Genetic improvement creates high performing "Improved Boran"

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By George. P. Munene

Once abandoned for exotic cattle breeds, Borans --Eastern Africa's dominant cow breed--is now much sought after after continuing improvements being made to the breed spearheaded by The Kenyan Boran Cattle Breeders' Society (BCBS) which have developed the "Improved Boran" since the turn of the century.

Kept almost exclusively for beef production, improved Boran cattle utilise limited pasture; steers( castrated bulls) that are sorely grazed on natural pasture attain market weight in less than a year. They are also disease resistant; they easily withstand tick borne attacks--the most prevalent disease in East Africa's grasslands. 

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Heterosis, the mating of two different pure-bred lines to pass on desirable traits such as faster growth rate and a larger size, has served to deliver mature bulls that typically weigh between 500Kg to 850Kg.

Given their elite performance, Boran cattle don't come cheap. According to the head of Kakuzi's Livestock Department, Dr. Nchoki Karatina, they sell unregistered Boran bulls for Sh120,000, foundation bulls for Sh150,000 while purebred and pedigree bulls cost Sh250,000 and Sh300,000 respectively. Located at Managmate, Murang'a County, the farm keeps about 4500 heads of Boran cattle with their stud herd (breeding bulls) being registered with the Kenya Stud Book.

 

Kakuzi Livestock Department: 254 713 761791