F.N. Bard wanted a tough cow that could make him money in the Arizona back country. He couldn't find that in any existing breeds, so he set out to make his own. The Barzona was developed by using native Arizona Hereford cows crossed on Africander bulls. That F1 cross was slowly blended with Indu-Angus bulls and Santa Gertrudis, with crosses carefully selected to produce a cow that would handle the rough terrain, less than favorable living conditions and still breed nearly every year. If a cow didn't perform, she was culled. Calves were also required to have high vigor and carcass quality or those bloodlines were modified, if not culled, from the Bard herd. Barzonas are red in color, can be polled, horned or scurred. Bulls typically weigh 1800 lbs, cows average 1100 lbs. The Barzona has a longer face than Bos Taurus breeds, but have no ear or sheath from the Africander.
Here at Golden H Farms, we believe in holding up the standards that F.N. Bard started with in Arizona. Bard cows were required to wean a calf 4 out of every 5 years, no matter what the environmental conditions. They have a wild type grazing habit (bite, walk, bite, walk) which allows them to travel farther per day to find feed and water. We find that pastures are more evenly grazed this way, and areas are given more break time for regrowth in drought years with no manual effort in rotational grazing.
Calves are born small (less than 70 lbs, average is 60) and are streamline shaped for calving ease. They are vigorous, often getting up and traveling within 15 minutes of being born. Calves are typically growthy, well muscled, and mature as fast as Bos Taurus breeds. Heifers breed to calve at 2, with bulls able to be used as long yearlings, on heifers or cows of similar size. Once they are a mature 2 years old, bulls can cover a mature cow size.
Mature bulls travel and gather cows, while keeping them in a group. Barzona bulls don't show as much of a tendency to fight other bulls, but will move their cow group away from opposition. Barzona bulls are high volume semen producers, contributing to successful pregnancy rate among the herd. Breeding activity is not affected by extreme heat.