Brahman (cattle)
Overview
 
The Brahman or Brahma is a breed of Zebu
Zebu
Zebu , sometimes known as humped cattle, indicus cattle, Cebu or Brahmin cattle are a type of domestic cattle originating in South Asia, particularly the Indian subcontinent. They are characterised by a fatty hump on their shoulders, drooping ears and a large dewlap...

 cattle
Cattle
Cattle are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, and are most commonly classified collectively as Bos primigenius...

 (Bos primigenius indicus), later exported from India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 to the rest of the world. The main breeds used were Kankrej, Gujurat, Nelore or Ongole and the Gir or Gyr cattle. It is named for the sacred cow of Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

.
The American Brahman has a distinct large hump over the top of the shoulder and neck, and a loose flap of skin (dewlap
Dewlap
A dewlap is a longitudinal flap of skin that hangs beneath the lower jaw or neck of many vertebrates. While the term is usually used in this specific context, it can also be used to include other structures occurring in the same body area with a similar aspect, such as those caused by a double...

) hanging from the neck.
Encyclopedia
The Brahman or Brahma is a breed of Zebu
Zebu
Zebu , sometimes known as humped cattle, indicus cattle, Cebu or Brahmin cattle are a type of domestic cattle originating in South Asia, particularly the Indian subcontinent. They are characterised by a fatty hump on their shoulders, drooping ears and a large dewlap...

 cattle
Cattle
Cattle are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, and are most commonly classified collectively as Bos primigenius...

 (Bos primigenius indicus), later exported from India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 to the rest of the world. The main breeds used were Kankrej, Gujurat, Nelore or Ongole and the Gir or Gyr cattle. It is named for the sacred cow of Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

.

Characteristics

The American Brahman has a distinct large hump over the top of the shoulder and neck, and a loose flap of skin (dewlap
Dewlap
A dewlap is a longitudinal flap of skin that hangs beneath the lower jaw or neck of many vertebrates. While the term is usually used in this specific context, it can also be used to include other structures occurring in the same body area with a similar aspect, such as those caused by a double...

) hanging from the neck. It is also known for its distinctive long, floppy ears. Bulls weigh 1,600 to 2,200 pounds (800 to 1,100 kg) and cows weigh 1,000 to 1,400 pounds (500 to 700 kg). At birth, calves weigh 60 to 65 pounds (30 to 33 kg). American Brahmans are known as a docile, intelligent breed of beef cattle. Brahman cattle can be gray or red color. Their tail switch is black, and they have black pigmentation on their noses, tips of ears, and hooves. They are primarily a horned breed of cattle however there are some bloodlines of Brahman that are naturally polled (without horns).

Brahmans have a greater ability to withstand heat than European cattle. They have more sweat gland
Sweat gland
Sweat glands, or sudoriferous glands, are small tubular structures of the skin that produce sweat. There are two kinds of sweat glands:...

s, and also an oily skin
Skin
-Dermis:The dermis is the layer of skin beneath the epidermis that consists of connective tissue and cushions the body from stress and strain. The dermis is tightly connected to the epidermis by a basement membrane. It also harbors many Mechanoreceptors that provide the sense of touch and heat...

, thought to help repel pest
Pest (animal)
A pest is an animal which is detrimental to humans or human concerns. It is a loosely defined term, often overlapping with the related terms vermin, weeds, parasites and pathogens...

 insect
Insect
Insects are a class of living creatures within the arthropods that have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body , three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes, and two antennae...

s along with a smooth coat. They have a short hair coat. They are also more resistant to parasites and disease
Disease
A disease is an abnormal condition affecting the body of an organism. It is often construed to be a medical condition associated with specific symptoms and signs. It may be caused by external factors, such as infectious disease, or it may be caused by internal dysfunctions, such as autoimmune...

. Brahmans have also been extensively crossbred with European cattle in subtropical United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, in Central America
Central America
Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...

 and in some tropical
Tropics
The tropics is a region of the Earth surrounding the Equator. It is limited in latitude by the Tropic of Cancer in the northern hemisphere at approximately  N and the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern hemisphere at  S; these latitudes correspond to the axial tilt of the Earth...

 areas of the world to gain their advantages in hot climates. Brahman crossed cattle, referred to as F-1 Brahmans, are very popular in the southern 1/3 of the United States and in South America, Asia, and Australia because of the sub-tropical climate. An F-1 Brahman can be a cross between any two unrelated breeds, however it is most popular when crossed with Hereford
Hereford (cattle)
Hereford cattle are a beef cattle breed, widely used both in intemperate areas and temperate areas, mainly for meat production.Originally from Herefordshire, England, United Kingdom, more than five million pedigree Hereford Cattle now exist in over 50 countries...

 and Angus.

A Brahman cow is an extremely good mother, offering protection and an abundance of milk for her calves. Brahman calves tend to measure high weights at weaning because of the outstanding milk given by Brahman cows. In some countries, especially in South America, Brahman cattle are used for both milk and beef production.

Breeding and uses

American Brahman cattle was the first breed of beef cattle developed in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 in the early 1900s as a result of crossing four different Indian cattle breeds (Gyr, Gujarat, Nelore and Krishna Valley). The original American Brahman cattle originated from a nucleus of approximately 266 bulls and 22 females of several Bos indicus (cattle of India) types imported into the United States between 1854 and 1926.

The American Brahman Breeders Association was formed in 1924 as the official herd registry in the United States to track and verify bloodlines of cattle. This organization is headquartered in Houston, Texas. The name "Brahman" was created by the American Brahman Breeder's Association first secretary, Mr. J. W. Sartwelle.

The Brahman is mainly used for breeding and the meat industry; it has been crossbred extensively with Bos taurus (Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an) 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
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

 and northern Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 (especially in Queensland
Queensland
Queensland is a state of Australia, occupying the north-eastern section of the mainland continent. It is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean...

, the Kimberley (Western Australia) and the Northern Territory
Northern Territory
The Northern Territory is a federal territory of Australia, occupying much of the centre of the mainland continent, as well as the central northern regions...

) among many other places. It has been used to develop numerous other U.S. beef breeds including Brangus, Beefmaster, Simbrah, and Santa Gertrudis.

Brahman cattle are known for their extreme tolerance to heat conditions, and therefore are used in many tropical regions. They are also resistant to insects due to their thick layer of skin. Brahman cattle live longer than many other breeds, often still producing calves at ages 15 and older.

External links

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