Brahman cattle

Brahman cattle

Brahman cattle, breed of beef cattle developed in the S United States in the early 1900s by combining several breeds or strains of zebu cattle of India. Brahman cattle have a very distinctive appearance with a hump over the shoulders, loose skin under the throat, and large drooping ears; they are generally light to medium gray in color. The breed has contributed to beef production through cross breeding with European cattle, e.g., Hereford and Angus. These hybrid cattle exhibit hybrid vigor, i.e., they generally exhibit growth and reproductive rates greater than either of the parental types. Several new breeds of cattle have been developed in the United States based on Brahman-European crosses, some important ones being the Beefmaster (Brahman combined with Shorthorn cattle and Hereford cattle), Brangus (Brahman combined with Angus cattle), Charbray (Brahman combined with Charolais cattle), and Santa Gertrudis (Brahman combined with Shorthorn). Brahman cattle have been extensively exported.
The Brahman (named for the sacred cow of Hinduism) or Brahma is a breed of Zebu cattle (Bos primigenius indicus), later exported from India to the rest of the world. The main breed was the Kankrej, called Guzerat in Brazil. Also used were the Nelore or Ongole and the Gir or Gyr.

Brahman cattle were developed in the United States in the early 1900s from four different Indian cattle breeds and some British-bred cattle. The first secretary, Mr JW Sartwelle, of the American Brahman Breeders Association which was founded in 1924 proposed the name Brahman.

The Brahman is mainly used for breeding and the meat industry, it has been crossbred extensively with Bos taurus (European) beef breeds of cattle. The Brahman is one of the most popular breeds of cattle intended for meat processing and is widely used in Argentina, Brazil, United States, Colombia and in the Kimberley (Western Australia) and the Northern Territory among many other places.

The Brahman has a distinct large hump over the top of the shoulder and neck, and a loose flap of skin (dewlap) hanging from the neck. Their ears are large and floppy. Bulls weigh 1600 to 2200 pounds (800 to 1,100 kg) and cows weigh 1000 to 1400 pounds (500 to 700 kg). At birth, calves weigh 60 to 65 pounds (30 to 33 kg). Despite their huge size, they are known as a docile intelligent breed, if handled with kindness from calfhood.

Brahmans have a greater ability to withstand heat than European cattle. They have more sweat glands, and also an oily skin, thought to help repel pest insects along with a smooth coat. They are also more resistant to parasites and disease. Brahmans have also been extensively crossbred with European cattle in subtropical United States, in Central America and in some tropical areas of the world to gain their advantages in hot climates.

In popular culture

In the video game Fallout, there are two-headed mutated cows called Brahmin, considered an intentionally misspelled reference to the breed.

The former WWE character "The Rock" (Dwayne Johnson) uses the nickname "The Brahma Bull".



See also

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