A family’s love for indigenous breeds of cattle

Mohammed Irshad Abideen tending the indigenous breed of cattle in his farm at Uppinakote village in Udupi district.  

Three generations of a family have been conserving and breeding indigenous breeds of cattle here. The family has 23 head of cattle of Gir, Sahiwal, Red Sindhi, and Ongole breeds at Uppinakote village, about 18 km from Udupi. They are being reared in the farm house of 36-year-old Mohammed Irshad Abideen. His younger brothers, Naushad Ahmed, Mumshad Alam, and Sheik Mudassar, are supporting him in running the farm house.

Explaining their love for native breeds of cattle, Mr. Abideen said his grandfather Hanif Shah Saheb used to rear Malnad Gidda. His father, Jainulla Abideen, who used to rear Jersey and HF breeds for some time, later shifted to Malnad Gidda, Punganur, and Sahiwal breeds.

Mr. Abideen was engaged in helping his father ever since he completed his second year pre-university course. However, the family’s interest in indigenous cattle took a leap when Mr. Ahmed, who works as an engineer in Saudi Arabia, had gone to attend a bull show in Brazil about nine years ago.

“Naushad saw that most of the bulls were from India. We then decided to rear and breed only indigenous breeds of cattle,” he said.

More longevity

“The indigenous breeds of cattle are less prone to ailments, have more longevity, and provide better quality of milk,” said Sheik Mudassar.

“A Sahiwal cow gives 16 to 19 litres of milk daily, while a Red Sindhi gives 15 to 16 litres, and a Gir cow 13 to 15 litres of milk. I sell them at ₹70 a litre. Many people come to buy the milk as it is good for health,” said Mr. Abideen.

The breeding of indigenous cattle is lucrative. “We sell a male calf for ₹30,000 and a female for ₹50,000. We make a profit of ₹15 lakh to ₹20 lakh a year,” he said. The family grows corn and grass for their cattle on 2.5 acres of land taken on lease.

Many come to his farm seeking guidance. “We guide them in rearing and breeding of cows. We want our indigenous cattle breeds to thrive,” he said. Sultan, the Ongole bull, reared here, bagged the champion trophy at the Cattle Mela held at Sindhanur in Raichur district in January.

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Printable version | Aug 3, 2021 11:16:36 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/a-familys-love-for-indigenous-breeds-of-cattle/article26526116.ece

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