Kerala plays matchmaker to smallest cow

In an effort to conserve the smallest cattle breed in the world, Muhamma panchayat in Kerala’s Alappuzha district will set up a natural mating centre exclusively for Vechur cattle at Pathiramanal island. The ‘super speciality’ Vechur cow reproduction centre is the first of its kind to come up in the State. J. Jayalal, president of Muhamma Panchayat, told The Hindu that the centre would be set up on 56 acres of pasture land.

“This is an attempt to promote natural breeding of the Vechur cattle. The Panchayat has been offered a purebred Vechur bull by a farmer. We hope to begin the project by December-end,” Mr. Jayalal said.

According to officials, the bull and the cows will be allowed to roam free and graze in the vast green pastures, enabling natural breeding. Once the cow is impregnated, the animal will be returned to its owner.

“Pathiramanal was once a hotspot for cattle grazing. However, over the years, the place lost its sheen as a sought-after grazing pasture,” Mr. Jayalal said.

This rare breed, which averages 90 cm in height and 130 kg in weight, takes its name from a village of the same name in Kottayam. It was on the brink of extinction, when the Kerala Agriculture University launched a conservation programme about two decades ago.

Around 4,000 heads of Vechur cattle are believed to exist today in Thrissur, Alappuzha, Kottayam, and Ernakulam, among other districts....Read more


Source web page:The Hindu


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