In 1986, James O. Sanders in a review of the "History and Development
of Zebu Cattle in the United States" (J. Anim. Sci. 50:1188-1200)
detailed the history and importance of Zebu cattle in their native
lands as well as Brazil and the U. S.
Guzerat cattle, with the Nelore and Gir, are
the three major Indian breeds that have had the most important impact
on U.S. cattle breeding. Guzerat cattle are gray cattle of of
northern India and have long, lyre shaped horns.
They are among the largest cattle of India
and are prized as powerful draft animals and are moderate milk producers.
Guzerat cattle have short broad faces with long ears drooping and
open to the front. Color varies from light gray to black at
The barrel is generally lighter in color than
the rest of the body, especially in bulls. Bulls tend to get
darker than cows or steers. Guzerat cattle are maintained
as a pure breed in India and Brazil in large numbers, with a few in
the U. S.
The Guzerat was the most important breed in
the formation of the American Brahman. A
literature review of these and other Indian breeds in India, Brazil,
Mexico and the U. S., would indicate production characteristics similar
to the American Brahman and other Bos indicus breeds with lower
birth weights in purebreds than Bos taurus breeds.
Crosses of Bos indicus bulls with Bos
taurus cows result in higher birth weights than the reciprocal
cross. Preweaning growth of Guzerat purebreds is among the highest
of the Bos indicus breeds but lower than improved Bos taurus
Similar results are reported for weaning weight,
post-weaning gain, yearling weight, and feedyard gain and efficiency.
Carcass traits of purebreds tend to be lower quality and yield grading
when compared to Bos taurus breeds but similar for all Bos
indicus breeds except Nelore.
Like all Bos indicus breeds the Guzerat
adds environmental adaptability to tropical and subtropical conditions,
insect tolerance and some disease resistance, longevity, and maternal
ability, especially in crosses with Bos taurus breeds.
The cattle are gentle without a disposition problem and are fertile
under adverse conditions.