Guernsey Cattle Farming in india

Guernsey cattle are a breed of dairy cows that originated in the Channel Islands between France and England. They are known for their golden color, high butterfat content and gentle temperament. Guernsey cattle are also well adapted to different climates and can produce quality milk from grass.

Introduction of Guernsey Cattle Breed

The Guernsey cattle breed was developed on the Isle of Guernsey, which is the most western of the Channel Islands. According to some sources, the breed was derived from Froment du Leon and Normandy cattle that were brought to the island by monks from France over 1,000 years ago. The breed was isolated from other cattle breeds until the 18th century, when exports to England and other countries began. The breed was first recorded as a separate breed around 1700.

The Guernsey cattle breed is categorized as a sub-type of European blonde cattle, along with Jersey cattle. These breeds are admired for their delicate appearance and graceful gait. They have a finely tuned temperament, not nervous or irritable. They have a good dairy conformation and present the visual impression of a plain animal bred for utility rather than good looks.

Characteristics of Guernsey Cattle

The color of the Guernsey cattle varies from yellow to reddish-brown with white patches. The skin is yellow-pigmented, which gives the milk a golden hue. The horns are curved and usually tipped with black. The ears are medium-sized and alert. The eyes are large and expressive. The muzzle is broad and dished. The neck is long and slender. The body is deep and well-proportioned. The back is straight and strong. The rump is wide and level. The legs are short and sturdy. The udder is well attached and capacious.

The average weight of a Guernsey cow is 450 to 500 kg, while a bull weighs up to 700 kg. The height at the withers ranges from 120 to 140 cm for cows and 130 to 150 cm for bulls. The average lifespan of a Guernsey cow is 12 to 15 years.

TraitValue
Weight (cow)450-500 kg
Weight (bull)up to 700 kg
Height (cow)120-140 cm
Height (bull)130-150 cm
Lifespan12-15 years

Milk Production of Guernsey Cattle

Guernsey cattle are renowned for their high milk production and quality. They can produce an average of 6,000 liters of milk per lactation, with a butterfat content of 4.5% and a protein content of 3.7%. Some cows can produce more than 10,000 liters of milk per lactation. The milk also has a high content of beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids and A2 beta-casein, which are beneficial for human health.

The lactation period of a Guernsey cow is about 305 days, with a dry period of 60 days before calving. The calving interval is about 13 months, with an average age at first calving of 30 months. Guernsey cows can produce milk for up to 10 lactations.

TraitValue
Milk yield (average)6,000 liters/lactation
Milk yield (range)4,000-10,000 liters/lactation
Butterfat content4.5%
Protein content3.7%
Lactation period305 days
Dry period60 days
Calving interval13 months
Age at first calving30 months

Advantages of Guernsey Cattle

Guernsey cattle have many advantages for dairy farmers and consumers. Some of them are:

  • They can produce high-quality milk from grass and other roughages, reducing the need for concentrates and supplements.
  • They are adaptable to different climates and environments, including hot and humid conditions.
  • They are resistant to diseases and parasites, such as tuberculosis, mastitis and ticks.
  • They are easy to handle and manage, due to their docile and friendly nature.
  • They have a high fertility rate and calving ease, resulting in low calf mortality and high herd replacement.
  • They have a low maintenance cost, due to their moderate size and feed efficiency.
  • They have a high salvage value, due to their lean and tender meat.

Guernsey Cattle Farming in India

Guernsey cattle are not very common in India, but they have been introduced in some states, such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra. They are mainly used for crossbreeding with local breeds, such as Gir, Sahiwal, Red Sindhi and Rathi, to improve the milk production and quality of the offspring. Some purebred Guernsey cattle are also kept by dairy farmers who appreciate their golden milk and gentle temperament.

The Guernsey cattle farming in India faces some challenges, such as the lack of awareness and availability of the breed, the high cost of import and maintenance, the competition from other exotic breeds, such as Holstein Friesian and Jersey, and the preference for buffalo milk by some consumers. However, there are also some opportunities for the breed, such as the increasing demand for quality milk and milk products, the niche market for A2 milk and organic dairy products, the suitability of the breed for small-scale and organic farming systems, and the potential for genetic improvement through artificial insemination and embryo transfer.

Conclusion

Guernsey cattle are a valuable breed of dairy cows that can produce high-quality milk from grass. They are well adapted to different climates and environments, and they are easy to handle and manage. They have many advantages for dairy farmers and consumers, but they also face some challenges in India. They can be used for crossbreeding with local breeds or kept as purebred animals by dairy farmers who want to produce golden milk and organic dairy products.

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