PUNGANUR COW (Cattle) is the world’s smallest Bos indicus cattle originated in Punganur town in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, India. This breed is known for its short stature, high milk production efficiency and efficient reproductive characters. In Ancient Ayurvedic scriptures such as Charaka Samhita, Shushruta Samhita and Brahad-Wagbhatt mention various medicinal properties of cow urine. It is used as an insecticide and in disorders like intestinal gas, acidity, and cough.
Punganur Cattle is one of the world’s smallest Bos indicus cattle. Punganur cattle originated from Punganur in Chittoor district, situated at the south-eastern tip of the Deccan Plateau in Andhra Pradesh, India. This breed was developed by the Rajas of Punganur and was used for milking and other light agricultural operations.
The Punganur is Taluk in Chittoor District in Andhra Pradesh. Today,Punganur remained while popular dwarf cow breed has disappeared. Ongole & Punganur cattle breeds are pride of Andhra Pradesh.
The Punganur cow is the world’s shortest, humped cattle. Most of the animals are white and light grey in colour with a broad forehead and short horns. Its average height is 70-90 cms and its weight is 115-200 kg. The cow receives cosmic energy at higher magnitude, disseminates around its presence and ambiance is divine.
The cow is an amazingly efficient milker with an average milk yield of 3-5 L/day on a daily feed intake of 5 kg. It is also highly drought resistant, and able to survive exclusively on dry fodder. It is known as poorman’s cow. The cow has an aura of 120 Feet radius, receives cosmic energy at higher magnitude and disseminates all around its presence.
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The body language of the cow is similar to a deer. The walking style of this Cow is beautiful. It is very auspicious to have this cow. The Punganur breed’s milk has a high fat content and is rich in medicinal properties. While cow milk normally has a fat content of 3 to 3.5 per cent,but the Punganur breed’s milk contains 8%.
Back sloping downwards from front to hind quarters; tail touching the ground; slight mobile horns, almost flat along the back and normally at different heights from each other. The Punganur is at the verge of extinction, with some 20 odd animals remaining.
The Punganur cattle are being reared mainly on the Government Livestock Farm, Palamaner, Chittoor district, while a small informal group of private breeders are also working on reviving the species. It is not officially recognized as a breed since there are only a few animals remaining.
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Punganur cow in Tirupathi temple “Dhenunam Asmi Kaamadhuk” (Bhagavad Gita 10.28) Meaning: Among cows I am the wish-fulfilling Cow. Here Lord Krishna is manifest as Kamadhenu, the divine, wish-fulfilling cow.Kamadhenu, also known as Surabhi, is described in Vedic text as the mother of all cows.
Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams has about 200 Punganur cows in its cattle-yard. Ghee prepared from the milk of these cows is being used in ‘archana’ (offering) for Lord Venkateswara.
Milk is used for Abhishekam:-
Punganur cow’s milk is used for ksheera abhishekam in Thirupathi for Venkateswara swami . The ghee of punganur cows are used for making the very famous Tirupathi temple laddu. The darshan of this cow itself is very sacred.
All cows are venerated in Hinduism as the earthly embodiment of the Kamadhenu.The milk of this small breed has high fat content and rich medicinal properties
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Cow Milk with rich medicinal values:-
Considered among the world’s smallest breed of cows, the Punganur breed’s milk has a high fat content and rich medicinal properties. While cow milk normally has a fat content of 3 to 3.5 per cent, the Punganur breed’s milk contains 8 per cent, similar to buffalo milk,
Punganur is perhaps the world’s smallest humped cattle breed. It is widely known as an efficient milch breed. It is also drought resistant and able to survive exclusively on dry fodder. The Punganur cow is said to have the grace of a deer and a beautiful walking style. It is considered auspicious to have this cow.
These cows are said to receive cosmic energy at a higher magnitude and disseminate it all around. The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) has about 200 Punganur cows in its cattle-yard. Ghee prepared from the milk of these cows is in the ‘archana’ (offering) for Lord Venkateswara and for preparation of the famous Tirupati laddoos.
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- Punganur is a popular dwarf cattle breed.
- Punganur have compact build, comparatively tight skin and extensively hanging dewlap..
- Punganur cows are generally white, grey or light brown to dark brown in colour. White mixed with red or black colour are also available.
- The skin, muzzle, eyelids and hooves are black and they have concave and broad forehead.
- Punganur breed have black, small and crescent shaped horns, slightly mobile and almost flat along the back which are normally at different heights from each other.
- Punganur breeds horns are stumpy in males and longer in females; horn length ranges from 10 to 15 cms.
- The back slopes downwards from front to the hind quarters.
- Punganur have short legs and long body with well sprung ribs.
- Punganur cows have tails that touch the ground; humps of small size in females and medium but drooping in males.
- The average height is about 70-90 cms and weight is around 115-200 kgs.
- The lactation milk yield is approximately 540 litres and lactation length is 260 days.
- The average milk fat content is 5 to 8 % and their average daily feed intake is 5 kg.
- The bulls are more docile than the females.
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This breed is on the verge of extinction. The decline of this pure Indian breed is mainly due to an earlier policy decision taken by the Government to “better” Indian cattle breeds by cross-breeding the Punganur with the Holstein-Friesian and Jersey cattle while banning the rearing of native bull breeds.
The Punganur cattle are now being reared mainly on the Government Livestock Farm, Palamaner, Chittoor district, while a small informal group of private breeders are also working on reviving this revered species.
Divine offering – Perhaps, this is why the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) has about 200 Punganur cows in its cattle-yard. Ghee prepared from the milk of these cows is being used in ‘archana’ (offering) for Lord Venkateswara Ghee prepared from the milk of these cows is in the ‘archana’ (offering) for Lord Venkateswara and for preparation of the famous Tirupati laddoos.
Available only in small numbers, the Punganur cow has become a craze, a status symbol, among the wealthy in the Andhra Pradesh capital of late. “They are shelling out at least Rs.1 lakh to buy the cow, which is believed to bring good luck..
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Body:- Short stature, compact
Body colour:- White, grey or light brown to dark brown or red; sometimes, animals with white colour mixed with red, brown or black coloured patches are also seen.
Skin:- Tight, Forehead: Concave, broad, prominent, Eyes: Black eyelids, Muzzle: Black,
Dewlap:- Hanging ,Shoulder hump: Small in females and medium but inclined to be drooping in males,
Chest (barrel):- Long with well sprung ribs.
Horns:- Shot; crescent shaped and often loose curving backwards and forward in males and lateral and forward in females.
Morphometric parameters – Horn length: 10 – 15 cm,
Reproductive traits – Dry period: 188.1±11.54 days, Inter-calving period: 317 – 832 days.
8.9 days±Production traits – Daily milk yield (Kg): 2.29±0.06 kg, Lactation period: 272.0
Milk production per lactation: 633.4±21.7 kg , Average milk fat: 5.00%, Average solid not fat: 7.69 – 10.56%
Bulls are more docile than females. Ability as draught purpose: The bullocks are used for agricultural operation in light soil as well as for driving carts for transportation and special races. It is a dwarf breed. Known for draught resistance, it can thrive well on dry fodder feeding. Maintained at Livestock Research Station, Palamaner, Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh, attached to Shri Venkateswara Veterinary University, Tirupati. Some animals are also maintained by private breeders.
Punganur cattle are very hardy animals. They are well known for their quality milk production. Their milk has a high fat content compared to the milk of other cattle breeds. Generally, cow’s milk has 3 to 5 percent of fat content. But Punganur cow’s milk contains about 8 percent of fat content. The breed is highly drought resistant and can survive on dry fodder. The cows on average can produce about 3-5 kg of milk per day. And they have a daily feed intake of 5 kg. Review full breed profile of the Punganur cattle in the following chart.
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Punganur Cattle | Breed Profile:-
Breed Name:- Punganur
Other Name:- Punganur Dwarf Cattle
Breed Purpose:- Milk
Special Notes:- Strong, hardy, drought resistant
Breed Size:- Small
Weight:- Bulls Around 225 kg
Cows Around 115 kg
Climate:- Tolerance All Climates
Coat Color:- Mainly white and light grey in color
Milk Yield:- Good
Country/Place of Origin India
There are many aspects which makes this cow different from all others and special amongst the herd. Where generally the fat content in cow’s milk would be around 3-3.5 %, milk of this cow contains fat content of about 8%.
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