The Murray Grey breed was developed in the upper Murray River region of Australia in the early part of this century. The first grey cattle resulted from the mating of an Angus bull and a roan Shorthorn cow, 13 such calves of the same colour being kept originally as curiosities.
It was found that two or three crosses of the greys produced a very high percentage of grey cattle, combining features of the Beef Shorthorn and Angus breeds. They were kept separate from the other herd and a distinct breed was gradually established. Commercial cattlemen became interested in the breed’s rapid growth and high carcase yield, and several developed grey herds.
In recent years, the development and popularity of the breed has been outstanding. A breed society was formed in 1962 and now over 1000 studs are to be found throughout Australia. Cattle and semen have been exported to New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada, USA and China.
The Murray Grey is found in most good rainfall areas in Australia, particularly in Victoria and southern New South Wales.
Murray Greys are natural polls and range in colour from silver to dark grey, with dark skin pigmentation. The breed is medium in size, early to mid-maturing and is recognised for its good temperament. Cows calve easily and milk well to rear quick-growing calves. Possibly the breed is best known for its high-yielding carcases with excellent eye muscle and optimum fat cover.
For further information, contact the Murray Grey Beef Cattle Society Ltd at:
Armidale NSW 2350
Ph: (02) 6771 5151
Fax: (02) 6771 5144
The author thanks the Murray Grey Beef Cattle Society for their assistance in preparing this Agfact.