Deoni has evolved recently within the last two centuries only. Physical similarities in the head, ear, and horn to Gir and skin, limbs to Dangi suggest that it is a mixture, carefully bred out of local, Gir and Dangi breeds.
Deoni cattle is a native breed of India. It is also known by some other names. Such as Deccani, Dongari, Dongarpati or Surti. Deoni cattle breed originated in the taluks of Basavakalyan, Bidar and Bhalki of Bidar district in Karnataka and adjoining Latur district of Maharashtra state.
The name of this breed Deoni is derived from the Deoni Taluka of Latur district of Maharashtra. It is considered as an important dual purpose cattle breed in India. And they are known to be both draft animals and good milk yielders.
It is believed that ‘the Deoni cattle has been developed from a strain descended from a mixture of Dangi, Gir and local cattle’. The formation of the head and ears of Deoni cattle, and also of the horns to a certain extent is quite evident of a contribution from the Gir type cattle.
Their general conformation and ruggedness are also similar to the Dangi cattle. Deoni cattle crosses with Holstein and Jersey are very good milk yielders. The cattle breed is now quite popular in the tracts of Telangana and adjoining districts of Maharashtra and Karnataka.
Deoni Cattle Characteristics
Deoni cattle is a medium sized animal. It resembles the Gir in physical structure to a large extent. Thier body is moderately developed and symmetrical with distinct muscles.
The Deoni cattle is found in three color variations. These variations are; white body with irregular black spots (Shevera), clear white with black color at the sides of the face (Wannera) and clear white with black spots on the lower side of the body (Balankya). Their skin is thick and loosely attached to the body.
The head of Deoni cattle is masculine, alert, broad and slightly convex. Their head is completely white in the Balankya strain and black and white in Shevera and Wannera strain. Their horns are thick and medium in size. The chest is deep and wide. Their ears are long and drooping with slightly curved tips.
The forehead of Deoni cattle is prominent, broad, slightly bulged and white in color in all the three strains. Their eyes are prominent, bright and alert with black eyebrows. The tips of the horns are blunt.
They have strong and well developed short neck. And the hump is small in cows and massive and well developed in bulls. Their dewlap is thick, pendulous (less pendulous in cows than the bulls) and muscular with folds.
The udder of Deoni cow is well attached and medium sized with squarely placed black teats. The tail of this cattle is long, reaching below the hock with black and white switch. Their hooves are black in color and are well made and shapely.
The Deoni bulls are easily characterized by blackish scrotums of good size. Average body weight of Deoni cattle ranges from 620-680 kg in bulls and from 432-485 kg in cows.
Deoni cattle is an important dual purpose breed in India. They are raised as a draft animal and also kept for dairy.
Deoni cattle is docile and calm breed. They are very hardy and the bullocks are very good for heavy work. The cows are moderately good milkers, yielding about 1135 kg in a lactation period of 300 days.
And the average fat content in the milk of Deoni cows is about 4.3 percent. The average age at first calving is about 46 months, and cows usually show their first estrus at the average age of 36 months.
In India, the Deoni cattle are usually kept by grazing in fallow lands, dry lands or bunds of the farms. The breed is well adapted to their breeding tract and Indian climate, and they constitute an important cattle genetic resource of India. Average lifespan of these cattle is up to 15 years.
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