Brahman cattle, breed of beef cattle developed in the S United States in the early 1900s by combining several breeds or strains of zebu cattle of India. Brahman cattle have a very distinctive appearance with a hump over the shoulders, loose skin under the throat, and large drooping ears; they are generally light to medium gray in color. The breed has contributed to beef production through cross breeding with European cattle, e.g., Hereford and Angus. These hybrid cattle exhibit hybrid vigor, i.e., they generally exhibit growth and reproductive rates greater than either of the parental types. Several new breeds of cattle have been developed in the United States based on Brahman-European crosses, some important ones being the Beefmaster (Brahman combined with Shorthorn cattle and Hereford cattle), Brangus (Brahman combined with Angus cattle), Charbray (Brahman combined with Charolais cattle), and Santa Gertrudis (Brahman combined with Shorthorn). Brahman cattle have been extensively exported.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.