Bull at Bhavnagar
|Conservation status||FAO (2007): not at risk:144|
|Country of origin||India|
The Gir or Gyr is one of the principal Zebu breeds originating in India. It has been used locally in the improvement of other breeds including the Red Sindhi and the Sahiwal. It was also one of the breeds used in the development of the Brahman breed in North America. In Brazil and other South American countries the Gir is used frequently because, as a Bos indicus breed, it is resistant to hot temperatures and tropical diseases. It is well known for its milk producing qualities and is often bred with Friesian cows to make the Girolando breed.
The Gir is distinctive in appearance, typically having a rounded and domed forehead (being the only ultraconvex breed in the world), long pendulous ears and horns which spiral out and back. Gir are generally mottled with the colour ranging from red through yellow to white, black being the only unacceptable colour. They originated in southwest India in the state of Gujarat and have since spread to neighbouring Maharashtra and Rajasthan.
Cows average 385 kg in weight and 130 cm in height; bulls weigh 545 kg on average, with a height of 140 cm. At birth, calves weigh about 20 kg. The average milk yield for the Gir is 1590 kg per lactation, with a record production of 3182 kg at 4.5% fat in India. In Brazil they average 3500 kg per lactation, with a world record production of 17 120 kg by the cow Profana de Brasília.
In 2003 the Gir numbered about 915 000, or 37% of the 2.5 million cattle population of the Saurashtra region of Gujarat. In 2010 the population in Brazil was estimated at approximately five million.
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