What is a Cattle Breed?
Cattle or oxen are large, domesticated, bovid ungulates. They are prominent modern members of the subfamily Bovinae and the most widespread species of the genus Bos. Mature female cattle are referred to as cows and mature male cattle are referred to as bulls.
Best Cattle Breeds In Kenya
1. Boran Beef Breed
The Boran is a breed of beef cattle that is indigenous to eastern and southern Africa, including Kenya. They are known for their adaptability to harsh environments, disease resistance, and high-quality beef.
Borans are generally medium-sized animals, with males weighing between 600 and 800 kg and females weighing between 400 and 500 kg. They have a distinctive hump over their shoulders, which is composed of fat and connective tissue used for energy during times of feed scarcity.
One of the most significant advantages of the Boran breed is its ability to withstand harsh environments, including drought and high temperatures. They can survive on low-quality forage and in areas where water is scarce, making them well-suited to the arid regions of Kenya. In addition, they are naturally resistant to many diseases that are common in the region, such as tick-borne diseases like East Coast fever, which can devastate other cattle breeds
2. Sahiwal Beef Breed
The Sahiwal is a breed of cattle originally from the Punjab region of Pakistan but is also widely found in Kenya due to its adaptation to tropical climates. They are considered to be one of the best beef breeds for meat production and are known for their high-quality milk.
Sahiwal cattle are medium to large-sized, with males weighing between 450 and 800 kg and females weighing between 300 and 600 kg. They have a short, glossy coat that ranges in color from light red to brown.
One of the most significant advantages of the Sahiwal breed is its ability to thrive in hot and humid conditions. They have a high tolerance for heat and can withstand extreme temperatures, making them an ideal breed for tropical climates like Kenya’s. Additionally, the breed is well-adapted to low-quality forage, allowing farmers to keep the cattle in areas with limited resources.
3. Ankole Beef Breed
The Ankole, also known as the Ankole-Watusi, is a breed of cattle that is indigenous to East Africa, particularly in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Kenya. They are known for their distinctive long horns and for producing lean, flavorful beef.
Ankole cattle are medium to large-sized, with males weighing between 400 and 900 kg and females weighing between 300 and 600 kg. The most striking feature of the Ankole is their long, curved horns, which can reach up to 8 feet (2.4 meters) in length. These horns were traditionally used for defense against predators and as a status symbol among herders.
One of the significant advantages of the Ankole breed is its ability to survive on low-quality feed and forage. They are well-adapted to grazing in arid regions where food and water are scarce. Additionally, they are resistant to tick-borne diseases, a common issue in many ranching areas in East Africa.
4. Friesian Beef Breed
The Friesian, also known as the Holstein-Friesian or Dutch Friesian, is a breed of dairy cattle that is also used for beef production. They are known for their high milk yield and for producing tender, flavorful beef.
Friesian cattle are large and muscular, with bulls weighing between 800 and 1400 kg and cows weighing between 550 and 1000 kg. They have a distinctive black-and-white or red-and-white coat pattern.
While Friesians are primarily a dairy breed, they are also used for beef production, particularly when crossed with beef breeds like the Hereford or Aberdeen Angus. Friesian beef is known for its tender texture and rich flavor profile, but due to their lower fat content compared to beef breeds, it can sometimes be less juicy.
5. Simmental Beef Breed
The Simmental, also known as the Swiss Simmental, is a breed of cattle that is primarily used for beef production. They are known for their large size, muscular build, and high-quality meat.
Simmental cattle originated in Switzerland and are now found in many countries around the world, including Kenya. They are typically large, with bulls weighing between 1000 and 1400 kg and cows weighing between 650 and 900 kg. They have distinctive white faces, with red or golden coloring on their bodies.
Simmental beef is known for its tender texture and rich, juicy flavor. It is particularly well-suited to grilling and roasting and is often sought after by high-end restaurants and gourmet butchers. The meat is also nutrient-dense, with high levels of protein, iron, and other essential nutrients.
What breed of cattle makes the most money?
Angus is one of the most popular beef cattle breeds because of its ability to grow healthy bodies through grazing. This breed has a very low rate of problems relating to reproduction which makes it a ‘money maker’ for cattle producers.
Which cow gives more milk in Kenya?
Guernsey– milk production 3,980/kg and 3.59% of butter content i.e. 143 kg. Friesian – milk production 3,379/kg and 4.25% of butter content i.e. 144 kg. Jersey– milk production 3,052/kg and 4.73% of butter content i.e. 144 kg.