Gir cow or Gyr is one of the principal Zebu breeds originating in India. It is also called Indian cattle or humped cattle. The word Zebu comes from the Arabic word “Zebh” which means “ruminating”. The word cow may have come from the Sanskrit word “gau” or “a mammal that gives milk, a female of any member of certain bovine animals”. Gyr refers to an animal found in northeastern Africa and southeastern Asia (eastern India).
Gir cow or Zebu cattle were first brought to India in the Neolithic period, and it was the primary cattle on which the Indian civilization developed. It is sacred to Indian culture, so much so that it is called “Bharat Milk Cow” (in Hindi, Bảrát milgạc) and the “national animal of India”. In ancient times it was used as beasts of burden and sacrificial animals.
How to identify Gir cow
Identification is based on the characteristics of its head and especially on the white spot on its forehead. Its facial profile is straight and the face is long and slender, with an elongated muzzle. The eye is small, black, and lively.
Cheekbones are pronounced and prominent, but not bulbous. The neck is long and slender. The shoulders are clean with a short back; the loin is short, broad, and full at the base. The tail is curved, the rump wide, and muscular with a large dewlap (genital region). The udder is large and firm, with two pairs of teats.
The legs are slender and the hooves are solid and slightly splayed out. The coat is of moderate length, fine, but not silky, and can be of any color. Skin color varies from light fawn to dark red. Sometimes it has white patches on the cheeks, on the buttocks, or in the groin area. Its horns are small and spiral-twisted (corkscrew-shaped).
Gir cow is usually calm and docile. When in heat, it becomes restless, unusually irritable, and restless. It is very active, affectionate, and gentle with its offspring. Gir cows are often used for milk production or as draft animals (oxen), or for both purposes.
Gir cow survived in the wild, at Gir Forest National Park in Gujarat, preserved by the Indian state. This species is seen as a living symbol of Hinduism. In some villages, it serves as a guardian animal and protects villages against natural disasters like fire, flood, and disease.
The milk of the Gyr is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, but compared to buffaloes and cows, it is not rich in butterfat. It produces about 5 to 7 liters per day. The meat is tender and tasty, with a fat content of 3 to 5%. Gir cowhide is soft and supple, making it suitable for high-quality leather products.
The tail hairs are long and strong, used for the whips of rulers in certain countries. The meat of the Gir cow (along with other zebu species) is used for the production of traditional jellied cow products in India, such as “Gulia” (also called Gulal), “Gootiya” and “Holige”. These are delicacies served during Indian festivals and celebrations.
It has been kept in captivity since the time of the Buddha and is considered sacred by Hindus. A Gir is still kept at Bhanda village near Jodhpur, Rajasthan. The village prays for a healthy Gir cow every day to appease the goddess, Janaki.
Its hump is not common in other cattle breeds. When the hump is cut or punctured, a purulent discharge may occur. If the tissue within the hump or the surrounding area becomes infected, septicemia and a fatal outcome can result.
The Gir cow is susceptible to brucellosis. It requires special management, adequate nutrition, and veterinary care. However, review the full breed profile of the Gir cow in the following table.
Best 12 information
|Breed Name||Gir cow.|
|Breed Class, size||Large.|
|Cow milk Production||5-7 liters per day.|
|Climate Tolerance||Tropical climate.|
|Age at first calving||2 years.|
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