Monday, July 15, 2024

The Different Breeds of Cattle (Cattle Breeds)

Each group of animals including cattle breeds exhibit characteristic features that makes them stand out or easily identifiable. These characteristics are usually inherited hence could be said to be genetically determined.

Therefore, a breed is defined as a group of animals that are related by the same ancestor and have the same characteristics such as appearance, conformation, size and other notable and distinguishing features.

It is a population of animals distinguishable from others by some genetically determined characteristic features which are very conspicuous.

Types of Cattle

Cattle belong to the family Bovidae which is sub-divided into two sub- groups: BosTaurusand BosIndiscus.BosTauruscattle have no hump i.e. do not possess hump while Bosindicuspossesses humps. In addition, Bos Taurus cattle are the types of cattle found in the temperate regions of the world while Bos Indicus are found mostly in the tropics.

Examples of BosTauruscattle includes breeds like the Holstein/ Friesian, Ayrshire, Jersey, Hereford, Kuri, Ndama, Muturu and so many others while BosIndicusare breeds like the White Fulani, Sokoto Gudali, Red Bororo, Keteku, Wadara (Shua Arab).

Cattle can also be typed or classified based on the main purpose of production. Those specifically bred for milk production are called dairy cattle (e.g. Holstein/Friesian) while those for meat are called beef cattle (e.g. Hereford).

Some cattle have dual or even triple-purpose functions. They can be used for dairy, beef production and also used for draught. Examples include most of the local breeds in Africa e.g. White Fulani, Sokoto Gudali etc.

The Different Breeds of Cattle (Cattle Breeds)

Some of the breeds of cattle have been named above. However, we shall only study those that are found in our environment which we will generally call “local” breed and one or two of those not found in our tropical climate which we shall call “exotic” breed.

1. White Fulani or Bunaji

This breed of cattle is the most prevalent in Nigeria especially in the Guinea and savannah zones of the country. They are large animals with medium to long up-curving horns. They have white coloured coat. The animal has well developed hump with skin folds.

At maturity, the female White Fulani or Bunaji cattle weighs 330 to 350 kg while the male or bull weighs about 500 kg. It is a dual or triple purpose type of cattle as it may be fattened for beef, or kept for milk production or used as draught animal especially the bull.

Cattle Breeds
Figure: White Fulani Breed of Cattle

2. Sokoto Gudali

This is a humped breed of cattle. It is polled (no horn) with medium thick, loose and pigmented skin having a whitish creamy colour in female while the male has dim with bluish grey shadings.

The animal has pendulous ears with short horns that are a bit longer in the female. The udders in the female are well developed with good teats hence they are regarded as indigenous dairy breed.

At maturity, the female weighs an average of about 330 kg while the male weighs about 450 kg. The female produces an average of 1,500 kg of milk per lactation.

Read Also : The Life-Span of Farm Animals

The Different Breeds of Cattle (Cattle Breeds)
Figure: Sokoto Gudali Breed

3. Ndama

This is a breed that is native to the West African Coasts especially Sierra Leone, Congo and Guinea or the FoutaDjallon area. The females weigh about 200 kg while the males weigh up to 300 kg.

They do not possess hump. They are compact animal with short horns and light brown skin colouration. They are highly tolerant to trypanosomiasis. They are poor producer of milk.

The Different Breeds of Cattle (Cattle Breeds)
Figure: Ndama Breed of Cattle

4. Holstein/Friesian

This is one of the breeds that originated from Netherland. It is an exotic breed. It has black colouration with white patches on the coats.

The udders are well developed and very large. Friesian are good producers of milk and are mostly used for dairy purposes either as pure or cross- breeds in Nigeria and most African countries.

The Different Breeds of Cattle (Cattle Breeds)
Figure: Holstien/Friesian Breed of Cattle

In summary, a breed is a population of animals with peculiar genetically determined characteristics. The physical characteristics or purpose for which cattle is bred or reared have been used to classify cattle either as humped or those that do not possess humps, dairy or beef and/or draught.

The peculiarities or uniqueness of each breed of cattle for easy identification were also highlighted.

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Benadine Nonye is an agricultural consultant and a writer with several years of professional experience in the agriculture industry. - National Diploma in Agricultural Technology - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science - Master's Degree in Science Education - PhD Student in Agricultural Economics and Environmental Policy... Visit My Websites On: 1. - Your Comprehensive Practical Agricultural Knowledge and Farmer’s Guide Website! 2. - For Effective Environmental Management through Proper Waste Management and Recycling Practices! Join Me On: Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: Agric4Profits TV and WealthInWastes TV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

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