Ever seen a cow with a height of just 90 cm and a length of 124 cm? If the answer is no, then come to Vechur, a small hamlet in the district of Kottayam in Kerala and see yourself this extraordinary cattle breed.
Vechur cow, an indigenous cattle variety of Kerala, a rare breed of Bos indicus, is the smallest cattle breed in the world. It yields the maximum milk in the world for a cow of this size. It's not the quantity of the milk but its quality that gave it an international fame.
Vechur cow was earlier believed to have gone extinct from its birthplace due to high cross breeding. But to the surprise of many they survived this doomed future. Thanks to the extraordinary efforts taken by Dr. Sosamma Iype, a Professor of Animal breeding and Genetics along with a team of her students. Under the guidance of Dr. Sosamma Iype a conservation unit was started in 1989 that has been looking after the conservation of not just Vechur cows but all other indigenous breeds of Kerala too.
Named after the village where it is believed to have evolved this dwarf cattle breed is well adapted to the hot, humid tropical climate of Kerala. They require minimum food and are highly resistant to diseases. Farmers are of the opinion that these cute cattle of Kerala are more intelligent and lovable compared to the other cross breeds common in Kerala. Vechur bulls despite their small size are very strong and were used in the earlier times to plough the marshy paddy fields.
The medicinal property of Vechur cow's milk has been accepted by Ayurveda too. Its milk is easily digestible due to smaller fat globule size and hence ideal food for children and convalescents. Recent studies proved the medicinal property of the Lactoferrin protein in the milk of Vechur cow. It is said that the milk contains Arginine, an amino acid with specific therapeutic functions like wound-healing, cell proliferation, cell signalling, and management of cardio-vascular diseases.