Zebu cattle (Bos indicus), with their characteristic hump and pendulous dewlap, are known to have descended from the secondary cattle domestication in the arid areas of the 'Fertile Crescent' about 5000 BP (Payne and Wilson, 1999). Available archaeological records indicate that they are the most recent types of cattle to introduced into Africa. Recent molecular genetic as well as archaeological evidences (Hanotte et al., 2002; Marshall, 2000) also showed that the introduction of zebu cattle into Africa centered in East Africa rather than through the land connection between Egypt and the Near East. Zebu are known to be better than the humpless cattle in regulating body temperature (hence lower body water requirements). Their hardened hooves and lighter bones enable them to endure long migrations. These adaptive attributes have facilitated their importation and spread by Indian and Arabian merchants across the Red Sea to drier agro-ecological regions of the Horn of Africa (Loftus and Cunningham, 2000). The Large East African Zebu breeds of cattle, like the present-day Boran of Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, and the Butana and Kenana of the Sudan are very similar morphologically to the zebu breeds of Asia. Mainly pastoral communities in the Horn of Africa maintain them.
Breed Origin :
The breed originally descended from the first introduction of zebu into Africa from West Asia. The breed established its presence first in the semi-arid and arid pastoral Borana plateau of southern Ethiopia. It is maintained by the pastoralist ethnic group of the same name. Pastoral movements and migrations led to spread of the Ethiopian Boran to the eastern rangelands in Ethiopia as well as into northern Kenya and south-western Somalia. The Orma Boran, the Somali Boran and Kenya Boran have evolved from these migrations.
The main location of Ethiopian Boran is the southern rangelands of Ethiopia, around Liben, Mega and Arero plains with the Borana pastoralists and bordering area of northern kenya.
Basically a beef animals, with large and wide frame; weighs up to 500 kg; it is also a good milker providing most of the staples for the pastoral community.