Boran Cattle and Dairy Herd at Sosian
Sosian is, and always has been, a beef cattle ranch with the active integration of wildlife and tourism being a more recent development. In the past it was thought that cattle and wildlife did not mix and wildlife was not tolerated. However this attitude has thankfully changed and Sosian, along with others Laikipia farms, have proved that the two land uses are actually beneficial to each other in many ways. To see our herds of cattle grazing alongside giraffe, zebra and elephant is a truly unique sight.
Sosian is one of the largest stud breeders of Boran cattle in Kenya with a total herd of 1200 registered pedigree cattle. The Boran cattle originated from the harsh desert landscape of Northern Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia producing an animal that is extremely hardy, disease and heat tolerant and well suited to the tough conditions we experience in Laikipia. Our bulls are massive animals and can weigh over 800 kilograms, while the cows are considerably smaller and weigh up to 450 kilograms. Sosian’s cattle are becoming a well known name in the beef cattle industry with buyers from South Africa and West Africa investing in our genetics.
Guests are encouraged to watch and participate in our cattle activities ranging from dipping, branding and weighing or even just spending time amongst the herds while they graze on the grassy plains in the company of their herders.
We also have our own small dairy herd which provides fresh milk daily to the lodge and our own staff. The dairy herd is a mixture of Friesian, Ayrshire, Jerseys and Sahiwal (an Indian Dairy breed) cows that are all crossed with our Stud Boran bulls. By crossing the animals the aim is to produce a milking cow which has the production of a conventional diary animal with the hardiness of the Boran thereby producing milk throughout the year. Milking is done twice a day and we use a “ranch” milking system. This means that the calves are kept with the cows and are allowed to suckle their mothers during the day. At night the calves are separated from the mothers who are then milked early in the morning before being reunited with their calves. From the milk produced we also make our own cream and butter which is used in the lodge.