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Cattle Breeds in India: List of Best Animal Breeds in India

India boasts a diverse range of cattle breeds, including Bos indicus (zebu) types like Gir and Sahiwal, each uniquely adapted to local environments and serving vital roles in agriculture and culture.

Shivangi Rai
These cattle breeds have developed and improved over many generations. (Image Courtesy- Pixabay)
These cattle breeds have developed and improved over many generations. (Image Courtesy- Pixabay)

Choosing the top six cattle breeds in India is a challenging task due to the presence of around 40 distinct cattle breeds and 13 buffalo breeds.

These breeds have developed and improved over many generations. Their survival can be attributed to their capacity to adapt to tough weather conditions and thrive even when fed with lower-quality food.

Considering these factors, here are the six most prominent cattle breeds in India:

  1. Gir- Also known as Kathiawar, Surati, Desan, Gujarati, Sorthi, and Bhadawari, the Gir breed originates from the Gir forest in South Kathiawar. They are found in Maharashtra and areas adjacent to Rajasthan. Gir cattle have dark red or chocolate brown patches on their skin, and curved horns resembling a half moon, and they typically produce 1200-1800 kgs of milk per lactation. Their notable feature is their strong disease resistance.

  2. Red Sindhi- Originating from Karachi and Hyderabad in the region of undivided India (now Pakistan), Red Sindhi cattle are also found in organized farms in India. They are mostly red with white stripes, and they yield between 1250 and 1800 kgs of milk during lactation. Additionally, they are used as bullocks for fieldwork.

  1. Sahiwal- This indigenous dairy breed comes from the Montgomery region of undivided India. Also known as Teli, Lambi Bar, Multani, and Lola (referring to their loose skin), Sahiwal cattle have reddish dun or pale red skin, sometimes with white patches. They are known for their loose skin and can produce an average of 1400 to 2500 kgs of milk per lactation.

  2. Hallikar- Originally from Vijayanagarm (now in Karnataka), Hallikar cattle are usually grey or dark grey in colour. They have a medium-sized, compact, muscular build with prominent foreheads, strong legs, and long horns. Hallikar is renowned for its trotting ability and capacity for draught work.

  3. Amritmahal- Hailing from Chitradurga district of Karnataka, Hassan, and Chikmagalur, Amritmahal cattle are typically grey in colour, ranging from white to black shades. They possess long horns with sharp black points, and their muzzle, tail, and feet are black.

  4. Khillari- This breed is from Sholapur and Sitapur districts of Maharashtra and shares similarities with the Hallikar breed. Khillari cattle have skin colour variations between grey and white and distinct long black horns that curve forward. They are known for their strength and speed.

These cattle breeds have evolved over generations, showcasing their adaptability to harsh climates and ability to perform well on low-quality food, which has enabled them to thrive in various conditions across India.

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