Hereford cattle Breed
Hereford is a British beef cattle breed that has its origins in the Herefordshire County in the west midlands, England. It is a beef cattle breed that was imported to the United States at around 1847 to cater for the growing market. In countries that experience longer daylight, the breed tends to suffer ocular squamous cell carcinoma (cancer of the eye) due to white pigmentation around the eyes. The skin around the udder is also susceptible to sunburn due to light pigmentation
Characteristics of the breed.
- Thrives well in almost every climate with the ability to withstand harsh climatic conditions.
- Hereford breed coat color is dark-red to yellow-red and a distinctive white head, dewlap, tail switch and the underline. White markings on the knees and docks are also common.
- Male weighs about 800 kg while females weigh about 540kg.
- Male stands at 150cm high while females stand at 140cm high.
- Horns are usually white in color; polled strains also do exist.
- Dwarfism is a common problem associated with Hereford breed and is carried by a recessive gene.
- The breed matures early, has high longevity and has an ability to deposit fats at an early age.
- It is a breed that is docile and easy to manage.
- The breed is famous for its foraging ability and hybrid vigor.
Angus Cattle Breed
Angus is a beef breed of cattle referred to as Aberdeen Angus or Angus only. It originated from Scotland at around 16th century and is a native breed to Angus and Aberdeenshire in northeastern Scotland. The breed is polled and is either black or red in color. The native breed was black in color but red colored breeds have emerged. Black Angus is most popular in the USA.
Characteristics of the Breed
- Coat color is usually black, though red breeds exist.
- It is a polled breed.
- Bulls weigh about 850kg while cows weigh about 550 kg.
- Calves are usually born small; cross breeding is needed with dairy breeds for veal production.
- The breed matures faster compared to other British native breeds like Hereford and the North Duvan.
- It has good marbling qualities
- Some of the congenital defects that affect the breed include dwarfism, arthrogryposis (curly calf), neuropathic hydrocephalus (water head) and contractual arachnodactyly. The defects are associated with a recessive gene.
Brahman Cattle Breed
Brahman is a zebu beef breed of cattle that was developed by crossbreeding Gir, Ongole, Krishna valley, Guzerat and Kankrej cattle in the early 1900s. These breeds of cattle were imported from India. It’s the most popular beef cattle breed and is now widely used for meat production.
Characteristics of the breed
- It is a hardy breed with extreme tolerance to heat due to loose skin hanging below its neck, making it a suitable breed in the tropics and a wide variety of climatic conditions
- It has floppy ears and humped back, a distinctive characteristic of the breed.
- It has outwards curving horns that tilt towards the front.
- Calves are usually born small but grow faster.
- There are rare cases of calving difficulty.
- Cows have high fertility and calve regularly.
- Mature bull weighs 725-1000kg while a cow weighs 455-635kg.
- Its coat color is dark grey or light red with bull being darker than cows. The cattle have dark skin to protect it from the hot sun. This is in addition to the thick tuft of hair in their bodies. There are however some bulls which are almost black.
- It is a docile breed of cattle that can be handled with ease.
- The breed has a faster growth rate and an ability to put on muscles, making it a good beef breed
- The breed’s ability to sweat freely enables it to survive extreme temperatures.
Galloway cattle Breed
The Galloway cattle breed is named after Galloway regions of Scotland where it originated from in the 17th century. The breed is one of the highly-established breeds of cattle on the world.it has now colonized many parts of the world including Canada, Australia and many countries around the globe. It is an average sized cattle beef breed that has thick fur throughout its body. The breed is native to Scotland and the thick coat is believed to have been an evolutionary mechanism for survival against the harsh climate there. The breed has been used for beef production, but it is milked in some regions like for cheese production. Belted Galloways are mainly kept due to their beautiful appearance and marbling qualities.
Characteristics of the Galloway breed
- Galloway is a polled breed.
- The breed has thick fur around its body. Because of this, it has a thin layer of subcutaneous fat under the skin.
- Galloway cow weighs between 450 and 650kg while bulls weigh between 770-1040kg.
- Galloway’s calves are born with 34kg birth weight.
- Calves have a high ability to grow fast and thrive in pasture and feedlot.
- Dams are known for their fertility, hardiness and the high calving frequency and consistency.
- Galloway breed when slaughtered, produce good carcass quality
- Galloway dams have high longevity and produce constantly.
Charolais Cattle Breed
Charolais is a beef cattle breed that originated in Charolais in the eastern coast of France at a place called Burgundy and came into limelight as early as 878AD. It is a European cattle breed (taurine). The breed is the second most popular cattle breed in France after Holsteins and is the most widely kept beef cattle breed. Their population is distributed worldwide. The breed has been selected for its muscling ability and size.
Characteristics of the breed
- Charolais is a highly muscled cattle breed
- Charolais bulls weigh 1100kg while cows weigh 900kg. A 1tonne bull has been recorded.
- The breed has a creamy, light red or white coat color.
- It is a horned breed and has a long body. However, polled Charolais breeds have emerged as a result of breeding.
- Charolais bulls are highly reputed for herd improvement.
- The breed has excellent performance in a variety of climatic conditions.
- It produces a high-quality carcass that has earned it trophies in carcass competitions.
- The breed matures late but several improvements have been achieved as a result of selection and breeding. The current Charolais matures earlier than the former Charolais breeds.
- Charolais bull calves weigh 45.5 kg at birth while heifer calves weigh 42kg.
- Bulls have an average height of 145cm while cows have an average height of 135 cm.
Braford Cattle Breed
Braford cattle breed is a beef cattle that was developed by crossing a Hereford bull and a Brahman cow, therefore, traits of both breeds are manifested in Braford breed. The breed originated in Queensland in 1946. It was also developed by Alto Adams Jr. in his ranch in 1947. The modern Brahman is 3/8 Brahman and 5/8 Hereford.
Characteristics of the breed
- Braford cattle have good ring ability, they reach puberty earlier, have high fertility and easy calving. They also have high and productive longevity.
- The breed is red in color, with the head, underside and legs being white.
- Brafords are resistant to heat and parasite infestation. This is due to the high number of sweat glands that were inherited from the Brahman breed.
- Braford is often used for rodeos due to its outstanding qualities like massive bone disposition, heat tolerance, and hardiness.
- Braford cattle being hardy, have the ability to thrive in harsh climatic conditions.
- The breed can either be horned or polled.
- Mature Braford bulls weigh 900-1000kg while cows weigh 550-750kg.
- The breed performs well when kept under feedlot system.
Limousin Cattle Breed
Limousin is a beef breed of cattle that originated from Limousin and Marche areas in France and its existence dates back to the late 18th century. The breed was first exported to other countries in considerable numbers in 1960 and is now kept in about 70 countries around the globe. It was initially reared as draft animals but interest for its meat grew about 200 years ago. Limousin are often crossbred with Hereford, Shorthorn, and Angus because of their ability to contribute hybrid vigor and other qualities like feed conversion efficiency.
Characteristics of Limousin Beef Cattle
- Limousin is naturally horned, although polled breeds have emerged as a result of breeding.
- The coat color of the breed is golden red or wheat-light with lighter circles around the eyes and the muzzles. Black Limousins also have emerged due to breeding.
- Limousin calves have low birth weight, thus, calving difficulty is uncommon.
- The breed has high dressing percentage, i.e. the ratio of carcass to live weight.
- They have a high feed conversion efficiency.
- The breed is also known for its lean and tender meat.
- Limousin bulls weigh between 1000- 1200 kg while cows weigh 650-700 kg.
- Limousin is a hardy breed that can thrive well under diverse climatic conditions and different management systems.
- The head of the breed is small and short, the forehead is wide and the neck is also short.
Boran Cattle Breed
Boran is a beef cattle breed that originated in Kenya. The breed was developed from the shorthorn zebu cattle which are native to the Oromo people of southern Ethiopia Southwestern Somalia and northeastern Kenya. The Orma Boran were introduced into Kenya by Oromo pastoralists who migrated into Kenya. The breed was introduced in South Africa in 1990s. The breed shares a lot of similarities with the Brahman cattle. It is widely kept in ranches in Kenya. Kenyan Boran is the biggest, being differentiated by highly-developed hindquarters, while Orma Boran is the smallest.
Characteristics of the breed
- Coat color is usually fawn, red or white but bulls are quite darker with black.
- The breed is adapted to the savanna climatic conditions of Africa and has high resistance to parasite infestation.
- It matures earlier than other zebu breeds; heifers reach puberty at 365 days.
- It is a hardy, quiet and docile breed that is easy to handle.
- A mature Orma Boran bull weighs 225-395kg while cows weigh 250-355kg. A mature Kenya Boran bull weighs 550-850kg while cows weigh 450-550kg.
- The breed has high ability to convert roughage into good quality beef.
- it has a strong survival instinct that makes it hard to isolate one Boran cattle from a crowd of other Borans. The instinct makes the breed to survive in bushy environments.
- Boran has considerable longevity with bulls of up to 15 years being able to produce viable semen.
- The breed has high fertility.
J.E.O Rege A kahi, M Okomo Adhiambo, J Mwacharo and O Hanotte: Zebu Cattle of Kenya: Uses, Performance, Farmer Preferences, Measures of Genetic Diversity and Options for Improved Use.