Kerigarh cattle is named after the Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh from where it originated. This breed is also found in the adjoining Pilibhit district. It is closely related to the Malvi breed in appearance. Its lyre-shaped horn formation is typical of the Malvi breed though the Kerigarh are much lighter in appearance.
The Kerigarh bullocks are fast trotters and are extensively used for draught purposes. Though very poor milkers, this breed is considered as one of the foremost amongst the draught animals of India.
The cattle start work when they are about 4 years old with a weight of approx. 270 kgs.
It is said that a pair of bullocks can pull about 1.5 tons of load trotting to a distance of about 50 to 55 kms per day at a speed of 5 to 6 kms per hour.
- These animals are small in build but are extremely active with light limbs.
- They have a white coat colour though some animal sport grey colour distributed all over their bodies especially on their faces.
- They have small and narrow face with bright eyes and small ears.
- They sport a short and powerful looking neck.
- Their horns are lyre-shaped – thin and upstanding, curving outward and upwards. These are medium in size and thick at the base.
- The cows usually have smaller horns.
- The back is straight but the quarters are drooping.
- The sheath is short and moderately tight.
- The hump is well developed in the bulls.
- The dewlap is thin and pendulous and starts right from under the chin and continues down to the lower chest.
- The tail is extremely long and ends in a switch.
- Average body height at withers of a male is 131 cms and a female is 122 cms.
- Average body length of a male is 114 cms and of a female is 149 cms.
- The average chest girth of a male is 163 cms while that of a female is 168 cms.
- The average weight of a male is 476 kgs while that of a female is 318 kgs.
- The Kheri region has an abundance of coarse grasses and therefore the animals are maintained mostly on grazing, with no requirement of additional fodder or concentrate.
- The animals are mostly housed in the open areas of this region.
- The bulls are castrated at about 42 months of age and are used for draught work.
- The calves are reared mostly on milk. In some cases, the cows are not milked at all.
According to the Breed Survey 2013 conducted by the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries, Government of India, the population of the Kerigarh is estimated at around 75000 numbers. The Uttar Pradesh Government has been allocated funds for the development and protection of the indigenous breeds under National Gokul Mission and accordingly the establishment of Gokul Gram and bull-cow farms are being carried out.
The challenges faced in carrying out the national movement of conserving our native breed need to be addressed promptly and adequately to bring in rapid improvement in cattle population.
Our Surabhivana Gaushala is ever active in its endeavour to support the national movement of conserving our native Indian breed of cattle. We invite you to visit our Gaushala and see for yourselves the progress made in this direction.