The Taylor Cows in India
Taylor Cows of Patna
The origin of what are known as Taylor breed of cows dates as far back as 1856, when on
William Taylor, the Commissioner of Patna Division, started an Industrial Institution by
raising funds from the public. There was to be a breeding establishment of cattle, sheep
and pigs as a section of this Institution. With this idea in view, this gentleman obtained
four English bulls, each of which cost him as much as Rs. 600/-. The animals were very
magnificient. There is no definite information as to the exact history or breed of these
bulls. A close study, however, of the physical conformation of their progeny leads one to
surmise that they were probably of either Jersey or Guernsey origin, as the features of
these animals are more akin to them than to any other English breeds. It is said that
these imported animals were the progenitor of the existing herd of the cross-bred cattle
found in Patna. The Industrial Institution, however, could not survive through the
troublous time of 1857. Taylor, however, retained the bulls with himself, and, after
settling in Patna, started a small cattle farm at Lohanipur (a mohalla of Patna). He used
these bulls for breeding purposes and hired their service to the local people on a stud
fee of Rs. 20/- per service. The local goalas did not appreciate the value of the service
of so costly a sire in the beginning, but later on when a number of crossbred cows with
high-yield passed into their hands, they promptly recognised the benefit of maintaining
such animals They have been since then continuing this crossbred strain without any aid or
guidance from any quarters. In about 1900, the Patna District Board imported two bulls of
high milk strain from Australia in order to revive the degenerating stock. These bulls,
however, did not perform any service and died after only a few days of their arrival. The
goalas nevertheless, cintinued to maintain the strain through the degenerated bulls of the
local and other cross-bred stock. The Patna District Board again purchased a few
Montgomery bulls and stationed them in the Veterinary Hospital for breeding purposes.
These bulls along with other non-descript bulls further contributed to the inter-mixing of
varied characters leading to the production of mongrel stock of the present time.
Taylor Cow [ World Animal Review nr.11 1974]
A brief description of the breed
The cows are mostly adopted to stall-feeding, because the town provides no facility for grazing. But on account of their high milkyield, cows have been very much popular with the milk traders, who carry on trade in milk supply. Therefore, majority of the cows are rared and maintained by them. A fraction of the total strength of cow is, however, also maintained by private individuals for their domestic needs.
General conformation: Due to considerable mixing of various breeds, it is not possible
to define the breed, because wide variations are noticed both in performance and physical
features. However, there are cetain common features which are narrated below. They are of
medium size, the average female in milk weighing 750 lbs and the male 900 lbs. The body is
disproportionate, the head being comparatively narrow and small in comparison to the
body. The look is impressive, the gait light, easy and slow. The animals are mostly docile
Present position: .. Due to the absence of any breeding policy and absence of suitable
male stock for upgrading, the breed is gradually deteriorating. The breeding is most
indiscriminate, and haphazard. A large number of crossbred bulls of this heterogenous
stock are maintained by private persons for breeding purposes, who allow service on a fee
of Rs 2 to 5 per cow. The majority of these individualsbelong to a class or caste of
people known as Nats - a wandering tribe. A few of the Gowlas and Gaushalas are also
maintaining such bulls resulting in further mixing and deterioration. The Nats make a good
living out of these bulls earning as much as Rs 10 to 16 per day from eah bull. As the
male stocks are unsuitable for hard and laborious work, they are available at
comparatively much cheaper rates and hence the Nats find it easy and financially
convenient to purchase and maintain them.
From the analysis records, it is apparent that fat content, on an average, is rather a little higher than the average standard of the cows milk, and so are the other constituent except the milk sugar which is slightly less than the standard average. The water percentage comes to 85-86 which is less than the standard; this is because the total slids percentage has gone a bit higher than the standard. In short, on the basis of these findings, the milk of this breed cannot be said to be of inferior quality in respect of any of its constituents.
NB: Lactose, protein and ash have been calculated by formulae and they are only approximate and not exact.
Scope of improvement: Though the breed has degenerated much, still it has a great
potentiality for milk production. There is ample scope to exploit this breed by judicious
breeding and improving their milk producing potentially. Though complete data are not
available about the total strength of this breed as no census appears to have been ever
taken, yet from the enquiry it appears that there are nearly 1500 cattle in Patna town
alone, axcluding approximately 1000 in the neighbouring villages. Selected cows ou of this
lot, containing more of the original blood, can very well form a nucleus of a dairy herd,
suited mostly for the town, if breeding is done by introducing some fresh blood of the
original strain and carried out under expert hands. The males should be castrated and
scrupulously prevented form procreating till they come to a stage containing nearly 15/16
th of blood of the original strain. If controlled breeding under proper guidance is
undertaken, there is no reason why the mmilk producing capacity of this breed cannot be
improved. The improved milk production will solve the problem of milk demand of Patna
town, which is a chronic sufferer in respect of proper milk supply.
2. The use of Tharparkar bulls or their semen by artificial insemination method to cows of this breed would be forthwith stopped.
3. Pending arrival of fresh English bulls, the breeding would be allowed through the best available Taylor bulls only.
4. All the stray and nondescript private bulls would be castrated or withdrawn from the town.
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