Complete information on Animal Husbandry in India


Animal husbandry includes domestication of animals to obtain animal products like milk, meat, wool, skin and Hyde etc. and to use them for draught and transportation. These animals are cow, buffalo, goat, sheep, pig, camel, horse, mule, donkey and yak etc. India has about 500 species of animals of which only few are domesticated for different uses.


India has about 20 per cent of the world’s cattle population. These animals are the backbone of the country’s agriculture and have significant con­tribution in rural economy. Bullocks have major role in agricultural operations and rural goods movement and transportation while cows provide nutritious milk to enrich Indian diet.


These are also good source of hides and skins for leather industry which earns substantial foreign exchange. Also cow dung is a good source of manure and domestic fuel.

According to 1997 live stock census there were 198.9 million cattle in the country of which 42 per cent were bullocks, 32 per cent cows and 26 percent young livestock. There has been 28.1 per cent increase in the number of cattle between 1951 and 1997.

At state-level Bihar has the largest percentage (12.37) of cattle in the country followed by Uttar Pradesh (10.06), Madhya Pradesh (9.80) Maharashtra (9.09) and West Bengal (8.97). These five states together provide about 50 per cent of the country’s cattle number. Sikkim (0.07%), Arunachal Pradesh (0.23), Nagaland (0.19), Meghalaya (0.38), Manipur (0.26), and Tripura (0.62) have less than 1 per cent of the cattle in the country.

The density of cattle population per 100 hec­tares of total cropped area in India is about 105 which vary from 295 in Jammu and Kashmir to 32 cattle in Punjab. Here six states of the country (Manipur, Jammu and Kashmir, Megh Bihar. Himachal Pradesh and Tripura are characterized by the highest density (over 200 cattle/100 of gross cropped area) of cattle. Similarly states (Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan Gujarat) record the lowest cattle density (less 80 cattle/100 ha of gross cropped area). Remain’ states fall under the medium cattle dense category.


Cattle population in India belongs to differ: breeds. These include: (i) milch breed, (ii) draw’ breed, and (iii) mixed or general breed.

1. Millch Breeds

Here cows yield higher quantity of milk but the bullocks are not of good quality. Some important milch breeds include Gir, Sindhi, Sahiwal, Tharparkar and Deoni. The Gir breed is a native of Saurashtra ‘ which yields about 3175 kg of milk per lactation period. Sahiwal breed belongs to Montgomery dis­trict of Pakistan yielding 2725-4535 kg of milk per lactation period.

The Sindhi and Red Sindhi breeds hail from the Sindh area of Pakistan producing about 5440 kg of milk per lactation period. The Deoni breed belongs to the western and north-western parts of Andhra Pradesh where cow yields 1580 kg of milk; per lactation period. The Tharparkar breed is also a native of Sindh area of Pakistan whose cow yields 1815 to 2720 kg of milk per lactation period.


2. Draught Breeds.

Here the cows are poor milkers but the bul­locks are excellent draught animals. This group consists of (a) short-horned, white or light grey colour with coffin-shaped skull and face slightly convex in profile, e.g. Nagori and Bachaur; (b) the lyre horned grey coloured with wide forehead, promi­nent orbital arches, flat or dished profile, deep body and powerful draught capacity, e.g., Kathiawar, Malvi and Kherigarh; (c) the Mysore type character­ised by prominent forehead with long and pointed horns which rise close together, e.g. Mallikar, Amritmahal, Kangyam and Killari; and (d) small black, red or dun coloured with large patches of white markings, found in the foot hill region of the Himalayas, e.g., Ponwar and Siri.

3. Dual Purpose Breeds

Here cows are fairly good yielders of milk and the bullocks are good for draught purposes. The group includes: (a) short-horned, white or light grey cattle with long coffin-shaped skull and face slightly


convex in profile, e.g., Mariana, Ongale, Gaolo, Rath, Dangi, Krishna Valley and Nimari etc; and (b) lyre-horned, grey cattle, deep bodied with wide forehead, prominent arches, flat or dished in profile and good draught capacity, e.g., Tharparkar and Kankrej.

The Mariana breed is very popular in Haryana, Delhi and western Uttar Pradesh. Bullocks are strong and useful for draught purposes and cows yield up to 5 kg. of milk per day. The Ongale belongs to Guntur and Nellore districts of Andhra Pradesh whose bullocks are heavy ploughing and carting.

The Gaolo breed is indigenous to Nagpur and Wardha districts of Maharashtra and Chhindwara district of Madhya Pradesh whose cows yield about 7.5 kg of milk every day. Rath breed is an admixture of the Mariana, Nagori and Mewati breeds. Its cows give up to 5 kg of milk per day and the bullock is fit for draught work. The Dangi breed comes from Nashik, Thane, Ahmadnagar and Kolaba districts of Maharashtra.

The Krishna Valley is very popular breed of north Karnataka and southern Maharashtra. Its cows provide about 916 kg of milk per lactation period while bullocks are good for agricultural work. The Nimari breed is very common in East and West Nimar districts of Madhya Pradesh whose cows yield about 915 kg of milk per lactation period.


The Kankrej breed is indigenous to the Gujarat plains whose cows provide 4.5 to 6.5 kg of milk per day and the bullocks are sturdy for draught work.

In order to improve the breed of the Indian cattle 7 central cattle breeding farms have been established. Some of the exotic breeds yielding higher quantity of milk like Jersey, Holstein-Friesian, Swiss-Brown, Gurnsey, German Fleckvich and Ayreshire have been introduced in the country which is becoming popular amongst dairy farmers.

The maximum lactation milk yield of these cross breeds has been 6,000 kg While the average milk-yield is about 2,600 kg.

Under the Intensive Cattle Development Pro­gramme being implemented since 1964-65, 62 projects have been set up in different parts of the country. Increasing attention is being focused on the development of fodder and feed for which 17 seed produc­tion farms for improved varieties of fodder crops have been set up.

Animal Binding Centers have been set up in different parts of the country where frozen semen of high pedigreed cows are being produced to improve the breed of the indigenous cattle. One such center at Salon (Rae Bareli) is at present breeder and producer of top quality frozen semen of cattle and buffalo for which about 90 bulls have been imported from Holland, Germany, Israel and Sweden.

The variety of the semen available at the center consists of Pure Holstein Friesian semen (German/Danish origin), cross bred semen (Holstein/ Sahiwal), Pure Jersey semen (Danish origin), and Murrah buffalo semen. The center has develops unique system of fodder protection by which fodder is preserved for months without diluting nutrition’s.

Buffaloes are an important source of ii supply in India contributing about 54 per cent of country’s total production of milk although constitute only 17 percent of the country’s total stock.

The dairy industry is today much more pendent on buffaloes. Besides milk male buff are excellent draught animals especially for India has about half of the buffalo’s world. Their number has increased from 434 lal 1951 to 899.2 lakh in 1997 depicting an increase 107 per cent during the last 46 years.

Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of buffaloes followed Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat Punjab, Maharashtra, Bihar and Haryana. Nine states belonging to the warmer regions to provide about 83 per cent of the buffalo’s country.

The Indian buffaloes belonging to better quality breeds include Murrah, Bhadawari, Jaffarabadi, \Surti, Mehsana, Nagpuri, Rohtak, Nili Ravi and V Deccan breeds etc. Murrah is an indigenous breed of Rohtak, Hissar and Gurgaon districts of Haryana; I Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.

These animals have short horns and massive body. The average lactation yield ranges from 1360 to 2270 kg. Bullocks are suitable for draught and farm-work. The Bhadawari with light-colour is an indigenous breed of Etawah and j Agra districts of Uttar Pradesh and adjoining parts of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

It yields 3 to 4 kg. j of milk per day and its male is good for farm-work. The Jaffarabadi breed has huge size and yields 2450 kg of milk per lactation period. It is associated with the Gir forest region of Gujarat. The Suri breed has j a medium size and belongs to the plains of Gujarat. J Its average milk-yield is 1655 kg per lactation pe­riod. It is also good for draught purposes.

The Nagpuri has a small size yielding 5.5 to 7.2 kg of milk per day. It belongs to the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. Its j male is good for farm-work. The Nili-Ravi breed hails from Firozpur district of Punjab and is an excellent draught animal. On an average it produces 1585 kg of milk per lactation period. The Deccan breed is poor milkier but has more strength for heavy cartage.

India, at present, is the largest producer of milk in the world. Her total production of milk is 78.2 million tons (of. 81.4 million tons in 2000- 01) in which buffaloes contributed 53.8 per cent, cows 40.5 per cent and goat 4.3 per cent. Uttar Pradesh, with 18.11 per cent of the total milk produc­tion of the country, occupies first place followed by Punjab (9.83%), Rajasthan (9.21%), Maharashtra (7.46%), Madhya Pradesh (7.24%), and Gujarat (6.73%).

Andhra Pradesh (6.44%), Haryana (6.02%), Tamil Nadu (5.68%) and Karnataka (5.63%). These 10 states together contribute about 82 per cent of the total milk production of the country.

In India major portion of the milk production is on the household basis. The average annual milk yield is about 175 kg per cow and 504 kg per buffalo and 55 kg per goat. Contrary to it the average milk yield per cow in Netherlands is 4220 kg, U.K. 3950 kg, Denmark 3905 kg, Switzerland 3650 kg and New Zealand 2724 kg. Because of this lower productivity the Indian cows are known as ‘tea cup cow’. At present there are 238 dairy plants in the country of which 126 are liquid milk plants, 75 pilot milk schemes and 37 milk product factories.

The average daily through-put of milk of all plants was 92.48 lakh liters (cf. 16 lakh liters in 1967-68) in 1984. Main dairy schemes of the country are func­tioning at Guntur and Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh; Barauni, Bhagalpur, GayaandPatna in Bihar; Anand, Kaira, Junagadh, Mehsana and Rajkot in Gujarat; Hissar in Haryana; Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir; Kodapannakuum, Ollukora, Calicut, Palghat and Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala; Bangalore, Hubli, Dharwar and Ku jige in Karnataka; Bhopal and Indore in Madhya Pradesh; Mumbai, Kolhapur, Pune and Nashik in Maharashtra; Cuttack in Orissa; Amritsar, Bathinda and Chandigarh in Punjab; Jaipur, Jodhpur, Ajmerand Kota in Rajasthan; Coimbatore, Kodaikanal, Chennai, Thanjavur, Madurai and Tiruchchirappalli in Tamil Nadu; Agra, Aligarh, Dehradun, Kanpur, Lucknow and Meerut in Uttar Pradesh; and Hugli, Durgapur and Haringhata in West Bengal. Each of these plants has an average through-put of 1000 liters of milk every day.

The milk product plants are located at a number of places; the important being Anand, Mehsana, Ahmadabad, Rajkot, Vadodara, Delhi, Chandigarh, Bikaner, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Amritsar, Moradabad, ; Meerut, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Jalgaon, Kolhapur, Hubli, Dharwad, Pondicherry, Hyderabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Kanniyakumari, Vijayawada, Rohtak and Bhiwani.

These produced about 50 tonnes of milk powder per day. The creameries are working at Aligarh, Barauni, Junagarh, Kolkata, Anand, Delhi, Mehsana, Amritsar and Rajkot. Their installed ca­pacity is 40 tones’ of milk per day.

Of the total milk production, about 39.8% is used as fluid milk, 38.7% to manufacture ghee, 8.9% for curd, 6.1 % for butter, 4.8% for khoum, 0.5% for | ice-cream, 0.7% for cream and 0.5% for malai, chhenna etc.

Due to warm climate and lack of refrigeration facility ghee is the popular means of long time preservation and long distance transporta­tion. With the improvement in transport and refrig­eration facilities large quantity of fluid milk is now being transported to long distances to meet the demands of the urban areas.

As a result of dairy development the per capital availability of milk has risen from I07gm/day during 1969-70 to 202 gm/day during 1996-97 (total production being 69 million tons during 1996- 97). It is as high as 370 gm in the Punjab, 227 gm in Uttar Pradesh, and 185 gm in Rajasthan and as low as 35 gm in Kerala, 35 gm in Assam and 38 gm in West Bengal.

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