Malnad Gidda is a native of the Western Ghats in Karnataka, is a small, multi-purpose breed of cattle. Its population is around 8 to 10 lakhs and is mostly found in the Malnad areas of Shimoga, Hassan, Chikmangalur and the coastal districts of Mangalore, Udupi, North Kanara and parts of Kodagu districts of Karnataka. These animals are naturally robust and highly resistant to diseases. They are well adapted to the hot and humid conditions in the region and are an inseparable part of the farming community, providing milk, manure and draft power. They can run fast and jump up to a height of 4 feet. The average lifespan of the Malnad Gidda is 9-12 years.
The Malnad Gidda cattle are a dwarf breed of cattle from India. It is also called Malenadu Gidda, Gidda, Uradana and Varshagandhi. The word Malnad means hilly region and Gidda means dwarf or small. The breed is native to the hilly, rainy and densely forested Malenadu region of the Western Ghats in the state of Karnataka in India. It plays a very important role in the rural economy of this region by providing milk, manure and draft power with negligible inputs. Main breeding tract of the Malnad Gidda cattle include Chikmagalur, Dakshin Kannada, Hassan, Kodagu, Shimoga, Uttar Kannada and Udupi districts of Karnataka. The average milk yield of a Malnad Gidda cow varies from 1.5 to 3 litres per day. Some cows of this breed yield upto 4 to 5 litres of milk per day.These animals are generally bred by natural service. Frequent mating with other breeds for increasing the milk production has led to genetic dilution and erosion of this breed.
The Department of Animal Husbandry will establish a centre dedicated for research on Malnad Gidda, the zero-maintenance dwarf variety of cattle endemic to Malnad region, in Andavalli village in Sorab taluk of Shivamogga district. The average height of an adult Malnad Gidda is around 90 cm and its average weight is around 150 kg. Unlike hybrid and cross-breed cattle, there is no cost involved in maintenance of Malnad Gidda. They are free-range cattle and graze in the forests near human habitat from dawn to dusk. Paddy grass, kitchen scrap and leftovers are offered as feed for them in cowsheds and they yield around three litres of milk a day.
- The body of the Malnad Gidda is small and compact. It has a stunted look, with a height of 81 to 88 cms, length of 88 to 90 cms and body frame weighing between 80 to 120 kgs.
- The skin colour of this breed is mostly black with light shades of fawn on the thigh and shoulder regions. Brown coloured skin with light shades of fawn is also seen amongst this breed.
- The hooves, eyelids, tail switch and horn are black in colour. A small hump is seen in the males while the females have a bowl shaped udder.
- The teats are funnel in shape being broader at the base, narrowing downwards and ending with pointed tips. The tail is long and the tail switch almost touches the ground.
- The cost of maintenance of the Malnad Gidda is very low. These animals are mostly sent for grazing.
- They are also fed with small quantities of paddy straw, available green grass or a traditional mixture consisting of horsegram, broken rice, oil-cake and rice flour.
- Surprisingly, this sturdy and specific Malnad Gidda breed of cattle has been acknowledged as a recognised breed of India only in the year 2012.
Malnad Gidda cattle are draught animals. They are also raised for milk production. The Malnad Gidda cattle are hardy animals. They are known for their short stature, adaptability to native climates and disease resistance capability. They can be sustained solely on grazing the forests and rural terrains. And they are highly adapted to harsh climate including heavy rainfall. The cows are pretty good milk producers. Elite cows can produce about 3-5 kg of milk daily. The milk and urine of these cattle is considered to be of medicinal value. These animals are very shy in temperament and relatively docile. They are mainly reared under low input low output system in their native area.
They are also raised in zero input system in some areas where they sustain solely on grazing. The breed was once a non descript variety and now has been declared as a distinct breed officially by the authorities
Malnad Gidda Cow Milk Price
$12.88 – $48.59