Other common names: Brahma; American Brahman
Brahman cattle were developed from Zebu cattle (Bos primigenius indicus), the name for a type of humped cattle native to India. The American Brahman cattle was the first breed of beef cattle developed in the United States, and is believed to have originally involved a crossing of four different Indian cattle breeds (Gyr, Guzerat, Nelore and Krishna Valley). The American Brahman Breeders Association (ABBA) was organized in 1924.
According to Oklahoma State University, "During the period from 1910 to 1920, many cattle in the south-western part of Texas and the coastal country along the Gulf of Mexico showed considerable evidence of Bos indicus breeding. Since there are records of less than 300 imported Brahmans, most of which were bulls, it must be assumed that other breeds supplied the foundation animals for the breed. The bulls were used on cows of the European breeds and on the descendants of these crosses. By the fifth generation (31/32) the offspring carried not only a preponderance of Bos indicus breeding but selection pressure had permitted the development of an animal generally regarded as superior to the original imports for beef production."
Appearance / health:
Brahman cattle are large animals with body colors in various shades of gray, reddish brown, and black. Average Brahman bulls will weigh from 1,600 to 2,200 pounds and cows from 1,000 to 1,400 pounds. Their large distinctive horns curve upwards. Other distinct characteristics of the Brahman include the hump over the back of the neck, the pendulous ears, and the loose skin flaps of the underbelly and throat areas. The skin is covered with sweat glands that help them remain cool, and oil glands that repel insects.
The Brahman’s features are adaptations to their native habitat of extreme temperatures. The dark skin protects them from sunburn; the loose skin provides additional surface area for sweating and cooling down. In the winter, the Brahman grows a thick coat to protect itself from the cold.
Like other livestock, cattle require regular vaccinations and inoculations (for example, rabies inoculations) for disease prevention and health management. Similar to other mammals, cows can suffer a variety of ailments and health issues. A veterinarian should be on call and provide regular checkups and monitoring for the entire herd.
Behavior / temperament:
Cattle are docile animals that have strong maternal instincts. They are big and bulky, and could, therefore, inflict harm without intending to. Handling and brushing them constantly while juvenile will help train them to be calm and trusting around humans, which is helpful especially when they need to be attended to by the veterinarian or groomer.
Housing / diet:
Brahman Cattle have a greater ability to withstand heat than Bos taurus, the European or "taurine" cattle (including similar types from Africa and Asia). Brahman Cattle can tolerate extreme weather conditions, scarce food and water, and walking far distances to graze.
good growth, fantastic cows, manageable Brahmans, meat quality, heat tolerance, hardy breed
rodeo serket, massive big bulls, extremely large properties, live export market, northern Australia
My family has farmed in Florida for generations and our cattle of choice has always been the Brahman. The high temperatures in our part of the country would harm many types of cattle, but not the Brahman. They thrive in warmer weather. The Brahman is also a top choice of cattle for their meat production. Because they carry less fat, they produce more top grade meat. They're also on the easier side to handle. We had a Brahman Bull named Sanchez. He was 2000 pounds of pure terrifying muscle, but to my grandfather he was a teddy bear. He would let my grandfather pet and brush him without a care in the world. I swear they probably cuddled when no one was watching. He was not only a breeder and meat producer, he was like a pet. When the children came around he was a little standoffish but what kind of cattle wouldn't be? Sanchez was our best breeding bull to this day fathering over 130 healthy children..
From JaneClark94 Feb 12 2015 6:48PM
Excellent mothers, hardy and trainable
The Brahmans I've worked with have all been fantastic, with the exception of a few crazies, but you always get those.
They are incredibly hardy and are a must if you're in drought-prone areas like central western Queensland, Australia. Their loose skin means they aren't as troubled by the buffalo fly and all of the ones I've worked with have calved unassisted. Furthermore, unlike other breeds Brahmans have incredibly strong mothering instincts, so keep your distance if there's a new calf at foot. It is also wise to bear this in mind when mustering - you need to give Brahmans extra time to mother up, especially during drought times. The mothers will leave calves at water to search for food, and those calves will not budge until their mothers find them and tell them it's time to go.
They can be a bit flighty and dopey but that comes down to training, and whether or not you graze by set-stocking (many do in Aus but I opt not to) - if you get them in the yards and on a rotational grazing system consistently I've found they usually become easy to handle within a couple of months - they take well to herd mentality and will come trotting to you when it's time for a fresh selection of grass.
Brahmans are great if you want to graze busy areas like roads - their light colour means they're highly visible at night, which means fewer car accidents..
From FarmGirl5 Jun 2 2014 5:00AM