Distribution and Habitat
The breed takes its name from the Malwa tract, named after the family of kings called 'Malawa'. Geographically, the Malwa tract covers parts of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. The home of the breed lies principally in Madhya Pradesh. There appears to be no recorded history regarding the origin of this breed. At present the breed is mainly confined around' tehsils of Agar (Shajapur district), Mahidpur and Tarana (Ujjain), Allot (Ratlam district) of Madhya Pradesh and tehsils of Dug, Gangdhar and Pirawa (Jhalawar district) of Rajasthan State.
The breed is distributed practically in the whole of Malwa tract which includes the districts of Indore, Dewas, Ujjain, Shajapur, Rajgarh, Guna, Bhilsa, Mandsaur, Ratlam, Bhopal, Johore, Raisen, and part of Dhar and Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh; and Jhalawar and Kotah districts of Rajasthan. Two types of Malvi breed are generally recognized:
Agar Type: It is of comparatively large size, and found around Agar in Shajapur district of Madhya Pradesh and Ihalawar district of Rajasthan.
Mandsaur or Bhopal Type: It is smaller in size and is found in the districts of Mandsaur and Bhopal.
Soil and Climate
The breeding tract consists of two parts, Malwa plateau proper and the adjoining hilly tracts of Vindhya hills situated in the east. Some of the hills rise to about 915 m above sea level. The area has a number of rivers such as Betwa, Chambal, Kalisind, Mahi, Sipra, Tons and Ken. The major portion of
the area is covered with fertile black cotton soil of the heavy loam type. Malwa plateau on the whole has a dry, moderate climate. During summer, which extends from March to June, the day temperature during the hottest parts may go as high as 41 DC; but being dry is not oppressive. Nights are
normally pleasant with plenty of cool breezes.
The breed is known for its draught capacity. Bullocks are active and strong and are excellent in plowing, carting heavy loads and for lifting water. The cows are poor yielders, but in well-maintained herds, milk yield ranges from 910 kg to 1,225 kg per lactation. The average age at first calving varies from
3 to 3t years with a calving interval of about 16 to 18 months.
General: Malvi (Plate 8) is a medium-sized animal, strong and robust. The body is compact, squarely built and not massive, with well proportionate limbs. The animal has a fine bearing and intelligent look. The bull has a proud gait. The body color varies from white to light grey or grey. Iron-grey 'colour
is also found. Cows and bullocks are comparatively lighter in color than the bulls. The characteristics of conformation which distinguish this breed from other grey breeds are the short head, broad and dished forehead, strong, broad, thick and upturned muffle, short pointed ears and medium-sized horns going sideways, upward and forward. Malvis are docile animals.
Head: Head is short in length and not broad. The forehead is invariably dished. The crest line is short. In typical animals the poll, although not very prominent, is present, comparatively more in females than in males. The face is clean, ending in a muffle that is upturned and usually black. Eyes are placed wide apart; they are full and prominent, giving the animal a smart appearance. They generally have black rims around them. Ears are alert and short in size. Horns are medium in size and thickness going sideways, upward and forward and tapering to a blunt point.
Body and Limbs: Neck is short, thick and strong and carries the head well over the level of the back giving the animal an impressive look. The dewlap is mostly thin and not pendulous. The chest is well developed, deep and wide. Legs are short, straight, strong and muscular. Shanks are straight with good bones. Fetlock joints are medium and strong. Pastern is neat and sharp. Hoofs
are bard and black. Digits are well set. The barrel is short, deep and broad, giving the animal a squarely built appearance. Back is strong and straight, meeting the hump in a curvature. Hump is moderate
in size and erect. A drooping hump is disliked (l. Ribs are strong and well sprung. Navel flap is small; sheath is small in size and tight. Hind-quarters are well developed and muscular though slightly drooping. Loins and hips are broad and wide. Rump is of moderate length and sloping. Pin-bones are set wide apart. The flanks are broad and deep. The thigh is proportionately wide, strong and deep. Buttocks are well muscled. The twist is clear though not very prominent. The tail is of moderate size, well set on the body ending in a black-bushed switch reaching up to the fetlock. Skin is of medium thickness, soft and reasonably tight around the body. The skin on the udder, teats, sheath, and anus is unpigmented. Hair are short and fine. The escutcheon is not extensive and prominent.
Udder: Udder is small. Teats are also small and squarely placed. Milk veins are not prominent.
Body Measurements Averages for different body measurements m the two sexes are presented in