There are several cattle breeds in India. Amongst them, the indigenous types of Indian cows are the most popular. According to ICMR, there are over 43 native breeds in India that help in various purposes of draught work and dairy production. In addition, these cows are very popular for milking and provide a livelihood to livestock farmers across the country. All of them appear very different and are native to different places within India.
If you are interested to know more about the different types of cows in India, here is your chance. Let’s learn about them!
18 Different Cow Breeds and Varieties in India with Pictures:
Let’s get moving and explore, learn about the different types of cow breeds for milk. So, here we go learning all about kinds of Indian cattles and cows!
Gir is the most famous cow breed in India. It is also called Desan, Kathiawari, Sorthi, Surati, Gujarati, and Bhadawari. The Gir originated in the regions of South Kathiawar in Gujarat. It is also found in adjacent states like Maharashtra and Rajasthan. They appear white with dark red or brown patches, or even black entirely. Giris easily recognized by their horns, which are curved like a half-moon appearance. They are famous for their milking capacity, which yields up to 1200-1800 kgs per lactation. In addition, they have good disease resistance and are hardy.
2. Red Sindhi:
The Red Sindhi cows are also popularly called Red Karachi. They originated in the Hyderabad and Karachi regions of Pakistan (Sindhi areas) and are available in our country. These cows come in red color with shades such as stripes of white and light red. They have excellent milk yield, too, ranging from 1250-1800 kgs per lactation. The Red Sindhi cows are slow and often used for fieldwork too.
Sahiwal cows, also known as Lambi Bar, Montgomery, Multani, or Teli, have loose skin and come in pale red or dark red colors, sometimes white patches on them. The origin of Sahiwal cows is from the Montgomery district in present-day Pakistan. They are among the best types of dairy breed cattle cows, with an average yield of 2700 to 3100 kgs per lactation.
The Deoni breed originated from the Marathwada region in the state of Maharashtra. It is also available in adjacent parts of Telangana and Karnataka. They are among popular types of milk cows and have a spotted black and white body color. The average milk yield of Deoni is around 600 to 1230 kgs in the caving interval average of 447 days. They are also further suitable for heavy cultivation.
The origin of Hallikar cows is from the Karnataka state. They are located at first around the former princely state of Vijayanagaram. These cows are dark grey or grey and are medium in size. They look very muscular, with long horns and strong, sturdy legs. The Hallikar cows are popular for draught capacity and trotting.
Amritmahal cows, just like Hallikars are also originated in Karnataka. They are the first native to Chikmagalur, Chitradurga, and Hassan districts. The Amritmahals are grey-shaded cattle. They have long horns with sharp black pointy ends. They are of draught breed, and hence poor milk breeders. However, these cows are great for good speed.
The Khillaris is native to the Sitapur and Sholapur districts of Maharashtra. They have long horns turning forward, in black or pinkish color shade. The overall body of the cow is in greyish white color. The Khillaris almost resemble the Hallikar breed; however, they are draught breeds and very fast bullocks. Khillari is also famously called Mandeshi, Thillar, or Shikari.
The Kanyagam cows, also popularly famous as Konganad or Kongu breed, originated in Erode, Bhavani, Kanyagam, Dharapuram, and Perundurai taluk of taluk Coimbatore and Erode districts in Tamil Nadu. These cows appear red color during birth; however, they change the shade to grey after about six months. They have dark hump and hindquarters, with prominent black rings around their eyes. The horns of these cows have spread wide apart, appear nearly straight with a backward-facing slight curve. They are a very active and hardy draught breed.
The Bargur cows are also popularly found in Erode district, around the regions of Bargur hills. They are brown color cattle and come with clear white markings. However, few cows also come in white or dark brown shades. The Bargur cows are medium in size and are famous for their speed in trotting. They do yield milk too, but not significantly. Their average yield is about 250-1300 kg.
The Umblachery cows also are native to the state of Tamilnadu. Their origin is from the Thanjavur, Thiruvarur, and Nagappattinam districts. These cows appear red or brown with white markings on the face, limps, and tails. Given their strength, they are ideal for works on the fields and farms, for wet ploughing. The Umblachery cows are also popular for the practice of dehorning. They are otherwise also called Jathimadu, molaimadu, Therkathimadu or Mottaimadu.
The Pulikam breed, also popularly called Alambadi, is dark grey to black or white. They have brownish or red spots in their eyes. This breed is originated from Salem and Coimbatore districts and commonly seen in both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka regions. They are draught breeds with backward curving horns. These are primarily used for penning and ploughing in the field.
The Tharpakar are white or light grey color cattle, ideally suitable for ploughing. They are also good milch cows, giving an average yield of 1800 to 2600 kgs per lactation. The Tharpakkar are medium-sized animals. The Tharpakar cattle came from the Tharpakar district in the South Sindhi regions of Pakistan. They are henceforth also famously called White Sindhi, Thari, or Grey Sindhi.
As you can guess from the name itself, the Hariana breed came from Haryana’s Rohtak, Hisar and Gurgaon districts. They are also present in UP, MP, and Punjab regions. These cattle come with very small horns and however perfect for farm work. They also are good in milk yield, on an average of 1.5 kg per day for 300 days lactation. This makes the average yield about 600 to 800 kgs per lactation.
The Kankrej cows came from a native of Gujarat’s Rann of Kutch and Jodhpur regions of Rajasthan. They are good milking cows, with an average yield of about 1360 kgs. The Kankrej is also called Wadhiar, Wadad, or Waged. They have peculiar steel black or silver grey/iron grey color and are super powerful draught cattle. They are generally used for carting or ploughing.
The Rathi is milch cattle breed with origins from Rajasthan. The Rathis are cross breeds from Sahiwal, Red Sindhi, Deoni, and Tharparkar. They are popular for their good milk yield, which ranges to about 1000-2800 kgs. They are hence primarily only used for milk production by the farmers.
The Ongole cattle, otherwise also called Nellore, come from the Guntur and Ongole regions of Andhra Pradesh. They are white to light shade grey in colour, famous for their milking abilities. Their average milk yield is about 1000 kgs. They are very large in size, muscular breed cattle with a hump, also suitable for draught works.
17. Krishna valley:
The Krishna Valley cows came from the watershed of river Krishna in the state of Karnataka. These breeds have a short loose body, with massive large size and lengthy tale. The Krishna Valley comes in grey and white color with darker shade look near fore and hindquarters (for male), while it is white for females. They are popular for their abilities for ploughing and heavy work. They also are good with milk production, with an average yield of about 916 kgs during lactation time.
Jersey is a very popular breed of cow in India. However, it is interesting to note that they are not originated from this country. They are from Jersey Island of the United Kingdom; however, they are crossbred from centuries with indigenous cows. The breed also has acclimatized well here and appears in reddish fawn color. They are small dairy cattle with compact bodies. Their milk yield, on average, is about 4500 kg per lactation.
We hope you learned something new today with this guide on the types of Indian cows. These are among the most popular cattle spotted across regions, famous for their milch production and draught work, and are found heavily in various parts of India.