30 Sep 2016

Beautiful Brahmans

From Country Life, 9:14 pm on 30 September 2016

Vanessa Corry's animals have people stumped.

She's been asked whether they're camels, alpacas or wildebeests.

They are, in fact, Brahman cattle and, surprising as it may seem to those who have never seen them before, there are more Brahmans in the world than any other breed of cattle.

Vanessa Corry is New Zealand's only registered Brahman breeder.

The huge cattle, with their floppy ears, loose skin and hump can be found throughout Malaysia, Australia, South Africa, South America the USA and India. You'll also see them in Vanessa's paddocks, just south of Wellsford.

Brahmans were bred in the United States from India's Bos Indicus cattle, a bit of shorthorn and sprinkling of other genetics, Vanessa says.

"They certainly are a head turner....They are beautiful."

She says the tropical breed can go long periods without water and can walk long distances.

"They've survived where no other breeds of can. So they've survived famine,  they've survived drought, they've survived insect infestation."

Vanessa says Brahmans are also well suited to New Zealand's warmer climates as they'll be out eating grass and turning it into meat on the hottest of days; on days when other breeds are seeking shade.

The athletic breed can also leap over deer fences.

"They can run and they can jump...you know there's studs in Australia where they have ex-thoroughbred horses when they round up the cattle and a Brahman can out-run a thoroughbred. They can't run for the same amount of distance but they can move!"