Brahman Cattle FAQs

Are you new to the Brahman breed of cattle? Here at BRC, we are experts in Brahman cattle and we’re here to help. Here are some of our most common frequently asked questions about Brahman cattle. We are happy to help in any way.

Q: What’s the best thing about Brahman cattle?
A: We don’t have enough room to answer that. It would break the Internet. Seriously though, there are three main reasons we believe in Brahman: heat tolerance, longevity, and hybrid vigor in crossbreeding. Learn more reasons here.

Q: What’s the worst thing about Brahman cattle?
A: Brahman breeders as a whole need to work on improving the carcass quality of the breed. This is an area we focus on tremendously, and currently are producing cattle that grade 60% Choice, but are still looking to improve.

Q: How much does a Brahman bull weigh?
A: Mature Brahman bulls can weigh anywhere from 1600 to 2400 pounds.

Q: How much does a Brahman cow weigh?
A: Mature Brahman cows can weigh anywhere from 1200 to 1600 pounds.

Q: How big is a Brahman bull?
A: Our cattle here at BRC range from moderate to large frame. Our average sale bull is around a 6 to 6.5 frame score. Bulls in our show string are typically taller. Noble would be one of our biggest bulls, and 259 and Dutton would be 2 of our smaller bulls. Each bull has a place in breeding, since we also have a variety of cow sizes.

Q: How long do Brahman cattle live?
A: Brahman cattle are very long-living cattle. They can live anywhere from 15 to 20 years of age. Bulls can generally stay on cows 8 to 10 years, especially if they are in a single-sire group. Their longevity is one of the reasons people like Brahman cattle so much. Cattle that are tough and sound enough to live longer mean more calves, and more profits for the rancher.

Q: What breeds make up the American Brahman breed of cattle?
A: GyrGuzeratNellore and Krishna Valley cattle were all used in the development of American Brahman originally back in the early 1900s. However the American Brahman is a pure breed of cattle.

Q: Were Brahman cattle developed in India?
A: No. The American Brahman was developed in the United States. However Indian cattle were used to develop the breed.

Q: How much does a Brahman heifer cost?
A: Our Brahman cattle for sale start at $5000 and go up from there.

Q: What’s in a Brahman’s hump? Is a Brahman hump made out of water?
A: No, the Brahman hump is not made of water. It is a muscle and contains mostly connective tissue.

Q: Can you eat the beef from a Brahman hump?
A: Yes. It is particularly popular in Australia and South America. We sell Brahman hump roasts through our Brahman Country Beef program, but be prepared, they’re a delicacy and often sell out fast.

Q: Should a Brahman hump be big or small?  
A: In general it should be big. However, it should be in proportion to the body. Bigger humps are part of the Brahman breed character. Here is a picture of a Brahman bull with an ideal size hump. Good hump placement and size is very important to Brahman breeders. The hump should be directly over the shoulder.

Q: Are Brahmans gentle?
A: Yes. Brahmans are one of the most intelligent breeds of cattle. When treated and managed correctly they are very gentle.

Q: Are Brahmans crazy?
A: No. However, Brahman cattle are very smart. If you handle them badly, they will respond poorly. Brahman cattle are very intelligent and alert.

Q: Are Brahmans naturally horned or polled?
A: Most Brahmans are primarily horned. However Brahman cattle can also be polled (naturally hornless). One of our most popular polled bulls is Mr. V8 794/7 and one of our most popular polled Brahman cows is Miss V8 98/6.

Q: Is the polled gene in Brahman dominant? 
A: In most Bos taurus cattle, polled is the dominant gene. This is not the case in Brahman, and Brahman horned/polled inheritance is not as reliable as it is compared to Bos taurus.

Q: What color are Brahman cattle? 
A: There are two overall color classifications of Brahman cattle: red and grey. BRC Ranch raises primarily grey Brahman cattle. Within the grey color, color can range from solid white, reddish tinge, blue tinge, or black. Here is a blog that explains Brahman color in more detail. 

Q: What color is a Brahman’s nose? 
A: A Brahman’s nose should be black. The black color should extend to their lip. Within the breed, typically cattle with black points (ears and tips) will also have a shiny black nose. Those without black points will still have a black nose, but it is a more dull black. A pink nose is considered a defect. A nose that is split in color – i.e. half black but kinda fades to pink is also undesirable.

Q: Can a grey Brahman produce a red Brahman calf?
A: Yes. A grey Brahman with black pigment on it’s tips (tips of ears, reproductive organs) will typically produce a red calf when mated to a red Brahman cow.  When bred to grey cows, he produces grey calves. When bred to red cows, he produces red calves. If you’d like to learn more about the different in red Brahman and grey Brahman, read this blog

Q: How much does a baby Brahman calf weigh? 
A: Typically they are low birthweight and can range from 60 to 100 pounds.

Q: Are Brahman cows good milkers?
A: Yes. BRC raises Brahman cattle for beef. However Brahman cattle are also known as very good milkers.

Q: Do Brahman cows fight?
A: Sometimes yes, especially from about 1 to 3 days after having their baby calf. It’s their protective mothering instinct.

Q: What does it cost to raise Brahman cattle?
A: Your initial investment will be purchasing your foundation breeding stock. Usually you start by purchasing Brahman heifers or cows. These are usually $5000 and up. If you have a small herd, you may not need a bull because you can buy Brahman semen and artificially inseminate them. Here is a good blog about what you’re looking at for the cost of raising Brahman cattle. 

Q: Why do Brahmans have so much loose skin?

A: The loose skin is part of Brahman breed character. Brahmans have four times as many sweat glands as other breeds of cattle. Thus, the more skin they have, the more sweat glands, and the greater their ability to withstand the heat. Heat tolerance is one of the biggest benefits of Brahman cattle.

Q: How many cows can a bull breed? 

A: Until they loose their milk teeth, a good rule of thumb is 1 cow for every month old they are. So, a 20-month old Brahman bull can breed 20 cows in a breeding season. Once they mature, usually 20 to 25 cows per bull.

Q: What is the difference between a Braymer – a Brahma – and a Brahman.
A: Well technically it’s the same! It’s all in the terminology – and geography lol. The official name of the breed is Brahman. You prounounce it bra (like the women’s apparel)-mun. But, some people call it Brahma, Braymer, we’ve even heard Brimmer bull. Either way, you’re fine.

Q: What breeds are made from Brahman?
A: Brahman cattle are often called “Crossbreeding’s Common Denominator” because they are the basis of most all American breeds. (Breeds of cattle developed in America.) Some of the more common breeds of cattle with a Brahman base are Brangus (3/8 Brahman, 5/8 Angus), Beefmaster (1/2 Hereford, 1/4 Brahman, 1/4 Shorthorn), Santa Gertrudis (5/8 Shorthorn, 3/8 Brahman), Braford, Red Brangus, Simbrah (Brahman x Simmental) and more. Virtually every breed in the Bos Taurus genus species has been crossed with Brahman because Brahman offers so many traits.

Q. What is Hybrid Vigor?
A. Hybrid Vigor is a term cattlemen and animal scientists use to describe the increase in production you get from crossing two unrelated breeds. So, for example, Brahman x ______. When you cross two unrelated parents, you get the best of both worlds. For example, Brangus (Brahman x Angus) brings the carcass strengths of Angus and the heat tolerance of Brahman. The term hybrid vigor quantifies the increase in production. So for example, a Brahman x Angus calf may weigh 50 pounds more at weaning than a straight bred calf.

Q. Is it Gray Brahman or Grey Brahman?
A: Either. Initially, J.W. Sartwelle created the word Brahman and used the British style of writing, in which grey is spelled “grey.” Thus, in the standard of excellence, it is spelled grey. However, the US spelling of gray is GRAY. So some people spell it that way. Either way is acceptable.

Q. What is considered low birthweight in cattle?
A. We consider an actual birthweight of 79 pounds or less to be “low birthweight.”

Q. What age should you breed Brahman heifers?
A. We breed between 18 to 24 months. While this is a little older compared to Bos taurus who normally breed around 11 to 12 months, Brahmans tend to be a little later maturing and while you have a slight delay up front by the age of breeding, Brahman cattle will have more productive years (longevity) compared to most other breeds so in the long run, waiting 6 months is a good practice to help the female fully develop before having her first calf.

Q. What is a Brahman cow price?
A. Registered Brahman cows can range from $3500 to $10,000 and even $20,000 or more in some cases. The price of the Brahman cow is based on her age, overall quality, pedigree, and offspring. It is very rare to find Brahman mature cows for sale, because they are so valuable. Most breeder sell Brahman heifers as replacement females but rarely sell older cows.

Q. Where can I find Brahman bulls for sale?
A. We have breeding age Brahman bulls for sale at the ranch every day of the year. Bulls range from $4500 to $15,000. Let us know if you’d like to come out and schedule a ranch tour.

Q. How much does a Brahman bull cost?
A. The average of our Brahman bulls sold over the last year is $8500. Bulls sold in the last year at our ranch range from $3500 to $80,000.

Q. Is a Red Brahman different than a Gray Brahman?
A. Both are American Brahmans, and simply have different hair color. They share the same ancestry and same herd book. Learn more about the specific differences in this blog.

Q. What are the pros and cons of Brahman cattle?
A. Heat tolerance, longer years in productions, and the added performance they give in crossbreeding are the three biggest pros to Brahman cattle. Lack of cold tolerance, a need for carcass improvement, and disposition are some of the common concerns about Brahman cattle. However, BRC is focusing on carcass improvement and gentle Brahman cattle. We would love to talk with you about how we have made significant improvements in these areas.

Q. Do you sell Brahman hump beefs?
A. Yes, we sell Brahman beef in the USA’s first 100% Brahman beef program. Our beef is processed in a USDA certified facility and is able to ship nationwide. We sell a limited number of humps (cupim) and we are able to ship anywhere in the USA. Visit www.brahmancountrybeef.com for information.

Q. Why is the Brahman x Hereford cross so popular?
A. This is what many cattleman consider the best of both worlds. Research has proven the Bos Taurus (Hereford) x Bos Indicus (Brahman) cross results in greater hybrid vigor, greater performance, heavier calves, and longer years in production. A hybrid vigor / heterosis effect is given by crossing two parents of unrelated genetics (F-1).

Q. Why is the Angus x Brahman cross so popular?
A. In animal breeding, producers receive the greatest genetic benefit by crossing two unrelated strains within a species. This results in the F-1. The Brahman (Bos Indicus) is the furthest related cattle breed from Angus (Bos Taurus). Thus, when crossed together, you see a genetic explosion resulting in more pounds of production, improved carcass quality, longer years in production, and better maternal strengths. This is one of the most popular crosses in the United States.

Q. Who is the best Brahman bull in the world?
A. Noble, 458/7, is currently the #1 sire of champion Brahman cattle in the United States, according to Brahman Journal show data. He is bred and owned by BR Cutrer, Inc.

Q. What is a Brahman cattle’s height?
A. Brahman cattle come in all sizes. The average Brahman would be a frame score 7 or 8. This is considered moderate frame size, and is ideal.

Q. What is the origin of Brahman cattle?
A. This is a confusing one. American Brahman cattle were developed in America, as a result of crossing four Indian cattle breeds (Gyr, Guzerat, Nellore, Krishna Valley). However, these breeds originated in India. The original foundation stock of the American Brahman were imported from India, Mexico, and Brazil.

Do you have other questions? Shoot us an email and we’ll be glad to help!

We also offer the Brahman Academy as a great learning resource for those who would like to learn more.