Ongole cow breed

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Ongole cattle is an indigenous cattle breed that originates from Prakasam District in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. The breed derives its name from the place the breed originates from, Ongole. The Ongole breed of cattle, Bos Indicus, has a great demand as it is said to possess resi

They also participate in traditional bull fights in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Cattle breeders use the fighting ability of the bulls to choose the right stock for breeding in terms of purity and strength.

Distribution and Habitat

ongole cow
The home of this breed is the Ongole tract of Andhra Pradesh. This tract
comprises Ongole, Guntur, and Narasaropet taluks and parts of Baptala,
Sathenapalli and Venukonda taluks of Gu'ntur and Kandukur taluk of Nellore

Soil arrd Climate

Ongole tract is mostly flat but the hilly ranges begin as one moves towards
west. The most important river, the Krishna, flows across the northern borders
of the tract. Besides this, a number of other perennial streams and rivers also
flow through the tract. The banks of these rivers form excellent grazing areas'.
Soils towards the sea coast are alluvial and of very good quality. As one
goes further from the sea, 'this soil is mostly blacl< cotton soil containing plenty
of lime, As one reaches the eastern ranges of hills, the soil becomes poorer.
'The climate of the tract is dry and mild and is not subject to sudden changes.
March to June are usually hot months while winter months are very mild.
The tract receives both the summer (May to September) and winter (October
to December) rains from south-west and north-east monsoons respectively.
Average rainfall of the tract varies from 76 to 89 cm.

Functional Characteristics
Ongole cattle are efficient for both work and milk production. The bullocks
are powerful and good for heavy plough and for cart work. They are not considered suitable for fast work. The cows are good milkers. The yield in well
maintained herds averages 1,603 kg of milk per lactation, while individuals
have yielded 3,2(58 kg. The maximum daily yield recorded is 17.6 kg.
Average fat percentage is 5.0. Heifers, under village conditions calve for the
first time at 4 to 4-!- years, but on well maintained farms average age at·first
calving ranges from 3 to 3-!- years. Calving interval averages 16 months.
Physical Characteristics
(a) General: Ongole (Plate 10) are large heavy animals. Mature males
weigh 546 to 682 kg and females 432 to 455 kg. They have long body, short
neck, muscular and long limbs, strong and clean' legs and feet, with the toes of
the fore-legs pointing straight forward and the curve of the hock not too straight
or too curved. The' general appearance is alert, but docile, with good carriage and gait.
The popular colour is white. The male has dark grey markings on the head,
neck and hump, and black points on the knees and on the pasterns of both
the fore- and hind-legs. A red, or red and white animal of typical conformation
is sometimes seen.
(b) H
ead: Forehead is broad between eyes and slightly prominent. Face
is moderately long with no hollows in temples. The bridge of the nose to the
nostrils is straight. Muzzle is well developed with fairly wide nostrils and black
in colour. Jaws are wide at the base, well muscled and strong.
Eyes are moderately large, placid, full and bright. They are elliptical in shape
with black eyelashes and a ring of black skin about 0.6 to 1.3 em wide around
the eyes. Ears are moderately long and slightly drooping, covered from inside
with fine silky hair. Horns are short and stumpy, growing outwards and backwards, thick at the base and firm without cracks.
(c) Body and Limbs: Neck is short and thick in the male and moderately
long in the female.
It is fine and clean at junction with the head and blending
smoothly with the shoulder.
Hump is well developed and erect, filled up on both sides and not concave
or leaning
to either side. Dewlap is fleshy and hanging in folds extending to
the navel flap. The folds are covered with fine soft hair in the female. Chest
is deep and wide, and broad between the forearms. Legs are strong, clean and
medium in length. They are wide apart and firmly and squarely set under
body, toes pointing straight. Shoulders are long sloping and tapering, neatly and
finely attached to the body wall, broad and full at sides.
Barrel is long and deep with well-arched ribs. Back is moderately long, broad
and slightly higher at the rump. When viewed from behind, the sides from the
point of the rump should be fairly
in level and not sloping. The slope from the
point of rump towards the tail should be gentle and not prominent. Ribs are
well arched and long. In the cows the navel flap is common and prominent.
Loins are broad and strong and slightly inclining to the hips. Hip bones are
slightly prominent. Rump is fairly long, broad and slightly inclining tlO
head. Pin-bones are wide apart. Flanks are deep and full. Thighs are well developed and deep; they are straight from behind and muscular. Tail-head is
sloping, deeply moulded and
not coarse; tail is long and fine with black switch
not too coarse at the setting. Tip of tail vertebra reaches just beyond the
point of the hocks. Hocks are clean and pasterns sloping. Feet are almost
round, deep at heel, hoofs are black and cleft is narrow.
The skin is of medium thickness, mellow and elastic, and often shows black
mottling or markings. Hair are fine and white.
(d) Udder: The udder is broad and extends well forward and high up
betw,een the
hind~legs. The quarters are even and of moderate size. Texture
of the udder is fine, soft and pliable with
light skin. Teats are of average size
symmetrical and evenly placed under each quarter. Milk veins are large and
Body Measurements
Averages for different body measurements in two sexes are given in
Table 10.

Points for Disqualification
Red colour and red patches on the body, white switch, white eyelashes,
flesh-coloured muzzle, light-coloured hoofs, dark grey markings on the hindquarters, undesirable and dark mottled appearance (spots) on the body are
points for disqualification.