Top Dairy Breeds of cow – Breeds of cows in India, different breeds of cows, types of breeds of cows

By : Tractorbird News Published on : 16-May-2024

India is home to several different breeds of cows and is renowned for its vibrant culture and varied landscapes. 

For generations, cattle have been an essential part of Indian agricultural and rural life, contributing significantly to the nation's economy, culture, and religious customs. 

Every breed has distinctive qualities and meanings of its own. We'll examine some of the well-known cow breeds that can be found all over India in more detail in this blog. 

Breeds of cows in India      

  • In India cattle are commonly raised for milk and dairy products. In India, cattle are sacred animals within Hinduism, and may not be killed. 
  • Zebu Cattles are found mainly in India and Tropical areas of Asia, America, and Australia. Scientific name of Indian cattle is Bos indicus belonging to the family Bovidae. 
  • Indian cattle breeds have played and continue to play a vital role in the lives of Indian people. 
  • According to the latest findings, the country has around 50 cattle breeds including dairy, draught, dual purpose breeds.

Different breeds of cows

The breeds of cows in India are classified mainly on the purpose for which they are reared. 

Based on the classification, it is evident that the types of cow breeds in India are - Dairy or milch breeds, drought breeds and dual purpose breeds.

1. Dairy or milch breeds

Cows of these breeds give large amounts of milk whereas their male animals are poor workers. 

Indian dairy breeds include Sahiwal, Red Sindhi, Gir and tharparkar . Cattle breeds typically produce over 1600 kg of milk during lactation.

 2. Dual purpose breeds

Cows of these breeds produce average amounts of milk, and the male animals are excellent workers. 

Every lactation, they produce 500–1500 kg of milk. Hariana, Kankrej, Tharparkar, are a few examples of this category.

 3.  Draught Breeds

While cows give less than 500 kg of milk on average each lactation, male animals are more suited for work. Typically, they have a white colour. 

Bullocks can pull 1000 kg in pairs. Cover a distance of 30 to 40 kilometres each day while walking at a walking pace of 5 to 7 km/h while using an iron-typed cart on a decent road. 

A pneumatic rubber tube cart can draw twice as much weight. This group's examples include Hallikar, Umblacherry, Amritmahal, and Kangayam.

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Types of breeds of cows in India

Indian dairy breeds of cows

1. GIR breed of cow 

  • This breed of Indian cow originated in Gir forests of South Kathiawar in Gujarat also found in Maharashtra and adjacent Rajasthan.
  • It is said that this breed is the purest breed of cow.
  • Basic colours of skin are white with dark red or chocolate-brown patches or sometimes black or purely red.
  • Horns are peculiarly curved, giving a ‘half moon’ appearance.
  • Milk yield ranges from 1200-2200 kgs per lactation.

2.  Sahiwal breed of cow

  • This breed of cow is Originated in the Montgomery region of undivided India which is present in Pakistan.
  • Other names of Sahiwal are Lola (loose skin), Lambi Bar, Montgomery, Multani, Teli.
  • Sahiwal cows produce higher milk yield among all cows breeds in India.
  • Reddish dun or pale red in colour, sometimes flashed with white patches.
  • Heavy breed with a symmetrical body having loose skin.
  • The average milk yield of this breed is between 1600 and 3500 kgs per lactation.

3.  Red Sindhi breed of cow

This breed of cow originated from Karachi and Hyderabad (Pakistan) regions of undivided India and also reared in certain organised farms in our country.

Colour is red with shades varying from dark red to light, strips of white. Milk yield ranges from 1250 to 2200 kgs per lactation.  

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Dual purpose breeds of cows

1. Tharparkar breed of cow 

  • This breed of cow originated in Tharparkar district (Pakistan) of undivided India and also found in Rajasthan.
  • Tharparkar cows are also known as white sindhi, Gray sindhi and Thari.
  • They are medium-sized, compact and have lyre-shaped horns.
  • Body colour is white or light grey.
  • The bullock are quite suitable for ploughing and casting and the cows yield 1800 to 2600 kgs of milk per lactation.  

2. Hariana breed of cow

  • It originated from Rohtak, Hisar, Jind and Gurgaon districts of Haryana and is also popular in Punjab, UP and parts of MP.
  • Horns are small in size and animals of this breed are very active.
  • The bullocks are powerful work animals.  
  • Hariana cows are fair milkers yielding 800 to 1600 kg of milk per lactation.

  3. Kankrej breed of cow

  • Other names for it are Wadad, Waged, and Wadhiar.
  • Originated in the area of Barmer and Jodhpur in neighbouring Rajasthan and the Southeast Rann of Kutch in Gujarat.
  • The horns resemble a lyre.
  • The animal's colour ranges from steel black to iron grey to silver grey.
  • Kankrej has a unique gait known as one and a half paces (sawai chal).
  • Kankrej is prized for their strong, swift draught cattle. beneficial for carting and ploughing.
  • The cows generate approximately 1500 kg of milk per lactation and are good milkers.

Draught Breeds of cows  

Hallikar breed of cow

  • Originated from the former princely state of Vijayanagarm, presently part of Karnataka.
  • The colour is grey or dark grey.
  • Compact, muscular and medium size animal with prominent forehead, longhorns and strong legs.
  • The breed is best known for its draught capacity and especially for its trotting ability.

Amritmahal breed of cow  

  • Originated in Hassan, Chikmagalur and Chitradurga district of Karnataka.
  • Amiritmahals are grey cattle but their shade varies from almost white to near black.
  • The muzzle, feat and tail are usually black.
  • Horns are long and end in sharp black points

Kangayam breed of cow

  • Also referred to as konganad and kongu.
  • originated in the districts of Erode, Bhavani, Dharapuram, Erode, and portion of Gobichettipalayam taluk in Coimbatore and Erode.
  • Bulls have dark colours in the fore and hind parts, as well as on the hump.
  • The horns are widely spaced, almost straight, and have a small rearward bend.
  • Cows can be white or grey.
  • The eyes are prominent and dark, encircled in black rings.
  • modest in stature and with little physique.       

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