Brahma Bull

Category: Farm

The odd-looking Brahma bull has been mainly used in the United States to improve existing beef breeds. Many beef breeders in hot climates will buy a Brahma bull and use him to breed their cattle of other breeds. The Brahma bull was used to create new breeds like the Beefmaster, Braford, and Brangus. Brahma cattle are perfect for hot, humid climates where other breeds suffer and fail to gain weight. While many other cattle are seeking shade, the Brahma bull will be out in the sun grazing.

Brahma Bull

Brahma Bull

Scientific & Common Names

Kingdom - Animalia

Phylum - Chordata

Class - Mammalia

Order - Artiodactyla

Family - Bovidae

Subfamily - Bovinae

Genus - Bos

Species & Subspecies - B. taurus indicus

Common Name - Brahman, Brahmin, Brahma, Zebu

Characteristics

The most notable characteristic of the Brahma is the large hump on its neck and shoulders. The dewlap, belly skin, and throatlatch are well-developed with plenteous folds of excess skin. The ears of the Brahama are pendulous and quite large. Brahama have upward-curling horns; most of the features of the Brahma's appearance are designed to help it tolerate heat. The excess skin, large ears, horns, and the fact that it can sweat allows it to cool itself more efficiently.

Breeding

Brahman bulls reach sexual maturity at an older age than many other breeds of cattle. Most of the time, a Brahma bull is about two years old before he is capable of breeding.

Behavior

Brahman bulls reach sexual maturity at an older age than many other breeds of cattle. Most of the time, a Brahma bull is about two years old before he is capable of breeding.

History

The Brahma originated in the Indus Valley of Asia where it developed many traits to withstand heat, insects, and diseases common to tropical regions. The Brahma is the "sacred cow" of India and many Hindus refuse to eat their meat or sell them for slaughter, a fact that can make their importation from India quite difficult. A few Brahma cattle were imported to the United States in the mid-1800s by way of the British government, and in the early 1900s some animal shows sold their Brahma animals to ranchers. In the mid-1900s, Brahma animals were imported through Canada and Brazil because of disease concerns surrounding animals imported from India.

Present Status

Brahma cattle are widespread in the United States and they are especially popular in the southern coastal U.S. and Texas. Additionally, Brahma cattle have become popular in tropical areas outside of the United States, such as Australia, Mexico, Brazil, and Paraguay.

References

  1. http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/Pnacr261.pdf

  2. http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/cattle/

  3. http://www.ionet.net/~brahman/adapt.html

  4. http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/agriculture/livestock/beef/breeding/breeds/brahman