Kankrej cow breed

The Kankrej is an Indian breed of zebuine cattle. It originates from the arid region of the Rann of Cutch in the state of Gujarat, and in neighbouring Rajasthan. Under the name Kankaraj, it is also present in Tharparkar District, in Sindh, Pakistan. It is also known by the names Bannai, Na


From about 1870 onwards, Kankrej bulls and cows were exported to Brazil, where they were used to create the Guzerá breed.[2]:193 Even more importantly, the Brahman or Brahma breed was produced by cross-breeding the Kankrej and Guzerat (Gujarat), Ongole, Gyr (Gir) and Krishna Valley breeds of cattle.[5] The Brahman is one of the most popular breeds of cattle intended for meat processing and is widely used in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, United States, Panama, Colombia and Australia among many other places.

The most recent official census data for the Kankrej population in India dates from 1977, when there were 465 000.  In Pakistan, the population was recorded in 2006 at 273 000.

Kankrej cow

Distribution and Habitat

The home tract of this breed is part of the country to the south-east of the
Rann of Kutch, extending from the south-west comer of Tharparkar district
of Sind in- Pakistan to Dholka in Ahmedabad district in the south and from
Deesa in the east to the extreme end of Radhanpur in the west, particularly
along the Banas and Sarasvati rivers. The whole of the tract lies in the State
of Gujarat. The breed is known as 'Wadhir' in Radhanpur, 'Sanchore' in Jodhpur
(Rajasthan) '. and 'Waged' in the Kutch area.

Soil and Climate
The breeding tract is low-lying and dry. For the most part the tract is sandy,
treeless plain with, in some places, rolling sand hills and between them valleys
of black clay. To the north and north-east, the tract is covered with rocks and
hill ranges.
Climate varies greatly with distance from the sea. From November to
February' the climate is dry and cool with spells of cold occurring occasionally.
From March to Jup.e, it is the hot season and the temperature at times reaches
as high as 49°C. Average rainfall which is usually concentrated from July tn
October, ranges from 51 to 76 cm.

Functional Characteristics
Kankrej bullocks are excellent draught animals, well-known for their fast
speed. The cows are fairly good milkers, milk yield averaging 1,523 kg in one
lactation, but yields as high as 3,500 kg have been obtained from individual animals. The maximum daily yield recorded is 28.6 kg with a fat percentage of
4.5. Average age at first calving is about 4t yeats and the earliest age at first
calving is three years approximately.

Physical Characteristics
(a) Genera): Kankrej (Plate 5) is one of the heaviest of Indian cattle
breeds, fully matured cows weighing from 420 to 455 kg and a mature bull
from 455 to 682 kg.
It has a comparatively broad forehead, slightly dished in
the centre, strong curved horns which are covered with skin to higher points
than in other breeds, a powerful body with broad chest and straight back, welldeveloped hump, pendulous sheath and a tail of moderate length with a black
switch extending below the hock.
The gait of the Kankrej is peculiar to the breed; the action is smooth; there
is hardly any movement of the body; the head is held noticeably high; the
stride is long and even; and the hind-hoof is placed well ahead of the impression
of the fore-hoof. The gait is called
It paces (sawai chal) by the breeders. The
animals are excitable and nervous in temperament.
The colour of the male is silver
grey, iron grey or even black. Frequently,
hump and hind-quarters are always darker than the barrel. Hind and fore-legs
have black markings. The coronet of the hoof is always black. Colour and
colour-markings are lighter in the female than in the male. Red colour is not
liked in the breed. Newly-born calves have rusty red-coloured polls. This
colour disappears within 6 to 9 months of age.
Head: Forehead is broad and dished; frontal bone is concave. F:ace is
short and the bridge of nose is straight or dished, ending with the nose slightly
turned up. Eyes are prominent, big, full, bright, alert, bulging and with distinct
muscular folds above eyelids. A dark colour around the eye is preferred, and a
dark colour above the eye is essential. Ears are long,
hangi~g loosely, and often
reaching the point of the nose. Larger ears meeting below the jowl are preferred.
They are proportionately broad with red or brown skin inside· and distinct
black markings.
Horns are thick, growing eSIightly outwards, then upwards turning slightly
inwards towards the body- and then the tips bend forward. Naturally the horn
has a fine pointed tip, but it is usually doctored and made blunt.
Body and Limbs: Neck is long and thin. It is well set on the body.
It has a distinct curve upwards on leaving the head which makes the neck
arched. A thin pendulous dewlap is preferred. Chest is broad and well muscled.
Hump is prominent and large, sometimes inclined to lean, but this is not a
desirable feature. Shoulders are broad, sloping and well developed. All legs
are well developed. Fore-legs are straight with long straight strong pasterns. The
boof is black, hard and compact, not spreading.
Barrel is straight, large, deep and compact. A straight line from point of

elbow along barrel is appreciated. In the female, this line drops at the back.
This is permissible in the male but is not desirable.
Back is straight. A roach back is a disqualification. Ribs are long, well
sprung, and far apart. Navel flap is prominent in females, while males 'have
medium and pendulous sheath.
The hind-quarters are well developed, muscular, long and deep. Loins are
broad, wide and slightly sloping. Hips are prominent and wide apart. Rump is
long and sloping. Pin-bones are also wide apart. Flanks are broad and deep.
Thighs are wide and deep. Buttocks are well muscled. Tail is well set on the
body, not drooping.
It is of moderate l~ngth and does not reach the ground.
It ends in a wen-bushed black switch.
Skin is soft, pliable with fine glossy hair. Escutcheon is prominent in good
milking specimens, being carried well up.
Udder: Udder IS well shaped. It is carried well forward, but slightly
deficient behind. Fore-teats are bigger than the hind ones. Milk veins are

Body Measurements
Averages for different body measurements in the two sexes are presented
in Table
Points for Disqualification
Bulging forehead, Roman nose, red colour and white switch of the tail are
points, for disqualification.