Breeders: Brahman

The Brahman breed originated from Bos indicus cattle originally brought from India. Through centuries of exposure to inadequate food supplies, insect pests, parasites, diseases and the weather extremes of tropical India, the native cattle developed some remarkable adaptations for survival.

A Brahman

These are the “sacred cattle of India,” and many of the Hindu faith will not eat meat from them, will not permit them to be slaughtered, and will not sell them. These facts, in conjunction with he quarantine regulations of the United States, have made it difficult to import cattle from India into this country.

All the Bos indicus cattle are characterized by a large hump over the top of the shoulder and neck. Spinal processes below the hump are extended, and there is considerable muscular tissue covering the processes. The other characteristics of these cattle are their horns, which usually curve upward and are sometimes tilted to the rear, their ears, which are generally large and pendulous, and the throatlatch and dewlap, which have a large amount of excess skin.

They also have more highly developed sweat glands than European cattle (Bos taurus) and so can perspire more freely. Bos indicus cattle produce an oily secretion from the sebaceous glands which has a distinctive odor and is reported to assist in repelling insects.

Some 30 well defined breeds of cattle have been listed in India. Three principal strains or varieties were brought to the United States and used in the development of the Brahman breed are the Guzerat, the Nellore, and Gir. In addition, the Krishna Valley strain was introduced and used to a lesser extent. The general similarity of the Guzert strain to the cattle selected and developed in this country would indicate that cattlemen working with the breed have generally preferred this type.

Key ingredients for successful beef production are:

  • Adaptability to the environment
  • Production potential

The Brahman’s improved efficiency of production over breeds is closely linked to its unique digestive system attributes:

  • The ability to recycle nutrients through the blood stream and saliva promotes digestion
  • Reduced water intake means reduced urination resulting in less nitrogen loss and higher blood nitrogen levels
  • Maintenance of higher intake levels of low quality feed
  • Low maintenance requirement
  • Slower rate of protein turnover enables muscle and body tissue development to continue on low feed intake
  • Brahmans remain productive longer
  • Reduced sulphur demand for hair growth means more available for amino acids associated with growth and production
  • Lower rumen liquid volume and higher rumen bacterial fat results in higher levels of energy rich compounds in the blood stream.

The Australian Brahman’s impressive production performance on the hoof is backed up by an equally impressive performance as a carcase.

  • Lower rumen content means higher dressing percentages
  • Superior yield of saleable meat is a result of:
  • Excellent muscle development
  • Uniform even fat cover
  • Less intramuscular fat which means less waste

If you want to buy a Brahman, check the links below with breeders:

United States of America: American Brahman Breeders Association

Australia: Australian Brahman Breeders Association

A Brahman herd


About John Viney

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *