India has more than 30 types of pure breeds. Five of those - Sahiwal, Gir, Red Sindhi, Tharparkar and Rathi are known for their milking prowess. Other breeds such as Kankrej, Ongole and Hariana belong to the dual breeds category. They are known for their milch and draught abilities. Rest of the breeds are mainly draught breeds. Here are 5 of the popular dairy cow breeds in India:
Gir breed is also known as Bhadawari, Desan, Gujarati, Kathiawari, Sorthi, and Surati.
They mainly originated in Gir forests of South Kathiawar in Gujarat. They can also be found in areas such as Maharashtra and adjacent Rajasthan.
The main colours are white with dark red or chocolate-brown patches. There are some that are black or purely red.
One of the main characteristics is that the horns are curved, giving a "half moon" appearance.
The milk production ranges from 1,200 - 1,800 kg per lactation.
The Gir breed is famous for its hardiness as well as disease resistance.
2. Red Sindhi
Red Sindhi breed is also known as Red Karachi and Sindhi and Mahi.
They mainly originated in Karachi and Hyderabad (Pakistan) regions of undivided India. Some of them are also reared in certain organised farms around India.
The colour of the breed is red with shades varying from dark red to light, strips of white.
Milk yield ranges from 1,250 - 1,800 kg per lactation.
Although the bullocks are slow and lethargic, they are useful for road and field work.
Sahiwal breed is also known as Lola (loose skin), Lambi Bar, Montgomery, Multani, Teli.
They mainly originated in Montgomery region of undivided India.
The colour of the breed is reddish dun or pale red in colour.
Sahiwal is considered one of the indigenous cow breed of Punjab and under the ‘Rashtriya Gokul Mission’ incentives are given to rear this endangered breed.
Average milk yield ranges from 1,400 to 2,500 kg per lactation.
Tharparkar breed is also known as White Sindhi, Gray Sindhi and Thari.
They mainly originated in harparkar district (Pakistan) of undivided India. They can also be found in Rajasthan.
They are usually medium in size, compact and they have a lyre-shaped horn.
Colour of the animal is white or light grey.
Milk yield of the cow is 1,800 - 2,600 kg per lactation.
The cow is suitable for ploughing as well as casting.
Rathi animals are usually found in Loonkaransar tehsil of Bikaner district, which is also known as Rathi tract.
The breeding tract for Rathi breed is in the heart of Thar Desert which consists of areas such as Bikaner, Ganganagar and Jaisalmer districts of Rajasthan.
The colour of Rathi is usually brown with white patches all over the body. There are some that are completely brown or black with white patches.
They are known for high milk production.
Milk yield ranges from 1,000 - 2,800 kg per lactation.