Indigenous cow breeds of India
by Deep Shah
There's so much that we receive from the milk of Indian cows. It's nutritious and supplements us with our daily dose of calcium and protein. In India, the best desi cows are mostly confined to comparatively dry areas such as Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. As of August 2021, India now has 50 registered breeds of indigenious desi cows. 7 breeds of cows were rediscovered since the last census.
Of the 50, 18 breeds of indigenious desi cows are known for their milk-yielding prowess.
Top 18 Indigenious desi cow breeds in India
Gir cows originate from the Gir forests of South Kathiawar in Gujarat. It is also found in State of Maharashtra and Rajasthan. This cow yields around 1200-1800 kgs of milk per lactation. This breed is known for its hardiness and disease resistance. It is also known as Bhadawari, Desan, Gujarati, Kathiawari, Sorthi, and Surati.
This breed has its origins set from Pakistan and found in various parts of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. It is considered as the Best indigenous dairy breed. The milk yield ranges from one 1,400 to 2,500 kg per annum.
The name Kankrej derives from the Kankrej taluka in Banaskantha district of Gujarat. They are found in the state of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Kankrej cows are considered to yield a good amount of milk, approximately 1600-1800 liters of milk during lactation.
Red Sindhi Cows originate from Karachi and Sindh in Pakistan. They are also seen in various parts of India. They are small in size and are very good milkers. Known as Red Karachi, Sindhi, and Mahi, the average lactation yield of this breed is about 2000 Litres.
Alambadi is a breed of cattle originates in the southern state of Tamil Nadu in India. This breed is almost extinct and rare to find. In the past, it was generally kept as a draught animal, although modern breeders are attempting to increase the milk output of this traditional breed.
The Amrit Mahal is a breed of cattle originating in the state of Mysore in Karnataka, India. It is found in Hassan, Chikmagalur, and Chitradurga district of Karnataka.
Bargur is a breed of cattle native to the Bargur forest hills in Erode District in Western Tamil Nadu. Their milk is said to have medicinal value. They are usually reared in herds exclusively by the Kannada-speaking Lingayats of the Bargur region. They are known to be very aggressive with a fiery disposition, and hence difficult to train.
Hallikar Cow originates from the former princely state of Vijaya Nagara, presently a part of Karnataka. It is found in Mysore, Mandya, Hassan, and Tumkur districts of Karnataka. The breed is best known for its draught capacity and especially for its trotting ability. Average milk yield per lactation is 542 Litres.
The Kangayam cattle derives its name from the Kangeyam town located in Tiruppur district in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The name Kangayam derives from Kangayan Emperor in Kongunadu. The milk of Kangayam cows has a high nutritious value with no bad fat; the breed is considered a poor milker. Good milkers give 18 to 20 liters during the peak milking period.
The Pulikulam cattle breed name derives from Pulikulam village located in Sivagangai, Tamil Nadu. It is popularly used in Jallikkattu. The breed is not meant for milk production, and only a few animals are milked in a large herd for consumption by the herdsman. Generally, milk yield is about 1.25 kg per day.
Khillari cattle is a breed of cattle native to Satara, Kolhapur and Sangli regions in Maharashtra and Bijapur, Dharwad and Belgaum districts of Karnataka in India. The breed is steadily declining in numbers mostly due to the low milk yield which forms an alternate stream of income for the farming community.
Umblachery is native to the coastal plains of Nagapattinam and Tiruvarur districts in the state of Tamil Nadu in South India. It is draft purposes breed mainly used for agricultural work. Most of the cows are not milked, and calves are allowed to suckle the dam. Average recorded milk yield is 494 Kg per lactation.
Deoni is originated in the taluks of Basavakalyan, Bidar, and Bhalki of Bidar district in Karnataka and adjoining Latur district of Maharashtra State.
Hariana cattle is a breed of cattle found in the state of Haryana. They are good milk yielders and produce 5 Litres of Milk per day. Hariana is found in Rohtak, Karnal, Jind, Hissar, and Gurgaon districts of Haryana.
Krishna Valley Cattle
Krishna Valley Cattle is found in Bijapur, Bagalkot and Belgaum Districts of Karnataka. These cows are moderate milk producers. The number of the Krishna Valley cattle has decreased substantially.
Ongole Cattle is found in Praksham District the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. The breed derives its name from a place called Ongole City located in Praksham District. Ongole Cattle yields 600-2500 Litres of Milk during Lactation.
Tharparkar Cattle is derived from the Thar Desert of the Northern State of Rajasthan. The Thar Desert is the place of origin for this breed of cattle. These cattle are also known as "Thari." Tharparkar Cattle can produce an average yield of 1600-1800 Litres of milk per lactation.
Bachaur Cattle is found in Madhubani, Darbhanga and Sitamarh District of Bihar. These cows are good milk yielders. The average lactation milk yield ranges from 225 to 630 kg.
According to the report by NABGR, apart from the above 18, India is blessed with 32 other breeds which do not yeild excess milk. They produce milk only sufficient for the calves and not considered milking cows.
Free grazing Gir Cows enjoying the day at our cruelty-free farm in Gujrat
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