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Indigenous Breeds of Cow

Gau Pooja.

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”

Physical Characteristics:

• 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.

Physical Characteristics

• 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.

Physical Characteristics

• 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.

Physical Characteristics

• 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.

Physical Characteristics

• 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.

Physical Characteristics

• 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.

Physical Characteristics

• 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.

Physical characteristics

• 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.

Physical characteristics

• 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.

Physical characteristics

• 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 and part of Gobichettipalayam talukas of Erode district, Dindigul, Karur and Coimbatore district.

On the other hand, replacement of Kangayam cattle by exotic crosses is high in Udumalpet, Pollachi, Palladam and Tirupur talukas of Coimbatore, and Erode district.

This breed is most closely related to the Umblachery breed of cattle. Kangayam animals are well built and heavier than Umblachery cattle and are found in drier climate, whereas Umblachery are found in the hot humid tract.

Physical Characteristics

• At the time of birth its skin color is red and after 6 months it turns Grey
• Cows are grey or white and grey. However, animals with red, black, fawn and broken color are also observed. Such animals comprise approximately 1 to 2 % of the total population.
• Horns, muzzle, eyelids, tail switch and hooves are black. Skin is also black.
• Animals are active with compact body and strong physique.
• Legs are short and stout with strong hooves.
• Hump and at the leg joint, the color is grey whereas the rest of the body of bulls is red /black and that of an ox is grey
• Milk yield ranges from 600 to 800 Kg with an average of about 540 Kg in a lactation of about 270 days. Average fat and SNF is 3.88 + 0.07 and 6.96 + 0.05 % respectively.
• Ox have the capacity to work in very hot days too


Kankrej cattle are one of the most well-known & amongst the largest cattle of India and are prized as powerful draft animals.

It has played an important role in preserving the cow race in USA thus heavily impacting U.S. cattle breeding. They are moderate milk producers. This is a very simple race of cows which adjusts itself to the worst of condition; these cows are very peaceful in nature and in their movement and manner of living.

Kankrej cattle are maintained as a pure breed in India and Brazil in large numbers, with a few in the U. S. They are fertile under adverse conditions.

Physical Characteristics:

• Kankrej cattle are gray cattle of northern India with big, long and round horns.
• Bulls are comparatively darker in color then the rest of the breed.
• Having small but broad faces with long ears drooping and open to the front.
• Color varies from light gray to black at maturity. Average milk yield is around 1, 746 kg (range 1, 097 to 3, 194 kg). Lactation length averages 294 days (range 257 to 350 days), calving interval is around 490 days, and fat is around 4.8% (range 4.66 to 4.99%).


Deoni is an important dual-purpose breed of cattle in Maharashtra. These animals are mainly found in the Latur district and the adjoining area of Prabhani, Nanded and Osmanabad districts of the Marathwada region of Maharashtra. The name of the breed is derived from Deoni Taluk of the Latur district.

Physical Characteristics

• Deoni is a medium heavy animal. It is found in three color variations viz. Wannera (clear white with black colour at the sides of the face), Balankya (clear white with black spots on the lower side of the body) and Shevera (white body with irregular black spots).
• The body is moderately developed and symmetrical with distinct muscles.
• The colour of the head is black and white in Wannera and Shevera and completely white in the Balankya strain.
• The forehead is prominent, broad, slightly bulged and white in all the strains
• Ears are long and drooping with slightly curved tips
• Horns are medium, thick, apart and emerge from the sides of the poles, Tips of the horns are blunt
• Eyes are prominent, bright and alert with black eyebrows.
• The neck is short, strong and well developed. Dewlap is thick, pendulous, and muscular with folds. It is more pendulous in males than in females.
• The tail is long reaching below the hock with black and white switch.
• The udder is well attached and medium in .size with squarely placed black teats.
• The animals are docile and calm.
• Lactation milk yield in Deoni herds ranging from 800 to 1000 kg.
• Average Fat percent of 4.29 is observed in 100 samples of Deoni cow milk.


The Gir is a famous milk cattle breed of India. The native tract of the breed is Gir hills and forests of Kathiawar including Junagarh, Bhavnagar, Rajkot and Amreli districts of Gujarat. The Gir animals are famous for their tolerance to stress conditions and resistance to various tropical diseases. Bullocks of this breed are used to drag heavy loads on all kinds of soil. Brazil, Mexico, USA and Venezuela have imported these animals where they are being bred successfully. These animals contribute significantly to the total milk production of Gujarat State. The Rabaris, Bharwads, Maldharis, Ahirs and Charans tribes are mainly involved in Rearing of Gir cattle. They move with their cattle from one place to another in search for grazing. The Gir animals are also kept at different Gaushalas (cow barns) in Gujarat State.

Physical Characteristics:

• Coat color of Gir animals varies from shades of red and white to almost black and white or entire red. Skin color is dominantly black but in a few animals it is brown, has red/white and black/white or completely red haired cows can be seen
• Forehead is prominent, convex and broad like a bony shield. This overhangs eyes in such a way that they appear to be partially closed and the animal shows sloppy appearance.
• Ears are long and pendulous and folded like a leaf.
• The tail is long and whip like.
• Hooves are black and medium-sized.
• Hair is short and glossy,
• Skin is loose and pliable
• Hipbones are prominent, the body is well proportioned, the udder in cows is well developed
• Age at first calving in Gir cows is 52.49 months
• Average lactation and 300 days milk yield in 378 Gir cows is 1775 and 1449 kg, respectively.


Hallikar cattle is typical Mysore type of cattle found mainly in Mysore, Mandya, Bangalore, Kolar, Tumkur, Hassan and Chitradurga district of Karnataka. It is one of the best draught breed of southern India. In the entire tract bullocks are given special attention. Price of each bullock ranges from Rs. 5, 500 to Rs 10, 000. Females are being used for all kinds of farm operations. They can also work in water logged fields and contribute to the farming system.

Physical Characteristics

• Color is grey to dark grey with deep shading on the fore and hind quarters. Frequently, there are light grey marking on the face, dewlap and under the body.
• Hallikar cattle are medium sized, compact and muscular in appearance.
• The forehead is prominent giving a slight bulgy appearance and is furrowed in the middle.
• The face is long and tapers towards the muzzle, which is usually grey to black.
• Horns emerge near each other from the top of poll and are carried backward for nearly half their length and slightly inward toward the tips which are black and sharp. Horns almost touch the neck in front of hump when the animal is feeding with its head downward.
• Eyes are small and clear.
• Ears are small tapering to a point.
• Dewlap is thin and moderately developed.
• Tail is fine with a black switch which reaches little below hocks.
• Age at first calving ranges from 915 to 1, 800 days with an average of about 1, 370 days.
• Lactation milk yield is around 540 kg ranging from 227 to 1, 134 kg. Lactation length ranges from 210 to 310 days averaging of about 285 days.
• Fat is about 5.7%.


Bargur is a draught breed found around Bargur hills in Bhavani taluk of Erode district, Tamil Nadu, and is bred extensively by Lingaiys and Lambadis of that area. Animals are of Mysore-type, but smaller and more compact. They are fiery in disposition, and are difficult to train. They are light in built and are developed mainly for carrying out agricultural operations in the uneven and hilly terrain. Male of this breed are excellent in speed and possess high endurance.

Physical Characteristics:

• Color of the skin is brown with white spots ; Some white and dark brown types are also found in this breed
• Ears are moderately long and erect.
• Horns are of light brown color, moderate length, closer at the roots,
• Calves are generally brown in color. Color does not change with age as in Kangayam and Umblachery breeds.
• Animals are well built, compact and medium in size.
• Head is brownish, well-shaped, long and tapering towards the muzzle.
• Forehead is slightly prominent and has a deep furrow between the roots of horns.
• Muzzle is moderate and black in color.
• Eyes are prominent inclining backward, outward and upward with a forward curve and sharp at the tip.
• Neck is fairly long and thin.
• Hump is moderately developed in females and well developed in males.
• Dewlap is thin and short extending up to sternum only.
• Navel flap is present in many animals.
• These cattle have thin and bony limbs. Thighs are well developed. Hindquarters are well developed and slightly dropping.
• Cows have small udders applied close to the body.
• Cows are poor milker, and produce 250 to 1, 300 kg of milk in a lactation period of 270 to 310 days.


The Kenwariya are also known as Kenkatha. They get their name from the River Ken, as they are bred along the banks of this small river in the hilly area of Bundelkhand. These cattle are also bred in territories of Panna, Charkhari, Bijawar and Ajaigarh which are part of Vindhya Pradesh in India. It is similar to Malvi breed of Cows.

Physical Characteristics:

• The Kenwariya cattle are small, sturdy and fairly powerful, varying in color from gray on the barrel to dark gray on the rest of the body.
• The head is short and broad and the forehead is dished.
• Horns emerge from the outer angles of the poll in a markedly forward direction and terminate in sharp points.
• Ears are sharply pointed and do not droop.
• The body is short, deep and compact.
• The back is straight but the quarters are drooping.
• The limbs are short but powerful and the feet are hard.
• The hump is well developed. The sheath is somewhat pendulous and ends with a black tip.
• The dewlap is moderately heavy. The tail is of medium length with a black switch reaching below the hocks.
• This breed is very popular for light draft on the road and for cultivation. They are observed to thrive on poor feed.

Because of the hilly nature of the region and the poor grazing, only animals which can cover long distances and have strong feet can thrive.


Nimari breed is found in Nimar tract of Narmada valley in Madhya Pradesh comprising Khandwa, Khargon and Barwani districts.

Some animals are also found in Jalgaon district of Maharashtra. Nimari Animals are very useful and active. Bullocks are known for their draught work but cows are poor milkers. The Nimari breed has originated from crossing of the Gir and the Khillari.

Gir breed has contributed to its coat color, massive body structure and convexity of forehead, and Khillari blood to its hardiness, agility and temper.

Physical Characteristics :

• Nimari cattle are red with large splashes of white on various parts of the body.
• Head is moderately long with a somewhat bulging forehead. It is carried alertly and gives the animal a graceful appearance.
• Horns usually emerge in a backward direction from the outer angles of the poll, somewhat in the same manner as in Gir cattle, turning upward and outward and finally backward at the points.Occasionally, horns are also like those of Khillaris in size and shape, copper colored and pointed.
• Ears are moderately long and wide, but are not pendulous.
• Muzzle in many animals is either copper or amber-colored.
• Dewlap and sheath are moderately developed, though the sheath has the tendency to be pendulous.
• Hump in bulls is well developed and sometimes hangs over.
• Tail is long and thin with the black switch reaching to the ground.
• Hooves are strong and can stand rough wear on stony ground.
• Skin is fine and slightly loose.
• Cows usually have well-developed udder.
• Average milk yield is about 360 kg (range 310 to 495 kg). Average lactation length is 237 days (range 220 and 260 days).
• Milk fat is around 4.9%.


The Pilibhit district of Uttar Pradesh is the breeding tract of Ponwar cattle. The main area is the Puranpur Block in the Pilibhit district comprising Mainakot, Mazara, Bhirkhera, Faizulaganj and Rajpur Semra villages.
A few animals of this breed are also found in Lakhimpur-Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh. This breed is also known as Kabri (mixture of colors) in the breeding tract. The Ponwar seems to be small hill type breed. Critical examination of the animals reveals that this breed may be a mixture of hill and plain cattle. The landless laborers and marginal farmers mainly keep these animals. The progressive farmer keeps no animal of this breed. Purebred animals are available in the interior area of the breeding tract. The Tharu tribe is mainly involved in rearing pure Ponwar animals. Some animals have also been maintained by Pasi and Yadav communities.

Physical Characteristics

• Coat color of these animals is brown or black with white patches in varying proportions.
• Color of the muzzle, eyelids and hoofs is generally black.
• The tail switch is white in black animals and black in those having a greater proportion of white patches.
• The horns are small to medium and curve inward with pointed tips.
• The ears are small and erect with a sideways orientation and have pointed tips.
• The face is small and narrow with a slightly concave forehead, which is narrow and has a white marking.
• The body is small, compact and non-fleshy.
• The skin is tight, the dewlap is medium and the hump is small in females and developed in males.
• The tail is long and reaches to below the hock.
• Cows have small udders and milk veins are small.
• Legs are thin and straight
• The animals of this breed are aggressive.
• Milk production is about 0.5 to 2.5 kg per day for 8 to 10 (average 8.9±0.1.) months.


Khillari breed of cattle is known for quick draught capabilities of its bullocks. This breed is found in Kolhapur, Solapur, Sangli and Satara districts of Maharastra and Belgaum, Bijapur and Dharwad districts of Karnataka. This breed is seemed to have originated from Hallikar or Amrithmahal breed of cattle.

Physical Characteristics

• A typical Khillar animal is compact and tight skinned, with clean cut features.
• There is a slight rise in the level of back toward the hook bones.
• Face is lean and long with smooth, tightly drawn skin.
• Ears are small, pointed and always held sideways.
• Horns are long and pointed and bent backwards but head’s projection is forward.
• Dewlap is light with very few folds.
• Hump in male is well developed, firm and moderate size.
• Khillar bullocks are highly valued as fast powerful draught cattle, for they can travel miles without showing any sign of fatigue.
• Average milk production is 384 kg (range 240 to 515 kg).


KrishnaValley is the draught breed of cattle, having the ability to survive in extreme hot, humid climatic conditions and is capable to work well in the black cotton soil in the valleys of Krishna River in Karnataka state in India.
Currently, In the northern areas of Karanataka such as Jaamkhandi, Muthol and Athani Talukas, only few hundreds of this breed are left .

The reasons for the decline in number are selling of animals of Krishna Valley due to continuous drought in the tract and preference of the farmers for Khillari breed which is more attractive and massive in appearance resulted in lack of Krishna Valley Breeding bulls.

Physical Characteristics:

• Ears are medium sized pointing downward.
• Horns are long and pointed, extending outward.
• Hump is well developed, firm and moderate size.


Punganur breed is found in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh.

Its home tract is Punganur town of Chittoor district.

This breed was developed by Rajahs of Punganur. Hence this breed is known as ‘Punganur’. These are reared for milk. There are a very few animals left in the breeding tract. This breed is almost on the verge of extinction. These animals were used for agricultural operations on light soils.

Physical Characteristics:

• Punganur cattle are white, grey or light brown to dark brown; White mixed with red or black color animals are also available. Combination of white with brown or black patches is not uncommon.
• Skin, muzzle, eyelids and hooves are black.
• Animals of this breed are compact with comparatively tighter skin, extensive hanging dewlap, short legs, and long body with well sprung ribs.
• Forehead is concave and broad.
• Horns are black, small and crescent shaped, and often loose curving backward and forward in males and lateral and forward in females. Horns are stumpy in males and slightly longer in females. Horn length ranges from 10 to 15 cm.
• Forehead is broad and prominent. Hump is of small size in females and medium but inclined to be drooping in males.
• Bulls are more docile than females.
• Lactation milk yield is 546.0±30.6 litres (range 194 to 1, 099 litres), lactation length 263.4±16.5 days (range 98 to 445 days)
• Calving interval 452.4±18.7 (range 317 to 832 days).
• On an average, milk of Punganur cows contains 5% fat .


Nagori is a reputed breed. It is primarily reared for draught quality of its bullocks. Its home tract lies in the Nagaur district of Rajasthan in Western India. A sizable population of the breed is also found in the adjoining Jodhpur district and Nokha tehsil of Bikaner district.

The Nagori is mainly a draught breed. Its bullocks are used for transportation and in agricultural operations such as ploughing, cultivation and drawing water from well. They are usually broken for light work at about 3 years of age when they weigh around 275 kg. A pair of bullocks cost approximately Rs. 15, 000.

Physical Characteristics:

• Nagori animals are fine, upstanding, very alert and agile, and generally white or light grey. In some cases head, face and shoulder are slightly grayish.
• Eyelids are white or light grey.
• Muzzle, hooves and horns are black.
• Skin is tight and black.
• Forehead is flat and not so prominent.
• Face is long and narrow like that of horse.
• Eyelids are heavy and overhanging, whereas eyes are small, clear and bright.
• Ears are medium in size with pinkish inside.
• Horns are of medium size. They extend in an outward direction and are carried upwards with a gentle curve to turn in at points.
• Shoulder blade is prominent. Hump is well developed; back straight; legs long and straight with small, strong and compact hooves.
• Dewlap is small, fine and buttoned up with the body.
• Navel sheath is very small, tucked up with the abdomen like a button.
• Tail is high set and is of moderate length (below hock) ending in a black switch.
• Cows have small and shallow udder.

• Bullocks are big and powerful. They are capable of heavy draught work in deep sands.
• There is a tendency to lightness of bone, though feet are strong. This characteristic has given the breed its agility and ease of movement. It runs like a horse.
• Cows are poor milkers. Average milk yield is 603 kg (range 479 to 905 kg). Average lactation period is 267 days (range 237 to 299 days).


Lal/ Red Kandhari breed of cattle in purest form is found in Kandhar, Mukhed, Nanded and Biloli tehsils of Nanded district & some parts of other districts like Ahmadpur; Parli and Hingoli tehsils of Latur district; and Bid and Parbhani districts of Marathwada region.

In Kandhar tehsil the Red Kandhari breed of cattle is more common. It is said that this breed was taken up by the royal dynasty of King Somadevraya as far back as 4th Century A.D. Raja Somdeorai was the son of Raja Kanhar and ruled over Kandhar. Name “Lal Kandhari“ has been acquired due to its red color.

Physical Characteristics:

• Red Kandhari is a medium-sized, strong and robust animal.
• The body is compact, squarely built, but not massive, with well-proportionate limbs.
• The color is uniform deep dark- red, but variations from a dull red to almost dark brown are found.
• Bulls are darker than cows.
• Fore-head is broad between eyes and is slightly bulging.
• Bullocks are used for heavy work.
• Average lactation yield is 597.6±18.32 kg in a lactation period of 259.8±4.26 days.
• Average fat content in milk is 4.57±0.03% .


Lal sindhi is a distinguished milch breed of Upmahadweep.

It is mostly found in Karachi and Hyderabad districts of Pakistan. Some organized herds of this breed are also found in India in the states of Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Kerala and Assam. The original herd was established at Malir outside Karachi.

Lal Sindhi cattle are somewhat similar to Sahiwal and may also be related to Afghan and Gir cattle. Red Sindhi is one of the important dairy cattle breeds in Indian sub-continent.

Physical Characteristics:

• This breed has distinctly red color.
• Red shades vary from dark red to dim yellow. Though patches of white are seen on dewlap and sometimes on forehead, no large white patches are present on the body.
• In bulls, color is dark on the shoulders and thighs.
• Hair is soft and short, and skin is loose.
• Milk production is around 1, 840 kg(range 1, 100 to 2, 600 kg) and lactation length 296 days .
• Fat is around4.5%


The Sahiwal is one of the best dairy breeds of zebu cattle.

Though its original breeding tract lies in Montgomery (now Sahiwal) district of Pakistan, yet some herds are also found in India along the Indo-Pak border in Ferozepur and Amritsar districts of Punjab, and Sri Ganganagar district of Rajasthan.

Sahiwal breed is being utilized widely for improvement of local stock or for the purpose of initial crossbreeding. It is known to have been introduced into 17 other countries, besides Pakistan and India. These are: Mauritius, Kenya, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Brazil, Jamaica, Trinidad, Australia and New Zealand.

Physical Characteristics:

• Coat color is usually red, sometimes pale red or brown occasionally mixed with white spots is also seen.
• The Sahiwal is a heavy breed with symmetrical body and loose skin.
• Animals are long, deep, fleshy and comparatively lethargic.
• Horns are short and stumpy.
• Udder is generally large, bowl shaped, pliable, and firmly suspended from the body.
• Average milk yield is 2, 326 kg (range 1, 600 to 2, 750 kg).
• Average lactation length is 318 days (range 285 to 375 days).
• Fat is 4.8 to 5.1% (average 4.93%).


The Vechur cattle are now recognized as the smallest cattle in the world. The Vechur cow has now attracted international recognition and attention. The credit of saving the Vechur cattle from the brink of extinction goes to a conservation program undertaken by the Kerala Agriculture University (KAU). The local people preserved the purity of the breed by selective breeding. The extremely small size, low feed requirements, high disease resistance and lovable nature of the cute animals made the Vechur cattle the attractive. The dwarf cattle were well adapted for the hot, humid tropical climate of Kerala. Infant mortality has been found to be almost nil in Vechur cattle under farm conditions, quite resistant to foot and mouth disease and mastitis. Compared to crossbred cows, significantly lower incidences of respiratory infections have been reported from Vechur cattle.

The percentage of fat and total solids in the milk of Vechur cows is higher compared to crossbred cows. But a more significant aspect is the size of the fat globules. The small size of fat globules means high phospholipid content because of greater surface area. Phospholipids are important in the development of brain and nerve tissues and also play a vital role in the absorption and digestion of fat. Thus the Vechur cow milk and its products are suitable for infants and the sick.

Physical Characteristics:

• The maximum height of a Vechur cow is 91 cms. This diminutive cow, weighing on an average 107 kgs. can give an average yield of 3 litres of milk per day . Proportionate to its body weight, the Vechur cow yields maximum milk in the world.
• Vechur bulls, though small in size (maximum height at hump level 105 cms), were very strong and these lightweight animals were used for ploughing marshy paddy fields typical of Kerala.


Raath breed of cattle is found & reared in Alwar, Bainsor and Naarneel districts of Rajasthan. Pure breed of Raath cattle can be found In between Mundayad and Naarneel districts. Their maintenance cost is very less.

Physical Characteristics:

• Raath is a medium built, long but strong bodied animal
• Skin color varies from white to grey.
• In Bulls, skin color on neck and shoulders is darker than the rest of the body.
• Muzzle is broad and black in color.
• Eyes are Broad and shiny.
• Horns are small and rounded.
• Ears are small and loosely bent in downward direction.
• Neck is long and attractive.
• Hump is well developed and chest is deep and heavy
• Short tail with black ends


As the name suggests, this breed is found & reared in Bengal. This is a principal Indian cow breed known as “Dwarf community”.

Presently little info is available on this breed.

Physical Characteristics:

• Size varies from medium to short
• Hump is elevated
• Tight skin texture
• Compact & well-built body
• Forehead is flat and broad
• Horns are rounded and launched outwards
• Ears are elevated and less sharp
• Skin color is red on top and rest of the body is brown ; lower body color is white
• Udder is small and
• Legs are thin but strong


The Siri is small sized zebu cattle of hilly region and is found in upper reaches of Darjeeling district in West Bengal and Sikkim Districts in India. There are some related types of Siri cattle.

• Kachha Siri: This is a Nepal x Siri cross, and is very similar to the Siri, but is distinguished from it by the color pattern and position of hump and horn.
• Tarai: This type is found in Nepal and is sometimes referred to as Siri.

Physical Characteristics

• Animals are either black with white patches or brown with white patches. In some cases they’re totally black or brown.
• Skin is grey, and muzzle and eyelids are black.
• Tail switch is black or white and hooves are-black.
• Forehead is convex, wedge shaped with white patches.
• Horns are of medium size and curved outward, forward, slightly upward and inward with prominent hairy poll.
• Ears are of medium size and horizontal.
• Abdomen and inner part of legs are generally light in color.
• Udder is small size with firm attachment.
• Milk yield is around 2-6 kg/day with lactation length of about 210 to 274 days.
• The fat content is 2.8 to 5.5 %


Umblachery breed of cattle, one of the best draught breeds of Tamil Nadu, is found in Thanjavur & thiruvarur and Nagappattinam districts. It derives its name from its home tract, Umblachery, a small village 10 km away from Thiruthuraipoondi town in Nagapattinam district. This breed is considered to be developed by crossing Kangayam with local animals’ of Thanjavur, and is very similar to Kangayam except in the appearance of head and smaller size. These are light built draught animals developed for work in the rice fields. About 60-70% of cattle in this area belong to Umblachery breed.

Physical Characteristics:

• Umblachery calves are generally red or brown at birth with all the characteristic white markings on the face, on limbs and tail.
• This color changes to grey at about 6 months of age. In adult females, the predominant coat colour is grey with white markings on face and legs.
• Bullocks are grey in colour.
• Legs below hocks have white marks; even a portion of hooves is white.
• Forehead is fairly broad, sometimes with a slight groove in the middle.
• Face is short and straight.
• Muzzle is broad and black.
• Eyes are prominent and bright with black eyelashes.
• Ears are short, erect and laterally placed.
• Horns are very small, curving outward and inward and sometimes spreading laterally. These are thick in bulls and thin in cows.
• Hump is medium in size, not fleshy, generally erect.
• Dewlap is thin and short extending to the sternum.
• In cows, udder is moderately developed with small and squarely placed teats. Milk-vein is not prominent.
• Bullocks are small, swift and suited for agricultural operations. Umblachery bullocks are used for ploughing, carting, thrashing and paddling. The bullocks are capable of doing work for 6 to 7 hours under hot sun.
• Daily milk yield is around 2 kg. The female produces 300 to 500 liters of milk in lactation.
• On an average, milk contains 4.94± 0.06% fat Compiled and Presented By Miss Meeta Jain.

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