An Introduction to Brahman Cow – Climate

The Brahman Cow Distribution

The roots of the Brahman cow known as ‘Brahma’ or ‘zebu’ run back to India. In 1885 the United States imported Brahman cows from India. Later the United Kingdom and Brazil also imported this breed of cows. The challenges like pests, heat, and humidity made the northern European cattle breeds less profitable in Brazil and the southern United States, where varieties like Nellore, Gir, and Gujarat from India became particularly successful. However, the Brahman cow is an American breed of hybrid beef cattle known as zebuine-taurine. In Australia, the Brahman cow covers the highest number of cattle population after the first importation of Brahman cows in 1933.

Their popularity is because it is used to create taurine-indicine hybrid types, including Brahmousin and Brangus, which stand as separate breeds. In 1924, the American Brahman Breeders Association was established, thereby starting the herd book. J.W.Sartwelle, the secretary of this association, came up with the name Brahman cow. In the subsequent years, several changes were made to the herd-book, the first thing being the closure of the her-book in 1939. Thereafter, registrations were open only to the offspring of registered parents.

However, in 1946 there was an exception to registration as 18 bulls (Indu-Brazil and Gir) imported from Brazil were permitted for registration. Later, this breed of cows was exported from the USA to Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Paraguay, and South Africa, where beef cattle production is popular.

Characteristics of Brahman Cow

The Brahman cow is famous for its good adaptability to tropical regions. Owing to its inherent thick skin, Brahman cattle are insect-resistant. Another remarkable feature of the Brahman breed is its longevity when compared to other breeds. Brahman cow is gifted with loose skin that can easily withstand warm weather. They adapt to hot climates by increasing the body surface area exposed to cooling. Apart from that, Brahman cows can sweat freely as they have a large number of sweat glands. They produce calves when they are 15 years or older. Brahman cows have several colors that vary from very light gray to red and black.

The commonly found colors are light gray to medium gray. You can differentiate between a bull and a cow by looking at their skin color, as mature bulls are often darker than cows and have dark patches on the neck, shoulders, and lower thighs. Brahman cows have upward curved horns and pendulous ears. Their glossy hair is short but thick.

Uses of Brahman Cow

Brahman Cow is a beef cow reared for the meat industry, especially in areas with tropical climates. Among other beef breeds, Brahman cows fall into the intermediate size.
Bulls – 1600 to 2200 pounds
cows – 1000 to 1400 pounds (on average)
Calves – 60 to 65 pounds (at birth)
Newly born calves put on weight rapidly and wean at weights.

Traits of Brahman Cow

 

In general, the Brahman cow is an intelligent but shy breed. He is inquisitive about learning what happens around him. As mentioned earlier, Brahman cows have a flexible adaptability to tropical climates. They are unusually docile, thrifty, and hardy, which suggests careful and kind handling methods, as Brahmans are sensitive to affection very much. If you take carefully inspection of their behavior, it is not difficult to find the best way to be friendly with them. Apart from being used as beef cows, the Brahman cow breed ensures its role as a good mother as well. This is because they produce a satisfactory flow of milk, unlike some of the European breeds that find it difficult to continue milk production due to adverse conditions.

Are Brahman Cows Good at Tolerating Hot Climates?

Brahman cattle, as well as European cattle, thrive at temperatures down to 8° F. The University of Missouri found that European cattle are uncomfortable with air temperatures above 70° F. In that atmosphere, European cattle show signs of declined appetite, milk production, and increased body temperatures. In comparison to European cattle, Brahman cattle tolerate temperatures up to and beyond 105° F, which is the most remarkable trait of a Brahman cow. The same study figured out that Brahman cattle produce less internal body heat in tropical climates than cattle of European breeds. As a result, ranchers and farmers in the Gulf States and in the southeastern US prefer Brahman cattle that stand harsh climate changes.

 

What is the hump on Brahman Cattle?

One of the prominent features of the Brahman is its humped back, apart from its loose skin and long, drooping ears. This hump reminds us of a camel in the desert. Similarly, a Bahman cow can store food and water in the hump on its back.

Brahman cow

In Brief

The American Brahman’s ability to produce heterosis or maximum hybrid vigor when crossed with other breeds is unmatched in the beef industry today especially related to strength and profit potential. Breeding Brahman breed bulls with European and British breed cattle is one of the most popular breeding methods in the United States.
Over the years, crossbreeding studies have consistently shown that breeders experience a higher degree of heterosis when crossing Brahmins to British or Continental breeds compared to crossing British or Continental breeds. For this reason, American Brahman cattle are often referred to as the “crossbreed common denominator.”

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