The Bachaur breed of cattle is found in the Bachaur Pargana that includes the districts of Sitamarhi, Madhubani, Darbhanga, Samastipur and Muzaffarpur in the state of Bihar. While the Madhubani, Darbhanga and Sitamarhi districts form the native tract of this breed, it is reported that due to the shrinking of the original breeding tract, the Bachaur cattle are now concentrated in areas adjacent to the Nepal border which also include Bachaur and Koilpur subdivisions of Sitamarhi.
The Bachaur cattle exhibit close resemblance to the Hariana or rather appears to be a deteriorated strain of the Hariana . It is known for its draught qualities and also its ability to thrive on poor fodder resources. Despite being a draught breed, the cows prove to be better milk yielders as compared to other Indian draught breeds. The bullocks can work for long periods without any break. They are used for transport and also for agricultural operations. These cattle were very popular in Bihar in the early 19th century, during the rule of the East India Company in India.
Bachaur is maintained by the Koir and Ahir communities and the cattle are grazed in the nearby grassland areas. A cow having a male calf is not milked at all, and the calf is allowed to take all the milk. The male animals are castrated at the time of eruption of horns – at about one to one and a half years of age. This breed fulfilled the livelihood requirement of cattle farmers in the breeding tract by its draught power and to some extent by milk and dung.
- The animals are white to gray in color with black muzzle, and eyelids.
- The body is compact and small in size with firm and medium-sized hump.
- The face is short, forehead broad and flat or slightly convex.
- They have large and prominent eyes, and medium-sized and drooping ears.
- They have black or brown muzzle and black or white eyelids. Eyelids are black for animals having black muzzle and white for animals having brown muzzle.
- The horns are small and stumpy, curving outward, upward and downward.
- They have straight back, well rounded barrel, muscular shoulders and short neck.
- They have medium sized dewlap, and small trough-shaped udder.
- They have short and thin legs, soft hooves with well-shaped and strong feet.
- The sheath and navel flap are light and close to the body.
- The tail is short and thick, with a black or white switch reaching up to the hock.
- The average height of a male is 120 cm, and that of a female is 112 cm.
- The average body length of a male is 116 cm and that of a female is 110 cm.
- The average chest girth of a male is 150 cm while that of a female is 140 cm.
- The average weight of a male is 245 kgs, and of a female is 200 kgs.
- The average milk yield is between 225-630 kg in a lactation of more than 254 days with an average milk fat of 5%.
The Bachaur cattle are managed under extensive management system. These bullocks are engaged for agricultural operations and are apparently indispensable to the farmers. This draught animal power is the only appropriate, everlasting and environment friendly source of energy for majority of farmers in the breeding tract. However, there has been a continuous decline in the Bachaur population and conservation measures need be taken immediately in order to save this breed.
Our Surabhivana Gau-shala is engaged in various activities lending support to the national movement for conservation of our native breeds of cattle.