The Malvi cattle breed is one of the most beautiful cattle breeds of India, found in the large area comprising Indore, Dewas, Ujjain, Shajapur, and Mandsaur districts of Madhya Pradesh. This breed of zebu cattle originated from the Malwa plateau of western Madhya Pradesh. Its breeding tract includes Rajgarh, Ratlam, Shajapur and Ujjain districts of Madhya Pradesh and is also bred in the north-eastern section of Hyderabad, where it is popularly used as medium and light draft on the roads, and for cultivation purposes.
The Malvi breed is also known as Manthani, Malavi or Mahadeopuri. This breed has developed into different strains such as light, medium and heavy in size, based on the soil conditions they are bred in. Also, it is said to resemble the Kankrej breed in many ways. Though the Malvi is primarily known as a draught animal, the cows produce little but very good quality milk.
The Malvi are well adapted to native climatic conditions, and show great endurance and ability to carry heavy loads on rough roads.
The bullocks are known to trot very fast and hence are used for quick transportation. They are able to carry heavy loads on rough roads. The bullocks work well in the black cotton soil.
- Malvi are generally small in build with short, deep and compact bodies. However, in parts adjoining Rajputana, the type bred is
- larger in size.
- They are generally white or greyish white in colour, and eventually with age their colour turns into pure white.
- The colour on the neck, shoulders, hump and quarters is greyish-black.
- The hair around the eye-sockets and eye membranes are black in colour.
- They have a short and broad head with a dished forehead.
- Their muzzle is broad, dark coloured and slightly upturned.
- They have short but powerful legs with strong black hooves.
- They have horns that emerge from the outer angles of the poll in an outward and upward direction.
- They have short and pointed ears that do not drop.
- They have drooping hindquarters and straight backs.
- They have beautiful well-developed and moderately pendulous sheath.
- Tails are of moderate length, with the black switch reaching upto fetlock.
- Average height of a male is 134 cms and that of a female is 120 cms.
- Average body length of a male is 132 cms and of a female is 118 cms.
- Average weight of a male is 500 kgs. while that of a female is 340 kgs.
- Average chest girth of a male is 175 cms and that of a female is 152 cms.
- The average milk production of this breed is about 900 kgs, ranging between 600 to 1200 kgs of milk per lactation.
- The milk produced is rich with about 4.3 % fat content.
This cattle breed has been studied at the Government Cattle Breeding Farm in Shajapur district of Madhya Pradesh for almost over fifty years. The management conditions for this breed is extremely good with feeds consisting of grass, fodder and concentrate. Fodder crops that are grown are mainly sorghum and maize. The concentrate is fed only to the bullocks. The estimated population of Malvi was around fifty thousand during year 2002, but has now improved to around twelve lakhs according to the latest Governmental count.
Significantly, in the past three decades, a substantial amount of work has been done in several states through gaushalas and cooperatives, to conserve the indigenous breeds. Our Surabhivana is actively engaged in the movement of conserving the Indian breed of cattle, by maintaining multiple breeds at our Ashram and Gaushala. We look forward to your support and active participation in this noble cause.