Murray Grey Genetics

Murray Grey is a breed of Australian polled beef cattle that was developed in the upper Murray River valley on the New South Wales /Victorian border. They have evolved into a versatile breed that does well in a wide range of environments and produces top quality carcasses.

The Murray Grey breed was developed from an initial chance mating of a black Aberdeen Angus bull and a roan Shorthorn cow in 1905 during the Federation drought. The resulting thirteen dun-grey calves from these matings were kept as curiosities and then bred on the Thologolong property along the Murray River in New South Wales by Peter and Ena Sutherland.

These unusually coloured cattle grew quickly, were good converters of feed and produced quality carcases. Local cattlemen soon became interested in the greys and began breeding them. The first larger-scale commercial herds were established in the 1940s. In the 1960s several grey cattle breeders were selling them as a commercial enterprise and the Murray Grey Beef Cattle Society was formed to register the cattle and to administer the breed. There are Murray Grey registries in Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. In New Zealand Murray Greys have been favoured because of their resistance to Facial eczema which is a problem in other cattle breeds.[2]

In 1963 negotiations were made to have the similar Tasmanian Grey beef cattle accepted into the Murray Grey Beef Cattle Society, but it was not until 1981 that the two organizations combined.

Greyman cattle were developed in Queensland in the 1970s, specifically to suit the Queensland environment, by combining Murray Grey and Brahman breeds. Cattle breeders in the northern and western regions of Australia are increasingly using Murray Grey genetics to cross with Bos Indicus cattle to improve fertility, docility and carcase quality. Murray Greys are the third largest breed in Australia and because of their superior marbling and carcase traits, are in strong demand for meat exports to Asian countries.

The Murray Grey Beef Cattle Society performance records the herd using the internationally recognized Breedplan for monitoring growth, milk and carcass quality.