The name "BRAHMAN" was adopted to preserve the Indian heritage of the breed, imported into America and Brazil from 1879 (or earlier). Brahman in Hinduism means "Supreme God of Creation".
They are valued from over a century for being:
Avid Foragers: Brahman will not stand at the gate waiting for hand outs! Once in the pasture they forage actively and make the best use of the available grazing.
Good Walkers: Due to their efficient mobility, Brahmans can cover great distances in search of grazing. This is a huge plus factor in dry extensive areas. In times of drought when it becomes necessary to move cattle over long distances, breeders have reported in amazement at the Brahmans ability to walk. The picture below is the importation of bulls in 1946 as crossed bridge at Hidalgo.
Drought Resistance: When times of drought come around, Brahman cattle have repeatedly shown a marked resistance to hostile changes that then occur in the environment. Breeders and producers have repeatedly expressed open admiration for this strange phenomenon that the breed possesses.
Brahmans are intelligent: Cattle breeders have all noticed the extraordinary level of intelligence that Brahman cattle exhibit. They cleverly turn this to their advantage, when handling their animals.
Heat Tolerance & Sweating Ability:
Brahmans have sweat glands and the ability to sweat freely through the pores of the skin, which contributes materially to their heat tolerance. It is this disease resistance and ability to cope under pressure, which has led to Brahmins as being preferred world wide for meat :(
Excellent Mothers: Brahman cows are well known for their mothering abilities. Many breeders and producers will attest to the extreme lengths to which they will go, in protecting their calves. Don't fool around with a Brahman cow that has a small calf by her side, this is inviting trouble. This behavior is not indicative of bad temperament; its all part of adaptation and love.
The following is a rare picture of Mr. A.M Mc Faddin who acquired a bull from World's Fair in early 1900s named Prince. This bull is considered the father of Red Brahmans in the USA:
American Brahman Breeders Hall of Fame has recognized individuals that have made breed what it is today. It took for instance one Mr. Kimball, 20 years to develop one of the finest breeds of Gyr cows in America much before India gained independence!
Below are some grand old grey Brahman Sires from the Cherokee Brahman Stud located in Australia and founded in 1953 by the late Lionel de Landelles who was given an MBE (Member of the British Empire) in recognition of his contribution to the Brahman Industry in Australia!
Two very fundamental questions arise out of this:
1. Why did India need to import HF/Jersey breed of bulls, when a lot could be done to preserve and improve our local breeds adapted to our land?
2. If India is the land of Nandis and origins of such great sires, why till date, the breeders association for each local breeds do not exist or function? The government breeding centres, are not even worth a mention. Even the records of vital statistics and milk yield does not exist!
Nevertheless, our bulls have been neglected for far too long and as a result importation of Brahman bulls back into India is being considered by both the Government Animal Husbandry Department as well as private players such as Baba Ramdev.