An effort taken to collect information on Indian livestock breeds
Vechur Cow to be Micro-chipped Today
THRISSUR: The Vechur cow, a rare breed of Bos indicus cattle with an
average length of 124 cm and height of 87 cm, is all set to join the
elite club of the ‘micro-chipped livestock’ in the world on Monday as
the authorities have made elaborate arrangements to tag the indigenous
cattle species with pet microchips that uses Radio Frequency
Identification (RFID) technology.
The Vechur Conservation Trust, a
body formed to conserve domestic animal diversity in the state, will
officially begin the drive of electronically tagging Vechur cows and
distributing the pedigree certificate to the owners of the cows at a
function to be held in Kottayam on Monday.
Dr Sosamma Iype,
Professor of Animal Breeding and Genetics, who is instrumental in
popularising the Vechur breed in the country, said the Trust came
forward with this venture of tagging the animals following widespread
complaints of genetic pollution in the rare species of this local cow
The unscrupulous middlemen in this sector have been
promoting the sale of calves of Vechur cows that were bred with local ox
varieties in the absence of enough Vechur cows because of the high
demand for the indigenous cattle population among dairy farmers in the
country. The introduction of micro-chipping and distribution of pedigree
certificates will not only check the practice of genetic pollution,
but also serve as a tool to trace and isolate them in the event of a
disease outbreak, said Dr Abraham Varkey, who assists the project.
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.
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…