The Hariana breed, found in Haryana and eastern Punjab, is one of the 75 known breeds of zebu (Bos indicus).Zebu is split about evenly between African and South Asian breeds. Zebu cattle are thought to be derived from Asian aurochs, sometimes regarded as a subspecies, Bos primigenius namadicus Wild Asian aurochs disappeared during the time of the Indus Valley Civilisation from its range in the Indus River basin and other parts of South Asia possibly due to interbreeding with domestic zebu and resultant fragmentation of wild populations due to loss of habitat.
Distribution and Habitat
The home tract of this. breed is the areas covered by the districts of Rohtak,
Hissar, Gurgaon and part of Kamal in the Haryana State, and the Union Territory
of Delhi. A large number of animals of pure Hariana breed are available in
Jhajjar and Rohtak tehsils of Rohtak district also. The cattle found in Hissar
district with loose thick skin, long sheath, large dewlap, long and thick horns
and big drooping ears should be differentiated from the pure Hariana breed
met within the tehsils of Jhajjar and Rohtak of Rohtak district, which have
a long and narrow face, with flat forehead and a well-marked bony prominence
at the centre of the poll. They have short horns, small ears, thin skin close to
the body and small dewlap and small sheath. The breed is also available in,
more or less, pure form in Jind and Loharu (Haryana), Nabha and Patiala
(Punjab), Jaipur, Jodhpur, Alwar and Bharatpur (Rajasthan) and also in Meerut,
Bulandshahar and Aligarh (western Uttar Pradesh). A large pure herd of this
breed is being maintained at the Government Livestock Farm, Hissar (Haryana).
Soil and Climate
The soil, in general, is firm clay. In Rohtak district it is mostly light-coloured
alluvial loam, and in Hissar, soft loam with reddish tinge, interspersed with sand
and clay. In some areas, sand hills are present. All soils give excellent crop
returns when irrigated.
The climate of Haryana State is relatively dry, average annual rainfall being
about 46 cm. Rains usually occur during the months of July, August and
September. During the summer months, day temperatures may go as high as
46CO. whereas in winters (December, January and February) the minimum
and maximum temperatures may approximately be 5° and 24°C respectively.
The Hariana is one of the most important dual-purpose breeds of cattle in
northern India. The bullocks are good work-animals, particularly for fast ploughing and road transport. The cows are good milkers and for this reason they are
annually ,exported in large numbers, from breeding areas to Calcutta and other
big cities for milk production. The cows usually calve, for the first time, at
40 to 58 months of age and subsequently calve at an interval of 15 to 20
months. Milk yield in Hariana cows ranges from 730 to 980 kg per lactation.
The maximum daily yield recorded is 28.7 kg. Lactation length in these cows
ranges from 260 to 340 days.
(a) General: Hariana cattle are proportionately built and are compact in
appearance (Plate 3). The typical mature males measure 142 to 145 em in
height behind the hump, and weigh from 371 to 489 kg, while the females
measure 132 to 135 cm in height, and weigh about 264 kg. The head is carried
high and gives the animal a graceful appearance.
The popular colour is white or light grey. In some of the males, the head,
neck, hump and quarters are dark grey. This colour changes to white after
The long and narrow face with flat forehead and a well-marked bony prominence at the centre of the poll are the indications of purity of breed.
(b) Head: Head is light, clean cut and well set but somewh&t coarse and
heavy in the case of bulls. Face is long and narrow with a flat or slightly convex
forehead. The muzzle is black and nostrils are wide. Eyes are large, bright and
expressive but not very prominent in full-grown bulls. Ears are small, active
and slightly pendulous. Horns are fine and rather short or of moderate length.
Generally they ,are 10 to 23 cm in length and thinner in females than in males.
They are, mor~ or les~, horizontal when short, and as they grow longer they
curve upwards and inwards.
(c) Body and Limbs: Neck is moderately long, thin and fine. It is very
thick in bulls and gives the appearance of being short on account of a big and
well-developed hump. It is wide and strong in bullocks where the yoke rests.
Dewlap is small, thin and free from fleshy folds, but fairly large in bulls. Chest
is well developed with a wide brisket. Hump is large in males but decreases
after castration. It is of medium si:oe in the females. Legs are moderately long
and lean, feet are small, hard and well shaped.
Barrel is long and well developed. In females, the front portion of the body
is light and narrow and the rear portion is heavy and wide, but in males the
front portion is heavy and the rear portion is light and narrow. Back is long and
straight with good depth and breadth in males but slightly sloping forward in
cows. Ribs are strong and well rounded. Sheath is short and tight like that
of a buck and navel flap is absent.
Hind-quarters are slightly higher in females than fore-quarters. Loins are
broad and straight. Hips are broad. Rump is broad and slightly sloping in males
but more so in females. Pin-bones are prominent and far apart in females, but
close in males. Flanks are narrow that make the animals well ribbed up. Thighs
are flat, muscular and wide. Buttocks are muscular and well developed. The
twist is deep and strong in males but arched in females. Tail is :rather short,
thin and tapering towards the end. It carries a black switch reaching below the
hocks. Hocks are strong and fine, and are mor'e curved in females than in males.
The skin is fine, thin and tight round the body. It is of black colpur and is
covered with a white or grey coat. The escutcheon is narrow.
(d) Udder: Udder is capacious and extends well forward with a well-developed milk vein. The teats are medium sized and proportionate in size; the
fore-teats being longer than the hind ones.
Averages for different body measurements in the two sexes are presented
Points for Disqualification
Markedly sloping rump, loose sheath, coarse tail, colour other than white or
grey, white hair at switch of tail, long tail with switch nearly touching ground
(distance less than 15 cm from ground), a typical horn, concave or' bulging forehead, and white eyelashes are the points for disqualification in Hariana breed.