The Red Hill Cattle or Badri is a dual-purpose ‘desi’ cattle breed – reared for milking and draught purposes. The petite Badri cow is found only in the hill districts and was earlier known as the ‘pahadi’ cow. These cattle are well adapted to the hilly terrain and the climatic conditions of Uttarakhand. This sturdy and disease-resistant breed is found in hilly regions of the Almora and Pauri Garhwal districts of Uttarakhand. The Badri cow is considered auspicious and is also used for religious purposes.
Disease resistance is a very important characteristic of this breed as it rarely gets any disease. It remains healthy throughout life, as these cattle are fed on pure vegetation and live in natural and fresh, pollution-free condition of the hilly areas of Uttarakhand.
Badri breed is the first certified cattle breed of Uttarakhand. In its endeavour to promote cattle-rearing of the Badri breed, the government has started initiatives by improving marketing facilities, providing nutritious feed and fodder, and providing employment opportunities to the locals of the region.
According to a research study conducted by the Uttarakhand State Council for Science & Technology & IIT Roorkee, the milk of the Badri cow contains almost 90% A2 beta-casein proteins – and is one of the highest in any indigenous varieties.
The constitution of an organized market for the Badri cattle products, and the promotion of organic farming with appropriate incentives are needed for promoting Badri cattle-keeping among the farmers of Uttarakhand.
- The cattle are small-sized with a docile temperament.
- These have varied body colours – black, brown, red, white or grey, of which the red colour cows are said to outnumber the others.
- The neck is wide and small, with bright and alert eyes.
- The ears are erect and alert.
- The hump is prominent.
- The tail is long with a black switch.
- The legs are long and straight with foot pad and hooves.
- The hooves and muzzles are black or brown in colour.
- The udder is less developed – small in size, and tucked up with the body.
- Height averages at 105 cms.
- Body length averages at 137 cms.
- Body weight averages at 225 kgs.
- Average chest girth is 115 cms.
- Milk yield is 1 litre to 3 litres per day.
According to the last count, the estimated population of this breed in the state of Uttarakhand is around 16 lakh. Efforts are being made for conserving this breed. Our Government has started many schemes, such as the Rashtriya Gokul Mission, National Kamdhenu Breeding Centre, Central Herd Registration, National Dairy Plane, etc. A cattle breeding centre for preservation of this native breed was opened in Champawat’s Nariyal village in 2012, and it now houses about 150 cows.
Badri breed is listed under accession no. INDIA_CATTLE_2400_BADRI_03040 by the ICAR- National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR) which is a premier institute of the country. NBAGR is dedicated to work with its directive of identification, evaluation, characterization, conservation and utilization of livestock and poultry genetic resources of the country.
Our Surabhivana continues with its efforts to conserve and develop our native breeds of cattle.