Gir Cow Characteristics – Milk yield and Ghee benefits

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Gir cow is native to India. Gir cow hail from the Saurashtra region of Gujarat State. Gir is considered to be the most gentle of the Zebu breeds. Actually, the name is GIR & not GYR as misspelled by some of the people.

Gir cow is famous for its high yielding milk characteristic. The milk from the Gir cow is considered to be of premium quality due to the presence of A-2 beta-casein protein substance.

It is resistant to hot temperatures and tropical diseases. These cows contribute significantly to the total milk production of Gujarat State.

Gir cow breed is also known as Bhodali, Desan, Gujarati, Kathiawari, Sorthi, and Surti in different parts of the breeding tract.

Gir cattle have been used locally in the improvement of other breeds including the Red Sindhi and the Sahiwal. It is also one of the breeds used in the development of the Brahman breed in North America. In Brazil, the Gir is used as a Bos indicus breed.

Gir cow price is between Rs 50,00 to over Rs 1.5 lakh. There is no right price for the cow. It depends on the purity of the Gir breed.

Physical characteristics of the Gir cow

  1. The coat color of Gir cows varies from shades of red and white to almost black and white or entire red.
  2. Skin color is dominantly red but in a few cows, it is brown.
  3. The forehead is prominent, convex and broad like a bony shield. This overhangs eyes in such a way that they appear to be partially closed and the cow shows sloppy appearance.
  4. The convex forehead of Gir cattle is the most unusual feature of this breed. Their convex forehead acts as a cooling radiator to the brain and pituitary gland.
  5. Ears are long and pendulous and folded like a leaf with a notch at the tip. Ears are an excellent fly and insect swatter.
  6. Horns are curved turning back at the tip. They orient downwards and backward from the base and incline a little upwards and forwards, thereafter.
  7. Gir cows have moderately developed dewlap: males have a large and pendulous sheath.
  8. The tail is long whip-like
  9. Hooves are black and medium-sized
  10. Hair is short and glossy
  11. Skin is loose and pliable
  12. Hipbones are prominent
  13. The body is well proportioned
  14. The udder in cows is well developed and round and teat tips are round.
  15. The average body weight of Gir bull is about 545 kg and 385 kg for cows.
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Production characteristics of the Gir cow

Gir cow is used for good yield Milk and medicinal properties of dung. It can sustain any drought. Most of the characteristics are described below:

1. Milk yield

  • Gir cow milk yield per day is around 6.5 to 12 liters 
  • Total lactation milk yield averaged 1 930 liters in an average lactation period of 300 days.
  • The Gir cow’s milk has an average of 4.69 to 4.97% of fat in its milk.
  • In a year, a cow gives milk for about 10 months.

2. Parturition (Action of giving birth to young)

  • Gir heifer can come to the first estrus around its 20-24 month
  • First calf as early as of 36 months of age.
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Advantages of the Gir cow

  1. An average Gir cow yields about 6.5 to 12 liters per day in good climatic conditions. It might even yield more in its native state of Gujarat.
  2. High milk production capacity. Also, the milk from the cows is considered to be of premium quality due to the presence of A-2 beta-casein protein substance.
  3. It can sustain in different environmental and habitat conditions.
  4. Gir cows can produce more than 10 calves during their life span
  5.  Low maintenance structure needed for farming Gir cows.
  6. The average lifespan of the cow is high (12 to 15 years). Low mortality rate.
  7. The Gir breed has a high fertility rate and can produce up to 10 calves (average) during its lifespan.
  8. This cattle breed shows high resistance to diseases.
  9. The value of the milk in the market is high.
  10. This cow is adaptable to mechanical milking techniques.
  11. Natural mating is preferred while rearing this breed rather than artificial insemination techniques.
  12. The Gir cow breed is estimated to produce 1590 kg of milk per lactation on an average. During the first calving process, 1600 to 1700 kg of milk per lactation is produced, but for mature cows, the milk production is higher around 1800 to 2000 kg per lactation.
  13. The cost of 1 liter of milk varies from place to place (e.g. Rs 50 to Rs 80 per liter) and is comparatively high because the milk is believed to contain two protein groups: the casein and whey protein.
  14. The milk has 80% of casein protein and is specified as A2 milk. By research and observation, it is believed that the consumption of the A2 milk has some improvements in health such as reducing autism, type 1 diabetes, neurological disorders, immunity problems, endocrine disorders and symptoms of schizophrenia.
  15. The Gir cow’s milk has an average of 4.69 to 4.97% of fat in its milk.

Gir Temperament

Gir cow is very social and easy to handle. Gir is considered to be the most gentler breed of cows.

Gir cow spends a lot of time licking, touching and leaning on each other. The bull tends to protect the herd and the whole herd protects the calves. They love being with humans. They adore being brushed and scratched on their big pendulous dewlap, around the heads, and between the back legs.

They are very gregarious and at night form a circle very close together with their calves sleeping under their necks. Allow taming. It may become a friendly man at barn handling.

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Gir cow ghee benefits

Gir Cow Ghee is famous for its qualities to cure many illnesses and a lot of health benefits which is totally contrary to non-native(non-desi) cow ghee properties.

  1. Gir Cow Ghee is rich in  vitamin A2, E, and D with Omega3 properties
  2. Gir Cow Ghee slows down the aging process.
  3. Gir Cow Ghee helps infertility problems, which will enhance the quantity and quality of sperm and ovum.
  4. The presence of A2 vitamin in Gir Cow Ghee makes it capable of treating broken bones.
  5. Gir Cow also contains conjugated linolenic acid (CLA) which is helpful in losing weight.
  6. Gir cow ghee is believed to give a soft voice.
  7. Gir Cow Ghee cures insomnia which will help to get better sleep.
  8. Ghee of Gir is helpful to reduce pain in joints when its massage on joints.
  9. Gir Cow Ghee decreases bad cholesterol.
  10. Ghee is not suggested to persons suffering from heart diseases but on the contrary, Gir Cow Ghee doesn’t cause the blockage and facilitates excellent circulation.
  11. Helps in curing for Ulcers and constipation.
  12. Also, the ghee is suggested for the Obese patients too.
  13. Ghee of Gir is used for the treatment of burns and blisters.
  14. Gir cow ghee increases memory and enhances brain function.
  15. Gir Cow Ghee melts at 37°C and our body temperature is 37.2°C, which is why it gets totally absorbed in the body while commercial ghee melts at approx. 39°C or above which increases BP, diabetes, cholesterol and other diseases.
  16.  The patients who are suffering from piles, fisher, and fistula, Gir cow ghee is recommended.
  17. It contains healthy fat-soluble vitamins that facilitate the absorption of nutrients in foods that are vital for health.
  18. Gir Cow Ghee enhances overall health, longevity, and well-being.

Adaptability 

Gir cattle adaptability in various environmental conditions is quite good. It is seen all over the world in various conditions.  Gir does not have sclerotic which means that it is very resistant to sunlight. Gir has a corporal area bigger than all mammals of the warm area. The difference in size is due to the hump, longer ears, dewlap, tail, and sheath. An increase in body area makes heat dissipation easier.

Gir has surface blood capillaries very evident. Gir breathing in warm days keeps at a normal level. Gir cattle seldom have cases of hyperthermia under the sun. Gir cattle embryos have a low mortality rate on hot days.

Gir cow gestation

A well-fed Gir heifer can come to the first estrus around its 20-24 month and can have its first calf as early as 36 months of age. The gestation period lasts for 280-285 days. After calving the animal gives milk for about 310 days. In a year, a cow gives milk for about 10 months.

A single cow lives for almost 12 to 15 years and can produce 6 to 10 calves.

Gir cow milk yield

Age at first heat and calving averaged 1149 and 1534 days, respectively. The average dry period and inter-calving period were 123 and 423 days, respectively. Heifers received an average of 1.07 inseminations for successful conception whereas cows received 1.64 inseminations per conception.

Total lactation milk yield averaged 206 liters in an average lactation period of 326 days.

The average milk yield in 300 days was 1 930 liters. Milk yield per day of calving interval was 4.98 liters. The average fat percentage in the milk ranged between 4.69±0.04 and 4.97±0.02.

Gir Cow Cost

Gir cow costs between Rs 50,00 to over Rs 1.5 lakh. There is no right price for the cow. It depends on the purity of the Gir breed.

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Disease Pattern in Gir cows

Gir cows are considered hardy with low overall mortality. The highest mortality was observed from birth to one month of age.

Female calves had higher mortality than males during this stage. Mortality was very marginal after one year of age.

Broncho-Pneumonia and Pneumo-Enteritis were the major causes of mortality in calves. A few cases of reproductive disorders i.e. dystocia, abortion, retention of placenta, prolapse have also been noticed in females.

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Interesting facts about Gir cow

According to scientists at Junagadh Agricultural University (JAU)  after their 4 years of research, they have actually found gold in the urine of Gir cows.

The analysis of urine samples of 400 Gir cows done at the Food Testing Laboratory of JAU showed traces of gold ranging from three mg to 10 mg from one-liter urine.

The precious metal was found in ionic form, which is gold salts soluble in water. The gold from urine can be extracted and solidified using chemical processes. The researchers also screened urine samples of camel, buffaloes, sheep, and goat but they did not find any anti-biotic elements. Of the 5,100 compounds found in Gir cow urine, 388 have immense medicinal value that can cure several ailments.

Brief characteristic of the Gir cow

Breed NameGir
Other NameBhodali, Desan, Gujarati, Kathiawari, Sorthi, and Surti
Country/Place of OriginIndia
Breed Purposemilk(dairy)
Breed SizeAbove Medium
Weight
Male  
545 kg
Female385 kg
Milk Yield6.5 to 8 liters 
Skin color red
Climate ToleranceAny climate
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