Gaolao is a dual purpose breed of cattle, known for its agility, native to the regions of Wardha district in Maharashtra, Balaghat district and Chindwara Districts in Madhya Pradesh and Rajnandgaon district in Chhattisgarh state. This breed is also known as “Arvi” and “Gaulgani”.
There is a close similarity between the Ongole and the Gaolao except that the latter are much lighter and have greater agility. The breeding tract of the breed includes Balaghat, Chhindwara, Seoni districts of Madhya Pradesh; Durg and Rajnandgaon districts of Chattisgarh and Wardha and Nagpur districts of Maharashtra
- These animal are white or light-gray in color. The females are usually white while the males are gray over the neck, hump and quarters.
- They have slightly convex faces and long coffin-shaped skulls.
- These are of medium height, or rather light build and tend to be narrow and long.
- The head is markedly long and narrow with a straight profile usually tapering towards the muzzle and somewhat broader at the base of the horns.
- The forehead is usually flat, though it appears to recede at the top, giving a slightly convex appearance.
- The eyes are almond-shaped and placed slightly at angles.
- The ears are of medium size and are carried high.
- The horns are short and stumpy, blunt at the points and commonly slope slightly backwards. It originated in the he cattle are large and well built in size, and usually are of white to gray complexions.
- The neck is short, with a moderately well-developed hump, which is usually loose and hangs on one side.
- The hind quarters are slightly drooping and the limbs are straight and muscular.
- Hooves are of medium size, hard and durable, and suited to hard road and hillside work.
- The dewlap is large but the sheath is only moderately developed.
- The skin is thin but loose.
- The tail is comparatively short, reaching only a little below the hocks.
- The milk yield is low with an average of 604 kg per lactation and with 4.32% fat (ranges between 470 to 725 kg per lactation).
Gaolao is suitable for transportation in the hilly areas. It is said that the Marathas developed had specifically developed this breed and it was used mainly for military purposes by the Maratha army when invading the local Gond Kingdom.
It is a sad fact that this breed of cattle which is known for its capacity to carry load and give quality milk, is on the verge of extinction.
According to experts, the population of this breed is only about 3,000 in numbers, of which less than half are of the pure breed. Also, the pure type bulls are said to be a mere 150 in number. The only saving factor here is that our government agencies are now taking a keen interest in the preservation of this worthy breed of cattle.
We, at Surabhivna, wholesomely support this endeavour.