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Profitable Enterprise Models of Indigenous Cows

The author hails from South Indian village, situated in the South-West coastal region. He is into farm science and agriculture.

Indigenous breeds of cow

Indian indigenous cow and calf

Indian indigenous cow and calf

Position of indigenous breed of cows

We Indians give respect to the cows. Cows are given motherly status. In many occasions, we keep the cow in the forefront. In Hindu mythology, indigenous cows have a position equivalent to an angel or saint, only next to God with all virtues.

There are festivals with cows worship. Some of the cows are of historically important. Kamadhenu is the one, which is the yielder of your wishes. Nandini is the cow of heavens. Which is the predecessor of the heavenly cow Kamadhenu. Punyakoti is another such cow having virtues. The story of Punyakoti and its morals are the household teachings by grandmas to their kids. Golden coloured cows are known as Kapila cows and identified for their special qualities.

The indigenous cows are also given great value in Hindu society. For housewarming, even today, the cows are made to inaugurate the new homes by entering inside.

Cows are completely domesticated and are living with human beings with care like the kids. For our kids, the cows in return are happily providing milk like a mother.

Indian indigenous bull Bos indicus

Indian indigenous bull Bos indicus

Different breeds of cows in India

In India, Bos indicus cows are indigenous to the country and there are numerous landraces forming different breeds of cow. The other is the Bos taurus, which is indigenous to Africa and is domesticated and present worldwide. Crosses of these two are in cosmopolitan distribution.

  • Cows of Gujarati Gir forest origin are magnanimous cows. The cows are also known as Bhadawari Cows. These cows are high milk yielding.
  • Sindhi cows originated from the Karachi of Pakistan are also good yielding cow breeds.
  • Tharparkar cows originated from bordering areas of Rajasthan. Hariana cows also are average milk yielders.
  • Hariana cows are common in Punjab and Haryana. Kankrej cows yield good milk. These are also known as Wadad cows are from Rann of Kutch area of Gujarat.
  • Ongole cattle from Andhra Pradesh, Krishna Valley cows of Karnataka and Deoni breeds of cows of Andhra Pradesh are known for their unique breed.
  • In Kerala, Kasaragod dwarf cows and Vechur cows of Thrissur are the highly appreciated breeds.

Conservation of indigenous breeds

As we have already seen that there are different regional varieties of breeds of cows in different geographic locations. Conserving such breeds is more important because these are locally e adapted breeds. The local climate availability of natural resources in the location and generation after generation selection resulting in socially acceptable qualities are present in the local breeds.

Conserving these qualities will be beneficial for the coming generations also. Therefore by keeping in mind the long-term breeding objectives conservation of the local breeds has to be done with priority.

The Kerala livestock development board is maintaining Kasargod dwarf breed cow unit in Bellary district of Kasargod. This particular unit has the twin objectives of conserving the indigenous breed of Kasargod dwarf cows as well as promoting the indigenous breeds among the local public.

Physical structure

Physically the local breed of cows are strong, active and having identifiable structural differences. One of the important features is that most of these breeds in common have a lump on over their shoulders. Local breeds have strong muscles and strong limbs.

Habitual activities

By habit, the local breed of cows is very active. Distance is well adapted for grazing the pastures. Most of these indigenous cows have a medium or small size of the hump on the back and a navel flap on their body.

Feed to milk conversion ratio

If the farmer has to do his profitable farming the amount of feed given to a cow must get converted into economic products like milk and by that, he must be able to generate profits. Some of the breeds mentioned above are having such capabilities. However, total milk yield during a milking season will be low in the indigenous breeds as compared to the exotic breeds and crossbreeds.

Dry periods

For managing a profitable daring dry period of the cows must be very less. Managing the cows during the dry period is always expensive. Some of the local breeds of cows are known for high yield, but once they get conceived, their milk yield drastically goes down and quickly they enter to dry spell. So, the milking period will be short ranging from four to eight months and again a gap of six to eight months for new calf birth. In order to have continuous indigenous cows milk supply, one should have at least three to four cows in his shed.

Indigenous cow breeding

By the popularity of artificial insemination in cows, once the desi breed had diminished. Now, it is again picking up by the availability of cryocan facilities for indigenous semen collection and conservation. It is also promoted by the Government in many regions. There are units of dairy development collecting and conserving the indigenous material for this purpose.

Bos indicus cow - A2 type milk yielder

Bos indicus cow - A2 type milk yielder

Bos taurus cow - A1 type milk yielder

Bos taurus cow - A1 type milk yielder

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Traditional and cultural importance

Traditionally the products from animals grazed on pastures are preferred. This is because naturally contain probiotics compared to cattle feed fed animals. Furthermore to the category of products from the indigenous breed of the house is considered superior to the other breeds and crossbreeds which is A1 type milk and milk products.

Vedic rituals, as well as traditional practices, always demand A2 milk products. Traditional cow’s products include the following:

  • Cow’s milk, curds, buttermilk, butter and ghee for common uses and Ayurvedic medicine. (See how to make homemade ghee in my another article).
  • Gorochan for rituals and medicine.
  • Cows urine in natural farming and medicine.
  • Cowdung and dried pellets using rice bran addition for rituals and agriculture.
  • Bhasma or the ash ball, Panchagavya and Panchamrit

We can buy many of these products from Amazon online.

Cow's dung dried pellets heaping at Mangala Gou Yatra exhibition in Mangaluru

Cow's dung dried pellets heaping at Mangala Gou Yatra exhibition in Mangaluru

Ash from cow dung based natural preparation known as Bhasma or Vibhooti

Ash from cow dung based natural preparation known as Bhasma or Vibhooti

Ultimate benefits

The ultimate benefits of dairy farming depend on the overall profit which the farmer earns. Encouragement for the indigenous cow farming people is buying promotion of the products in the market. In the markets where the premium price can be obtained why sales of indigenous cow products are always encouraging. Farmers having both traditional values and scientific management capabilities will only be able to successfully manage indigenous cow farming.

Cow gut microbes are unique and more prominent in indigenous cows because of which in many natural farming activities, a cow-centred model is designed for probiotics as well as bio-control practices.
Very much similar to the way the cow acts as a mother, those who farm with indigenous cows and distribute it to the needy through entrepreneurship mode, they too will gain a lot of values and goodness.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Halemane Muralikrishna

Comments

Prateek Jain from Madhya Pradesh, India on January 03, 2020:

Very well explained in simple language do that everyone could understand the topic.

Jnanesh Sharma H from South India on December 26, 2019:

As always loved your article and even we have 3 HF and 2 Indigenous cows but I didn't take much interest in the indigenous ones, Now it is clear why they say Lord Krishna used to love Indigenous cows. But sir isn't it true that it gives very less milk of premium quality. Loved it

Suchismita Pradhan on December 13, 2019:

Ghee has amazing health benefits when taken in moderate amount.Thanks for sharing the vedeo for preparation organic ghee.Cows are sacred and a natural giver.The article is full of information.Thanks for sharing

Prantika Samanta from Kolkata, India on December 13, 2019:

It's a great article talking about indigenous cows and traditional and cultural benefits. I loved the video showing how to make ghee, as ghee is my favorite and a well known name in the Indian household.

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