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Cows from The Indian Subcontinent

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Precious Cows . Not only do they give us milk, but also manure and cow urine, which is medicinal in value.


The milk from select cows with A2 protein is reported to be good for health. And the ghee from A2 milk is delicious and healthy


Given below is an overview of some of the breeds of cows in India

1. ONGOLE


Geographical Region: Guntur, Ongole in Andhra Pradesh

Description: Ongole is the attractive breed from Ongole district of Andhra Pradesh. This is also called as Nellore breed in some parts of the state. Ongole animals are exported on a large scale to American countries. Basically it is a milk breed. Strong muscular body and high hump are its specialties. Ongole cows give good amount of milk.



Comments : They are fair milkers


2. GIR


Geographical Region: Saurashtra, Gujarat

Description: Gir is one of the India’s ancient breeds. Gir forest region of Saurashtra of Gujarat is its origin place. This is in second place in milk yield after Sahiwal. It gives 12 to 15 liters of milk per day. Excellent disease resistance, cleverness, responding well to the affection shown by its owner etc. are its specialties. Broad convex forehead, red-speckled red color, long pendulous ears etc. are its characteristics. Gir gives 6 to 10 calves in 12 to 15 years of its life span. Gir bulls are hard workers. This is a world popular breed exported on a large scale. A major portion of the cattle population in Brazil is derived from Gir breed.



Characteristics: This breed is highest producer of milk among all breeds in India and used for making hybrid variety not only in India but also other countries like Brazil.

3. SAHIWAL


Geographical Region: Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana

Description: Sahiwal breed originates from Sahiwal district of Pakistan. This ranks first in milk yield among Indian cow breeds with 15 to 20 liters per day. Sahiwal can withstand extreme temperature due to its special skin. Secretion from the skin repels the insect pests. Red-brown skin may have white spots. Disease resistance is good. It gives 10 to 12 calves in its life span. Sahiwal is seen on large scale in countries like New Guinea, Australia and Kenya etc. We find Sahiwal cows in Punjab but pure breed is very rare.



Comments: This cow is identified by its prominent red color.

4. HARYANVIAlso called as SARVANGI


Geographical Region: Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan

Description: Haryana or Haryani breed originates from Rohtak, Gurugram and Hisar districts of Haryana state. It is a dual purpose breed with medium to big body. Haryana breed has spread to many countries of the world due to its hardworking nature and adjustability to various climatic conditions. Attractive high hump gives a special look to the bull. It can work continuously on rocky field under hot sun. Haryana cows are docile in nature and produce 5 to 6 liters of milk per day. This breed is very popular in Pakistan.



Characteristics: This breed is good milkers.

5. KANKREJ


Geographical Region: Bhuj, North Gujarat, Rajasthan

Description: Kankrej breed originates from Kutch of Gujarat and Jodhpur region of Rajasthan. This is considered to be one of the most ancient breeds of India. The cows in the sculptures of Stone Age are believed to be of Kankrej cow. Attractive stout long horns give a typical shape to this breed. Kankrej cow can give 8 to 10 liters of milk per day. The bulls are the hard workers.



Comments: The “Wadad” or “Waged”, “Vagadia”, “Talabda”, “Nagar”, “Bonnai” are the famous names of this breed. The milk of this breed is supposedly very useful in tick fever, heat stress, contagious abortion and tuberculosis.

6. LAL SINDHI


Geographical Region: Originated in Sind, Pakistan

Description: Sindhi or Red Sindhi originates from Sindh region of Pakistan. It adjusts to most of the climatic conditions and yields 12 to 15 liters of milk per day. Disease resistance and heat tolerance is excellent. It resembles Sahiwal in many of its characteristics. Sindhi is seen mostly in red color and reddish brown sometimes. Popular world breeds like Swiss Brown, Danish Red, Australian Sindhi etc. are its cross breeds. But here in India Sindhi cows are limited mostly to Goushalas.


Comments: The range of this cow in color from a deep reddish brown to a yellowish red, but most commonly a deep red. It has a very high genetic potential for milk as compare to Sahiwal.

7. RATHI


Geographical Region: Bikaner, Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab

Description: Another milk breed of India Rathi originates from west Rajasthan. It has very attractive skin of brown and white or black and white color mixture. There are again two types like Rath and Rathi. Rath gives more milk and Rathi works hard. This breed had developed by the mixture of Sahiwal, Sindhi and Tharparkar. Milk yield is 6 to 8 liters a day. We find Rathi cows with 15 to 16 liters of milk in Rathi Breed Development Station at Bikaner of Rajasthan. Rathi bulls work continuously for 10 hours even in hot climate.



Comments: It is characterized by its white skin with black or gray spots but usually found brown in color. It is believe that evolved from intermixing of Sahiwal, Red Sindhi, Tharparkar and Dhanni breeds with a preponderance of Sahiwal blood.

8. LAL KANDHARI


Geographical Region: Marathwada, Maharashtra.

Description: Lal Kandhari or Red Kandhari originated from Nanded district of Maharashtra state. It is named after a king of 4th century, Kandhar, who developed and popularized this breed. This medium sized animal is seen in dark brown or red color. Broad forehead, black ring around the eyes, high hump in bulls etc. are its characteristics. Red Kandhari breed was about to disappear. It is being conserved and popularized now. This breed is in good number in North Karnataka also.


Comments: This breed produces fair quantity of milk.

9. GANGATIRI

Geographical Region: The Gangatiri cattle are mainly found in the doaba belt of eastern Uttar Pradesh and adjacent area of Bihar state.

Description: Gangatiri cow had evolved on the banks of Ganga River in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. More specifically Varanasi of Allahabad district is its origin place. Gangatiri has developed from Haryana breed. Normal milk yield is 6 to 8 liters per day. Gangatiri breed is on the verge of extinction. It is being conserved at a Goushalas in Varanasi.



Comments: This breed produces fair quantity of milk.

10. HALLIKAR


Geographical Region: Hassan, Mysore, Tumkur districts of Karnataka

Description: Hallikar is a popular draught breed originating from southern Karnataka region. It has the capacity to work without rest for the whole day. Hallikar stands first in Karnataka in population. South Karnataka alone has around 1.6 million animals. Many breeds of south India have originated from this breed. Male calf is given entire milk produced by its mother. However, the milk yield is just 1 or 2 liters.

Comments: The milk of this breed is thinner and produces low yields of milk.

11. PONWAR


Geographical Region: Pilbhit, Uttar Pradesh

Description: Ponwar breed originates from Philibit district of Uttar Pradesh. Ponwar is popular for its disease resistance, cleverness and naughty behavior. Basically it is a draught breed. Cows yield half to 2 liters of milk a day. Ponwar animals mature late.



Comments: Cows are poor milkers.

12. NIMARI


Geographical Region: Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh

Description: Nimari breed is native to Nimari region of Narmada river valley of Madhya Pradesh. This draught breed originates from Gir and Khillar breeds. Muscular and hardworking Nimari bulls are slightly rough in nature. Because of its utility Nimari is popular in Maharashtra and many more states of India.


Comments: This is identifies as copper color, with patches of white.


13. GAOLAO


Geographical Region: The breed originated in the western and middle region consisting of Wardha district in Maharashtra, Balaghat and Chindwara districts in Madhya Pradesh and Rajnadgaon district in Chhattisgarh state.

Description: Gaolao breed comes from Vardha district of Maharashtra and southern parts of Madhya Pradesh. Looking to its speedy walk Maratha kings in 18th century have developed this breed. It was used to transport weapons to war field. Gaolao cows produce 5 to 6 liters of milk. This is being used more as a draught breed. Bulls have muscular body and work very hard.


14. VECHUR


Geographical Region : Kerala

Description: Vechur breed originates from Vaikam village of Kottayam district of Kerala. This is again a draught breed. Disease resistance and adjustability to various climatic conditions is excellent. Needs very less food. Secretion from the skin keeps the insects away. Kerala Agricultural University has conserved this Vechur breed. Now there are hardly 100 pure breed animals. It is seen in light red, black, white and ash colors. Milk yield is less but it is preferred for traditional medicines of Kerala.


Comments: It is recognized as the smallest cattle in the world.

15. DEONI


Geographical Region : Marathwada, Maharashtra

Description: Deoni cow originates from Bidar district of Karnataka and Marathawada region of Maharashtra. Deoni is developed from Gir and Dangi breeds around 500 years ago. Depending on the skin color it is again grouped as Shavara, Balinkya and Vannara types. These are very sensitive cows. Milk yield is 8 to 10 liters per day.



Comments: The “Surti”, “Dongarpati”, “Dongri”, “Wannera”, “Waghyd”, “Balankya” and “Shevera” are the another name of this cow breed. It is believed to be evolved from the mixture of Gir, Dangi and local cattle.

16. KHILLAR

Geographical Region: Southern Maharashtra, Northern Karnataka

Description: Khillar is another popular draught breed originating from Sholapur of Maharashtra and Vijayapura region of Karnataka. They are average milker. Professional breeders from Satpur region of Maharashtra rear male calves of Khillar on large scale. Khillar bulls are priced lakhs of rupees in the cattle markets of Maharashtra and north Karnataka. This being a very hard worker earns the investment for its owner. Keeping Khillar pair is a prestige issue for the farmers of this region.



Comments: The “Mandeshi”, “Shikari” and “Thillar” are the common names of this breed.

17. AMRIT MAHAL


Geographical Region: Karnataka

Description: Amrit Mahal is a famous draught breed originating from Hassan, Chikmagalur and Chitradurga districts of Karnataka. These bulls with energetic body were used to transport weapons in the war fields. This breed is very popular for hard work and obedience to its owner. Male calf is fed with entire milk produced. Demarcated grazing lands are seen at many places for these animals.


Comments: The “Doddadana”, “Jawari Dana” and “Number Dana” are famous names of this Breed.

18. DANGI


Geographical Region: Western Maharashtra

Description: Dangi breed originates from Nasik and Ahmed nagar regions of Maharashtra. This is purely a draught breed. Oily secretion imparts shiny look to the skin and protects the animal from heavy rain. Royal look, wide hanging dewlap, high hump etc. are its specialties. Dangi bulls can work continuously even in hilly terrain.


Comments: It is characterized by white coat color with red or black spots distributed unevenly over the body.

19. KRISHNA VALLEY


Geographical Region: Southern border of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh

Description: Krishna or Krishna Valley breed comes from Banks of Krishna River in Maharashtra and Karnataka. This draught breed is developed from Gir, Ongole, Kankrej and Hallikar breeds. Krishna cows produce 4 to 5 liters of milk per day. Sweat glands are very dense on the skin. Hence it can work continuously under hot sun. Hoof structure matches to hard rocky land. Krishna is also a breed exported on large scale to Brazil and other American countries but in India population of this breed is decreasing very fast.


20. JAWARI

Geographical Region: Native to Satara, Kolhapur and Sangli regions in Maharashtra and Bijapur, Dharwad and Belgaum districts of Karnataka in India.

Description: Jawari breed cows are seen mostly in North Karnataka in large numbers. Although it is a draught breed cows produce 3 to 4 liters of milk. These docile animals have good disease resistance. It is seen in black, red and ash colors or mixture of these colors. This is the favorite breed of small farmers. But due to lot of variations in characteristics it is not yet listed as a breed in the national breed registry.




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