The value of the Boran for beef production in the tropics is clearly shown in crossbreeding studies at the US Meat & Animal Research Centre (MARC) at Clay Centre Nebraska and A&M Texas University Experiment Station at McGregor, Texas, (See research).
The photograph shows an F1 Angus/Boran steer weighing 426 kg when sold at 13 months - one of a batch of 360 similar F1's. that averaged 426 kg with a daily gain of 1.36 kg.
Another 360 Boran/Angus steers, from the same feedlot (Marania Farm), averaged daily gains of 1.3 kg at 13- 16 months. These results compare well with figures from anywhere in the world!
Kenya and Ethiopia have well established crossbred herds for milk production. The F1 Friesian/ Boran is a trouble-free animal able to yield well under dry conditions. All European dairy breeds cross well with Borans and criss-cross dairy breeding systems are common in Kenya.
Boran Advantages -2 Way Crossing
Two way crossing is the simplest and most effective way of attaining and commercially exploiting hybrid vigour. The all-round genetic package of the Boran cow makes her ideal for producing F1 hybrids. Where pure Borans are available for commercial crossing there remains no purpose in three-way or topcrossing on halfbreds.
“In selecting Borans as both Supreme Champion and Reserve we felt that they were showing more muscle development than other breed champions” -John Yelland, Hereford Breeder, Australia
Boran Advantages -Beef Efficiency
The Boran produces high quality beef, utilizing low quality forage. This is substantiated by data from The FAO/UNDP feedlot trial at Lanet in Kenya, where 7,625 Borans and crossbreds were fed between 1968-1973. Similar evidence comes from 1998 trials in Queensland, Australia.
At Lanet, crossbreds between large European breeds and the Boran grew 31% faster on the high concentrate ration (76% concentrate), but had no significant advantage over the pure Boran on the low (33% conc.) and medium (50% conc.) ration. (Kenya Beef Industry Development Project, 1974)
Trials in Nebraska, USA, show that the Boran and its crosses score consistently better than other Zebu breeds for meat tenderness, carcase marbling and rib eye area. Butchers in Kenya prefer Borans and their crosses for these reasons.
Boran Advantages -Temperament
Borans are generally more docile and tractable than other Zebu cattle. Large numbers of Boran bulls kept in one herd cause little trouble.
Females are easy to handle, although cows with newborn calves can be naturally aggressive when protecting their offspring.
Boran Advantages -Herd Instinct
Boran cattle have a very pronounced herd instinct, making them easily managed in bush country and well suited to cow calf operations.
They always stay together and defend against predators, thus ensuring high calf survival rates.