There are numerous varieties of cow breeds found in India which have been found useful in milk production and bearing loads for transportation but for last 40-50 years, due to the countless operations carried out between Indian and foreign cow breeds; we have lost some of our extremely useful and established cattle.
Fortunately, since past few years situation has been improving, today, the need to re-establish, promote and highlight the innate qualities of Indian breed of cows is, well acceptable.
In this article we shall be looking at the existing breed of cows.
As the name suggests, Hariana cows are found in Haryana/UP areas.
This breed is one of the most distinguished and dual purpose breed of North India and one of its main uses is in the production of high quality Bull.
The breed is also reared in the states of Rohtak, Haryana, Hissar, Jeend and Gurgaon.
Apart from the above places, Hariana is found abundantly in Alwar, Jodhpur, Loharu & Bharatpur states of Rajasthan India. In UP it is found near and around states of Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Bulland Shahar, Aligarh and Bijnaur . Pure and Ascendant form of this breed is prominently seen in certain areas of Rajasthan like
Jhajjar, Beri & Jahajgarh.
It is a famous & well known breed in Ganga’s Doab. ( The Doab, unqualified by the names of any rivers, designates the flat alluvial tract between the Ganges and Yamuna rivers in western and southwestern Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand state in India, extending from the Sivalik Hills to the two rivers’ confluence at Allahabad. The region has an area of about 23, 360 square miles (60, 500 square km); it is approximately 500 miles (805 km) in length and 60 miles (97 km) in width.
Doab figures prominently in history and myths of Vedic period; the epic Mahabharata, for example, is set in the Doab, around the city of Hastinapur”
• White or light Grey Skin Color.
• In Bulls, Front and posterior part is Dark.
• Long and thin face.
• Muzzle / Nose is always Black .
• Forehead is flat, Horns are small, sharp and rounded towards the inside, eyes are black and attractive.
• In certain breeds, eye’s iris is black too.
• Head is erect and high which gives them an extinguished personality.
• Hump is seen in both male and female breeds and is more prominent in male breed as compared to Females w.r.t to the rest of the body.
• Hoof is black, legs are shapely, attractive and long
• Udder is capacious and extends well forward with a well-developed milk-vein. Milk glands are medium sized and well developed
• Tail is rather short, thin and bent
• Adult body weight is around 499 and 325 kg in males and females respectively.
• Lactation length is about 272 days ranging from 238 to 330 days. Average service period is 232 days (range 126 to 305 days), dry period 255 days (range 133 to 571 days) and calving interval 483 days (range 415 to 561 days).
Gaolao is one of the high quality distinguished breed of Indian cows used for milk production & Load Bearing. It is found in certain sectors of Maharashtra & M.P. like Balaghat, Chhindbaada, Durg, Rajnandgaon & especially in few areas of Sioni .
There is also a marked similarity in Ongol and Gaolao breed ; these are slightly lighter and more active and lighter that Ongol breed . They like to move around hence the Animals are grazed in the grasslands preserved by the forest department.
• White or light brown skin color
• Bulls are brown colored above the neck’s hump.
• Medium heighted, body is slightly narrowed but long.
• Long narrow head and slightly bended towards the nose.
• Forehead is flat and convex in shape and protruding.
• Eyes are almond shaped and slightly bent at an angle, medium sized and & placed at an elevated level.
• Horns are small and fat from front.
• Enlarged Hump making its appearance look bent and loose.
• Neck wrinkles are well developed.
• Small tail.
• Weight ranges from 340-440 kg.
• At the age of 1300 days, cow is ready for milk production, milk production is around 470-725kg & duration of gap is 240 days in which the fat content is around 5.5%
Dakshini Sindh (Pakistan’s) Tharparkar sector is the producer of this cow. This breed is visible from the west region of Rajasthan at Indo Pak Border to Kuchh of Gujarat. The development of this breed of cow is the result of atmospheric conditions of Rajasthan’s Thar Desert and similar areas.
• Skin Color – White / light Grey.
• Face & Rest of the body parts are dark.
• Bulls / male cows have curly hair above the forehead.
• Flat forehead, Broad and Elevated over the eyes .
• Horns and face are at the same level.
• In Bulls, the higher part of forehead is more protruded.
• Face is bent, clear and little rounded
• Jaw is very strong and eyes are serene, calm and serious.
• Ears are long, broad and little bent.
• Tharparkar cows calve for the first time at an average age of about 1, 247 days (range 1, 116 to 1, 596 days), milk yield is 1, 749 kg (range 913 to 2, 14.7 kg) and calving interval 431 days (range 408 to 572 days)
• Fat content in its milk is 4.9%.
Malvi bulls are known for their fast transportation abilities. They have higher load bearing & working capacity. Its breed found in West Rajasthan is lighter while that found in Madhya Pradesh is smaller in size.
• Skin color of the male cow is Grey, one fourth part of neck, shoulders, hump and body is black, with age the complete body color turn black .
• Body is small/short, deep but balanced
• Legs short but strong
• Hoof extremely strong and black
• Neck wrinkles are fully developed & skin is heavy and loose
• Small head, forehead is broad and flat like a saucer
• Nose is dark and little elevated, horns are sharp and strong and are projected out from the corners of the head and launched upwards
• Average milk yield is 1, 074 kg (range 627 to 1, 227 kg). Average lactation length is 306 days (range 411 and 530 days).
Channi is found in India as well as Pakistan.
• Heavy body
• Hump excessively high
• Middle portion of the waist seems suppressed inside and the rear portion is elevated
• Tight Skin, Height and built is Strong
• Horns are very small and forehead is elevated and broad and ears are directed downwards towards ground level
• Eyes are small & serene
• Skin color is Grey/Black, with unevenly distributed speckles.
Ongole is one of the predominant, dual purpose breed of South India.
Ongole breed contributed to the development of some of the exotic breeds like ‘American Brahman’, ‘Santa Getrudis’ etc. and is used extensively for beef purpose in Latin American countries. It is also called the Nellore breed since the Ongole taluka was earlier included in Nellore district but now it is included in Guntur district.
• Ongole is a big and strong breed having a glossy white coat called “padakateeru” by the breeders.
• Skin color is bright white
• Muscular well developed body
• Forehead is flat & broad between eyes and slightly prominent.
• Face moderately long and coffin shaped.
• Hump in males are well developed and erect filled up on both side and not concave or leaning to either side.
• Dewlap/neck wrinkles is large, fan shaped, fleshy and slightly pendulous.
• Farmers identify the Ongole breed with 3 lengths (legs, shoulder and back), 7 shorts (muzzle, ear, neck, dewlap, flank, sheath and tail) and 9 blacks (muzzle, eyes, tip of ear, knees, fetlocks, sheath, switch of tail, anal region and tip of testes).
• Average milk yield is 688 kg (range 475 to 1, 000 kg) in a lactation period of about 230 days (range 160 to 270 days). Average fat is 4.2% (range 4.1 to 4.8%).
Rathi is an important Milch breed of cattle found in the western part of Rajasthan. It takes its name from a pastoral tribe called Raths who are Muslims of Rajput extraction and lead a nomadic life. Its origin is known to be from Bikaner, Sriganganagar, Jaisalmer situated in the middle of Thar desert . These animals are particularly concentrated in the Loonkaransar tehsil of Bikaner district which is also known as ‘ Rathi Tract ’.
Physical Characteristics :
• Rathi is a medium sized breed with symmetrical body. The animal is usually brown with white patches all over the body, but animals having completely brown or black coats with white patches are often encountered
• The lower body parts are generally lighter in color as compared to the rest of the body.
• Forehead is broad and shaped like a saucer,
• Nose and hoof/heel is black in color
• Eyelashes are brown /black in color
• Horns are short to medium in size, curving outward, upward and inward.
• Ears are medium sized, neck wrinkles/dewlap are big and heavy
• Naval center is quite large.
• Hump is larger in males and body shape is like a pendulum
• Tail is long, fine, tapering to a good black switch well below hock. Udder is well developed with prominent milk-vein.
• Females are docile and average Milker’s. Milk yield is 1, 560 kg (range 1, 062 to 2, 810 kg). Average lactation length is 336 days (range 306 to 431 days).
Mewati breed of cattle is found in the tract known as Mewat, comprising Alwar and Bharatpur districts of Rajasthan. These cattle are also found around Mathura and Kosi in western Uttar Pradesh, and Faridabad and Gurgaon districts of Hariana. The breed is sometimes spoken of as Kosi, on account of the sale of large number of cattle of this breed at the Kosi market. Presently this market has become buffalo dominated and few cows are being brought for sale.
Mewati cattle are similar in type to the Hariana but there are traces of influence of the Gir, Kankrej and Malvi breeds.
• Mewati cattle are usually white with neck, shoulders and quarters of a darker shade.
• Face is long and narrow with forehead slightly bulging.
• Horns emerge from the outer angles of poll and are inclined to turn backward at the points.
• Eyes are prominent and surrounded by a very dark rim.
• Muzzle is wide and square.
• Upper lip is thick and overhanging, giving the upper part of the nose a contracted appearance.
• Ears are pendulous but not so long.
• Dewlap, though hanging, is not very loose.
• Tail is long, the tuft nearly reaching the heels.
• Cows usually have well- developed udders.
• Mewati cattle are powerful and docile, and are useful for heavy Ploughing & Transportation.
The Amritmahal breed is found in Hassan, Chikmagalur and Chitradurga districts of Karnataka state in southern India. It is a famous draught breed known for its energy, power and endurance. Bullocks are especially-suited for quick transportation. These cattle consisted of three distinct strains: Hallikar, Hagalvadi and Chitaldoorg.
• Color ranges from white to black
• Face, nose and tail are evenly black, in older breed, these parts are lighter
• Color of this breed is white, male is off white and color of bulls ranges from deep to light brown.
• Head is long and tapering towards muzzle. Forehead is narrow, bulging out with a furrow in the middle. Horns are long and emerge from the top of the poll fairly close together in backward and upward direction, turn in and end in sharp black points. Sometimes the long, sharp points touch each other and appear like torch light.
• Eyes are shiny, ears small and placed parallel to the earth
• Hump is fully developed and slightly bent forward, legs are medium in length and in proportion to the rest of the body
• Skin is thin, oily deep black in color and furry
• Udder / Milk glands are small, compact & hard
• Dewlap/ neck wrinkles are small and not too long
• Hoofs/heels are small and hard
• An adult male weighs around 500 kg and female around 318 kg.
• Age at first calving is 1, 337.6±115.52 days and milk yield is 572±24 kg. Calving interval is 577.6±24.32 days and lactation length 299± 10
This breed was found in Sitamari and some parts of Madhubani, Darbhanga, Samastipur and Muzaffarnagar districts of Bihar but a recent survey has revealed that the Bachaur cattle are now concentrated in the areas adjoining Nepal border comprising Bachaur and Koilpur subdivisions of Sitamarhi district. It is known for its draught qualities and ability to thrive on poor fodder resources. This breed has very close similarity to the Hariana breed.
• Skin color is Light brown
• Small Neck
• Flat, large forehead and slightly convex
• Attractive, Prominent eyes
• Horns are medium in length
• Legs are thin and short
• Medium sized, thin dewlap Neck
• Tail is short and thick
• Black/white at the ends
• Small udder. Tail switch is either black or white.
• Cows are poor milker and produce around 540 kg of milk (range 495 to 605 kg) in a lactation of around 254 days.
• Bullocks are very hard working and can work about 8 hours without any break.
Dangi is a draught breed found in a small area of Nasik and Ahmednagar districts in Maharashtra state including an area in the Western Ghats known as Dangs from which the breed takes its name. They are well known for their excellent working qualities in heavy rainfall areas, rice fields and hilly tracts.
Dangi breeders are semi-nomadic. They belong to Kandadi, Mahadeo Koli, Thakar and Maratha communities, who practice seasonal migration and remain away from their villages for about 9 months in a year (January to September). During the hot and dry season, the breeders migrate towards coastal areas where grass, tree fodder and water are available to some extent. During the period of heavy rainfall, they settle down at the foothills for protection from the cold draught.
• White skin color with red or black spots distributed unevenly over the body.
• Animals are medium in size with deep bodies.
• Small head with protruding forehead.
• Dewlap appears loose, bent & resembles a pendulum.
• Small ears.
• Hump is medium sized.
• Horns are small and Fat.
• Hoofs are black and somewhat hard.
• Skin secretes a type of oil which protects them during heavy rains.
• Milk yield averages 530 kg (range 32 to 1, 228 kg) in an average lactation period of 269 days (range 100 to 396 days).
• Average fat in milk is 4.3%.
Kangayam is a draught breed of cattle and distributed in Kangayam, Dharapuram, Perundurai, Erode, Bhavani