Gir cows are good milk producers among indigenous cattle. The breed is also known as “Bhodali”, “Desan”, “Gujarati”, “Kathiawari”, “Sorthi”, and “Surati”. The breeding tract of the breed includesSaurashtra region of Gujarat. Gir is named after Gir forest, the geographical area of origin of the breed. Bullocks can drag heavy loads on all kinds of soils, be it sandy, black or rocky. This is a world-renowned breed known for its tolerance to stress conditions. Having faced scarcity for a numbers of years, it has the capacity of yielding more milk with less feeding and is resistant to various tropical diseases. Due to their special qualities, animals of this breed have been imported by countries like Brazil, USA, Venezuela and Mexico, and are being bred there successfully. The animals are of red colour though some animals are speckled red. Horns are peculiarly curved. Starting at the base of the crown they take a sideways downward and backward curve and again incline a little upward and forward taking a spiral inward sweep, ending in a fine taper- thus giving a half moon appearance. Long and pendulous ears are folded like a leaf. Ears hang all the time and their inside face forward. Animals are maintained in semi-intensive management system which are largely bred by professional breeders known as Rabaris, Bhanoads, Maldharis, Ahirs and Charans. Average lactation yield of Gir cow is 2110 kg (ranges from 800 to 330 kg) with an average milk fat of 4.6 % (ranges from 3.9 to 5.1 %).
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Compiled by Animal Breeding Group, NDDB from Information System on Animal Genetic Resources of India (AGRI-IS)- developed at National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources, Karnal, Haryana, India.