Brahman

American Brahman

Origin

As the first beef breed developed in the United States, the American Brahman has played an important role not only in crossbreeding programs throughout the United States and beyond, but it has become a common thread among other American breeds developed in the last century. American Brahman influence in the beef industry is felt world-wide, and their genetics are sought by cattlemen in every continent. Their development is a success story unparalleled. Today's cattlemen breed Brahmans for all the right reasons.

Originating 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, today the Brahman breed has achieved acceptance for their environmental adaptivity, longevity, mothering ability and efficient beef production. Bos indicus cattle have been serving man for thousands of years. Throughout their evolution they have endured famine, insect pests, diseases and extreme temperature fluctuations. Thus through natural selection these cattle came to have the ability to survive and thrive where other types have failed. In their expansion, these cattle have improved beef production in every country in which they have been introduced, as they are mated to existing native cattle. While some 30 defined breeds or types of Bos indicus cattle have been identified in India, only a few of these breeds were selected to develop the American Brahman.

Characteristics

Brahman cattle may vary in color depending on the goals of the cattlemen who breed them, but their genetic purity does not. Acceptable colors are light gray or red to almost black. Average Brahman bulls will weigh from 1,600 to 2,200 pounds and cows from 1,000 to 1,400 pounds. Purebred calves are small to moderate at birth. It is documented that Brahman and Brahman cross females calve easily. Brahmans are recognized for intelligence and desired disposition. They are very responsive to kindness and are quite gentle when handled properly.

General

The American Brahman excels in adding hybrid vigor to their offspring when crossed with other breeds, resulting in more money in your pocket as a beef producer. Hybrid vigor (or "heterosis") is a animal breeding or genetics term that is achieved by crossing two different straings, varieties, breeds or species. In the cattle world, maximum hybrid vigor is obtained by crossing totally unrelated animals, achieving the “best of both worlds”.

Because of this added hybrid vigor, the use of Brahman bulls with European or English breed cows is one of the most popular crossbreeding practices in the United States, with the resulting Brahman F-1 calf in high demand by cattlemen for replacement females or feeders in the feedlot.

Years of crossbreeding research has consistently shown that ranchers get higher levels of heterosis when you cross a Brahman with a British or Continental breed compared to just breeding British or Continental breeds to each other. Because of this, Brahman cattle are often referred to as crossbreeding's common denominator. The Brahman F-1 cross is consistently superior to other crosses in weight per day of age and carcass efficiency. The Brahman F-1 is also very popular because these cattle display many important characteristics of their Brahman parent, such as drought resistance, heat tolerance, disease and parasite resistance and increased longevity.

Breed Registry and Programs

The American Brahman Breeders Association (ABBA) was organized in 1924. J.W. Sartwelle of Houston was the first recording secretary of the Association and it was he who proposed the word "Brahman" and so it was adopted as the name of the new beef breed. With strict selection, guided by the standard of excellence developed by founding breeders, the American Brahman has been recognized for its exceptional hardiness and physical stamina, its ability to profitably produce on marginal lands, to live twice as long as normally expected, with unequaled performance in weight per day of age. As consumers shift to lean meat and lower calorie diets, Brahmans are perfectly positioned to fill the demand for a beef product which efficiently converts feed into high-quality beef, while producing a carcass free of excess fat.

Web site: www.brahman.org