Gir – Best cow for milk
It is one of the popular milk cattle breeds of India. The Gir hills and Kathiawar forests are the native tracts of this breed comprising Bhavnagar, Junagadh, Rajkot and Amreli districts of Gujarat. This is considered as the best cow for milk because of the quality and volume of milk produced by this breed. This breed is also known by alternate names like Desan, Bhodali, Gujarati, Sorthi, Kathiawari, and Surti at different regions of its native belt. This is a sturdy breed traditionally owned by the tribes like the Bharwads, Rabaris, Ahirs Maldharis, and Charans. They maintain these cows through grazing in the pastures, relatively with abundant fodder. Interestingly, they follow natural breeding of these cows rather than artificial insemination etc. Therefore, the breed still maintains the status as one among the pure Indian cow breeds. They are attractive with a broad forehead, apparently drowsy eyes and pendulous years. The red colour is dominant but black and white also common.
Why is Gir the best cow for milk?
These cows are large in size and produce bulk volumes of milk. The average lactation period for this breed is 326 days and an average yield of milk during this period is 2063 L. This is a much higher when compared to other breeds of Indian cows. Apart from the quantity of milk produced, the quality of milk also adds value to this breed. Being a pure Indian cow breed, the Gir cows produce the A2 type of milk known for its nutritional and medicinal properties. The pasture grazing habit of these cows enhances the medicinal quality of their milk due to the diversity of food plants they eat in the wild. The high level of tolerance of the this breed towards environmental stress and tropical diseases make them more suitable for large-scale maintenance and milk production.
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