At present, although the majority of India's cattle is non-descript, there are 26 well defined breeds of cattle and 6 breeds of buffaloes found all over the country. These can be broadly classified into milch, draught and dual purpose breeds. The cows of milch breeds are high milk yielders and, therefore, they are also called dairy breeds. But, their bullocks are of moderate type or of poor quality. The animals of this group are generally ponderous in built, with pendulous dewlap and sheath. They have lateral and often curled horns. Outstanding examples of such breeds are Gir, Sindhi, Sahiwal and Deoni. In the United States of America, these breeds have become good beef breeds.
In case of dual purpose breeds, the cows are fairly good milkers, and bullocks are good for draught purpose. Hariana, Ongole, Tharparkar, Kankrej etc. are dual purpose breeds of cattle.
Similarly, the cows of draught breeds are poor milkers but the bullocks are excellent draught animals. Examples are Nagori, Malvi, Kllerigarh, Amritmahal, Khillari, Pan war, Siri, Kenwaria, etc. These important draught breeds are described here.
This is an excellent draft breed with its natural habitat in Karnataka State. The animals are grey in colour with dark head, dump neck and quarters. Limbs are straight and of fine quality-Long sweeping horns typical of Karnataka type cattle. Well developed dewlap and hump, very small sheath and close skin. Tail is of moderate length with a black switch. Cows are not so good milkers. But bullocks are very active and famous for the power of endurance.
This is one of the finest draft breeds originating from Karnataka State (Hassan and Tumukar regions). Colour is dark grey to black. Forehead is prominent and furrowed in the middle. The face is long tapering towards the muzzle. Horns emerge near each other from the top of the poll and curve backwards and slightly upwards ending in a sharp point. They possess sharp ears, medium hump, straight back and powerful quarters. This is well known draft breeds. Bullocks are strong, spirited, quick and steady workers. Cows are however, poor milkers.
The name is derived from the Kangayam division of Coimbatore district in Tamil Nadu where the breeding of this breed is a traditional affair. The breed is also found in Udamalpet, Paladam, Pollachi, and in other parts of South India.
The cattle confirm largely to Mysore type. Special points are strong horns with sharp tips. Body moderately long, straight back, short and strong neck. Moderate sized hump, wide muzzle, strong limbs, small dewlap, fine skin, very small sheath well developed quarters and a fine tail. The colour of the bull is grey with dark to black markings, while the cow is white with black markings just in front of the fetlocks on all four legs and sometimes on the knees.
The breed responds to good feeding and the bulls are ready for service at 2.5 to 3 years age. Heifers give birth on an average at the age of 3 years and 2 months. The cows are poor milker yielding about 665 kg per lactation. The bullocks are excellent for hard work.
The breed takes its name from the Malwa tract of Madhya Pradesh. At present the breed is mainly found in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. There are two types of Malvi breeds which are generally recognized as (I) Agar type and (2) Bhopal type.
The cattle are deep short and of compact body. Ears are alert and short in size, short but thick horn tapering to a blunt point. Short neck, thin dewlap, short but straight and strong muscular legs. Sheath and navel flaps are also short. Tail is moderately long with black switch reaching to the fetlock. The general colour of the breed is grey to iron grey and almost black in the neck and quarters.
Bullocks are good for road and field work. They are economical feeders and have good adaptability. Cows are poor milkers. The breed is essentially a good drought breed.
This breed is found in the hill tracts of Darjeeling, Sikkim, and Bhutan. The animals have massive body, small head, square cut, wide and flat forehead, presenting a convexity. Sharp horns, relatively small ears, well placed humps, covered with a tuft of hair at the top. Strong legs and feet, dewlap is not prominent, tight sheath, colour is black and white or red and white. Bullocks are strong, hardy and well suited for cart purposes. Cows are poor milkers.
This breed originates from Sholapur and Satara districts of Maharashtra state. They are now well distributed throughout Maharashtra State. It has compact body with clean cut features. The animals resemble Amritmahal breed except that Khillari cattle look even bigger framed. The breed is having massive head, small eyes and ears, horns are long and pointed, emerging close to each other and follow the backward curve of the forehead. Neck is rather short and firmly set. The shoulders are tightly muscled. The barrel is long and compact with no loose skin. Legs are clean cut and straight. The hoofs are black and digits closely set. They are small in comparison with the bulk of tile body. The breed is highly valued as fast paced, powerful draught animals throughout the Maharashtra