Khillari cow breed

The Khillari is breed of cattle, of the Bos indicus subspecies, native to Satara, Kolhapur and Sangli regions in Maharashtra and Bijapur, Dharwad and Belgaum districts of Karnataka in India. The breed is well adapted to the tr


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[1] 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.

Khillari cow

Khillari cow 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 breeders 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
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).

Functional Characteristics

Khillari bullocks are highly valued as fast-paced, powerful, draught animals
throughout the State of Maharashtra. Cows are poor yield;years 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.

Physical Characteristics

(a) General: Typical Khilliari animals CPlate 7) are compact and tight skinned 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 of 455 to 500 kg. Breeding bull attains a weight 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-quarters 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 color over the fore-quarters. Newly born calves have rusty red colored polls. This color disappears within a couple of months.Its intensity has a direct relation to the development of the color in the adult animals.

(b) Head: Forehead is long and narrow with a gradual convex bulge backward towards the horns. A distinct groove runs in the center 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.The muzzle is frequently mottled in color. The 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 around 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 colored inside. Horns are long and pointed and follow the backward curve of the forehead. They are placed close together at the root and grow backward for half the length and then tum upwards in a smooth bow shape, peculiar to this breed. The horns are thick at the base and taper to a fine point. Black colored horn is preferred.

(c) Body and Limbs: Neck is rather short and firmly set, the nape being almost straight. The 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 generally cylindrical shape of the body. The legs are clean-cut, round and straight. Fore-legs are straight with the long straight and strong pastern. The hoofs are black and digit 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.The 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: The udder is small and tucked up above the belly line; teats are

small but squarely placed; milk veins are not prominent. Body Measurements Averages for different body measurements in the two sexes are presented in Table 7.

Points for Disqualification

Folds and loose wavy skin on the face; thick wavy folds round the eyes,
the inclination of the hump to the side, carroty or pink hoofs, pendulous sheath, white
hair in the switch of the tail are points for disqualification.