Brahman Breeders Society of Zimbabwe (BBSZ)
The Brahman adapts easily to change, and will maintain itself in a new environment. Brahmans will move long distances to grazing daily, not tiring and walking easily.
The Brahman will do its best to take care of itself – it is able to continue to perform and reproduce under extreme conditions. They are not fussy and will also browse on vines, shrubs, leaves and coarse vegetation, even when grass is available. Because Brahmans feed often but lightly, they very seldom get bloat.
Brahmans adapt to temperatures above 40 degrees and beyond -they will still maintain their milkproduction and appetite. They have a dewlap, which is covered in sweatglands, which secrete constantly – the dewlap sways and cools with movement, cooling the animal down. This is their built in “airconditioning”. While Brahmans can stand the heat, they can also tolerate very cold conditions, with their loose skin contracting to generate heat.
The Brahman has the strongest mothering instinct of any breed – they are famous for their ability to protect a calf!!! They stay with their calves, and are on constant lookout for danger. Calving: Brahmans have small calves…..25-35kgs on average. They have a sloping rump and a very large pelvic area, which allows them to calve without problems. This is important for the rancher.
Brahman milk has a very high butterfat content. Cows produce plenty of good quality milk, and will pour most of their energy into their calves, to produce good weaners.
Resistance to parasites:
The Brahman has a smooth and sensitive coat. The coat is loose and moves easily, and is also oily. The short hair is very dense and upright. The muscle layer just under the skin is very well developed. This means that when parasites settle on a Brahman, the animal feels them easily, and shakes them off effectively. If they remain on the animal, the dense hair layer makes it difficult for the parasite to sting or attach to the animal. This means that the Brahman breed has less disease caused by parasites.
Brahmans have a dark skin pigment and are virtually free of eye cancers and sun related problems.
The Brahman cow will breed to a high age…..15 to 18 years old! We have three 16 year olds still breeding in our herd, with calves at foot. Our oldest cow has produced 13 calves for us. The Brahman has the ability to produce a good strong calf annually. We have had studbulls breeding naturally and successfully in our herd up to 12 years of age. The Brahman is the king of crossbreeding! The Brahman breed compliments and adds value to any other breed by means of crossbreeding. Crossbred Brahmans (F1) are efficient, grow well and convert their feed well – they are an excellent choice for feedlots.
Ranching: Brahmans are CLEVER!
They will adapt to a routine easily, and have a good temperament when handled well and often, from a young age. They do best with gentle, quiet herding.
Late Shedding of teeth:
Brahmans only shed teeth after 24 months, and until as late as 32 months – this means they are classified as “supers” for a much longer period than other breeds…so the farmer gets better prices for his beef.
Because Brahmans are very disease resistant, farmers have lower veterinary costs. Because Brahmans can utilize natural grazing very well, the farmer can have less inputs than with other breeds.