Showing posts from June, 2012

Domestic Animal Diversity Information System

DAD-IS is the Domestic Animal Diversity Information System hosted by FAO. It is a communication and information tool for implementing strategies for the management of animal genetic resources (AnGR). It provides the user with searchable databases of breed-related information and images, management tools, and a library of references, links and contacts of Regional and National Coordinators for the Management of Animal Genetic Resources. It provides countries with a secure means to control the entry, updating and accessing of their national data.

Registration of Indigenous Cattle

Indian Council of Agricultural Research
New Delhi
National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources
Karnal-132 001
          The domestic livestock and poultry have supported the agrarian economy of India by contributing milk, meat, egg, draught power, fibre, manure, etc. as well as generating rural employment. As per FAO, Animal Genetic Resources (AnGR) refer to those animal species and the populations within each species that are used, or may be used, for production of food and agriculture. Our country is bestowed with rich domestic animal biodiversity such as cattle, buffalo, goat, sheep, horse, camel, pig, donkey, yak, mithun, poultry etc. Vast range of agro-ecological zones of India has helped to develop large number of breeds of various species of livestock and poultry. This diversity of domesticated livestock and poultry breeds has emerged due to years of evolution within spe…

Cattle Breeds of India poster by NBAGR

The most recent calendar of the "Cattle Breeds of India" Published by National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR) features 30 breeds of Indian Indigenous cattle.

Punganur Cattle

Punganur Cow The Punganur dwarf cow, which originated in Chitoor District, Andhra Pradesh, India, is considered one of the world's smallest cows. The Punganur breed's milk has a high fat content and is rich in medicinal properties. While cow milk normally has a fat content of 3 to 3.5 per cent, the Punganur breed's milk contains 8 per cent.[1] The Punganur is found in Chittoor district situated in the south-eastern tip of the Deccan Plateau with an average rainfall of 700 mm. It is the worlds shortest, humped cattle. Animals are white and light grey in colour with a broad forehead and short horns. Its average height is 70-90 cms and its weight is 115-200 kg. The cow is an amazingly efficient milker with an average milk yield of 3-5 L/day on a daily feed intake of 5 kg. It is also highly drought resistant, and able to survive exclusively on dry fodder.
Some of the breed characteristics are:
Back sloping downwards from fron…

Umblachery Cattle

UmblacheryAlso Known By:Jathi madu, Mottai madu, Southern Tanjore, Therkuthi madu
The Umblachery is found in the region of Thanjanvur, Tamil Nadu in India. It is a draft breed of the zebu type, similar to Kangayam but smaller. They are grey with white points and back-lines. Calves are red or brown with white markings. The breed is rare.
Reference: Mason, I.L. 1996. A World Dictionary of Livestock Breeds, Types and Varieties. Fourth Edition. C.A.B International. 273 pp.

Tharparkar Cattle

TharparkarAlso Known As:White Sindhi Origin The Tharparkar a Bos indicus breed used for milk production and as draft animals. Tharparkar are of the lyrehorned type of zebu cattle. The Tharparkar came into prominence during the first World War when some animals were taken to supply milk for the Near East army camps. Here their capacity for production under rigorous feeding and unfavorable environmental conditions at once became apparent. Since then many breeding herds have been assembled in India and Pakistan. When left on arid pasture the milk production is approximately 1135 kg per lactation, while those animals maintained in the villages average 1980 kg.

In India and abroad, these cattle are known as Tharparkar since they come from the district of that name in the Province of Sind. The Tharparkar is, however, known differently in its own region. In its native tract and the areas neighboring on it, the breed is called Thari, after the desert of Thar; and it is also occasionally kn…

Siri Cattle

Siri Origin Animals of this breed are found in the hill tracts around Darjeeling (Bengal, India) and in Sikkim and Bhutan. Bhutan is said to be the real home of this breed. It is distributed from that area to the various parts of Sikkim and Darjeeling. The Siri has a hump that is thoracic and muscular-fatty. Presumably Siri cattle have some blood from the cattle in Tibet. Small cattle with similar black and white markings have been found in Sikong Province of China, which occupies a portion of the Tibetan highlands northeast of Bhutan. Siri cattle crossed with Nepali cattle look like Siri, but they can be distinguished by their color pattern and position of hump and horns. These are known as Kachcha Siri or imitation Siri cattle. Characteristics The color most frequently seen are black and white or extensive solid black, in color patterns similar to that of Holstein-Friesians. The animal carries a thick coat all the year round, and it is generally believed that this protects the…

Sahiwal Cattle

SahiwalThe Sahiwal originated in the dry Punjab region which lies along the Indian-Pakistani border. They were once kept in large herd by professional herdsmen called "Junglies". However with the introduction of irrigation to the region they began to be kept in smaller numbers by the farmers of the region, who used them as draft and dairy animals. The Sahiwal is one of the best dairy breeds in India and Pakistan. It is tick-resistant, heat-tolerant and noted for its high resistance to parasites, both internal and external. Cows average 2270 kg of milk during a lactation while suckling a calf and much higher milk yields have been recorded. Due to their heat tolerance and high milk production they have been exported to other Asian countries as well as Africa and the Caribbean. As oxen they are generally docile and lethargic, making them more useful for slow work.
Their color can range from reddish brown through to the more predominant red, with varying amounts of white on t…

Red Sindhi Cattle

Red SindhiAlso Known By:Malir (Baluchistan), Red Karachi, Sindhi The Red Sindhi originated in the Pakistani state of Sind but due to its hardiness, heat resistance and high milk yields they have spread into many parts of India and at least 33 countries in Asia, Africa, Oceania and the Americas.
Under good management conditions the Red Sindhi averages over 1700 kg of milk after suckling their calves but under optimum conditions there have been milk yields of over 3400 kg per lactation.
The average height of a Red Sindhi cow is 116 cm with a body weight of 340 kg. Bulls average 134 cm in height and a body weight of 420 kg. They are normally a deep, rich red color but this can vary from a yellowish brown to dark brown. Males are darker than females and when mature may be almost black on the extremities, such as the head, feet and tail.
Red Sindhi in Australia
Red Sindhi cattle arrived in Australia in 1954 from Pakistan, as a gift to the Australian Government. While traditionally cons…

Rathi Cattle

RathiThe Rathi is a Bos indicus breed used for draft and dairy purposes. It originated in Bikaner and Ganganagar in northwest Rajasthan, India. The breed is usually dark red or tan but occasionally spotted individuals can be found. The Rathi originated from the Sahiwal and Tharparkar breeds. They should not be confused with the Rath breed which is a separate breed kept by the nomadic Rath cattle breeders.

Reference: Mason, I.L. 1996. A World Dictionary of Livestock Breeds, Types and Varieties. Fourth Edition. C.A.B International. 273 pp.

Ponwar Cattle

Ponwar Origin The Ponwar is small and compact with frequent white markings on the forehead, dewlap and limbs. Black and white color is often seen in the hill type of cattle and these features are also common in the Ponwar breed. However, the horns are inclined to be lyre-shaped, which may be due to some mixture of the nearby plains cattle. The breed is restricted to a small geographical area of Pilibhit district of Uttar Pradesh, India. Characteristics The animals of this breed possess a small, narrow face, small ears and big, bright eyes. The forehead is slightly concave and often has white marking. The horns are long, upstanding and lyre-shaped. They measure from 12 to 14 inches in length.

The neck is short and powerful. The barrel is moderately long. The sheath is short and tight. The dewlap is light and thin. The hump is well-developed in bulls but is small in cows. The cows have small and poorly developed udders. The tail is long and tapering with a white switch.

Ponwar cat…

Nimari Cattle

Nimari Origin Nimari cattle show a mixture of Gir and Khillari (Tapi Valley strain) breeds. The breed has taken the coloration from the Gir as well as its massiveness of frame and the convexity of the forehead. It has acquired the hardiness, agility and temper of the Khillari with the formation of feet and occasional carroty color of the muzzle and hooves. Starting from Barwani and Khargone districts of Madhyabarat, the breed spreads into Khandwa, and parts of Harda of Madhya Pradesh. It is also bred in adjacent parts of Bombay State. In the Satpura ranges of Madhya Pradesh there is a strain of cattle known as Khamla, which is much smaller in size but very akin to the Nimari.  In addition, the Khamgaon strain found in Berar may be an offshoot of the Nimari. This breed of cattle is prized for draft work, though few animals show evidence of fair milking qualities. Characteristics The animals are well-proportioned and compact in appearance. In general they are red in color with lar…

Nagori Cattle

Nagori Origin Nagori cattle are prevalent in the former Johrpur State, now a part of the State of Rajasthan in India. Nagori cattle are classified into the short-horned white or light gray cattle with a long coffin-shaped skull, orbital arches which do not prominent, and their face is slightly convex in profile. It has been suggested that probably the blood of gray lyre-horned cattle might have entered into the composition of Nagori cattle. Taking into consideration the proximity of the native homes of the Hariana in the north and northeast and Kankrej in the south and southwest, it seems reasonable to suppose that Nagori cattle may have evolved from these two groups. Frequency of famines in its native home has necessitated extensive movements of the cattle to other regions in search of fodder, and this has no doubt led to frequent intermixture. Characteristics Generally the Nagori cattle are fine, big, upstanding, active and docile, with white and gra…

Mewati Cattle

Mewati Origin Mewati cattle are found in the tract known as Mewat, but the breed is sometimes called Kosi, due to the large numbers of cattle of this breed sold from the market at Kosi, a small town in the district of Mathura. Mewati cattle are similar in type to Hariana, but show definite evidence of Gir blood. Native habitants of Rath and Nagori cattle being adjacent to Mewat, these two breeds may also have contributed to the formation of the Mewati. Characteristics Mewati cattle are usually white in color with neck, shoulders and quarters of a darker shade.  Occasionally, individual beasts have Gir coloration. The face is long and narrow with the forehead slightly bulging. Horns emerge from the outer angles of the poll and are inclined to turn backwards at the points. Eyes are prominent and surrounded by a very dark rim. The muzzle is wide and square and the upper lip thick and overhanging, giving the upper part of the nose a contracted appearance. The muzzle is pitch black i…

Malvi Cattle

Malvi Origin The Malvi is primarily a draft breed which has developed in to different strains which are heavy, light or medium in size, depending on soil conditions. These cattle are mainly bred in the Malwa tract of Madhyabharat State of India. In the western parts adjoining Rajputana the type bred is larger in size. In parts of Madhya Pradesh where Malvis are bred, it is smaller in size. It is also bred in the northeastern section of Hyderabad state, where it is a popular breed for medium and light draft on the roads and for cultivation. It has been said that the Malvis resembles the Kankrej in many ways. Characteristics Malvi cattle have short, deep and compact bodies. The back is straight but the hindquarters are drooping. The legs are powerful but short and the hooves are strong and black in color. The dewlap is well-developed and the sheath is moderately pendulous. The head is short and broad with dished forehead. The hair around the eye sockets and the eye membranes are b…

Krishna Valley Cattle

Krishna ValleyOrigin The Krishna Valley breed of cattle is used exclusively in the black cotton soil of the watershed of the River Krishna and other adjacent rivers such as Ghatprabha and Malprabha in the southern portions of Bombay State and Krishna Valley tract of Hyderabad State of India.

The breed is of recent origin.  It is claimed that during the last two decades of the nineteenth century some of the Rajas of the Southern Mahratta country which lies in the watershed of these rivers tried to evolve a powerful bullock for agriculture purposes in the sticky black cotton soil. It is claimed that Gir cattle from Kathiawar, Ongole cattle from Madras, possibly Kankrej from Gujarat, and local cattle having Mysore-type blood in them were used to evolve the Krishna Valley breed. Maharaja Sangli, at one time a well-known breeder of Krishna Valley cattle, contributed substantially in making judicious use of all these strains to produce the desired type of animal which eventually were used …

Khillari Cattle

Khillari Origin There is every reason to believe that the Khillari breed, with its several varieties, owes its origin to the Hillikar breed of cattle from Mysore State. Unlike some of the other breeds of cattle in India, it does not take its name from a geographical area. Khillar means a herd of cattle, while Khillari means belonging to Khillar; hence the herdsman is known as Khillari; in the Satpura range of hills, he is known as Thillari. There is a special tribe of professional cattle breeders in this region known as Thillaris.

There are four principal types of Khillaris prevalent in the different regions of Bombay State. The variety Hanam Khillar, or sometimes known as Atpadi Mahal (the word Mahal shows strong similarity of cattle of Mysore State), is prevalent in the southern Mahratta States of Bombay. In the districts of Sholapur and Satara and the adjoining areas the variety known as Mhaswad Khillari is prevalent. In the area of the Satpura range of hills comprising the West …

Kherigarh Cattle

Kherigarh Origin The Kherigarh cattle are closely tied to the Malvi breed. The breed is mostly found in the Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh, India. Though the horn formation is typical of the lyre-horned Malvi type, the animals of the breed are much lighter in general appearance than the Malvis. Characteristics The Kherigarh cattle are generally white or gray in color. The face is small and narrow. Horns are thin and upstanding and measure 12 to 18 inches in length in bulls; cows usually have smaller horns. The ears are small and the eyes bright. The neck is short and looks powerful. The hump is well-developed in bulls. The dewlap is thin and pendulous and starts from right under the chin and continues right down to the brisket. The barrel is broad and deep. The sheath is short and moderately tight. Limbs are light. The tail is long, ending in a white switch.

 The cattle of this breed are very active and thrive on grazing only. The bullocks are good for light draft and quick, li…

Kenkatha Cattle

Kenwariya Origin 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. 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 re…

Kankrej Cattle

KankrejAlso Known by:Bannai, Nagar, Talabda, Vaghiyar, Wagad, Waged, Vadhiyar, Wadhiar, Wadhir, Wadial.

The Kankrej breed of cattle gets its name from a territory of that name in North Gujarat of Bombay Province, India. The breed comes from southeast of the Desert of Cutch in western India, particularly along the banks of the rivers Banas and Saraswati which flow from east to west and drain into the desert of Cutch.

In Radhanpur State, which is adjacent to the Kankrej tract, the breed is known as Wadhiar. In Cutch State it is known as Wagad or Wagadia, taking its name from the community of herdsmen who breed these cattle. Characteristics The Kankrej is on of the heaviest of the Indian breeds of cattle.

Color varies from silver to gray to iron gray or steel black. Newly born calves have rust red-colored polls, this color disappearing within 6 to 9 months. Forequarters, hump and hindquarters are darker than the barrel, especially in males. The switch of the tail is black in color. Th…

Hariana Cattle

HarianaThe Hariana a Bos indicus breed used for draft purposes in northern India where they are found. They are well suited to fast road work, being able to pull a one ton load at 2 miles per hour and cover 20 miles a day. While females are kept primarily for breeding of oxen, they are also milked. The breed averages 1400 kg of milk per lactation but high producing animals will produce over 2300 kg in a single lactation.
The breed belongs to the shorthorned type of zebu and is grey or white. The average cow weighs 310 kg and the average bull 430 kg.
Genus Bos: Cattle Breeds of the World, 1985, MSO-AGVET (Merck & Co., Inc.), Rahway, N.J.
Mason, I.L. 1996. A World Dictionary of Livestock Breeds, Types and Varieties. Fourth Edition. C.A.B International. 273 pp.
R. E. McDowell, Professor Emeritus of International Animal Science, Cornell University, and provided by Paul O. Brackelsberg, Professor of Animal Science, Iowa State University

Hallikar Cattle

Hallikar The Hallikar is a Bos indicus breed selected primarily for draft purposes and are of the Mysore type of zebu cattle. Considered one of the premier draft breeds in India they are often raised by families who have specialized in production of Hallikar draft animals for hundreds of years. It is not unusual for a cow to be brought 100 miles to mated with a bull from these breeders. They are found primarily in the southern region of Karnataka state, in the area surrounding Mysore, in the bottom of the Indian peninsula. In addition to normal draft uses the breed is also used for cart racing. Once trained, a team of Hallikar oxen can pull a loaded cart over rough roads at a rate of 40 miles per day.
The typical color is dark grey. The Hallikar are the origin of the Amritmahal breed.
Genus Bos: Cattle Breeds of the World, 1985, MSO-AGVET (Merck & Co., Inc.), Rahway, N.J.
Mason, I.L. 1996. A World Dictionary of Livestock Breeds, Types and Varieties. Fourth Edition.…

Gir Cattle

Gaolao Cattle

Gaolao Origin The Gaolao cattle fit into the group of shorthorned, white or light-gray in color, with a long coffin-shaped skull, orbital arches not prominent and with a face slightly convex in profile. It is also observed that the native home of the breed is located along the route taken by the Rig Vedic Aryans from the Northern passes through Central India to the South. There is a close similarity between the Ongole and the Gaolao except the latter are much lighter, with greater agility.

 It is said that the Marathas developed this breed into a fast-trotting type suitable for quick army transport in the hilly areas of Gondwana, Madhya Pradesh. It was used mainly for military purposes by the Maratha army when invading the local Gond Kingdom. Old historical records show that the breed had fair milk-producing capacity, but during the last two centuries selection has been directed mainly towards developing a capacity for quick draft. The breed is found principally in the districts of W…

Deoni Cattle

Deoni Origin The Deoni breed of cattle also sometimes known as Dongari (which means "of the hills"), has been evolved within the last 200 years. It is claimed that it has been developed from a strain descended from the mixture of Gir, Dangi and local cattle. A contribution from the Gir type of cattle is quite evident in the formation of the head and ears, and also of the horns to a certain extent. They also show a great similarity in general conformation and ruggedness to the Dangi cattle of Bombay State, an area which is not far from the Deoni cattle breeding area. Characteristics The Deoni is a medium-sized animal which resembles the Gir in physical structure to a large extent. The body color is usually spotted black and white. The face is also similarly patchy and spotted with black and white. The forehead is convex and bulging, though breeders have not paid the same scrupulous attention to this trait as the breeders of Gir cattle, and though the ears are long and o…

Dangi Cattle

Dangi Origin Dangis have taken their name from the tract of the country in Bombay State known as Dangs. It is a hilly tract with heavy rainfall and very poor agricultural economy. The breed has become well-known on account of its hardy nature and its ability to work hard under heavy rainfall conditions. The Dangi breed, which is similar to Deoni, appears to fit into the group of cattle represented by the Gir, Red Sindhi and Sahiwal. Characteristics The Dangis are of broken red and white or black and white color. The animals are medium in size, with deep bodies and generally of ponderous build. The height behind the hump ranges from about 45 to 50 inches while the heart girth measures from about 58 to 60 inches, on the average.

The head is usually small with a slightly protruding forehead. The muzzle is large. The horns, though of variable size, are generally short and thick. The ears are small.

The animals have powerful hind and forequarters with a short back well-coupled, and t…

Bachaur Cattle

Bachaur Origin The Bachaur appears to belong to the group of shorthorned white or light-gray cattle. The breed has very close similarity to the Hariana breed. Some think it may be a deteriorated strain of the Hariana. The breed is well-known for its draft qualities and ability to thrive with lower quality feeds. The breed is found in the Bachaur and Koilpur subdivisions of the Sitamarhi district of Bihar State, India. Characteristics The Bachaur are compact with straight backs, well-rounded barrels, short necks and muscular shoulders. The forehead is broad and flat or slightly convex. The eyes are large and prominent. The horns are medium-sized and stumpy. Ears are medium-sized and drooping. The hump is compact, firm and medium-sized. The sheath and navel flap are light and close to the body. The dewlap is medium-sized and not so heavy. The feet are fine, well-shaped and strong. The height of a bull behind the hump is 58-62 inches and the heartgirth measurements range from 68-72…

Amrit Mahal Cattle

Amrit Mahal Origin Amrit Mahal literally means the department of milk. Originally the rulers of Mysore State had started an establishment of cattle collected from the prevalent types of cattle within the area for the supply of milk and milk products to the palace.  At the same time, the bullocks were utilized for the movement of army equipage. The bullocks were regularly classified as gun bullocks, pack bullocks, plow bullocks, etc. They attracted great attention during the nineteenth century on account of their endurance and the speed with which they could move army equipment. It is claimed that they could maneuver a march of 100 miles in 2 1/2 days. The cattle of Amrit Mahal establishment originally comprised three distinct varieties: Hallikar, Hagalvadi and Chitaldroog. Prior to 1860 it seems that these three varieties were maintained separate from each other. In 1860, the whole establishment was liquidated for reasons of economy. By the year 1866, it was realized that an establ…

Ongole Breeds

OngoleOrigin The Ongole breed, like other breeds of cattle in India, takes its name from the geographical area in which it is produced. It is also called the Nellore breed for the reason that formerly Ongole Taluk, a division of a district, was included in the Nellore district, but now it is included in the Guntur district. The area is part of the Andhra Pradesh in India.

This breed is included among the gray-white cattle of the north, having white or gray color, stumpy horns and a long coffin-shaped skull. It has a great similarity with the Gaolao breed of Madhya Predesh and also has a resemblance to the Bhagnari type of cattle in the north of India. This similarity is not surprising in view of the fact that these breeds lie along the path taken by the Rig Vedic Aryans in their march from the north to the south of India.

It is claimed that the finest specimens of the breed are found in the area between the Gundalakama and Alluru rivers in the Ongole and Kan…