The Gir Cow And Its Importance

The Gir Cow And Its Importance

The Gir or Gyr is one of the principal Zebu breeds originating in India. It has been used locally in the improvement of other breeds including the Red Sindhi and the Sahiwal.

Gir cow being a Bos indicus breed is resistant to hot temperatures and tropical diseases. It is very known for its milk producing qualities and is often bred with Friesian cows to make the Girolando breed.

Characteristic Features

The Gir is distinctive in appearance, typically having a rounded and domed forehead (being the only ultra convex breed in the world), long pendulous ears and horns which spiral out and back.

Gir are generally mottled with the color ranging from red through yellow to white, black being the only unacceptable color. They originated in southwest India in the state of Gujarat and have since spread to neighboring Maharashtra and Rajasthan.The breed is known for its distinct appearance, height & weight and natural beauty which makes it very different from the Jersey cows etc.

The females average 385 kg with a height of 130 cm and the males average 545 kg with a height of 135 cm. The average milk yield for the Gir is 1590 kg per lactation, with a record production of 3182 kg at 4.5% fat in India. In Brazil they average 3500 kg per lactation, with a world record production of 17.120 kg by the cow Profana de Brasília.
The Unfortunate and Pathetic Truth of GIr Cow

The breed is today on the verge of extinction from India as people of India are using more of buffalo milk then the cow’s milk. Finding it economically difficult for the people to keep a gaay in their herd.. High quality gir gaay are available in the district of Junagadh, Bhavnagar, Amreli, and Rajkot in the state of Gujarat.

Gir cows are exported to Brazil for the global supply of improved breed of cows for mass production of milk and meat. CROSS BRED cattle yield higher milk, but are difficult to maintain because they are prone to diseases, cannot be used as draught animals and their lactation reduces with each generation.

On the other hand, indigenous breeds are fully adapted to Indian conditions, yield milk of a higher fat content and the bulls can be used as draught animals.

JASDAN (RAJKOT): Given that the Gir cow is indigenous to Gujarat, local business should have been milking it to earn foreign exchange. But it seems far away Brazil is doing a better of this.

The South American country today has around 50 lakh heads of this unique breed known for high milk production. Gujarat is estimated to have only around 3,000 pure breed Gir cows left, according to Satyajit Khachar, scion of the erstwhile princely state of Jasdan and a known breeder of the cow.

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