Boran cattle

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Boran cattle in Kenya.jpg
Boran cattle in Kenya
Country of originKenya
  • Male: 225–395 kilograms (496–871 lb)
  • Female: 250–355 kilograms (551–783 lb)
CoatWhite, fawn, red, black
  • Cattle
  • Bos (primigenius) indicus

Boran cattle are a popular Zebu beef breed in eastern Africa.[1]


Kenyan Boran cattle were developed from the native shorthorned Zebu cattle of the Borana Oromo people of southern Ethiopia.[2][3] They are usually white or fawn,[2] with the bulls being darker with black point.[3] Their great similarity to the American Brahman cattle is not without basis, they are also descended from cattle from the western coast of India, only much earlier.[citation needed]

Since 1951, the Boran Cattle Breeders' Society has been managed and strategically breeding Boran cattle in Kenya.[4] As of 2008, there were approximately 454 beef ranches in the country, which can be classified based on ownership as one of five categories: group ranches, private company ranches, co-operative ranches, public company ranches, and government ranches.[4]

Physical Characteristics[edit]

Having been in Africa for over a thousand years, they are very well adapted to local conditions and parasites. Boran cattle are known for their fertility, early maturation (more so than other Zebu breeds), hardiness, and docility.[3]


The Orma Boran is the smallest of the Boran breeds, smaller than the Kenyan Boran. Mature male Orma Boran range in size from 225 to 395 kg, while females are from 250 to 355 kg.[2]

The Kenyan Boran developed from the Orma Boran, Borana, and Somali Boran.[2] The Kenyan Boran is differentiated from other Boran due to its size and well-developed hindquarters.[2] Mature male Kenyan Boran range in size from 550 to 850 kg, while females are from 400 to 550 kg.[2] The Kenyan Boran coat colour is usually white with spots, but brown and red coat colours have also been found.[2]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Rischkowsky, Barbara; Pilling, Dafydd (2007). The state of the world's animal genetic resources for food and agriculture. Rome, Italy: Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. p. 407.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Rege, J. E. O. (2001). Zebu Cattle of Kenya: Uses, Performance, Farmer Preferences, Measures of Genetic Diversity and Options for Improved Use. Nairobi, Kenya: International Livestock Research Institute. p. 11.
  3. ^ a b c "Boran Cattle". Cattle Breeds. Oklahoma State University. Retrieved 22 April 2012.
  4. ^ a b Rewe, Thomas; Herold, Pera; Piepho, Hans-Peter; Kah, A.K.; Z´arate, Anne Valle (October 7–9, 2008). "Institutional Framework and Farm Type Characterising the Kenyan Boran Cattle Breeding Program" (PDF). Competition for Resources in a Changing World: New Drive for Rural Development. Tropentag, Hohenheim. p. 1.