Joined Aug 29 2010
49 years old
We run roughly 100 stud cows in the Karoo near Graaff-Reinet, South Africa. This is a semi-desert shrubland which has become more grassy recently. We have just come through the worst drought on record. We started off with Tulis at the end of 2008 (in the middle of the drought). What has impressed me the most about Tulis is their ability to utilise forage that up until recently I considered as sheep food. They are prepared to eat Karoo shrubs that are quite woody and contain strong aromatic oils which reduces the shrubs' palatability. The shrubs are high in protein and sheep readily graze them but I have never seen cattle eat them readily. The Tulis through the winter 2012 (SH) were eating large volumes of shrubs so much so that there were definite fenceline differences between grazed and ungrazed paddocks.
Under these conditions we have had conception rates above 90% and this year (2012) we have had a 96% conception. We are still growing our herd and stud females are scarce so have been unwilling to be too strict on fertility (Yes I know we should be being strict but fertility is only about 5% hereditable). Once we have 120 female it will be very easy to cull any animal that skips since 1) you are trying to maintain your herd number so that there are plenty of replacements within your heifers and 2) one's own heifers are always cheaper than those you purchase elsewhere!
Tulis' docility, good carcass and the fact that they are predominately polled completes the package in my opinion.