Vechoor cow, an indigenous cattle variety of Kerala, a rare breed of Bos indicus, is the smallest cattle breed in the world. With an average length of 124 cm and height of 87 cm, it is the smallest cattle breed in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records.
Named after the village, Vechoor (Vechur) in Vaikom region (Kottayam District) where it is believed to have evolved this dwarf cattle breed is well adapted to the hot, humid tropical climate of Kerala. They require a minimum food and are highly resistant to diseases.
It yields the maximum milk in the world for a cow of this size. It’s not the quantity of the milk but it’s the quality that gave it an international fame.
Vechur cow was earlier believed to have gone extinct from its birthplace due to the high cross breeding. But to the surprise of many, they survived this doomed future. About 200 cows are supposed to exist today.
FAO & UN has specified and selected as the shortest dairy cattle which is to be protected.
According to K.S Narayana Iyer, A Vechur cow farmer, 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.