The Ghumsuri Breed of cattle is distributed in and around the Bhanjanagar (Ghumsar) sub-division of Ganjam. The breed with a beautiful look varies from silver grey to white in skin colour. Body is generally small/ and compact. The head is small and flat with broad forehead; horns are short to/ medium which curve outward, upward and inward. Well developed humps with medium sized tubular ears. Dewlap is thin and short and legs are medium in length, well proportioned with deep black round hooves. Tail is thin with black switch. Udder is small with small teats with less prominent milk veins. Cows are generally docile and the bullocks are good draft animals. A pair of Ghumsuri bullocks can work eight hours a day with an ability to plough around 4000 sq.mtrs and pull a cart load of about 800 to1200 kgs.
These animals are rarely fed with concentrate feed. They are normally tied on wooden pegs in the open under trees during the night almost throughout the year. During rainy season these animals are confined to thatched sheds. During day time they are let loose in herds for grazing across the river embankments, hillocks and open fields. The crows are milked once early in the morning prior to letting them for grazing.
The population of these lesser known breeds of Ghumusuris is in decreasing trend day by day due to indiscriminate breeding system. The present population of this cattle type is less than 10,000 in the native tract and is further decreasing at faster rate. To initiate the conservation and improvement process of these valuable Ghumusuri cattle germplasm, selective breeding can bring sustained development in productivity and economic importance of these animals in its native tract resulting in conservation.
Therefore, efforts should be made to preserve these valuable indigenous Ghumusuri germplasm by in situ conservation and improvement programmes. Attempt must be taken to establish the nucleus herd in the field and in separate clusters so as to create a base of elite Ghumusuri germplasm of the respective native breeds.
CONSERVATION AND IMPROVEMENT OF NATIVE GHUMUSURI GERMPLASM
The present project is envisaged at following objectives.
- In-situ conservation of Ghumusari breed of cattle.
- Improvement of production and reproduction performance of this breed by introducing high quality bulls in the native tract through selective breeding.
Maintenance of nucleus herd to produce elite bulls
- Selection of elite females and males true to breed characteristics.
- Maintenance of nucleus herd.
- Production of elite bulls.
- Performance study in the field.
Parameters to be studied
The production potential of this breed will be studied basing on following parameters (i) Lactation length (ii) Lactation yield (iii) Daily milk yield (iv) Fat % (v) SNF % (vi) Dry period.
The following reproduction traits will be studied (i) Age at sexual maturity (ii) Weight at Sexual maturity (iii) Age at first calving (iv) Gestation length (v) Calving % (vi) rate of conception (vii) Calving interval etc.
c) Draft Quality:
The draft quality of the breed will be studied by exposing the individual to different agricultural and transportation operations.