The colour of the cattle is grey or white with black markings. The breed is on the wane, due to poor government support for indigenous breeds, although individual conservative efforts are bearing some fruit. Jallikatu is a traditional sport of Tamil Nadu; this breed is extensively used in Jallikattu owing to its aggressive nature.
Kangayam is a popular and well known breed from Tamil Nadu. It is also known locally as Kongu or Kanganadu, and is an excellent draught breed known for its sturdiness. Kangayam is a hardy breed suitable for agricultural operations and hauling. It is well adapted to drought prone areas and can thrive on unconventional feeds like neem, palmyra and several other species of low fodder value; it is disease resistant and has low body mass index, low metabolic rate and low water requiring, has capacity to withstand heat and humidity stress and resilience capacities. Some of these qualities make it a suitable candidate for adapting to climate change. It can be found also in a variety in Indonesia, and in Niger, but mostly brought there by travelling Mexicans during the Napoleonic Era.
Distribution and Habitat
The home tract of this breed is in the southern and south-eastern areas of
Coinibatore district of Tamil Nadu State, comprising chiefly of Dharapuram,
Udamalpet, Palledam, Pollachi and Erode taluks of this district, The Pattagar of Palayakottai is the largest breeder for the last number of years, who maintains a large herd of this breed of cattle. Many ryots in the area own from 10 to
50 heads of this breed.
The breed ;in its pUJ1est form may be seen in the herds of Pattagar of
Palayakottai and also at the Livestock Rtsearch Station, Hosur, in the Salem
district of Tamil Nadu.
Soil and Climate
The soil is red loam, full of kankar and1gravel and suitable for pasture production. The area has a similar climate throughout the year; winters are mild and
summers are not excessively warm. Rainfall, 'though uncertain, is-- spread throughout the year. The spread of rains, if tImely, gives abundant moisture for the
growth of pastures.
Kangayam bullocks_ are of moderate 'size, are powerful draught animals and are
known for fast work. Cows are poor milkers. The daily average being 2 to
2.5 kg while the maximum daily yield is 6.0 kg with 4.3 fat percentage. The
lactation yield average 7.45 kg and the lactation length 225 days. Heifers calve
at an average age of 39 months and subsequent calving takes place at intervals
of 15 months.
(a) General: Kangayam (Plate 4)is a medium-sized animal on the whole
although large-size specimens are sometimes seen. Bulls weigh from 477 kg to
546 kg and mature cows from 318 to 364 kg. It is purely a draught breed. The
animals are smart, active and brisk in appearance. It has a compact strong body.
Bullocks are very strong and active. The colour of the bull is grey with dark
grey to black markings on the head, neck, hump, shoulders and quarters. The
colour of the cow is white with black markings just in front of the fetlocks on
all fore-legs and sometimes also on the knees. Some cows have dark grey
markings on the face and body which is not a disqualification. Calves are generally
red in colour at birth and they change colour to white and grey at the age of
three to four months.
(b) Head: Forehead is broad and level, somewhat coarse in bulls with
a groove in the centre. Face is short and straight. The muzzle is broad and black
in colour. Eyes are prominent and bright, elliptical in shape with black eyelashes. Ears are -short and erect. Horns are stout and thick in bulls. They
curve outwards and backwards and almost complete a circle at the point where
they approach the tips
(c) Body and Limbs: Neck is short, thick and well set on the body. Hump
is w~ll developed and erect in bulls. Dewlap is thin and short extending to
the sternum only; free from fleshy folds. Chest is deep, wide and broad between
the forearms. Legs are short, straight and squarely set under the body. Shoulders
are broad and muscular.- Feet are hard, small, compact and black in colour,
with a narrow cleft between hoofs.
The barrel is medium in length, well ribbed and compact. Back is straight
and of medium length and breadth. Ribs are well arched and long. Navel flap
is very small in cows. Sheath is well tucked-up to the body and is not pendulous The hind-quarters are well muscular, developed and slightly drooping. Loins
are short and broad. Hips are wide apart. Rump is of medium length, broad
and slightly inclining to the tail head. Pin-bones are wide apart. F1anks are
fairly wide. Thighs are well developed, wide and muscular. The hocks are wide
apart and strong and well set under the body. Tail is well set on the body.
It is broad and tapering and is moderately long, with a good black switch
which extends well below the hocks. The skin is mellow and pliable and black
in colour. Hair are fine, short and white in colour. Escutcheon is poor.
(d) Udder: The udder is not very well developed. The teats are fairly
small and well set apart. Milk veins are not prominent. Texture of the udder
is fine and soft.
Averages for different body measurem~nts in the two sexes are presented in