Karnataka has six indigenous cattle breeds of which the Deoni cattle breed is the only dual breed. Deoni male animals are used for ploughing and transportation, whereas cows yield up to 1,500 kg of milk per lactation. As the state does not have any prominent milch breed, the dairy farmers use crossbred cattle for milk production. The balance five registered breeds are Amritmahal, Hallikar, Khilari, Krishna Valley and Malnad Gidda which are draught breeds. The male animal of these breeds is excellent for ploughing and transportation, whereas cows are poor milk yielders with an average milk yield of less than 500 kg per lactation. These animals are sturdy and can with stand adverse climatic conditions. Historically, Amritmahal cattle was used by Nawab Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan for carrying ammunition into the battlefield on rough roads and across difficult terrains. Both Amritmahal and Krishna Valley breeds are being considered for conservation under recently launched ‘Rashtriya Gokul Mission’. Pandharpuri buffaloes are reared mostly in northern Karnataka. The breed is popular due to rapid reproductive ability. Normally, this buffalo yields 6-7 liters of milk per day. But under good management, the yield can go up to 15 liters.
1.1: Distribution of Cattle Breeds of Karnataka
5. Krishna Valley
6. Malnad Gidda
2.Holstein Friesian Crossbred
1.2: Distribution of Buffalo Breed of Karnataka
SOURCE: AE Nivsarkar et al., (2000), Animal Genetic Resources of India, Cattle and Buffalo, ICAR publication and Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture, GoI