trick is to maintain the ‘slick coat’ as this is what gives the Senepol its unique ability to withstand extreme heat and parasites.
We await with interest the development of a gene test to identify those animals carrying 2 copies of the slick gene. Once we know this information we will be able to breed 100% slick bulls and be able to identify which bulls are slick, but only carrying one copy of the gene for slickness, and those that are carrying 2 genes and therefore able to produce 100% slick calves. Theoretically it will then be possible to breed cattle with more and more Angus content and less Senepol, provided the gene for the slick coat is always passed on.