Ongole – Best Indian Cow Breed
What is Ongole cow?
Ongole is one of the pure Indian cow breeds with its origin in the arid zone of Andhra Pradesh. The name is derived from its home base, the Ongole taluk of the Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh. The native breeding tract of this cow breed comprise the Gundalakama and Alluru rivers in the Ongole and Kandukur taluks, and several neighbouring villages like Karumanchi, Nidamanur, Pondur, Jayavaram, Tungtoor, Karvadi, Vinukonda and Narasraopet and regions in the banks of the River Musi.
They bear white or grey coat, well-built body, stumpy horns, with steel grey colour. Males have a well-developed hump. Popular coat colour is white. This cow breed shows similarities with the Gaolao breed of Madhya Pradesh and the Bhagnari type of cattle in the north of India. This fact supports the belief that the Aryans of Rig Vedic period have migrated this breed from north India to South India along with them.
How is Ongole unique?
Ongole breed cattle possess several physiological distinctions which make them special. They have a low basal metabolic rate (minimum energy requirement for maintaining basic life activities like respiration, and autonomous functions of the body). This feature helps them in surviving with minimum food under drought conditions. In addition, this breed of cows has higher heat tolerance. Another adaptation is its metabolic ability of utilization of crude protein due to which this breed can survive on any hard and dry fodder and produce good quality of milk. Another interesting characteristic of the breed is the Zebum secretion, which acts as a fly repellent and prevents the attack of many of the fly-borne diseases. Because of these reasons, it has been identified as a cattle breed with multiple abilities of adaptation for climate fodder and pathogens.
The cattle are put into effective use for both work and milk production in their native tract. They are of mild temperament and easy to handle. The bulls are very powerful, and capable of performing heavy duty especially heavy ploughing and cart work. The cows are fair milkers with an average milk yield of 3100 Litres per lactation. The high power of endurance makes fit for long durations of grazing and working with little rest. The bodily adaptations of this breed towards environmental stress, diseases, and long hours of work bestow the breed with the status of one of the best Indian cow breeds. They are alert, docile and intelligent. Besides all these, they respond very well to the love and affection from the caretaker.
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