Krishna Valley Cow Breed
The Krishna Valley cattle breed originated from the areas drained by the rivers – Krishna, Ghatapraba and Malaprabha–in the Bijapur, Bagalkot and Belgaum districts of Karnataka.They are bred in the southwestern part of Hyderabad also. In the past, the distribution of the Krishna Valley cattle was wide and included the Satara, Sangali and Solapur districts of Maharashtra as well asthe Belgaum, Bijapur and Raichur districts of Karnataka. However, now there has been a distinct shift in the breeding tracts -tothe northern parts of Karnataka.
Krishna Valley is a dual-purpose breed of recent origin with an inherent ability to toil in extremely hot and humid climatic conditions. They are a draught breed and are mainly used for agricultural purposes. The cows are moderate milk producers while the bulls are known for their strength and endurance. It is said that this breed has evolved from various cattle breeds belonging to various states, such as Gir and Kankrej from Gujarat, Ongole from Andhra Pradesh and other cattle types of Mysore.
The Kings of Sangli had contributed substantially towards developing and producing this hybrid breed of cattle from the mentioned ‘desi’ strains of cattle. Though it was considered a very important breed, the importance was subsequently lost due to limited use of draught power,and the choice of the farmers for high milk producing cattle breeds. Also, due to the softness of the hooves of the animals and also their heavy weight, these animals are not generally appreciated by the cultivators in areas other than in their native homes.
Since this breed is an admixture of various ‘desi’ breeds from various states, it generally shows a variety of characteristics.However, certain characteristics were emphasized by the original breeders.
- The animals of this breed are docile and friendly.
- They have massive form and deep broad chest, but are loosely built.
- The body is short whereas the barrel is large and well-developed.
- The legs are short and thick, and look powerful while the hooves are said to be soft.
- The average height of a male is 145 cm, and that of a female is 122 cm.
- The average body length of a male is 153 cm and that of a female is 132 cm.
- The average chest girth of a male is 196 cm while that of a female is 168 cm.
- The average weight of a male is 550 kgs, and of a female is 325 kgs.
- The color is mostly gray-white with the males having dark shades on the forequarters and hindquarters. The females look more white.
- Also,these animals are often found with brown and white, black and white and mottled colours.
- The face is narrow with broad and bulging forehead and a shallow groove in the middle.
- The forehead is surmounted with small curved horns of varied shapes and sizes.
- The horns are medium sized and emerge from the side of the poll behind and above the eyes in outward and curving upwards and inwards ending with pointed tips.
- The ears are small and pointed while the neck is short and thick.
- The dewlap is well-developed and pendulous and the sheath is also slightly pendulous.
- The average milk yield is between 900-1200 kg in a lactation of more than 300 days.
The Krishna Valley has decreased substantially (almost 90%, as per some estimates) and efforts to preserve this breed have been taken up on an earnest basis.The National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR) has now started projects in the native tract for conservation of this breed. Various programs have been organized to create awareness amongst the people. With joint efforts fromBAIF (BharatiyaAgro Industries Foundation)and NGAGR, more than 2500 Krishna Valley cattle are now seen in its native tract.
Our Surabhivana Gaushala continues to support the national movement for conservation of our native breeds of cattle. In our endeavour to accelerate the conservation movement, we have also constructed additional shelters at the Ashram premises, to house more and more varieties of ‘desi’ breed. We humbly request active participation, in whatever manner possible, from all who are associated with the cause of these divine creatures.