Genetic Make-up

Through DNA sampling, Hanotte et al have analysed the genetic make-up of the Boran breed and it consists of the following genetic proportions:

  • European Bos Taurus - 24%
  • Bos Indicus - 64%
  • African Bos Taurus - 12%

The Boran breed developed in Eastern Africa and the main Boran hotspot was the Borana plateau in Southern Ethiopia. That was a point where all the different breeds migrated through to their various destinations in Africa. The Boran breed developed into the dominate breed of Eastern Africa and especially in Kenya, where the Kenyan Boran Cattle Breeders’ Society (BCBS) have bred the “Improved Boran breed” since the turn of the century. The BCBS said, “While the Boran breeders have greatly improved the beef conformation of their animals, they never lost sight of the important qualities of the indigenous Boran”.

As far as can be determined, this is the only breed in Africa (and therefore the world) to have this specific combination of genes. It must be properly understood that the Boran breed is a breed that had its last infusion of “new” genes in 700 AD. The Boran breed is therefore NOT a synthetic or compound breed that has been crossbred in the last few decades. It has been bred as a pure breed for 1300 years. The importance of this to the commercial breeder is that the Boran breed will have much stronger hybrid vigour than modern compound breeds.