In spite of this, lately the breed is showing a steady decline in numbers mostly due the low milk yield which forms an alternate stream of income for the farming community.The Khillari breed, with its several varieties, possibly owes its origin to the Hillikar breed of cattle from Mysore State or from the Maharashtra state. The name comes from "Khillar" meaning a herd of cattle, and Khillari meaning the herdsman.Mostly Khillari bulls are basically from Satara District of South Maharashtra.& also this animals are found in neighbouring districts of Sangli, Kolhapur & Solapur of Western Maharashtra.
Distribution and Habitat
The home tract of the Khillari breed is the area covered by (i) former
princely states of Aundh, Jat and Sangli, and (ii) Sholapur and Satara districts
and the Satpura range of Khandesh (Jalgaon and Dhulia districts). All this area
now lies in the Maharashtra State.
There are four main types met within this breed, viz. (i) the Atpadi
, Mahal of Hanam KhilIar from the former southern Mahratta state, (ii) the
Mhaswad KhiIlar from Sholapur and Satara districts, (iii) the Thillari or Tapi
Khillar from West Khandesh, and (iD) the Nakali, i.e., imitation Khillar.
'Khillar' means a herd of cattle and the herdsman is known as 'Khillari' or
'Thillari'. There is no doubt that the Khillari breed owes its origin to the Hallikar
breed of cattle from Kamataka State. This breed is bred both by the cultivator
and the professional breeder. In the southern Mahratta area and the Central
Deccan, the breeding is done by the cultivators, while in the Satpur~ range of
Khandesh, it is done by professional cattle breerlers known as Thillaris, who
are unfortunately slowly abandoning their profession.
Soil and Climate
Except for Satpura hill ranges, the Khillar breeding tract is undulating, long,
low uplands, separated by deep gorges with occasional level areas. The soils
are medium black to deep black and light (mal ran or murum mal). The rainfall ranges from 38 to 64 cm, and frequently famines occur due to the failures
of, monsoons. The temperature varies from a minimum of goC to a maximum
of 43°C. The climate is dry. The main crop of the tract is winter iowar (Shahi).
The plajor portion of this is harvested as fodder. The dominant species of grass
is Aristid(l (kusal) and In~igofera cordifolia (b(1lbada).
Khillari bullocks are highly valued as fast-paced, powerful, draught animals
throughout the State of Maharashtra. Cows are poor yieI<;iers and mostly used
for nursing their calves. Well-fed animals attain maturity early and calve as
early as 30 months and subsequently every 14 or 15 months.
(a) General: Typical Khilliari animals CPlate 7) are compact and tightskinned with clean-cut features. These are, excellent medium-paced draught
"animals. The typical mature male measures 137 to 140 cm behind the hump
and weighs on an average 455 to 500 kg. Breeding bull attains a weight of of 591 to
636 kg. Mature Khillari cow measures 122 to 127 cm behind the hump and
weighs about 378 to 384 kg.
The whole appearance is like a compact cylinder with stout and strongly set
limbs. There is a slight rise in the level of the back towards the pelvis.
The Mhaswad Khillari is greyish white, the males. being darker over the
fore-quarters and hind-quart'ers with typical mottled markings on the face. The
Tapi Khillari is white with a pink nose and pink hoofs. The Nakali Khillari is .
grey with tawny' or brick dust colour over the fore-quarters. Newly born calves
have rusty red coloured polls. This colour disappears within a couple of months.
Its intensity has a direct relation to the development of the colour in the adult
(b) Head: Forehead is long and narrow with a gradual convex bulge
backwards towards the horns. A distinct groove runs in the centre of the
forehead from the nasal bridge to the middle of the poll. The nasal bridge is
sharp and prominent. The face is lean and long with smooth tightly drawn skin.
Muzzle is frequently mottled in colour. Pink muzzle is a sign of a weak animal.
Eyes are rather small. They are prominent, often a little bulging. and generally
fiery, with an elongated setting. A few finely drawn wrinkles round the eye in
line with the length of the setting are present. Ears are small, pointed and
always held sideways. They are pale and yellow coloured inside. Horns are
long and pointed and follow the backward curve of the forehead. They are
placed close together at the root and grow backwards for half the length and
then tum upwards in smooth bow shape, peculiar to this breed. The horns are
thick at the base and tapper to a fine point. Black coloured hom is preferred.
(c) Body and Limbs: Neck is rather short and firmly set, the nape being
almost straight. Dewlap is slightly formed and is seldom pendulous with almost
no fold. Hump is tightly formed and should not be heavy. Shoulders are tightly
muscled, well set in and merge smoothly with the general cylindrical shape of
the body. The legs are clean-cut, round and straight. Fore-legs are straight with long straight and strong pastern. The hoofs are black and digits closely set.
They are small in comparison with the bulk of the body.
The barrel is cylindrical with no loose skin, it is long in comparison with
the height. A sharp declivity, near the hump running from the pelvis, is a sign
of weakness. The lines of the back and belly should be almost parallel. A bulge
of the belly downwards, deflecting the lower line, is not desirable. The navel
flap as well as the sheath should be tight with the abdomen. Back is straight
and well-muscled in males; two whorls on the back are considered an ill omen.
Ribs are well sprung.
Tail is well set up near the pelvis and is round and finely drawn. Its total
length should never be lower than the hock joint, thus leaving the switch
half above and half below the joint.
Skin, although tightly drawn over the body, is soft and pliable. A breeder
sets a very high value on a fine skin and small short glossy hair. The escutcheon
is generally not very prominent.
|(d) Udder:||Udder is small and tucked up above the belly line; teats are|
small but squarely placed; milk veins are not prominent.
Averages for different body measurements in the two sexes are presented in
Points for Disqualification
Folds and loose wavy skin on the face;, thick wavy folds ~round the ,eyes,
inclination of hump to the side, carroty or pink hoofs, pendulous sheath, white
hair in the switch of tail are points for disqualification.