India Matters – Vechur Cow

This section addresses relevant issues and facts about different parts of India through the 6Ws and 1H question answer format.

Vechur Cow:

What does it look like?
Why is it important?
Where is it found?
When did this breed start facing problems?
Who are the people working to make the Vechur cow popular?
Which are some other important breeds of Indian cattle?
How can we help save Indian cattle breeds?
What does it look like?
The Vechur cow is a native Indian breed. The Guinness Book of World Records says it is the world’s smallest breed of cattle. On an average, these cows are only about 90 cm high and 125 cm long, and weigh about 130 kg. They have small thin horns. They can be light red, brown, black, fawn etc. in colour.
Why is it important?
The Vechur can adapt very well to the hot and humid temperatures of India. It is resistant to many diseases. Its milk has medicinal properties and is easy to digest too. The value of the Vechur’s milk recorded in ancient Ayurveda texts has been proved by modern science. The bulls are strong for their size and are useful farm animals.
Where is it found?
The Vechur is native to Kerala. It got its name from Vechur village in Vaikkom Taluk of the State’s Kottayam District. But it was on the verge of becoming extinct some years ago.
When did this breed start facing problems?
Along with other Indian breeds of cattle, the Vechur began to disappear because foreign breeds were brought in to increase milk production. Official policies after Independence too gave preference to exotic breeds. Most farmers stopped rearing the Vechur. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) put the Vechur on its ‘Critically Maintained Breeds’ list of cattle around the world.
Who are the people working to make the Vechur cow popular?
Dr. Sosamma Iype, an expert in Animal Breeding, and her team, including students, started a project to save the Vechur cow. They identified a handful of the animals, and started a successful breeding programme. Now people understand the value of the breed, and there’s a waiting list of those who want to get a Vechur cow.
Which are some other important breeds of Indian cattle?
The general scientific name for native Indian cattle breeds is Bos Indicus. The Kasaragod Dwarf, the Cheruvally and the Vilwadri are three such breeds from Kerala. Then there’s the Gir Cow from Gujarat, the Red Sindhi from the north-west region, the Bargur and the Kangeyam from Tamil Nadu, the Ongole from Andhra Pradesh, and many more.
How can we help save Indian cattle breeds?
It is important to make people aware of the advantages of native breeds of cattle such as the fact that: • Their milk is of better quality than the milk produced by foreign breeds. • They are easier and less expensive to rear because they don’t require special care. We can also choose to buy only the milk of native cattle. This will help farmers earn money, and encourage them to rear Indian breeds of cows instead of foreign ones.
Share Article:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *