Why you should not buy a vechur dwarf cow

Indian Cow tail almost touching the ground

What makes vechur cow so special?

Vechur is the first endemic cattle of Kerala as registered with (ICAR) Indian Council of Agricultural Research. By 1970’s less than 100 cows were left, so it was in the extinct list. Normally when this happens people are ready to pay a hefty amount to keep the specimen of the species. They are also very small in size, docile and adorable.

If you are looking forward to own a vechur cow, then be aware of a few issues you may encounter

Coorg Dwarf Cow which looks similar to vechur cows of kerala
Dwarf Cow of Coorg(Virajpet)

Vechur cows: Where and how to acquire one

Ideally you should avoid cattle traders or middlemen dealing in Vechur cows. It is very rare to get pure Vechur cows. Look for farmers in Thrissur area who own cows and better if they own a bull.

Market price for pure Vechur cows range from 50,000 to 1.5 lakhs. There are also some traders willing to offer cows for 30000 to 50000 rupees on online trading websites. Low priced cows will have some genetic defects like a small tail, less developed hump, dewlap not very prominent. This is because either the bull or cow would be a hybrid or the earlier generation would have hybrid or western cow genes. Look for farmers or hobbyist and source cow from them.

There are many dwarf cows in India mostly on the western ghats. They were once upon a time called (sahya pashu – cows only found on sahyadri hills). Cows and animals tend to become small in hilly hot and humid areas.

List of Dwarf Indian Cows found in India

  1. PUNGANUR (Chittoor district)
  2. Vechur (Vaikam)
  3. Kasargod Dwarf (Kasargod)
  4. Malnad Gidda (Manglore to kerala border)
  5. High Range Dwarf (Idduki)
  6. Kuttampuzha Kullan (Ernakulam – Idduki border)
  7. Palakad ottapalam Dwarf (Kanjikode area, Palakad)
  8. Coorg Dwarf (Virajpet)
  9. Vadakara Dwarf – This cows are not as small as Vechur.
  10. Orissa also host small cows. Not sure about it.

All the above mentioned breeds are on the verge of extinction. If you plan to get any of the above cow please make sure you take your cow to mate with the same breed bull. If not then you are contributing to it’s extinction. Come on it is just once in a year. Generally you would spend money on so many unnecessary things.

Short Jersey calf with no hump
Hump less Short Jersey Calf

Indian cows will have the same quality of milk (A2 milk). Milk and fat quality varied as per local habitat and diet. So if you are looking for unadulterated milk for home consumption and good quality dung and urine then you can procure any of the above cows and not run after vechur cows.

Cow in the below image is a Coorg Dwarf (Virajpet) cow. No one can defy if I say it is a vechur cow. Cattle traders often lookout for coorg or other dwarf cows similar to vechur and sell them at exorbitant price.

This is a Short Jersey and not vechur cow although it is small in size. If you notice there is no hump.

Sosamma Iype is the brainchild behind reviving the vechur cow along with few others. She was the one who got the cows back from the extinct list. Today the vechur cows population is estimated to be around 3000 cows. However I will still consider it endangered because unlike olden times people don’t want breeder bulls and oxen, they have become useless.

AI (Artificial Insemination) is the option considered by most. where does the semen come from? KAU university.

Is there a account for line breeding and in breeding in vechur cows? No.

Some time back KAU stopped the semen supply completely. Now they send it only to selected government vets. This semen is being used on western breeds and other cross breed cows because of the request from farmers. So after few years how do you recognise and list pure vechur cow? This will all be a disaster.

I have encountered vechur semen being used for short jersey cow few weeks back.

There may be people delicately working in KAU currently. But after Sosamma Iype and others are gone. What will be the state of the government farm? It is a fact that government farms cannot manage even less than 100 cows in a good way. No matter how much funds you invest or feed the cows properly “there is no substitute for personal touch”. Some one should connect and interact with cows, or else you leave them to graze through the day and never tie them up. Also let them rest in a big open shed during night.

Does Vechur Cows Milk really have Medicinal Qualities?

All Indian indigenous cattle have higher fat and total solids in the milk compared to crossbred cows. But in dwarf cows the size of fat globules is small which makes it easy for human body to digest. In that case Goats milk is superior than vechur because size of fat globule in goats is much smaller compared to dwarf cows.

Milk fat globules are surrounded by phospholipid membrane which is essential for the development of brain and nerve tissue. This factor also added to the high demand for vechur cows. Source

Also read why you should consume only A2 Milk of Indian Cows.

Zebu Cattle with not very prominent hump
Kasaragod Cow with hump

Vechur or characteristics of Indigenous Indian Cow

  • Hump – For cows hump is not very prominent(In case of calf it should be at least visible) but bulls it is huge and clearly visible just after their birth.
  • Dewlap – Larger the dewalp, better the resistance power of the cow towards parasites and diseases.
  • Skin color – (uniform color was prefered even during olden times, Most Indian breeds have by default uniform color).
  • Forehead – Forehead of Indian cows bulges out slightly on the eye area. Also it will be narrow and furrowed in the middle. It is clearly visible on bulls. Gir cow is the only exception, it has a massive convex forehead.
3 months old kasargod bull with visible hump
3 months old Kasargod bull with visible hump
  • Hooves – Hooves of Indian cows are small in size and the rear hooves split should be very close to each other. It should not be wide open. Indian cattle have developed strong hooves to walk on uneven and rocky terrain.
No visible gap between Rear Hooves of a Indian cattle
Rear Hooves should not have visible gap
  • Tail – Tail should almost touch the ground, however if it is a calf then the tail will be small but should be at least below the knee.
Indian Cow tail almost touching the ground
Tail almost touching the ground
  • Dung – All Indigenous Indian cows have semi solid form of dung. Dung will be covered by thin mucous which makes the dung to not stick on the skin of cows and even human hands when handling. It should have a pleasant smell and not foul odour.
Mucous coat on Indian Cow Dung
Mucous cover on Zebu Cattle Dung
Mucous coat on Cow Dung
Mucous covered on Dung
  • Oily appearance and not Fury Texture – Cows skin should have short glossy hair with greasy appearance which acts as an insect repellent. When you rub your hands on the cow, oil should stick to your hands. It should not have fur like texture on the skin, it is a sign of western breed from cooler climate.
Oily Skin of Indian Cattle
sebum glands secrete oil on Cow skin
  • Horn – All cows have horns and it keeps growing as they age, there may be some exceptional case. Some people state vechur cows have very small horn or almost negligible. But that is not true. check the below image from Ilakkangal movie of 80’s. It is definitely a vechur cow. It would be around 15 years old.
  • Round Back – All well feed Indian Cows will have round back. Western or crossbred cows have different bone structure. They also tend to have huge stomach with never ending appetite. Some lactating Indian cows will not have round back however they will gain weight once lactation stops.
well feed Indian cattle have round back
Round back of Indian Zebu Cattle
  • Surya Ketu Nadi – This is not visible though naked eyes. But you can feel it on the backbone of any pure Zebu cattle(Indian Holy Cow). When you move your fingers through the backbone starting from the hump you should be able to feel a small cavity on the backbone denoting the nerve. This nerve is said to give urine, milk, dung etc.. the pure qualities. It helps in absorbing energy from sun, moon and universe as per ayurvedic texts. On a western or hybrid cow backbone will be visible through naked eyes and no nerve can be felt even after touching.

Once you have identified the looks and animal structure. Time to get into real business- Touch the cow, feed here some grass, also check if she is allowing to touch her udder. If possible take here for a short walk and see if she is calm and ready to graze.

If you have no prior experience in handling cows then you should consider learning more about cows. How to manage them and feeding. Stay with some one who can guide you. If you plan to open a dairy farm then go ahead no need of all this because you are limited to cow shed and even feed is hay and commercial cattle feed.

It is little difficult to raise Indian Sacred Cows for Dairying. There are lot of complication involved unlike commercial dairy cows.

Credits & References

  • Vechur (Vaikam) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vechur_Cattle
  • PUNGANUR (Chittoor district) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punganur#The_Punganur_cow
  • Kasargod Dwarf (Kasargod) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kasaragod_Dwarf_cattle
  • Malnad Gidda – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malnad_Gidda
  • High Range Dwarf (Idduki) – http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/endemic-species-of-cow-faces-extinction/article857450.ece

58 Replies to “Why you should not buy a vechur dwarf cow”

  1. Hi
    I have been wanting to buy a cow for a long, long time. I have zero experience in handling cows. I have fed stray cows a number of times, have touched a cow a few times. I live in Hyderabad. Please tell me which type of cow is suited for me. Please also let me know where to get authentic info on handling cows.

  2. Great! Thank you so much for this valuable information!
    I am very much interested to keep a vechur cow. Please let me know from where I can buy one pure vechur cow and bull.

    Thank you!

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