Animal Husbandry

Top 10 Cow Breeds in India: Where They Are Found and Their Characteristics

18 Oct 2023
Top 10 Cow Breeds in India: Where They Are Found and Their Characteristics
There are 50 well-defined breeds of cattle in India. These include pure milch cattle (cows), draught cattle, and hybrid cattle. Some of the famous indigenous cow breeds are Red Sindhi, Gir and Sahiwal.

Table of Contents

Introduction

Cows are female cattle and are also called milch animals. They provide milk for human consumption. These bovine animals are an essential aspect of Cattle Farming and Livestock Farming.

The Indian cow's zoological or scientific name is Bos Indicus. The average cow's lifespan in India is 15 to 20 years.

According to the 20th Livestock Census of India, the cow population in 2019 stood at 145.12 million, an 18% increase over the 19th Livestock Census (2012).

Cows have been an integral part of Indian culture since ancient times. They have a sacred place in Indian society. Cow milk and manure are considered auspicious, and cow milk is considered good for a child's health.

Top 10 Cow Breeds in India

There are 50 well-defined breeds of cattle in India. These include pure milch cattle, draught cattle, and hybrid cattle. These cow breeds comprise both indigenous and crossbreeds. Some of the famous indigenous cow breeds are Red Sindhi and Sahiwal, whereas popular crossbreeds are Jersey and Holstein Friesian.

In this blog, we are only providing the list of pure dairy cattle and hybrid cattle (used for milk and draught). Let us see the top 10 Indian cow breeds list.

Red Sindhi Cow

Top Cow Breeds - Red Sindhi Cow

The Red Sindhi cow is native to Kohistan, Sindh province in Pakistan. This indigenous breed is also found in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Gujarat in India. It is also known by the names Red Karachi, Mahi, and Sindhi.

Red Sindhi cows are known for their excellent milk production. The average milk yield of this breed ranges between 1700 kg and 3400 kg per lactation.

They have a distinct red coat with white patches and a strong body structure, making them a preferred choice for dairy farming.

Sahiwal Cow

Top Cow Breeds - Sahiwal Cow

The Sahiwal cow origins are from the Montgomery district in Punjab, Pakistan. It is also prevalent in various regions of India, particularly Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Rajasthan.

It is known by names such as Lola (loose skin), Montgomery, Multani, Lambi Bar, and Teli.

They are the best desi Indian cows, and their average milk yield ranges between 1350 kg and 2100 kg in lactation.

Sahiwal cows are famous for their high milk yield, adaptability to harsh climates, and disease resistance.

Gir Cow

Top Cow Breeds - Gir Cow

The Gir cow is native to the Gir forest region of South Kathiawar, Gujarat. It is one of the famous indigenous cow varieties in India. It is known by names such as Desan, Bhadwari, Kathiawari, Surati, and Gujarati.

The average milk yield of Gir cows varies in the range of 900 – 1600 kgs per lactation.

The Gir cow features a hump, long ears, and a convex face profile. They are peculiarly famous for their curved horns resembling a 'half-moon'. They are typically red or brown. They are revered for their robust health and resistance to many diseases.

Shweta Kapila Cow

Top Cow Breeds - Shweta kapila cow

As the name suggests, Shweta Kapila is white in colour and is native to the North and South Goa districts of Goa.

These breeds of cows are short and medium in stature, have straight faces, and have small, straight horns raised upwards. Besides, they have a small hump.

The average milk yield of this breed ranges from 250 – 650 kg per lactation.

Rathi Cow

Top Cow Breeds - Rathi Cow

Rathi cows are milch cattle found in arid regions, particularly Loonkaransar Tehsil of Bikaner district, Rajasthan. These cow breeds derive their name from a pastoral tribe called Raths.

They are brown with white patches. The average milk yield per lactation ranges from 1062 kg to 2810 kg.

Tharparkar Cow

Top Cow Breeds - Tharparkar Cow

The Tharparkar cows are native to the Thar Desert in Rajasthan and are also found in Gujarat. It is an ideal cattle breed for arid and semi-arid regions.

These are dual-purpose cattle breeds used for dairy and draught purposes. They are also known as Thai, Grey Sindhi, and White Sindhi.

They are medium to large-sized cows with white or light grey coats and have lyre-shaped horns.

Tharparkar cattle are famous for their ability to produce milk. They yield 1800 – 2600 kg of milk per lactation. 

Kankrej Cow

Top Cow Breeds - Kankrej Cow

The Kankrej cow is found in the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat and Barmer and Jodhpur district in Rajasthan. It is also known as Wadad and Wadhiar. It is used for both dairy and draught purposes.

They are prized for their resilience, strength, and ability to adapt to hot and cold climates. They can yield up to 1400 kg of milk per lactation.

Kankrej cow colour is a distinct silver-grey coat. They have a prominent hump and an upward-curving horns.

Ongole Cow

Top Cow Breeds - Ongole Cow

The Ongole cow is a native of Ongole taluk of Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh. They are also known as the Nellore breed.

The Ongole cow is popular for agricultural and dairy activities because of its strength, endurance, and adaptability to tropical climates. During the lactation period, the average milk yield is 1000 kg.

They have a distinctive hump and are typically white or light grey in colour.

Krishna Valley Cow

Top Cow Breeds - Krishna Valley Cow

The Krishna Valley cows trace their origin to the black soil region of River Krishna Valley in Karnataka. They are also found in border districts of Maharashtra.

They have a large, massive frame with deep, loosely built, short bodies. They are white in colour and dark shade.

They are also hybrid cattle, and hence, they are used for both dairy and draught purposes. Their average milk yield is 900 kg per lactation.

Deoni Cow

Top Cow Breeds - Deoni Cow

Deoni cowsCows are found in Western Andhra Pradesh and the Marathwada region of Maharashtra. They are also known by other names, such as Dongari, Shevera, Balankya, and Dongerpati.

They are black and white in colour and are used for bullock and dairy purposes. The average milk yield per lactation ranges between 636 kg and 1230 kg.

Some Facts about Cow Breeds in India

Smallest Cow: The Punganur dwarf cattle of the Chittoor District of Andhra Pradesh. It is the smallest cow in the world.

Best Cow Breed: Sahiwal is the best cow breed in India.

Highest Milk-Producing Cow: The Red Sindhi Cow is the highest milk-producing cow in India.

Most Expensive Cow: The Ongole breed is the most expensive cow in India.

NR
Published By
Neesha Rathod

Frequently Asked Questions on Top 10 Cow Breeds in India: Where They Are Found and Their Characteristics

1. Which indigenous cow breed in India has the highest milk yield?

Red Sindhi cow milk yields from 1700 kg to 3400 kg per lactation.

Sahiwal cow breed is the best in India.

50 cattle breeds are found in India comprising milch (cow), draught, and hybrid cattle.

No. The Holstein Friesian is the highest-milk-yielding cow breed in India. It is an exotic breed, and its milk yield ranges between 7200 kg and 9000 kg during the lactation period.

No, the Jersey cow is an exotic or foreign breed. It is native to Jersey Island in France.



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