Kosali is a ‘desi’ cattle breed predominantly found in the central plains of Chattisgarh. The ancient name of this region was Kowshal, named after the maternal uncle of Lord Sri Ram, and hence the name Kosali. The breeding tracts lie in the areas of Raipur, Durg, Bilaspur and Janjgir districts. This breed has evolved over the generations, surviving mainly due to its adaptability to harsh climatic conditions and resistance to diseases. The Yadava and Rawuth community of farmers belonging to this region have been maintaining this breed since generations.
Kosali cattle are maintained under the extensive management system. They are provided with a ‘kaccha’ type of housing that shelters the animals from cold, rain and storm. These cattle are allowed to graze during the day and are tied up during the night. They are fed in groups or individually. They are generally allowed to graze for their feed. They are also provided with locally-grown fodder by the farmers. The lactating and heavily pregnant animals are fed with concentrates for additional nourishment.
- This is a small-sized yet sturdy breed.
- The coat colour of two-thirds of the cattle is found to be light red, while one-third is whitish grey in colour. Very few of them are also found to have coats with black colour or with red and white patches of colour.
- The head is broad, while the forehead is flat and straight.
- The hump is small to medium in size.
- The legs are straight, short and strong, and also the fetlock joints are strong.
- The hooves are hard and strong, and black in colour.
- The horns are stumpy, emerging straight, then curved outward, upward and inward from the polls.
- The udder is small and bowl-shaped.
- The muzzle, eyelids, and tail switch are black in colour.
- Height of the male averages at 121 cms., and that of the female at 103 cms.
- Body length of the male averages at 126 cms., and of the female at 102 cms.
- Body weight of the male averages at 260 kgs., and that of the female at 160 kgs.
- Average chest girth of a male is 152 cms and that of the female is 125 cms.
- Average milk yield per lactation is 210 kgs.
- Average milk fat ranges from 3% – 4.5 %.
According to latest records, the estimated population of this breed is about 32 lakhs in numbers. Breeding strategies, management and conservation models designed for the overall improvement of this breed, have proved to be effective.
With the objectives of development and conservation, the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) has initiated programmes for genetic improvement of these indigenous dairy breeds. Thus, the future holds promise for improvement in the productivity of our indigenous breeds of cattle.
Our Surabhivana is unceasingly engaged in its task of conservation and development of our ‘desi’ breeds of cattle.