Native cow varieties of India
Why make this list?
A recent investigation by the Tehelka magazine arrived at the conclusion that in 10 years, India will be forced to start importing milk, and that Indian cow will cease to exist. Why? Due to several reasons:
- India, over the past few decades, imported several exotic cow varieties to gain a boost in milk production. In Punjab, for example, 80% of the state's one lakh stray cattle are exotic breeds. These breeds theoretically produce a lot of milk, but are not well-adapted to Indian conditions.
- 69% of Indian cows are owned by the economically poor strata of the society. These folks cannot afford to house these exotic breeds in regulated climate conditions.
- The government has significantly mismanaged cow breeding. The average milk yield per animal in India is just 3.2 kgs, compared to a global average of 6.6 kgs. The dairy policy and outlook is highly outdated and needs to be replaced with modern, evidence-based thinking.
India has 37 pure cattle breeds. Five of these — Sahiwal, Gir, Red Sindhi, Tharparkar and Rathi — are known for their milking prowess. A few others, such as Kankrej, Ongole and Hariana, belong to dual breeds that have both milch and draught qualities; ie, they are good plough animals. The rest are pure draught breeds.
Indigenous cattle varieties
Data derived from the following sources:
- Report on National Commission on Cattle
- List of cattle breeds Article on Wikipedia
- Images were downloaded from various sources, primarily Wikimedia Commons and Gougram.org's Picasa page
|Name||Average yield/lactation||Geographical range||Description (Source)||Image||Other names|
|Gir||2000-6000 kg||Saurashtra, Gujarat||This breed produces the highest yield of milk amongst all breeds in India. Has been used extensively to make hybrid varieties, in India and in other countries like Brazil.|
|Sahiwal||2000-4000kg||Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana||The cow is easily identifiable by its prominent red color|
|Red Sindhi||2000-4000kg||Originated in Sindh, Pakistan. Now widespread.|
|Rathi||1800-3500 kg||Bikaner, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab||Type of a w:Zebu cattle.||Bos primigenius, Bos taurus, Bos indicus|
|Tharparkar||1800-3500 kg||Sindh (Pakistan), Kutch, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur||Bullocks are slow workers. Cows are good milkers. Same species as Rathi.||Bos primigenius, Bos taurus, Bos indicus|
|Hariana||1000-2000 kg||Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan||Bullocks are useful for ploughing and transport. Cows are good milkers.|
|Kankrej||1500-4000 kg||Bhuj, North Gujarat, Rajasthan||Bullocks are strong and hard-working. Among the largest cattle breeds in India|
|Ongole||NA||Guntur, Ongole in Andhra Pradesh||Bullocks are useful for ploughing and cart-work / transport. Cows are fair milkers. Has natural resistance to both foot and mouth disease and mad cow disease||200px|
|Red Kandhari||NA||Marathwada, Maharashtra.||Bullocks are good draught animals. Cows are good milkers.|
|Nimari||NA||Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh||This is a dual purpose milk and draught breed. Animals are copper colored, with patches of white.|
|Malvi||NA||Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan||Bullocks are useful for ploughing. Cows are average milkers.|
|Dangi||Western Maharashtra||Especially good for heavy rainfall areas for draught purpose.|
|Khillari cattle||Southern Maharashtra, Northern Karnataka||Bullocks are hardy and well-known for being fast in work.|
|Amritmahal||1000-1200 kg per lactation||Karnataka||Bullocks are well-known for draught power and endurance.|
|Hallikar||Hassan, Mysore, Tunkur districts of Karnataka||Draught breed both used for road and field agricultural operations. Closely related to Amrit Mahal. However, are much thinner and produce low yields of milk.|
|Kangayam||Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu||Bullocks are strong draught animals. Their skin is very strong and tight.|
|Nagori||Nagore, Rajasthan||It is an excellent draught breed. Bullocks are good for draught purposes.|
|Baraguru||Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu||Bullocks are good work animals.|
|Kenkatha||Banda, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh.||Bullocks are small but fairly sturdy animals and good for cultivation in rocky areas.|
|Siri||Hills around Darjeeling and Sikkim. Originally from Bhutan.||This breed can stand the rugged conditions of the mountains very well. Bullocks are eagerly sought after for draught purposes (ploughing and transport) due to their reputed great strength.||Nublaung (Bhutanese)|
|Bachaur||Sitamarhi, Bihar.||Bullocks are used for draught purpose. Cows are poor milkers.|
|Kherigarh||Kheri, Uttar Pradesh.||The cattle of this breed are very active and thrive on grazing only. Bullocks are good for light draught and quick light transport. The cows are poor milkers.|
|Mewati||Rajasthan||Mewati cattle are in general sturdy, powerful and docile and are useful for heavy ploughing, carting and drawing water from deep wells. Cows are said to be good milkers.|
|Umblachery||Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu||It is a draught breed of the Zebu type, similiar to Kangayam but smaller. They are gray with white spots. The bulls are used in the sport of Jallikattu or bull-taming, which is different from the Spanish custom of matadors and running of the bulls.|
|Krishna Valley||Southern border of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh||Bullocks are powerful and good for heavy ploughing and slower draught purpose. Cows are fair milkers.||Krishna Tira|
|Ponwar||Pilbhit, Uttar Pradesh||Draught purpose. Cows are poor milkers.|
|Vechur||Kerala||Smallest cow breed in the world! Bullocks are mainly used for draught purpose. Cows are poor milkers. In the image alongside, the smaller cow is a 16 year old Vechur cow, while the larger cow is a 6-year old cross bred cow.|
|Malenadu Gidda||Coastal and hilly areas of Karnataka|
- A Pastolral Elegy Outlook Magazine. "Contrary to popular belief, indigenous breeds are a sturdier option than disease-prone crossbreds"
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|Title||Native cow varieties of India||Article is on this general topic||Biodiversity data||Author||Gaurav Moghe|
|Specific location(s) where study was conducted||Not noted||General region where study was conducted||Not noted||State where study was conducted||Pan-India|
|Institutional affiliation||Not noted||Institution located at||Not noted||Institution based around||Not noted|
|Species Group||Animals||User ID||User:Gauravm||Page creation date||2013/1/26|
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