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Top 10 Native Indian Cow Breeds

Top 10 Native Indian Cow Breeds-Banner

The cow breeds found in India are classified based on external characteristics and geographical distribution. India is blessed with vast biodiversity of more than 40 indigenous or native cattle breeds. Native domestic cows of India are commonly known as Desi breeds. India is one of the largest producers of milk and dairy products globally. The A2 protein is an essential protein for the human body, and it is present in the milk of desi cows and is more nutritious than the milk of foreign or exotic breeds. The urine and dung of desi cows are known to have many medicinal properties. India is home to huge cattle genetic resources. Our indigenous cattle breeds in India are especially more adapted to different agro-climatic conditions. A few registered native cow breeds include Gir, Sahiwal, Rathi, Red Sindhi, Tharparkar, Lakhimi, Deoni, Hariana, Amritmahal, and Vechur.  Read on to know more about these native cow breeds of India on this topic:

1. Gir

Top-10-Native-Indian-Cow-Breeds-1_-Gir
Top 10 Native Indian Cow Breeds – Gir

Also known as Desan/ Gujarati/ Sorthi/ Kathiawari/ Surati

It is a famous indigenous dairy cattle breed in India and is thought to be the world’s oldest domesticated cattle.  It is well known for its hardiness and disease resistance.

How to identify

They are identified using their anatomical features and breed cattle characters. They have a dome-shaped head with long drooping ears. The body is well proportioned. The udder is well developed and round. Horns are peculiarly curved, giving a ‘half moon’ appearance.

Skin Coat colour

Coat colour varies from shades of red and white to almost black and white or entire red.

Average body weight

313 kg

Average Lifespan

15-25 years

Average Milk Yield

1200-1800 kg per lactation

Gestation period

About 285 days

Place of Origin

Gir forest of South Kathiawar in Gujarat, India. It is also found in states like Maharashtra and Rajasthan.

Conservation status

Imminent Extinction

Where to buy

Contact livestock breeders at dairy farms or cow breeding farms, selling this particular breed in India.

2. Sahiwal

Top 10 Native Indian Cow Breeds #2_ Sahiwal
Top 10 Native Indian Cow Breeds – Sahiwal

Also known as Mint kumre/ Lola/ Lambi Bar/ Montgomery/ Multani/ Teli

It is considered a heat-tolerant cattle breed. The breed is good for specialized dairy purposes and is among India’s best dairy breeds.

How to identify

It is identified using its anatomical features and breed characters. It is a heavy breed having loose skin

Skin Coat colour

Brownish red to Greyish red sometimes flashed with white patches

Average body weight

700 to 800 kg

Average Lifespan

15-25 years

Average Milk Yield

1400-2500 kg per lactation

Gestation period

About 285 days

Place of Origin

This cattle breed is native to Punjab, Pakistan but also found in the Montgomery region of undivided India

Conservation status

Imminent Extinction

Where to buy

Contact livestock breeders at dairy farms or cow breeding farms, selling this particular breed in India.

3. Rathi

Top-10-Native-Indian-Cow-Breeds-3_-Rathi
Top 10 Native Indian Cow Breeds – Rathi

Rathi is an important milch breed of cattle. It is a very hardy and strong breed. The cows are efficient and good milk producers.

How to identify

They are identified using their anatomical features and breed characters. It has a medium-sized body. Lower body parts are usually lighter in colour compared to the rest of their body. Medium-sized horns curve outward, upward, and inward. The face is broad between eyes and slightly dished. They have a long tail, and the dewlap is fine and loose. This cattle breed native

Skin Coat colour

Brown with white patches all over the body

Average body weight

280-300 kg

Average Lifespan

15-25 years

Average Milk Yield

11062-2810 kg per lactation

Gestation period

About 285 days

Place of Origin

State of Rajasthan, India.

Conservation status

Imminent Extinction

Where to buy

Contact livestock breeders at dairy farms or cow breeding farms, selling this particular breed in India.

4. Red Sindhi

Top-10-Native-Indian-Cow-Breeds-Red-Sindhi
Top 10 Native Indian Cow Breeds – Red Sindhi

Also known as Red Karachi/ Sindhi/ Mahi   

It is considered a heat-tolerant cattle breed. The breed is good for specialized dairy purposes and is the best milking cow

How to identify

They are Identified using their anatomical features and breed characters. The breed is of distinct red colour and darker than Sahiwal. Occasionally small white patches are seen in the dewlap and forehead. Horns are thick at the base and emerge laterally and curve upward.

Skin Coat colour

Brick red colour with a red-brown coat. Red colour with shades varying from dark red to light, strips of white

Average body weight

325kg

Average Lifespan

15-25 years

Average Milk Yield

1250 to 1800 kg per lactation

Gestation period

About 285 days

Place of Origin

Sindh Province of Pakistan and found in Karachi and Hyderabad regions of India

Conservation status

Imminent Extinction

Where to buy

Contact livestock breeders at dairy farms or cow breeding farms, selling this particular breed in India.

5. Tharpakar

Top-10-Native-Indian-Cow-Breeds-5_-Tharpakar
Top 10 Native Indian Cow Breeds 5 – Tharpakar

Also known as White Sindhi/ Grey Sindhi/ Thari

It is a heat-tolerant and disease-resistant breed and is among the good milking cow breeds in India.

How to identify

They are Identified using their anatomical features and breed characters. They are medium to large-sized, strongly built, compact with straight limbs, and have a Lyre-shaped horn. Horns are thick and medium.  The dewlap is big and wide.

Skin Coat colour

White or light grey

Average body weight

300-380 kg

Average Lifespan

15-25 years

Average Milk Yield

1800-2600 kg per lactation

Gestation period

About 285 days

Place of Origin

Tharparkar district (Pakistan) of undivided India and also found in Rajasthan.

Conservation status

Imminent Extinction

Where to buy

Contact livestock breeders at dairy farms or cow breeding farms, selling this particular breed in India.

6. Lakhimi

Top 10 Native Indian Cow Breeds #6_ Lakhimi
Top 10 Native Indian Cow Breeds – Lakhimi

It is highly adaptable to subtropical climatic conditions. Cow milk is rich in fat.

How to identify

It is identified using its anatomical features and breed characters. It is a small-sized breed. Have relatively small legs. The udder is small and bowel-shaped. The horns are straight

Skin Coat colour

Variable from brown and grey colour

Average body weight

90-140 kg

Average Lifespan

15-25 years

Average Milk Yield

325- 375 kg per lactation with an average milk fat of 5.3%

Gestation period

About 285 days

Place of Origin

Assam, India

Conservation status

Imminent Extinction

Where to buy

Contact livestock breeders at dairy farms or cow breeding farms, selling this particular breed in India.

7. Deoni

Top 10 Native Indian Cow Breeds - Deoni
Top 10 Native Indian Cow Breeds – Deoni

Also known as Surti/ Dongri/ Dongarpati/ Wannera/ Waghyd/ Balankya/ Shevera         

How to identify

Identified using its anatomical features and breed characters. The breed is characterized by its drooping ears and prominent and slightly bulging forehead

Skin Coat colour

Spotted black and white

Average body weight

295 kg

Average Lifespan

15-25 years

Average Milk Yield

600-1300 kg per lactation

Gestation period

About 285 days

Place of Origin

Maharastra State, India

Conservation status

Imminent Extinction

Where to buy

Contact livestock breeders at dairy farms or cow breeding farms, selling this particular breed in India.

8: Hariana

Top-10-Native-Indian-Cow-Breeds-8_-Hariana
Top 10 Native Indian Cow Breeds – Hariana

Also known as Hisar/ Hansi/ Haryanvi cattle

It is one of the dairy cattle breeds raised mainly for milk production. It is a very hardy and disease-resistant breed and dual-purpose breed. These are bred for primarily their milk but also for their meat.

How to identify

Identified using its anatomical features and breed characters. Have a coffin-shaped skull, long and narrow face, well-marked bony prominence at the centre of the poll, and small horns

Skin Coat colour

White or light grey colour

Average body weight

310 kg

Average Lifespan

15-25 years

Average Milk Yield

700-1750 kg per lactation

Gestation period

About 285 days

Place of Origin

Haryana, India

Conservation status

Imminent Extinction

Where to buy

Contact livestock breeders at dairy farms or cow breeding farms, selling this particular breed in India.

9: Amritmahal

Top 10 Native Indian Cow Breeds - Amritmahal
Top 10 Native Indian Cow Breeds – Amritmahal

Also known as Number Dana/ Doddadana/ Jawari Dana

In Amritmahal, ‘Amrit’ means milk, and ‘Mahal’ means house and is a breed of zebu cattle.

How to identify

They are identified using their anatomical features and breed characters. The Head is very long and tapers towards the muzzle. The body is dense and muscular. Horns are long and emerge from the top of the poll.

Skin Coat colour

Almost white to nearly black

Average body weight

318 kg

Average Lifespan

15-25 years

Average Milk Yield

600 kg per lactation

Gestation period

About 285 days

Place of Origin

Mysore in Karnataka, and parts of Tamil Nadu, India

Conservation status

Imminent Extinction

Where to buy

Contact livestock breeders at dairy farms or cow breeding farms, selling this particular breed in India.

10. Vechur

Top 10 Native Indian Cow Breeds - Vechur
Top 10 Native Indian Cow Breeds – Vechur

Vechur is a dwarf variety of cattle breeds and is considered to be the smallest breed in the world.  The breed is well adapted to the hot and humid climate, is docile, and adorable, and is maintained for milk and manure. Milk is believed to have medicinal qualities.

How to identify

Identified using its anatomical features and breed characters. It is the smallest breed, with an average height of 90 cm. It is a hardy and strong breed. Horns are small and curved backward. Hump is not very prominent for cows. They have long tails and strong hooves 

Skin Coat colour

Light red, black or fawn and white

Average body weight

130 kg

Average Lifespan

15-25 years

Average Milk Yield

561 kg per lactation. Milk fat ranges from 4.7 to 5.8%

Gestation period

About 285 days

Place of Origin

Kottayam district in Kerala State, India

Conservation status

Verge of Extinction

Where to buy

Contact livestock breeders at dairy farms or cow breeding farms, selling this particular breed in India.

Conclusion

India has a very rich reservoir of genetic diversity and possesses some of the best breeds of cattle globally. Our native cow breeds require less care, feed, and maintenance, and research studies show that their milk has high medicinal and nutritional values.  On the other hand, exotic species or crossbreeds are costly to buy and maintain and highly vulnerable to extreme weather conditions and emerging diseases. Our indigenous breeds have better adaptability, disease resistance, and feed efficiency ratio.  However, Indian native cow breeds have declined severely in numbers. It is high time to conserve, improve productivity, create awareness and kindle interest in cow-based organic farming in all possible ways, and encourage livestock farmers to rear native cow breeds in our country.   

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