By rotational crossbreeding for the past 20 years with always choosing each breed’s top ranking sires our herd achieved incredible results and we probably would have continued along this path. If it wasn’t for my chance encounter with the Gir breed and my falling in love on first sight… Now I had found what I had been looking for all these many years, a purebred Bos Indicus breed with sheer unbelievable production potential, which even opened up the possibility to create a new composite breed: “MAGIC” which stands for the initials of “Makitosha Gir Cross”. Our herd is much too small to have any chance of long term success and could possibly only serve as a nucleus herd in breed creation, so we are now trying to propagate the idea. After a lecture about dairy breeds I gave last year in Pwani University they got very enthusiastic about the idea. They are now even planning to import purebred Gir embryos, which would be a great step forward to increasing the Gir gene pool available. An altogether new dimension of possibilities would certainly be opened up if semen of “MAGIC” bulls could be availed through KAGRC (formerly CAIS) to all Kenyan farmers, a gigantic nationwide initiative to enable each and every farmer to own an easy care high potential dairy cow optimally suited to even Kenya’s more extreme environments. In the long run our ever growing population will more easily be fed by a national herd of easy care, long lasting, fertile and high producing dairy cattle (that at the end of their productive life can still yield a marketable carcass) than show winning purebred studbook cows.
Although initially utilizing 50% Gir animals the final aim will be to stabilized the MAGIC breed at - 25% Gir - 65% Bos Taurus (with no single breed contributor surpassing 25% and as evenly divided between Bos Taurus dairy and Bos Taurus dual purpose breeds as possible) - 10% Sahiwal or other Bos Indicus Colour allowed should include all shades of brown with varying amounts of roan, white or white patches but black should be discouraged. Plenty of loose skin is allowed for providing extra cooling ability. Much more important than their appearance should be their functionality (longevity, fertility and overall fitness) and great emphasis should be placed on sound udders, feet & legs, locomotion and milkability. The 35% Bos Indicus genetics will guarantee great adaptability to tropical conditions with minimal heat stress suffered and good fertility levels. Increased resistance to external and internal parasites and general hardiness will also be a great advantage together with the possibility to utilize low quality forage much better than cattle of European ancestry. The 65% Bos Taurus ingredient will provide for good temperament and proper milk let-down, nice udder conformation with proper teat size and placement and the well liked (especially in Kenyan dairy circles) appearance and general conformation of a “Grade Cow” (non-humped). Milk production potential is much more reliable, predictable and repeatable in cows of Bos Taurus breeding as is the growth potential in bulls for beef production purposes. Beef quality and dressing percentage is also much better. Both the Bos Indicus and Bos Taurus components combined will provide for an ideal and very profitable dual purpose animal for commercial use under tropical conditions. In short, our MAGIC breed of cattle are designed to become perfect and truly magical cattle!
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