Gir cow is a principal Zebu native milk cattle breed found in India. Native to Gir hill hills it is found in many regions of India. It is popular in district of Gujarat, Junagadh, Rajkot, Kathiawar and Bhavnagar. Other locations are Surthi, Guajarati,Desan,Bhodali,Sorthi and Kathiawari.
The hardy cattle is rugged, tough and tolerate stressful conditions. It thrives in difficult temperatures and highly resistant to diseases. Apart from domestic use in milk and meat production they have good export value.
Countries with Large Gir Population
The breed is indigenous however there are large populations outside India. Countries with Gir cattle ranches are Venezuela, United States of America, Mexico and Brazil.yr
Countries with Gyr Cattle
- district of Gujarat, Junagadh
- Sorthi and Kathiawari.
United States of America
Conservation efforts at genetic improvement of the breed is undoing. This is aimed at genetic characteristics, crossbreeding of exotic breeds with Gir. The researchers are focused on breeds suitable for existing environmental conditions, resistance to tropical diseases, hot temperature, and better meat and milk productions.
Improvement of the breed include North American Brahman breed, local Indian Breeds of Sahiwal and Red Sindhi.
The country of origin of Gir cattle is India and widely distributed in Gujarat, India, Brazil. The cow is used primarily for Dairy milk production. In different countries Gir cattle is known by different names like Gyr, Desan, Sorthi, Surti, Gujarati, Bhodali and Kathiawari.
Gir cow is the only ultra-convex breed in the world. It has a distinctive appearance with the round domed head, long pendulous ears horns that spiral out backwards. They have different mottled color range from white, brown, yellow or red.
Calves weigh 20kg while bull’s average weight is 540kg height 140cm, cow average weight 380kg height 130cm. The average milk yield of Gir is 1500 kg per lactation – record breaking 3500kg per lactation in Brazil. The cattle is not on the endangered species because approximately over 7 million population is found in Brazil.
- Convex forehead with long face
- well set back horns with thick base
- long pendulous and large ears
- dark pigmented (black not acceptable) short glossy hair loose pliable skin
- yellow, red or white color
- Black hard feet
- Hooded dark pigmented eyes
- Strong penniculus muscled sheath
- High fertility
- Sebum secretion on skin, Marbled hump
Gir cow is gentle has good temperament easy to herd. They are gregarious at night and tend to cluster close together. The skin secrets a greasy substance that acts like insect repellant and their large ears is used to drive away insects or flies.
Common diseases in Gyr cattle are Pneumo-Enteritis,Broncho-Pnemonia. More include sudden abortion, placenta retention, dystokia, untreated abrasions.
- Placenta retention
- Untreated abrasions
Mortality of Gir herd
Although hardy mortality pattern of Gir herd in a population of 119 cattle for birth to one month old are 11 deaths 7- 16 %. Deaths in 1-3 months old cattle are 0-2%, 3-6 months 0%. 6-12 months 1-8%. Mortality for 1-2 year olds are 1-4%, above 2 years old. 1-3% in most cases of cattle bellow 2 years old there is a higher prevalence of more deaths in male cattle than the female.
The Gir cow has high milk production and is perfect for dairy industry.