Amrit Mahal Cattle Breed Facts, Features, Characteristics

Introduction of Amrit Mahal Cattle Breed

Today, let us get into details of Amrit Mahal Cattle Breed. The above picture is from Wikipedia.

Amrit Mahal breed belongs to the State of Mysore in Karnataka. Amrit Mahal is also called as “Doddadana”, “Jawari Dana” and “Number Dana”. In this name “Amrit” means milk and “Mahal” means house.  Amrit Mahal cattle have a majestic appearance. People refer them as the mighty Amrit Mahal breed with swords for horns. They originate from the Hallikar breed cattle which were crossbred with Hagalavadi and Chithradurg. These cattle breeding tracts include Chikmagalur, Chitradurga, Hassan, Shimoga, Tumkur and Davanagere districts of Karnataka. Amrit Mahal was developed from a herd established by the ruler of Mysore state between 1572 and 1636 A D   and was developed from draught cattle breed of southern India with a purpose to increase the milk productivity. Amrit Mahal cattle literally mean the department of milk.

History of Amrit Mahal Cattle Breed:

In mid 1800, the rulers of the erstwhile Mysore State developed Amrit Mahal cattle breed. The cattle breed was to suit the local area. The bullocks were classified as gun bullocks, pack bullocks, plow bullocks, etc. to transport war equipment. The name Amrit Mahal means the department of milk. Unfortunately, these cows being very poor milked-yielders are instead classified as draught breed.

Originally the rulers of Mysore State had started an establishment of cattle breed collected from the prevalent types of cattle breed within the area for the supply of milk and milk products to the palace. The bullocks were utilized for the group of army equipage. The bullocks were classified as gun bullocks, pack bullocks, etc. They attracted great attention during the 19th century on account of their endurance and the speed with which they could move army equipment. It is claimed that they could maneuver a march of hundred miles in 2 1/2 days. The cattle breed of Amrit Mahal establishment originally comprised three distinct varieties: Hallikar, Hagalvadi and Chitaldroog. Prior to 1860 it seems that these 3 varieties were maintained separately from each other. In 1860, the total establishment was liquidated for reasons of economy. By the year 1866, it was realized that an establishment for the supply of cattle breed was necessity, and during the year a herd was again established. Thus, the foundation cattle from which the Amrit Mahal cattle breed was developed were of the Hallikar and closely related types.

Read: Shorthorn Cattle Facts.

Typical breed characteristics of Amrit Mahal Cattle Breed:

The coloring of Amrit Mahal cattle breed is usually some shade of gray varying from almost white to nearly black, and in some cases white-gray markings of a definite pattern are present on the face and dewlap. The muzzle, feet and tail switch are usually black color, but in older animals the color looks lighter. Dark shades on neck, hump, shoulder and hindquarters. Head is very long and tapers towards muzzle. Horns are long and emerge from the top of the poll, fairly close together in backward and upward direction, turn in and finish in sharp black color points – sometime touching each other. This is a prominent draught breed known for its power and endurance and animals are fiery and active. Bullocks are especially suitable for trotting and quick transportation. Cows are poor milkers. The average milk yield per lactation is 572 kg.

The most striking characteristic of these cattle breeds is the formation of the head and horns. The body is dense and muscular with well-formed shoulders and hindquarters. The neck is strong and long. Legs are of standard length and well-proportioned. The fetlocks are very short and the hooves are hard, close together and small. The skin is thin, mellow and jet black color, with short glossy hair.

The cattle breed is maintained in the pasture areas without any restrictions and handling, they show a very impatient, wild and unruly disposition. They are at times hazardous, particularly to strangers. They need very patience and care in training; hard treatment makes them stubborn. Cows are very poor milkers.

  • A well shaped head is long and tapering towards the muzzle.
  • The forehead bulges out slightly and narrow and furrowed in the middle.
  • The horns appear from the top of the head. The horns are close together in an upward and backward direction. They terminate in sharp black color points.
  • These eyes have bloodshot appeared.
  • The ears are small, in horizontal position, yellow color inside and taper to a point.
  • The dewlap is thin and does not extend extremely far.
  • The sheath and navel flap are small and close to the body.
  • The hump is well-developed and shaped in the bulls, with about eight inches height.

Amrit Mahal Breed profile:

               FeatureMale   Female
Height (Avg cm)    132.7        126
Body Length (Avg cm)    134.1        133.6
Heart Girth (Avg cm)    156        149.4
Weight (Avg Kg)    500        318
Birth Weight (Avg Kg)    20.8        19.9

Country: India

Breeding tract:  Shimoga, Tumkur, Chikmagalur, Chitradurga Davanagere and Tumkur districts of Karnataka.

Body color: Body is more massive and of the larger built. Amrit Mahal is usually grey in color, but this varies from white color to almost black.

Markings over body: White-gray color markings are present on face & dewlap. Very dark shades on neck, shoulder, hump, and hindquarters.

Skin: Skin is thin.

Head: The head is very well shaped and it is long and tapering towards the muzzle.

Forehead: Bulges out slightly and is thin and furrowed in the middle.

Face: These Amrit Mahal Cattle mostly have White-gray color markings on their faces.

Ears: Very Small and pointed, structure in a horizontal position. Inside Ears, it will be in yellow color.

Neck: Fairly strong and very long.

Dewlap: Wight-gray color markings are present on Dewlap

Shoulder hump: Hump is well built and shaped, and rise to the height about 8 Inches.

Horns: The horns are close together in an upward and backward direction with sharp points which are usually black color.

Milk production of Amrit Mahal Cow:

Amrit Mahal cows are poor milkers. The average milk yield per lactation is 572 liters.

Read: Boran Cattle Facts.

Amrit Mahal breed Characteristics:

Today, the Amrit Mahal Cattle breed is used for entirely different programs, such as milk production. Although Amrit Mahal Cattle breed are widely used for draft purposes, they require care and patient attention in order to be very easy to handle, or at least manageable. They are well-known for their wild, often defensive dispositions when left out to pasture without human contact. The Amrit Mahal Cattle breed has been known to attack strangers. If handled regularly and kindly, however, these unruly cattle can be hand raised into fine draft animals.

  • The muzzle, feet and tail switch are generally black color, but lighter in older animals.
  • The body is very compact and muscular with well-formed shoulders and hindquarters.
  • The neck is strong and long, back is level, with broad loins and level rump.
  • The legs are of standard length and well-proportioned.
  • The fetlocks are very short and the hooves are hard, close together and small.
  • The skin is thin, mellow and jet black color, with short glossy hair.
  • The average height of this breed is 50 inches to 52 inches.
  • The average lactation yield is about 1000-1200 kilograms.
  • The calving interval is approximately 600 days.

The total body has a powerful, tight, compact appearance. Amrit Mahal Cattle have a pronounced hump, which may grow up to 8 inches in bulls. The legs of the Amrit Mahal Cattle breed are of moderate length, and the hooves are small and very hard. Amrit Mahal, although very poor milkers by Western standards, were once used primarily as milk cows. They have been used as draft animals that are very powerful and speedy, and it is in this capacity that they are most widely used today.

Cost of Amrit Mahal Cattle:

Amrit Mahal breed costs INR 2 to 3 lakhs depending milk production, age, lactation status.

Advantages of Amrit Mahal Cattle Breed:

  • These Cattle are maintained in the pasture areas without any restrictions and handling.
  • They are intelligent and very highly trainable, though impatient.
  • They are observed to have great endurance
  • Once they are trained they are very fine bullocks, particularly for quick transportation.
  • These breed cattle are very popular for hard work and obedience to its owner.

Read: Growing Noni Fruit.

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