Assessment of Galloway cattle performance

Unfortunately not a lot of research has been undertaken in Australia into the comparative performance of all cattle breeds. We tend to be very selective about breed testing; however, this is not the case in other parts of the world.

Research from other parts of the world is starting to emerge.  There are a number of long term studies underway in North America which compare Galloway performance against other breeds.  In Alberta, Canada, a fourteen year study of steer and heifer finishing performance, covering 18 cattle breeds found that the Galloways performed well, often outperforming the ‘traditional’ feedlot breeds.

Over the fourteen year period the Galloway Average Daily Weight Gain was 1.4kg. The average of all breeds was 1.36kg.  Galloways over an 11 year period consistently required less “Days on Feed” than the other breeds with an average of 139.8 days being required to reach the target condition. The average of all 18 breeds was 150.1 days. 

Surprisingly for a traditional maternal breed the combination of average daily weight gains and days on feed made the Galloways one of the most, if not the most (depending on the year) economical breeds to finish/fatten.  In Nebraska, USA, another long term study involving thousands of matings looked at maternal and carcase traits of a large number of breeds and cross breeds. Galloway sired calves had an average birth weight of 36.4kg, the lowest of any group and a very high unassisted calving percentage of 98%. The calf survival rate of 94.6% was the highest of all groups in the study. Likewise all Galloway sired steers excelled in their marbling score and dressed out at an outstanding 62.2%.

These are figures to impress any commercial cattle breeder or butcher/processor.