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Gir Cow Breed.
Gir Cow Breed.

Indigenous Cow Breeds of India and Their Importance

Indigenous Cow Breeds of India:

The Following is all about Indigenous cow Breeds of India.

Introduction to Indigenous Cow Breeds for Dairy Farming in India

Today’s dairy industry main aim is to produce milk and dairy products in large quantity for large profits. The dairy industry is thriving from thousands of years worldwide and milk is regarded as one of the staple food. Most of the dairies across India started investing to have exotic breeds such as Jersey, Holstein, and H.F Cows to produce milk. Urus is a wild animal hunted for its meat in Europe; Urus produced good quality and quantity of meat. This wild animal is bred with various indigenous breeds and thus today we have these exotic breeds rich in milk and meat.Indian diary from last couple of decades induced innovation in its industry through Artificial Insemination (AI) and cross-breeding with indigenous breeds. The people that rely on commercially produced milk (A1 type)for their everyday consumption of milk are inclined to different sicknesses. The resultant sick-effects are very apparent in the produced milk. The milk from exotic breeds has A1 beta-casein while milk from indigenous breed (Desi and African cow breeds) has A2 beta-casein and these are the two proteins found in their respective milk yield.While digesting milk, BCM-7 is an opioid peptide that is released and A1 type protein is not absorbed well in the human body leading to serious ailments including coronary heart disease, autism, type1 diabetes, etc. A2 type milk contains an amino acid called ‘Proline’ and this is strongly bonded with another amino acid – Insoleucine, this milk fights against diseases and other ailments such as joint pain, asthma, obesity, mental problems etc. A2 milk contains high levels of Omega 3 that helps cleaning the cholesterol deposits in blood vessels, Cerebrosides helps increasing brain power, Strontium enhances body immunity and protects from harmful radiation.

About Indigenous Cow Breeds

Indian history is strongly bonded with cattle and gives importance to the cow as it is a part of Indian lifestyle since unknown ages. From ages past, cattle helped mankind in many ways in their daily needs. They have been helpful in farming, transport, milk, and even its urine and dung were used in day to day life. Indigenous cows can tolerate heat, rain, and cold climatic conditions. They have good immune systems, disease resistance, and tick-tolerant. In their lifespan will produce 15 to 20 calves. They have the ability to walk for long distances and work hard under various weather conditions. One cow is sufficient to take care of 10-acre farm work and feeds thousands in its lifespan. It is no wonder ‘humans need cows more than cows need humans’.

Indigenous Cow Breeds and its Benefits

  • Cow Milk of Indigenous Cow Breeds: Milk and honey are the two natural products produced by nature as food. Cow milk is consumed in one way or other both in kids and adults. Milk is produced by mammals and a primary source of nutrition to nourish their young ones. Cows are docile animals producing milk in large quantities for a long duration after calving. It helps reducing acidity, increases body immunity, longevity, and boosts brain sharpness. Byproducts of cow milk such as curd, buttermilk, butter, and ghee have high nutritional along with medicinal values thus forming a base to many Ayurveda medicines. Cow milk has A2 type protein containing high omega3, Cerebrosides, Strontium, apart from vitamins and minerals which are essential to human body.
  • GauMutra / Cow Urine of Indigenous Cow Breeds :Gaumutra or gomutra of a pregnant cow contains special hormones and minerals used in Ayurveda for medicinal purposes. Cow urine is used for many therapeutic purposes in India as traditional medicine from thousands of years. On the spiritual side, it is used for spiritual cleansing and purification in Hinduism. It is also used as organic fertilizer and insecticide in farming.
  • GauGobar/Cow Dung of Indigenous Cow Breeds:This is commonly known as cow pats, pies, or manure is the undigested residue of plant matter passed through cow’s gut. In India, it is called as Gobar or Gomay, which has high micro-organismic value. In most developing countries it is used to produce biogas forcooking and electricity; caked and dried to be used as fuel, when mixed with water and sprayed in the house front yard will repel insects and when burnt inside the house will act as a mosquito repellant. Cow dung compost increases soil fertility and a natural fertilizer.
  • Panchagavya/5 Cow Products of Indigenous Cow Breeds: In Ayurveda medicine when it is mixed in different measures with other components helps to cure many chronic ailments. Panchagavya is becoming an alternative to modern medicine and this is a mixture of cow products including milk, curd, ghee, gomutra, and gomay.
  • Farming of Indigenous Cow Breeds :Desi breed bulls have significant value when it comes to farming. These bulls adapt and withstand heat and work for long hours without food and water. They are paired with another bull to push carts for transporting goods. Thus become very helpful to farmers in various farming needs.

Indigenous Cow Breeds Milk and its Benefits

  • Improves body immunity.
  • Tastes sweet and easy to digest.
  • Gives coolant effect on body and mind.
  • Nourishes body tissues.
  • Controls uric acid in the body.
  • Enhance memory and brain power.
  • Relieves joint pains.
  • Relieves stomach ailments.
  • Cleans cholesterol deposits of blood vessels.
  • Lowers cardiovascular problems
  • Less bloating abdominal pain and firmer stools.
  • Ability to fight against diseases and disorders like obesity, asthma, and mental problems.
  • Boosts breast milk in lactating mothers.
  • Relieves dizziness, tiredness, excessive thirst and hunger.
  • Next best thing to mother’s milk is cow milk for infants.
  • Nourishes body tissues and rejuvenates giving life longevity.

Indigenous Cow Breeds in India

Indigenous Cow Breeds of India.
Indigenous Cow Breeds of India.

India is known for its agriculture produce and cultivation of the land is carried out by cattle from ages. Cattle play an important role in every Indian home and used both for farming and milk. There are 37 pure cattle breeds in India and below are the top high milk yielding breeds under stress conditions:

  • Gir Cow of Indigenous Cow Breeds:
    Gir cow is native to Gujarat state and it gets its name after Gir forest. The other names of this breed include: Bhodali, Desan, Gujarati, Kathiawari, Sorthi, and Surati. This breed is famous for its tolerance to stress conditions and for its high milk yield with less feed.The breed is moderate to large in size, cows weigh 400 to 480 kgs while bulls weigh 550 to 650 kgs. The animals usually are shining red in color and some have white sports and others with shades of red color. The animal is easily identified for its convex or dome-shaped forehead which acts as a cooling radiator to brain and pituitary glands and pendulous long ears. The animals are highly fertile and calve regularly. At the time of birth the calves are small in size this gives an advantage for no problems at calving. They have good temperament and love being with humans. Gir variety cows are known for its resistance to tropical diseases while the bulls are muscular with robust looks, they can dragheavy on all kinds of soils, be it sandy or rocky. Because of all these special qualities, it is recognized globally and many countries in South America and Mexico have started importing this breed.
  • Sahiwal Cow of Indigenous Cow Breeds:
    This is also another best milch cow variety of India. It is native to Punjab in Pakistan and gets its name from a place named Sahiwal in Montgomery. The other names of this breed include Lola, Montgomery, Multani, Lambi Bar, and Teli. The animal has short horns and comes in reddish dun or mahogany red-brown in color. Sahiwal breed animals are tolerant to heat, resistant to ticks and parasites. The average milk production is 2300 kg per calving. The animals can be easily identified for its well-developed udder, loose skin, and good slope at rump with medium size dewlap. Having best qualities for milk production and tolerance, this cattle is been imported by other countries for dairy production.
  • Red Sindhi of Indigenous Cow Breeds:
    This breed is native to Sindhi province in Pakistan and spread across India. The other names of this animal include Malir, Red Karachi, and Sindhi. The animal is deep reddish brown in color darker than Sahiwal and comes in shades from dark red to yellowish red. Just like Sahiwal, this animal is also tolerant to heat and resistant to ticks and diseases. This breed has good fertility even under hot climatic conditions. Cows weigh around 325 kgs and bulls around 530 kgs. Average milk production yield is 1850 kg per lactation and with an average 4.5% fat in it. The breed is imported in countries including Australia, Sri Lanka, Philippines, America, and other countries for breed development.
  • Rathi of Indigenous Cow Breeds:
Rathi Cow (Photo Source from Khurana Dairy).
Rathi Cow (Photo Source from Khurana Dairy).

This cattle breed is another breed indigenous to India and native to Rajasthan. It gets its name after the Rath nomadic tribe who domesticated this animal. The breed is believed to be evolved by interbreeding of Sahiwal, Red Sindhi, Tharparkar, and Dhanni breeds by these tribe people. The breed is usually completely brown but also found with black-coat with white patches on its body and lighter in color on their lower body. The animals are well adapted to extreme heat, cold, and drought conditions. Cows produce average 1600 kg milk per lactation. The cattle are used for milk production as well as a working animal.

  • Tharparkar of Indigenous Cow Breeds:
    This animal is native to Rajasthan in India and gets its name after the Thar Desert in Rajasthan. The other names for this breed include White Sindhi, Grey Sindhi, and Thari. The animal is white and light grey in color and medium in size. The animal is well suited to drought regions and produced reasonable milk quantity on an average 1750 kg per lactation under fodder scarcity. The nutritional value of the milk is very high. The animal breed is tolerant to heat and disease resistant. Though this animal is medium in size it’s strongly built with straight and short legs. Cows have bigger horns compared to males. Males neck and hump regions are dark in color. The average lifespan of the cow is 25 years producing 14 to 18 calves in its life.
  • Kankrej of Indigenous Cow Breeds:
    This cattle is native to Kankrej town in North Gujarat, India and derived its name from the origin of the place. The other names of this breed include Vadhiyari, Wadad, Vagadia, Talabda, Bonnai, and Guzerat in Brazil. The animal is tolerant to heat and tropical diseases. The color of the animal is silver grey or iron grey and steel black while the bulls hump, forequarters and hindquarters are darker than the rest of the body. Bull’s hump is large unlike other cattle it is not firm. Kankrej cows produce high milk even under stress conditions and the bulls are used as working animal. Cows weigh around 350 kg and bulls around 560 kg. The Kankrejbulls are known as ‘sawaichaal’ as the animals are hardy and active with its back leg reaching further than where the front leg landed, this makes them plowing faster and making it very highly prized animals.

A1 and A2 Type Milk – Conclusion

In Dairy animals’ milk, it is found that about 28% of the protein is B-casein and depending on cows genetic hereditary the protein comes in several protein structures. One of the structures is called A1 β-casein and it has been recommended that it may cause Type1 diabetes, coronary illness, schizophrenia, and extreme introvertedness. The other primary type of β-casein is called A2 and it has not been implicated in these illnesses. The proof to help the speculation that the A1 milk is a causing factoror A2 milk is theprotective factor in these sicknesses is still not clear. Though, research analysis was based on animal trial studies than human trials. And also, the sickness as mentioned are influenced by many other factors and autism improved on special diets that are free of gluten and casein proteins; hence it’s still a hypothesis and much research is still going in this regard. And it is an individual choice whether to avoid or consume A1 B-casein or A2 B-casein milk types as a precautionary measure.For consumption of milk below are the general milk characteristics for understanding:

Indigenous Cow Breeds Milk Characteristics:

NutritionBuffalo MilkIndigenous Cow Breeds Cow Milk
Energy110 kcal66 kcal
Sugar lactose4.9g4.8g
Saturated Fat4.2g2.4g
Monounsaturated Fat1.7g1.1g
Polyunsaturated Fat0.2g0.1g
Calcium195 µg120 µg
of Indigenous Cow Breeds Milk Mineral Content

of Indigenous Cow Breeds – Advantages and Disadvantages:       

Milk good for adults.Milk good for infants and adults.
Milk is thick.Milk is thin.
Milk is white.Milk is golden yellow.
Milk is not easily digestible.Milk is very easily digestible.
Milk has less cholesterol.Milk has more cholesterol (depends on the cow)
Milk has more fat.Milk has less fat.
Milk has more calories.Milk has fewer calories.
100 calories are derived from 100g buffalo’s milk.70 calories are derived from 100 g buffalo’s milk.
Milk has less water.Milk has more water.
Milk has more protein.Milk has little less protein.
Milk has slightly more carbohydrates.Milk has slightly fewer carbohydrates.
Milk has more saturated fatty acid, monounsaturated fatty acid, and polyunsaturated fatty acid.Milk has less saturated fatty acid, monounsaturated fatty acid, and polyunsaturated fatty acid.
Milk has more calcium, iron, phosphorus etc.Milk has less calcium, iron, phosphorus etc.
Milk has more Vitamin A.Milk has fewer Vitamin A but good in Vitamin E.
Probably milk has less sulphur.Probably milk has more sulphur – good for the active brain.
Top three producers are India, Pakistan, and China.Top three producers are Finland, Sweden, and Ireland.
Milk can be preserved for longer time naturally.Milk can’t be preserved for longer time naturally.
A good buffalo gives 10 liters milk per day.A good cow gives 20 liters milk per day.
Raw milk contains more pathogenic microorganisms.Raw milk contains less pathogenic microorganisms.
Milk has lesser iodine.Milk has more iodine.
Milk is good for weight gain.Milk is good for weight loss.
Milk has less sodium, potassium and chloride.Milk has more sodium, potassium and chloride.
Milk has a high level of anti-oxidants, tocopherol.Milk has little less level of anti-oxidants, tocopherol.
Milk is good for people eczema, psoriasis, lactose intolerant people and irritable bowel syndrome.Milk is not good for people eczema, psoriasis, lactose intolerant people and irritable bowel syndrome.
Buffalo ghee is less prone to hydrolytic rancidity.Cow ghee is more prone to hydrolytic rancidity.
Milk has more calcium to phosphorus ratio.Milk has little less calcium to phosphorus ratio.
Buffalo are found in hot wet areas.Cows are found in cold wet areas.
Buffaloes are mostly found in Asia.Cows are mostly found in West.
The emulsifying capacity of milk is much better.The emulsifying capacity of milk is not better.
Ghee has good grainy texture.Ghee has not a good grainy texture.
Milk has a higher level of various bioprotective factors e.gimmunoglobins,  lactoferrin, lysozyme,  lactoperoxidase,etc.Milk has lower level of various bioprotective factors e.gimmunoglobins, lactoferrin, lysozyme, lactoperoxidase,etc.
Milk is not good for thyroid.Milk is good for thyroid.
Both have almost equal citrate contents.Both have almost equal citrate contents.
Milk has high per oxidase activity.Milk has low per oxidase activity.
Buffalo has more natural immunity against diseases.A cow has less natural immunity against diseases.
Buffalo in human care are peaceful and understanding and so natural to control.Cows in human care are not all that peaceful and patients and little difficult to control.

For Dairy Management Practices : Read here.

For Damascus Goat Farming: Read here.

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