Marvellous Milkers- Types of cattle in India

Some good information that I came across and compiled from different sources. A little fascinating to know that there are as many as 28 different breeds of cattle in India! Just have a look :

Good breed cattle are found mainly in dry parts of the country- Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. In humid climate, a very poor type of cattle is found. These breeds can be classified into three categories based on their utility. These are (1) Milch breeds, (2) Dual purpose breeds and (3) Draft purpose/ Draught breeds.


Milch Breeds:

The word ‘Milch’ means domestic mammal kep for giving milk. Hence this is a milk giving category. Females yield a large quantity of milk than buffaloes. The important breeds of this group are Sahiwal, Red Sindhi, Gir, Tharparkar, and Rathi.


  • Sahiwal: 
  1. Location: Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Chhatisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
  2. Appearance: red and light brown in colour, but some animals with white patches are also found.
  3. Milk productivity: cows under village conditions yield about 1350 kg in a lactation of 305 days. Well-bred cows on institutional farms yield an average of 2000-2500 Kg/lactation.


  • Red Sindhi:
  1. Location: The native habitat of this breed is Karachi and Hyderabad districts of Sindh province of Pakistan. Red Sindhi cattle are maintained on few organized Government farms in India.
  2. Appearance: The breed has red colour, which has shades from dark to dim yellow, with white patches on some animals. They have somewhat similarity in breed characteristics to that of Sahiwal but are smaller in size.
  3. Milk Productivity: The cows are high milk yielders and produce milk on an average 1800 kg ranging from 1500 to 2200 kg in a lactation of 305 days.


  • Gir:
  1. Location: Junagarh, Bhavnagar, and Amreli districts of Gujarat. also widely distributed in adjoining states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and northern parts of Maharashtra.
  2. Appearance: purely red in colour and some are with patches of red, black and red & black on white skin.
  3. Milk Productivity: The cows are very good milk yielders with an average of 1400 kg ranging from 1200 to 2000 kg in lactation.


  • Rathi:
  1. Location: concentrated in the Bikaner district of Rajasthan.
  2. Appearance: The animals have brown colour with white patches and some animals with complete brown or black coalcolour with white patches are also found in the tract.
  3. Milk Productivity: The average lactation milk yield of Rathi cows is 1500 kg, which ranges from 1050 kg to 2000 kg.


  • Deoni:
  1. Location: popular dual-purpose breed in Marathwada region of Maharashtra state and adjoining parts of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh states. It is also found in Parbhani, Nanded and Osmanabad districts of Maharashtra and Bidar district of Karnataka
  2. Appearance: body colour is usually white and animals are also black and white spotted.
  3. Milk Productivity: The milk yield in Deoni cows ranges from 650 to 1,250 kg with an average of 950 kg.The Deoni bullocks are preferred for heavy work.


  • Tharparkar: 
  1. Location: found along the Indo-Pak border covering western Rajasthan and up to Rann of Kutch in Gujarat.
  2. Appearance: Animals are white or light grey.
  3. Milk Productivity: primarily for its milking potential. The average milk yield is 1,750 kg (range 900 to 2,150 kg), lactation length is 285 days (range 240 to 380 days).


Dual-Purpose breed:

These breeds are used both for milking and draft potential. females yield more than an average quantity of milk and the males are good working bullocks.


  • Hariana:           
  1. Location: The main tract of this breed is the Haryana state. The centre of origin is around Rohtak, Hisar and Gurgaon districts. This is the most popular dual-purpose breed of the Indo- Gangetic plains, and is widely spread in Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh and also in parts of Madhya Pradesh.
  2. Appearance: white or light grey in colour.
  3. Milk Productivity: Average milk yield is around 1000 kg with a range of 690 to 1750 kg. Lactation length is about 270 days ranging from 240 to 330 dayshariana_cow


  • Kankrej:
  1. Location: found in southeast Rann of Kutch comprising Mehsana, Kutch, Ahmedabad, Kaira,Sabarkantha and Banaskantha districts of Gujarat, and Barmer and Jodhpur districts of Rajasthan.
  2. Appearance: heaviest breeds of cattle in India. he colour of the animal varies from silver-grey to iron-grey or steel-black.
  3. Milk Productivity: Cows are average milkers, yielding about 1,400 kg per lactation in terms and less in villages.


  • Ongole:
  1. Location: The native tract of this breed is the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh. Ongole breeds are known as Nellore breed in Brazil.
  2. Appearance: The Ongole cattle have a glossy white coat.
  3. Milk productivity: Good specimens have given up to 1,500 kg of milk per lactation.


Draft-Purpose/ Draught breed:

A large majority of the indigenous breeds are of draft type, in which cows are poor milkers, but bullocks are superior in quality. Prominent draft breeds of cattle in India are Nagauri, Bachaur, Kherigarh, Malvi, Hallikar, Khillari, Kangayam, Nimari, Red Kandhari and Amritmahal. They are used mostly for the transport or power involving work.

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