Best Brazilian cattle breeds

First beef exporter in the world with 1.8 million tons sold, the Brazil account with India, one of the largest herds of cattle, close to 200 million heads, of which about 23 million dairy cows (3, 6 million in France). The predominant production system is based on continuous year-round grazing with the occasional finishing of feed animals in feedlots. Preserved forages are mainly used in intensive dairy systems. For example, grassland, corn, and soy fields are insatiably replacing the forest, and agriculture now occupies 26% of the Amazon area. Best Brazilian cattle breeds

BOS INDICUS

BOS INDICUS

BOS INDICUS

The Brazilian herd consists mainly of zebu-type breeds, subspecies Bos indicus, recognizable by their hump and their floppy ears. The other races are of European origin type Bos taurus, as the Prim’Holstein, Angus or Hereford.

The zebus split into several races: one finds there those spread on the South American continent like the Nelore (meat) or the Gir (mixed milk/meat). They originated in India from where they were imported in the 19th century. Gir and Nelore are cattle adapted to the conditions of breeding in hot and humid zones. Both races were used to develop the American Brahman, selected the United States in the last century. The Brahman then spread widely in many tropical countries for extensive breeding suckling. It is found mainly in South America, Mexico, USA, the West Indies, Guyana, New Caledonia and even in the plains of Australia.

NELORE, THE MEAT ZEBU 

By far the most used for meat in Brazil: the zebu Nelore. However, the Anglo-Saxon breeds (Angus or Hereford) gain ground in crossbreeding as in pure breed, especially in the south of Brazil. Very rustic, the Nelore is built to resist the heat of the tropics thanks to very developed sweat glands and to its black skin covered with white hairs that protect it from the sun. The breed has also adapted to insects thanks to its loose but dense skin which makes the animal less sensitive to ticks and mosquitoes. It has a subcutaneous muscular layer effective to shake the skin and keep insects away.

NELORE, THE MEAT ZEBU

NELORE, THE MEAT ZEBU

Good walker and good transformer fodder course in meat, Nelore can adapt to water restrictions during drought and can differ to grow in times of scarcity without this affects reproduction and adult weight. Its ability to grow in good times and lose weight under challenging conditions, coupled with its resistance to bloating, means that young Nelores seem to adapt well enough to the regime imposed in feed lots. Best Brazilian cattle breeds

The Nelore cow also has good calving and maternal qualities. It is often used in crossbreeding with European beef breeds which provide more speed of growth, weight, and muscular conformation. Generally, zebu meat is low in parsley and therefore low in cholesterol, but also less tasty. Moreover, the dominant Polled (hornless) gene has been known in the breed for more than 50 years and polled bulls seem to be appreciated for making calves that will not hurt themselves in feed lots. Best Brazilian cattle breeds

GIR AND GIROLANDO FOR MILK

The local dairy breed, used on family farms and in some intensive dairy systems, called the Gir (cow or Gyr). It is also a zebu-type subspecies ( Bos indicus ) having heat resistance qualities, insects and tropical diseases, like its cousin the Nelore. The Gir is a small cow (less than 400 kg) with a mottled red color. It is particularly gregarious: the cows never deviate from the herd and sleep tightly against each other. The breed would otherwise be very docile with humans.

GIR AND GIROLANDO FOR MILK

GIR AND GIROLANDO FOR MILK

Originally from Gujarat in southwestern India, the Gir is much more abundant in Brazil than in its cradle of origin and has even almost disappeared from India. Since the 1960s, Brazil exports many Gir animals to India, which rediscovers their dairy qualities in difficult environments.
According to the Brazilian Breeders’ Association of Gir, the average level of production is around 3,600 kg of milk in 305 days with a diet based on pasture.

Nevertheless, the majority of the Brazilian dairy herd consists of Girolanda cows (or Girolamo, a contraction of “Gir” and “Holland”), a cross between Gir and the Prim’Holstein, to combine the qualities of both breeds Tropical conditions. ¾ Holstein ¼ Gir cows produce an average of 4,500 kg of milk per lactation, but it is not unusual for some farms to exceed 8,600 liters with more favorable husbandry conditions. Best Brazilian cattle breeds