Sussex Cattle :: Reviving The Breed in Canada
Today over 50% of our cow herd contains varying degrees of Sussex in their genetic makeup. Their ability to adapt to our harsh Alberta environment has been beyond our expectations. The crossbred Sussex cattle are highly efficient in today’s high cost grain markets. They are easily maintaining body condition, fertility and now longevity within the CL herd on nothing but a forage based diet. We believe in raising natural cattle that do not require hormones in order to perform and this is where the SussexCross cattle are truly beginning to shine.
Sussex cattle are one of the original British breeds being dark red in colour with a white tassel. They were known for producing powerful, active males suitable for working the heavy land as draught animals. Found throughout much of Southern England, Sussex were also known for their gentle disposition. In the late 1850's, with horses becoming more commonly used in the fields, the Sussex breed was almost extinct. In the 1860's the breed went from being heavy boned, especially through the shoulders, to a much lighter framed animal while also focusing on early maturity. By 1875, the Sussex breed was competing with the Devon and Herefords as equals.
Today the Sussex breed is still present in England, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. A herd book was started in 1874 with a polled section being added in 1979.
Since 2003, we at CL have been working with the only Sussex herd in North America. We have been importing bulls directly from Wyoming (as the border and politics allowed). To date we are continuing to gather carcass information, as well as maternal and post weaning abilities in order to design a line of genetics suited for a more "Natural Finished" type animal. CL Sussex cattle can take full advantage of the Alberta foothills grassland and only require a very short time on high energy finishing rations to meet that AAA quality grade. By using the CL SuperCross genetics as the F1 crossing, we are able to combine the high saleable red meat yield of the SuperCross and the high efficiency gaining ability of the Sussex to produce a carcass that any grid marketing system cannot afford to miss.
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