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Breeds of Cattle and their Selection

• Indian Cattle Breeds

• Milch breeds

• Milch and draught breeds

• Draught breeds

• Exotic dairy breeds

• Breeds of Buffalo

• General selection procedures for dairy breeds

• Selecting breeds for Commercial Dairy Farm - Suggestions

Indian Cattle Breeds

Milch breeds


• Mainly found in Punjab, Haryana, U.P, Delhi, Bihar and M.P.

• Milk yield – Under village condition :1350 kgs
– Under commercial farms: 2100 kgs
• Age at first calving -32-36 months
• Calving interval – 15 month


• Mainly found in Gir forest areas of South Kathiawar

• Milk yield – Under village condition : 900 kgs
– Under commercial farms: 1600 kgs


• Mainly found in Jodhpur, Kutch and Jaisalmer

• Milk yield – Under village condition :1660 kgs
– Under commercial farms: 2500 kgs

Red Sindhi

• Mainly available in Punjab, Haryana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Orissa.
• Milk yield – Under village condition :1100 kgs
– Under commercial farms: 1900 kgs

Milch and Draught breeds


• Mainly found in Nellore, Krishna, Godavari and Guntur district of A.P.

• Milk yield –1500 kgs
• Bullocks are powerful for cart work and heavy ploughing.


• Mainly found in Karnal, Hisar and Gurgaon district of Haryana, Delhi and western M.P
• Milk yield –1140 -4500 kgs
• Bullocks are powerful for road transport and rapid ploughing


• Mainly found in Guajrat

• Milk yield – Under village condition :1300 kgs
– Under commercial farms : 3600 kgs

• Age at first calving -36 to 42 months

• Calving interval – 15 to 16 months
• Bullocks are fast, active and strong. Good for plough and cart purpose

• Mainly found in North western and western parts of A.P.

• Cows are good milk producers and bullocks are good for work

Draught Breeds


• Mainly found in Karnataka.

• Best suitable for ploughing and transport

• Mainly found in Tumkur, Hassan and Mysore districts of Karnataka



• Mainly found in Coimbatore, Erode, Namakkal, Karur and Dindigul districts of Tamil
• Best suited for ploughing and transport. Withstands hardy conditions.
Exotic dairy breeds


• Age at first calving : 26-30 months

• Intercalving – 13-14 months
• Milk yield – 5000-8000 kgs
• Dairy milk yield is found to be 20 lts whereas cross bred jersey, cow gives 8-10 lts per
• In India this breed has acclimatized well especially in the hot and humid areas

Holstein Friesian

• This breed is from Holland

• Milk yield - 7200-9000 kgs
• This is by far the best diary breed among exotic cattle regarding milk yield. On an
average it gives 25 litres of milk per day, whereas a cross breed H.F. cow gives 10 - 15 lts
per day.
• It can perform well in coastal and delta areas

Breeds of Buffalo

• Mainly found in Haryana, Delhi and Punjab

• Milk yield – 1560 kgs
• On an average the daily milk yield is found to be 8-10 lts, whereas a cross breed murrah
buffalo gives 6-8 lts per day.
• It performs well in coastal and slightly cold climatic areas.


• Gujarat
• 1700-2500 kgs

Jaffarabadi :

• Kathiawar district of Gujarat

• 1800-2700 kgs

• Nagpur, Wardha, Akola, Amravathi and Yeotmal in Maharastra.

• Milk yield – 1030-1500 kgs

General selection procedures for dairy breeds

Selection of dairy cows

Selecting a calf in calf show, a cow in cattle show by judging is an art. A dairy farmer should
build up his own herd by breeding his own herd. Following guidelines will be useful for
selection of a diary cow.

• whenever an animal is purchased from a cattle fair, it should be selected based upon its
breed characters and milk producing ability
• History sheet or pedigree sheet which are generally maintained in organized farms
reveals the complete history of animal
• The maximum yield by dairy cows are noticed during the first five lactations. So
generally selection should be carried out during First or Second lactation and that too are
month after calving.
• There successive complete milkings has to be done and an average of it will give a fair
idea regarding production by a particular animal
• A cow should allow anybody to milk, and should be docile.
• It is better to purchase the animals during the months of October and November.
• Maximum yield is noticed till 90 days after calving.

Breed characteristics of high yielding dairy cows

• Attractive individuality with feminity, vigour, harmonious blending of all parts,

impressive style and carriage
• Animal should have wedge shaped appearance of the body
• It should have bright eyes with lean neck
• The udder should be well attached to the abdomen
• The skin of the udder should have a good network of blood vessels
• All four quarters of the udder should be well demarcated with well placed teats.

Selecting breeds for Commercial Dairy Farm - Suggestions

• Under Indian condition a commercial dairy farm should consist of minimum 20 animals
(10 cows, 10 buffaloes) this strength can easily go up to 100 animals in proportion of
50:50 or 40:60. After this however, you need to review your strength and market
potential before you chose to go for expansion.
• Middle class health-conscious Indian families prefer low fat milk for consumption as
liquid milk. It is always better to go for a commercial farm of mixed type. (Cross breed,
cows and buffaloes kept in separate rows under one shed).
• Conduct a through study of the immediate market where you are planning to market your
milk You can mix milk from both type of animals and sold as per need of the market.
Hotels and some general customers (can be around 30%) prefer pure buffalo milk.
Hospitals, sanitariums prefer cow's milk.

Selection of cow/buffalo breeds for commercial farm


• Good quality cows are available in the market and it cost around Rs.1200 to Rs.1500 per
liter of milk production per day. (e.g. Cost of a cow producing 10 liter of Milk per day
will be between Rs.12,000 to Rs.15,000).
• If proper care is given, cows breed regularly giving one calf every 13-14 month interval.
• They are more docile and can be handled easily. Good milk yielding cross breeds
(Holstein and Jersey crosses) has well adapted to Indian climate.
• The fat percentage of cow's milk varies from 3-5.5% and is lower then Buffaloes.


• In India, we have good buffalo breeds like Murrah and Mehsana, which are suitable for
commercial dairy farm.
• Buffalo milk has more demand for making butter and butter oil (Ghee), as fat percentage
in milk is higher then cow. Buffalo milk is also preferred for making tea, a welcoming
drink in common Indian household.
• Buffaloes can be maintained on more fibrous crop residues, hence scope for reducing
feed cost.
• Buffaloes largely mature late and give birth to calves at 16 to 18 months interval. Male
calves fetch little value.
• Buffaloes need cooling facility e.g. wallowing tank or showers / foggers with fan.