What Is the History of Deoni Cattle?
Deoni cattle is a native breed of India. It is also known by some other names. Such as Deccani, Dongari, Dongarpati, or Surti. The breed originated in the taluks of Basavakalyan, Bidar, and Bhalki of Bidar district in Karnataka and adjoining Latur district of Maharashtra state.
Deoni cattle breed comes from the combination of several races including the Gir breed, dangi, and the local cattle, it is a breed that has been perfected in the last 2 centuries. The formation of the head and ears of Deoni cattle, and also of the horns to a certain extent is quite evident of a contribution from the Gir type cattle. They also show a great similarity in general conformation and ruggedness to the Dangi cattle of Bombay State, an area that is not far from the Deoni cattle breeding area.
This breed is known to be both draft animals and good milk yielders. The cattle breed is now quite popular in the tracts of Telangana and adjoining districts of Maharashtra and Karnataka.
In India, the Deoni cattle are usually kept by grazing in fallow lands, drylands or bunds of the farms. The breed is well adapted to their breeding tract and Indian climate, and they constitute an important cattle genetic resource of India.
What Are the Characteristics of Deoni Cattle?
The Deoni is a medium-sized animal with good depth, short limbs, well-developed hump; well-formed and fleshy thighs. The structure of its body denotes strength. Their body is moderately developed and symmetrical with distinct muscles.
The Deoni cattle are found in three color variations. These variations are:
- white body with irregular black spots (Shevera);
- clear white with black color at the sides of the face (Wannera);
- clear white with black spots on the lower side of the body (Balankya).
Their skin is thick and loosely attached to the body.
The head of Deoni cattle is masculine, alert, broad, and slightly convex. Their head is completely white in the Balankya strain and black and white in Shevera and Wannera strain. This breed has horns in both the male and female, which are medium in size, come out behind the eyes, and have an upward direction. In addition, the horns have a strange peculiarity in the tip, which is thick. While the ears are usually drooping, there are some animals that the ear has a unique curvature. The chest is deep and wide.
The hump is massive and well developed in males and small in females. The neck is short, strong, and well developed. Dewlap is thick, pendulous, and muscular with folds. It is more pendulous in males than in females. The chest is deep and wide. The skin of these animals is thick and loosely attached to the body. The tail is long-reaching below the hock with black and white switch. The udder is well attached and medium in size with squarely placed black teats. Bulls are characterized by blackish scrotums of a good size. The animals are docile and calm. The hair is soft and short. The cows have a fairly well-developed udder. The hooves are well-made and shapely and of black color.
The average body weight of Deoni cattle ranges from 620-680 kg in bulls and from 432-485 kg in cows.
Deoni cattle are docile and calm breed. They are very hardy and the bullocks are very good for heavy work.
Production and fertility
Cows of this breed are moderately good milkers, while the average milk production goes from 600 to 1.500 kg in 300 days of lactation. The average fat content in the milk of Deoni cows was 4,3-4,5 percent.
Cows showed their first estrus at the average age of 36 months. The average age at first calving was 46 months. The birth weight is around 23 kg. The service period and inter-calving period averaged 170 and 447 days.
Crossbreeding with HF resulted in high producing F1 cows which also have improved fertility parameters. In a few animals, shorter lactation length is a common problem that ought to be eliminated through selective breeding.
Deoni bullocks are good for heavy work and are particularly suitable for intensive cultivation. A bullock pair was able to pull the load of 10-11 quintals using a wooden heavy cart with wooden wheels on the kutcha (muddy) road. They are able to pull a maximum of 28-30 quintals of load using a light steel bullock cart with tire wheels on tar roads for about 10-15 km.
The lifespan of Deoni cows is around 15 years.
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