Brahman Cattle

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Other common names: Brahma; American Brahman

The basics:
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


bit flighty


rodeo serket, massive big bulls, extremely large properties, live export market, northern Australia

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