This award winner prefers Wayanad cows! Find out why?
Wayanad Noolpuzha native Gopalan has always had a love for the indigenous cattle breed of Wayanad. For his efforts to preserve Wayanad cows, Gopalan was honoured with the ‘Breed Saviour Award’ at the age of 65. His hard work helped protect the local cattle breed from extinction.
The award is instituted by the National Animal Genetic Resources Bureau and the Sustainable agriculture and Environment Voluntary Action (SEVA) with the cooperation of National Biodiversity Board for the efforts to preserve indigenous breeds in their natural habitat.
Gopalan accompany the cattle while they are grazing in the forest area throughout the day. There are many such farmers who dedicated their lives for Wayanad cow in Muthanga, Thirunelly and Chethalayam regions.
The major characteristic of Wayanad cows that distinguishes them from other breeds is the behavioural and physical features suitable for living in wild areas. There are only less than 500 cattle of this breed existing in Muthanga, Chiramoola, Kuzhimoola, Rampally, Uppuchira and similar villages close to the forest region.
The cattle are featured with short body type, long pointed snout, small ears, strong horns, loosely hanging dewlap, small hump on back, long tail and tough hoof. These characteristics enable the cattle breed survive in the hilly forest regions. They have a life of 30 years and breed once in a year.
Wayanad cow is known for its high immunity and ability to survive climate change. It is rarely affected with foot and mouth disease, mastitis and other diseases. Average milk production is less than 2.5 litres per day. Maximum duration of milk production is upto six months. However, its milk and milk products are of top quality.