Santa Gertrudis Cattle

The Santa Gertrudis cattle are the first beef breed of cattle formed in the United States. They are a tropical beef breed developed in southern Texas on the King Ranch.

According to the King Ranch, the Santa Gertrudis cattle were originated by mating Brahman bulls with Beef Shorthorn cows. The final composition being about five-eighths Shorthorn and three-eighths Brahman.

The King Ranch purchased 52 bulls of three-quarters to seven-eighths Bos indicus breeding to mate with 2500 pure-bred Shorthorn cows on the ranch in 1918.

During that time, the American Brahman cattle breed as such did not exist. They were also not purebred Bos indicus cattle available in the United States.

However, in 1940, the Santa Gertrudis cattle were officially recognized by the United States Department of Agriculture. The breed was named for the Spanish land grant where Captain Richard King originally established the King Ranch. Read more information about this cattle breed below.

Santa Gertrudis Cattle Characteristics

Santa Gertrudis cattle are large animals with usually red and occasionally with white markings on the underline. They have a short, smooth and slick coat. They actually show many of the Bos indicus characteristics.

The breed can be either horned or polled. They have medium sized ears. Hide of the Santa Gertrudis cattle is loose and with neck and navel folds. The bulls have a small zebu type hump. The cows are pretty smaller in size than the bulls.

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Average body weight of the bulls is between 800 and 1000 kg. And body weight of the mature cows vary from 600 to 850 kg. Photo and info from Wikipedia.


The Santa Gertrudis cattle mainly used as a beef cattle breed for meat production. They are also very good for commercial production.

Special Notes

Santa Gertrudis cattle are very hardy, and they are noted for heat tolerance. They are also noted for tick and bloat resistance as well. Carcasses from very young cattle develop a large eye muscle of meat with little or no waste fat.

Currently the breed is available in some other countries of the world, and they are known for their ability to adapt to harsh climates. Review full breed profile of this breed in the following table.

Breed NameSanta Gertrudis
Other NameNone
Breed PurposeMeat
Special NotesHardy, strong, tick and bloat resistance
Breed SizeLarge
BullsBetween 800 and 1000 kg
CowsVary from 600-850 kg
Climate ToleranceAll Climates
Coat ColorUsually red and occasionally with white markings
Milk YieldPoor
Country/Place of OriginUnited States

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