Kangayam cattle belongs to the Kangeyam taluka which includes Erode, Karur, Namakkal and Dindigul districts in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. This breed is also known as “Kanganad” or “Kongu”. Generally, these cattle are of medium-build though some large-build type are also found. Kangayam, Dharampuram, Udmalpet, Pollachi, Paddadam and Erode subdivisions has smaller variety, while areas of Karur, Aravakurchi and Dindigul subdivisions has larger variety. Pattagar of Palayakottai breed the purest form of Kangayam in large herds.
The Kangayam cattle conform to the Southern Indian Mysore type, though there also appears a mixture of the gray-white Ongole cattle. These cattle are draft animals with adaptability to poor nutritional conditions. The milk yield of the Kangayam cows is generally considered to be of secondary importance. It is noteworthy that although the cows yield a sufficient quantity of milk (18 to 20 litres during the peak milking period), and the milk is also found to contain high nutrition value with no bad fat, nevertheless the breed is generally considered to be poor milkers.
- The cattle have compact bodies, are active and powerful with short and stout legs, strong hooves and well sprung ribs.
- The color of the males are generally gray with black or very dark gray coloring on the head, neck, hump and quarters. Castrated males, show fading of the color.
- The cows are white and gray with deep markings on the knees and just above the fetlocks on all four legs.
- The colour of the calves are generally red at birth but change to white or gray, three or four months after birth.
- The skin is very strong and tight.
- The head is of moderate size and proportionate to the body with a prominent forehead; humps are well-developed and firm.
- The udder which has a fine and soft texture, is not well developed.
- The teats are fairly small and set apart, though the milk veins are not prominent.
- The tail is of moderate length with a black switch reaching well below the hocks.
- The horns in the smaller variety spread apart, straight and curve backwards, while in the larger variety, horns are long, curve outwards and backwards and almost complete a circle at the tips.
- The ears are small, erect and pointed and the eyes are dark and prominent with black rings around them.
- The neck is short and thick, while the back is short, broad and level.
- The dewlap is thin and extends up to the sternum while the sheath is well tucked into body.
- The hair is fine and short with skin dark in pigment and fine in texture.
Many of these natural robust native breeds are becoming extinct due to the government policy of introducing cross bred animals. The Senapathy Kangayam Cattle Research Foundation situated in the Kangayam taluk of former Erode District, Tamil Nadu, has taken up the cause of this pure cattle breed of India. We, at Surabhivana, support this cause.