Malnad Gidda is a native of the Western Ghats in Karnataka, is a small, multi-purpose breed of cattle. Its population is around 8 to 10 lakhs and is mostly found in the Malnad areas of Shimoga, Hassan, Chikmangalur and the coastal districts of Mangalore, Udupi, North Kanara and parts of Kodagu districts of Karnataka.
Our Surabhivana houses around 30 Malnad Gidda cattle of which 20 numbers are the pure breed variant.These animals are naturally robust and highly resistant to diseases. They are well adapted to the hot and humid conditions in the region and are an inseparable part of the farming community, providing milk, manure and draft power. They can run fast and jump up to a height of 4 feet. The average lifespan of the Malnad Gidda is 9-12 years.
The average milk yield of a Malnad Gidda cow varies from 1.5 to 3 litres per day. Some cows of this breed yield upto 4 to 5 litres of milk per day.These animals are generally bred by natural service. Frequent mating with other breeds for increasing the milk production has led to genetic dilution and erosion of this breed.
- The body of the Malnad Gidda is small and compact. It has a stunted look, with a height of 81 to 88 cms, length of 88 to 90 cms and body frame weighing between 80 to 120 kgs. The skin colour of this breed is mostly black with light shades of fawn on the thigh and shoulder regions. Brown coloured skin with light shades of fawn is also seen amongst this breed. The hooves, eyelids, tail switch and horn are black in colour. A small hump is seen in the males while the females have a bowl shaped udder. The teats are funnel in shape being broader at the base, narrowing downwards and ending with pointed tips. The tail is long and the tail switch almost touches the ground.
- The cost of maintenance of the Malnad Gidda is very low. These animals are mostly sent for grazing. They are also fed with small quantities of paddy straw, available green grass or a traditional mixture consisting of horsegram, broken rice, oil-cake and rice flour.
- Surprisingly, this sturdy and specific Malnad Gidda breed of cattle has been acknowledged as a recognised breed of India only in the year 2012.