The Breed - Breed Standards

1. General Appearance

1. Size and Weight

The animal has to be well developed and fully-grown for its age (Brahdex Tables). The frame of the animal must have adequate depth, width and length. Mature bulls must have a mass of between 750 kg and 1030 kg, and mature cows must have a mass between 500 kg and 660 kg.

2. Shape

Good width, deep and balanced, with a straight back, and a slightly rounded rump. Any marked slope from the hips to the withers or dorsal vertebrae is undesirable. The animal has to have a rectangular stance, with the front and the rear legs placed well apart.

3. Quality

Skin soft, movable and of average thickness. Bone structure strong and sturdy.

2. Build

1. Shoulders and Chest

Shoulder blades reasonably angled and well rounded (full-bodied), with good width between the dorsal vertebrae and covered by the withers. Chest not too prominent. Chest deep, with good width in the chest floor, round and full behind shoulders.

2. Mid-section
i. Back and Ribs

Back broad and even-shaped from the withers to the hips, with a well-developed eye-muscle. Ribs well sprung, curved with adequate length around the mid-section to create the impression of good depth. Attached symmetrically to the loins and dorsal vertebrae. Observable cavities (hollows) behind shoulders and short mid-section are undesirable

ii. Loins

Broad, thick, even and firm, evenly attached to back and rump.

iii. Front Legs

Legs moderate in length, straight and parallel to each other. Knuckle joints have to be sturdy, with reasonably large uniform claws, which point straight ahead.

3. Hindquarter
i. Rump

The rump must have good length from the hipbones to the pinbone. Good width required between the ischia. Almost even, but with slight curvature after point of attachment of tail. Even and firmly attached to the loins. (Sharp declines (in lines) an aspect of serious discrimination). Rump muscles have to be well developed.

ii. Hips

The hips must be slightly below the level of the back, and be reasonably widely spaced – should not be prominent in a bull.

iii. Thighs

Outside thighs broad, thick, full and deep, extends well down to the hamstring. Inside thighs deep and full. Thrills must be spaced wide apart.

iv. Rear Legs

The rear legs are perpendicular if viewed from behind. Viewed from the side, a slight curvature has to be seen towards the front, below the hocks. Strong, slight inclination in lines of the legs, knuckle joints of medium length and they must not look as if they are limp. Clean, dry hocks, with a right-angled shape. (200 – 210 °). Movement straight, firm and energetic. Claws have to be straight, uniform and quite large.

v. Muscling

The animal must display exceptional muscling. Upper forearm and shoulder must be well muscled. Back and loins even in width, with well-developed eye-muscle that extends up to below the withers. Muscling of the cow must be smoother than in the case of the bull. Inside and outer thighs have to be well and fully muscled. The widest point on the young animal, when viewed from behind, must be a line directly below the thrills.

3. Breed and Gender Traits

1. Colour and Pigmentation

Any shades of grey to red to black, as well as white or red-spotted. Skin pigment has to be black. A single deviation is allowed: on the muzzle, around the eyes, on the claws, the floccus or below the tail.

2. Head
i. Crown of the Head

The crown of the head must have good width with a moderate curvature and shape.

ii. Face

Face of medium length, with oval-shaped nasal bone, muzzle wide with nasal openings widely placed and open with dark lips. The mouth must be strong and wide.

iii. Eyes and Eyebrow-ridge

Eyes soft and full, as well as placed at good width from each other. Strongly developed eyebrows, not too prominent in female animals.

iv. Ears

Ears of good length, reasonably wide.

3. Neck and Throat

Neck well muscled in bulls and more aesthetically pleasing in cows, flow into the shoulders. Throat even on the sides, but with sound development of skin of the throat.

4. Hump

The bull`s hump must be large, bean-shaped, protruding towards the back, may be moderate in thickness and be placed directly above the shoulders. Cows have to display oval-shaped withers of moderate size, which have to be placed directly above the shoulders.

5. Sheath / Preputium / Navel

The sheath must be situated above the line drawn from the hocks to the knee. The opening has to be small and must close off tightly. The nozzle must be short and firm, and be pointed towards the front. The navel must not be developed excessively. No excessive or permanent aversion of the lamina internal (extension of the inner tissue of the sheath) may occur. In the female animal, no excessive navel development may occur. The navel must also not run through to the front to the chest section nor to the rear towards the udder.

6. Tail

The tail has to be attached neatly, but not to be attached too deeply to the rump, slightly lower than the line of the back. The tail is reasonably long and thin, with black floccus.

7. Sex Organs

The bull must have well-developed testes and display sound epidydimus development within the parameters stipulated in the Brahdex Tables. In the female animal, the vulva has to be well developed.

8. Udder

The female animal must have a well-developed udder, with four clearly defined quarters of even size, with teats placed in square placement and be of medium length, and these teats also have to be pointed. Udder attachment must be good both in the front and the rear, and the udder must not be too fleshy.

9. Genuineness of Gender


Bulls must display male traits in an absolute sense, which have to be visible in more prominent muscling, development of the withers and neck, well developed evenly hanging testicles. Darkening in colour must occur on the head, fore-quarter and outside thighs. The impression created in its entirety as a male animal must be that the bull displays power, vitality and strength.


Full feminine traits have to be displayed through a relative refinement in all body parts when compared with the build of the bull. The neck is aesthetically pleasing and flat, good quality skin, hair and legs. When viewed from the side, the cow has to be slightly wedge-shaped (deeper at the rear than the front). Excessive fat accumulation on rump, hips and pinbone is entirely undesirable. Sex organs have to be well developed, with a spacious, creased udder. The udder must be well attached and not have a fleshy appearance. Teats of reasonable size and placed square.

10. Adaptability Traits with regards to Environment

Skin densely covered with hair of medium texture, oily when touched and moveable. Well-developed neck skin with soft, creased skin that ranges from the lower jaw to the chest floor.

11. Temperament

Alert, yet obedient and manageable.

Standard of Excellence for Brahman Cattle - An appreciation of deficiencies

1. Wry face or Nose

Light to serious discrimination depending on severity of the problem.

2. Twisted Mouth or Jaw

More than a tooth – width from the middle – DISQUALIFICATION.

3. Excessively long or short lower jaw

DISQUALIFICATION - where teeth do not bite against the cushion (may not bite more than 5 mm short or exceed the required position by more than 5 mm).

4. Legs

i. Lameness - permanent and impairing of normal functions - DISQUALIFICATION - except in cases where injuries have been sustained.

ii. Patella fixation (incorrectly alluded to as “stringhalt”) (Spasms in the rear legs) - DISQUALIFICATION

iii. Straight hocks - (straight hocks with no curvature) - DISQUALIFICATION

iv. Cow hocks - (hocks turned inward, generally accompanied by toes that point sideways) - Light to serious discrimination depending on the severity of the problem.

v. Sickle hocks - (rear legs excessively bent forward from hock joint) - if the extent of the curvature impairs mobility - DISQUALIFICATION

vi. Bent fore-legs - (Knees next to each other (X-shaped legs), toes pointing outwards or bandy-legged - light to serious discrimination - in severe cases DISQUALIFICATION

vii. Weak pasterns

viii. Serious discrimination in extreme cases (when ancillary claws touch the ground) -DISQUALIFICATION

ix. Short, rigid and upright pasterns - Light to serious discrimination - Extreme cases - DISQUALIFICATION

5. Hooves

Small, twisted toes (often associated with uneven pressure) - SERIOUS DISQUALIFICATION

6. Lack of Size

Light to serious discrimination depending on the severity of the problem. Any signs of excessive pony-like or dwarfish traits - DISQUALIFICATION (Use the Brahdex Tables as guideline).

7. Deviations of Sex Organs


i. Chryptorchidism (one testicle under-developed) - DISQUALIFICATION

ii. Only one testicle - DISQUALIFICATION

iii. Twisted testicles - LIGHT DISCRIMINATION

iv. Extension of sheath / preputium foreskin - serious DISQUALIFICATION

v. Small underdeveloped testicles - serious discrimination - in extreme cases - DISQUALIFICATION

vi. Lack of dominant male traits in a bull - serious discrimination to DISQUALIFICATION



i. Small infantile sex organs – SERIOUS DISCRIMINATION

ii. Excessive development of fore-quarter, short neck, prominent rump, rigid fat accumulation of rump, hips, pin bones and uneven accumulation of fat on other body parts, little udder development. When all these traits are present in one animal, and as a result the animal shows a complete lack of femininity - DISQUALIFICATION

iii. When any of the above-mentioned traits occur on their own in a female animal - serious discrimination.

8. Deviations in other traits

i. Sheath / Preputium in bulls
Loosely hanging sheath - serious discrimination, in extreme cases - DISQUALIFICATION

ii. Pigment and Colour
A lack of black pigment in skin - DISQUALIFICATION. A deviation in pigment, may, however, occur in one of the following body parts, namely, muzzle, eye-muscle, hooves and tail switch or skin around anus or vulva. The presence of the following colour is regarded as a DISQUALIFICATION:

- Gruella (a dirty brownish colour)
- Brindle
- Albino (a total lack of pigment)

iii. Twin Heifer with Bull
DISQUALIFICATION - Unless proof of fertility can be provided through blood tests.

iv. A nervous tendency (Temperament)
Serious discrimination in extreme cases - DISQUALIFICATION.

v. Teats in Cow
Balloon-shaped teats - SERIOUS DISCRIMINATION.

Courtesy of Brahman SA


+264 (0)61 240 573

+264 (0)88 643 348

Postal Address:
Namibian Brahman Breeders Society
PO Box 11790
Klein Windhoek