Currently, ‘Gau Dhama’ is home to 5 breeds of cows, each with its own distinctive characteristics and value.
The Kankrej breed takes its name from its place of orgin i.e. Kankrej Taluka in Gujarat. It is one of the heaviest of the Indian breeds of cattle. The significant characteristics like resistant to tick fever, heat stress, very little incidence of contagious abortion and tuberculosis made Kankrej a very popular breed for export and breeding in foreign countries.
The Kankrej cow is usually found in colours ranging from silver to gray to steel black. Their characteristic lyre shaped horns are strong and covered with skin to a higher point than other breeds. Their forehead is broad and slightly dished in the center. They are active, fast and powerful with shapely and well balanced feet. Their dewlap is thin but pendulous.
The cows yield on an average 1738 kilo grams and a maximum of 1800 Kg of milk in a single lactation.
Tharparkar also known as Thari, is named after the Thar Desert in Rajasthan. They come from the Kutch District of Gujarath & Barmer, Jaisalmer and Jodhpur districts of Rajasthan. They have a long life span of around 25 years with the ability to birth 14-18 calves. An adult cow is broad and heavy weighing about 400kgs. They are able to survive on small bushy vegetations and are used for farming. They are friendly to humans and their milk is rich in nutrition.
The cattle is strongly built, medium in size and is generally white or grey in colour. They have a broad forehead and bright eyes with a beautiful lining. Their horns are thick and medium sized. They have straight and strong limbs and an alert and springy carriage. The dewlap is medium in size and skin is fine and mellow.
Even with fodder scarcity the Tharparkar cattle can yield an average of 1749 kgs per lactation (Ranging from 913 to 2147kgs per lactation). They have produced over 3000kgs of high nutritional value milk under the right farm conditions.
The Sahiwal originated in the dry Punjab region and is considered one of the best dairy breeds in India. Due to their high heat tolerance, tick & parasite resistance it has been exported to many parts of the world. They are heavy, docile and are known for their calmness during milking.
The cows come in varying shades of reddish brown to a more darker red with patches of white along the neck and underline. In males the color darkens towards the extremities, such as the head, legs and tails. They have a well developed udder, good slope at rump and shorter horns. Their dewlap is medium in size.
Average lactation yield of Sahiwal cows is 2325 kilo grams. The lactation yield ranges from 1600 to 2750 Kg. However, selected herds may have higher productivity. Milk yield as high as 6000 lit has been recorded under organized farm conditions.
Named after the Gir forest in Gujarat, this breed is known by many names like “Bhodali”, “Desan”, “Gujarati”, “Kathiawari”, “Sorthi”, and “Surati”. This breed is world renowned for its tolerance to stress conditions, resistance to many tropical diseases and high yield with less feeding.
Due to their qualities this breed is imported by countries like Brazil, USA, Venezuela and Mexico, and are being bred there successfully.
Pure Gir Cow milk has great medicinal value with high levels of calcium, rich fats, Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) and abundant levels of protein. It is beneficial for maintaining blood pressure, lowering bad cholesterol and improving overall heart health.
The Gir Cow is unique in appearance with its round, domed forehead and long pendulous ears that fold over like a leaf. Their horns spiral out and back, while their tales are long and whip like. Their udders are well developed and rounded while their dewlap is moderately developed. Gir are generally mottled with the colour ranging from red through yellow to white.
Average lactation yield of Gir cow is 2110 kg (ranges from 800 to 330 kg) with an average milk fat of 4.6 %.
Rathi originates from the drylands of Rajasthan and is an indigenous cattle breed of India.It is a very important dual purpose breed well known for it’s milking and draught prowess.
It is particularly suited for regions with hotter weather in India. Places in Karnataka like Bellary, Gulbarga, Davanagere allow the Rathi breed to flourish.
Medium in size, the Rathi Cow is usually found in brown colour with white patches all over the body. In some cases they are also found with a black coat and white patches. The lower part of their body is generally lighter in colour, when compared to the rest of their body.
Their horns curve outward, upward and inwards and are medium in size. Their eyes are spaced widely and are slightly dished. They have a long tail and their dewlap is fine and loose.
The average milk produced is about 1560kgs per lactation. It does vary on a daily basis between 1000 to 3000kg.