Even as the various cow vigilante groups that recently sprung up in North India have been in the news for all the wrong reasons, Vechur cow farmers in Kerala– which leads the country in beef consumption– are bracing for a silent revolution in cattle rearing by manufacturing and marketing various value added products of this rare breed of cattle that takes it nomenclature from a village of the same name in Kottayam.
It is widely believed that having virgin cows’ urine at dawn will provide relief from a host of ailments. Cashing in on the belief, Vechur Conservation Trust, set up to save the smallest cow in the world from the brink of extinction, has been imparting training to Vechur farmers to distill cows’ urine and enable them to market the product in the state.
Speaking to Express, Dr Sosamma Iype, a pioneer in reviving the internationally famed Vechur cow breed and who recently won the India Biodiversity Award 2016, said the Trust had been empowering the farmers to produce distilled cows’ urine as there was a huge demand for it from Ayurveda pharma companies for producing eye drops, medicines for stomach ailments, toothpaste, toilet soap and herbal powder among other things
Features of Vechur Cow Milk
Ideally you should avoid cattle traders or middlemen dealing in vechur cows. It is very rare to get pure vechur cows. Look for farmers in Thrissur area who own cows and better if they own a bull.
Market price for pure vechoor cows range from 50,000 to 1.5 lakhs. There are also some traders willing to offer cows for 30000 to 50000 rupees on olx and other websites, low priced cows will have some genetic defects like a small tail, less developed hump, dewlap not very prominent. This is because either the bull or cow would be a hybrid or the earlier generation would have hybrid or western cow genes. Look for farmers or hobbyist and source cow from them.
There are many dwarf cows in India mostly on the western ghats. They were once upon a time called (sahya pashu – cows only found on sahyadri hills). Cows and animals tend to become small in hilly hot and humid areas.
Uses/benefits of Vechur Cow Milk
1) This is the first endemic cattle of Kerala registered with (ICAR) Indian Council of Agricultural Research
2) By 1970’s less than 100 cows were left, so it was in the extinct list, Normally when this happens people are ready to pay a hefty amount to keep the specimen of the species.
3) They are very small in size, docile and adorable.
The medicinal property of the Vechur cow’s milk have been documented traditionally by Ayurveda and recent scientific studies have substantiated this. The protein component of the Vechur cow’s milk has an improved antimicrobial property. As per recent findings, the anti-bacterial property of the lactoferrin protein present in the Vechur Cow milk is more than that of the antibiotic ampicillin. Although lactoferrin, present in the milk of all mammals, is found to have antimicrobial, antiviral, antitumor, immunodefence and anti-inflammatory properties recent studies prove that in the case of the lactoferrin protein in the Vechur Cow milk, these properties are much more enhanced. The Vechur Ghee (clarified butter) produced from Vechur cow’s milk, is famous for its high medicinal values due to the presence of A2 beta-lactalbumin protein and higher arginine content which is good for the health of convalescing people.
Beta casein is a major milk protein that imparts biological, technological and physical properties to milk. There has been a finding recently that beta casein yields biologically active peptides during digestion that takes place in the intestine. For most people milk is milk. It really does not matter where it comes from. A buffalo, Cow or a goat. At the end of the day what matters is that its milk. But milk has its own benefits and how its sourced plays a major role. For instance a cows milk contains more fat from that of a goat. A buffalo’s milk has a different nutritional value to that of a cow and camels milk is known to have other benefits. Cows milk also differs in nutritional values from breed to breed.
Prices of Vechur Cow Milk