Cois and Annemarie Harman are farming since 1998 with their Braunvieh stud on the farm Welverdiend in the Marico Bushveld district, in the North West province of South Africa. It is a lovely Bushveld area where more than fifty different species of bushveld trees are found. It is Savanna veld and a large variety of antelope is found there, e.g. kudu, impala, bushbuck, duiker and steenbok. Leopards, servals, jackals and lynxes are also found on the farm.
The excellent dual-purpose characteristics of the Braunvieh breed motivated Cois in 1998 to buy a herd. Initially, he wanted to milk the cows directly from the veld and to sell the milk to the local dairy. The inconsistencies of the dairy market in that area, combined with the fact that he was only a part-time farmer forced him to quit the milking and rather leave the calves to be with their mothers. Since September 2004, he started weighing all his cattle frequently.
He soon noticed that the calves were growing much faster. As they grew, he also noticed that the calves of some bulls were growing faster than others, especially between the fifth and seventh months. The bull-calves with the most potential are taken annually for phase C tests to Armoedsvlakte in Vryburg. In the last semester of the year, the balance of his bull-calves, as well as some from other breeders in the area, are doing a phase D test. After the test, the bad performers are slaughtered and the rest is made available on the bull market.
The following characteristics are emphasised: length, depth, good muscular system, above average milk production (10 litres + per day), longevity, calm temperament, good mothering characteristics and productivity. Cows that don’t calve annually are slaughtered.