Kankrej Cattle

Kankrej cattle are a breed of Zebu cattle. They originated from the Kankrej Taluka of Banaskantha district in the state of Gujarat in India. And the breed gets it name from it’s home tract ‘Kankrej‘.

They are also known by some other names such as Wagad, Waged, Wadhir, Wadial, Wadhiar, Bannai, Vaghiyar, Vadhiyar, Nagar and Talabda.

Kankrej cattle breed comes from southeast of the Desert of Cutch in western India, particularly along the banks of the rivers Banas and Saraswati which flow from east to west and drain into the desert of Cutch. Review characteristics, use and full breed profile of Kankrej cattle below.

Origin and History

As we have mentioned previously, the Kankrej cattle breed has originated from the arid and semi-arid regions of western India, primarily the Kankrej Taluka in the Banaskantha district of Gujarat.

This cattle breed is considered as one of the oldest cattle breeds in India, with a history dating back over 1000 years.

They were initially bred by the pastoral communities of Gujarat and Rajasthan, and their ability to thrive in harsh and challenging environments made them invaluable to the region’s nomadic herders.

Kankrej Cattle Characteristics

Kankrej cattle are large in size. And it is one of the heaviest Indian cattle breeds. Their color varies form silver to gray to iron gray or steel black. Newly born Kankrej calves have rust red-colored polls, and this color disappear within 6 to 9 months.

Kankrej cattle have short face, their forehead is broad and slightly dished in the center. Their nose looks slightly upturned. Their hump, forequarters and hindquarters are darker than the barrel, especially in the bulls. They have lyre-shaped strong horns. And their horns are covered with skin to a higher point than in other breeds.

The ears of this cattle are large, pendulous and open. The hump in the bulls is well developed. The dewlap is thin but pendulous and bulls have pendulous sheaths. Their skin is slightly loose and of medium thickness. Pigmentation of the skin is dark.

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Their legs are particularly shapely and well balanced. And have small feet which are round and durable. On average Kankrej bulls weight about 550-570 kg, and cows about 330-370 kg. Photo form Wikipedia.

1. Physical Characteristics

The Kankrej is a very beautiful breed of cattle with distinctive appearance. They are easily recognizable by their color and appearance.


One of the most distinctive features of Kankrej cattle is their very beautiful appearance with striking gray or silver-gray coat.

This coloration helps them to reflect sunlight and tolerate high temperatures in the arid regions where they are commonly found. Their coat can range from light to dark gray, with a lighter shade being more common.


Kankrej cattle are easily recognizable and they are also well known for their impressive, lyre-shaped horns. These horns can be quite long, extending upwards and curving outward, which adds to their majestic appearance. The horns are used for defense and can be a distinguishing feature of the breed.

Size and Body Structure

Kankrej are large and robust animals. Average weight of a mature bull is between 600 to 800 kilograms, while cows generally weigh between 350 to 450 kilograms. They have a well-structured body with a strong and broad chest, making them well-suited for heavy-duty agricultural tasks.


Another notable characteristic of Kankrej cattle is the prominent hump on their shoulders. This hump is composed of a large mass of muscle and serves as an energy reserve, helping them endure periods of food scarcity and high energy demand. The hump also make them very beautiful.


Kankrej cattle have a distinctive dewlap or loose fold of skin under their necks. This dewlap is thought to aid in thermoregulation, as it can dissipate excess heat when they are in hot climates. Along with this, dewlap also make them very distinctive and beautiful.

2. Adaptability

One of the most remarkable aspects of Kankrej cattle is their adaptability to diverse environmental conditions. They thrive in areas with extreme temperatures, ranging from scorching summers to chilly winters.

Their heat-tolerant coat and efficient thermoregulatory mechanisms make them well-suited for regions with high temperatures. They are actually good for raising in many areas throughout India.

The Kankrej cattle are also known for their ability to graze on poor-quality forage and withstand food scarcity.

Their digestive system is highly efficient, allowing them to extract maximum nutrition from even low-quality vegetation. This adaptability makes them suitable for extensive grazing systems, which are common in the semi-arid regions of India.

3. Milk Production

While Kankrej cattle are primarily known as draught animals, they also excel in milk production. They are classified as a dual-purpose breed, meaning they can be used for both dairy and agricultural purposes.

Kankrej cows typically produce around 1200 to 1500 kilograms of milk per lactation cycle. The milk is known for it’s high fat content and is ideal for making ghee.

4. Temperament

Kankrej cattle are known for their docile and gentle temperament. They are easy to handle and work with, making them suitable for various agricultural tasks, including plowing, carting, and hauling.

Their calm disposition makes them a preferred choice for farmers who value ease of handling and safety.

5. Uses

The Kankrej cattle are very hardy and active animals. They are very highly prized as a fast and powerful draft cattle breed. The breed is also raised as a dairy cow in India.


Providing suitable housing for Kankrej cattle is important for keeping them healthy and active. A good house not only provide shelter but also helps to keep them free from adverse weather conditions and predators.

Although, housing need of these animals is very less. They just require a well-ventilated and spacious shelter which will protect them from extreme weather conditions.

These robust cattle breed can thrive when they have clean and hygienic living spaces, which reduces the risk of diseases. A good house also play a vital role during calving, offering a safe environment for both cows and their calves.


Like many other domestic animals, feeding the Kankrej cattle with good quality and nutritious food is very important. These resilient animals thrive on high-quality forage and nutritious feed, making proper nutrition a cornerstone of their well-being.

Supplement their diet with essential minerals and vitamins to ensure that they receive a balanced nutrition for good health and happy life. Offer them clean and fresh water at all times, and it is vital for their health and milk production.

Kankrej cattle has efficient digestive system which allows them to extract maximum nutrition from even low-quality vegetation. And this feature makes them well-suited for extensive grazing systems.


Breeding Kankrej cattle is very easy and simple. Just select healthy and genetically superior breeding stock is the first step, considering factors like physical characteristics, temperament, and historical performance.

Timing is crucial, ensuring cows are neither bred too early nor too late in their development. Calving assistance might be necessary at times, so providing a clean and safe calving environment is essential.


The Kankrej cattle are very strong and hardy animals, and caring them is relatively easy and simple. Juse provide them with appropriate shelter, ensure a clean and spacious living environment, and maintain good hygiene to prevent diseases.

Adequate nutrition, including high-quality forage and clean water, is essential for their health and productivity. Regular veterinary care, deworming, and vaccination programs should be in place to safeguard their health.

Along with these, promoting natural behavior, handling them gently, and monitoring their reproductive health are all part of comprehensive Kankrej cattle care.

By addressing all these aspects with dedication and care, you can ensure the overall health and happiness of your herd.

Tips for Raising Kankrej Cattle

As we have mentioned above, the Kankrej is a very strong and hardy animal and raising them is very easy and simple. You can easily care these animals. However, here we are going to share some tips for caring these beautiful cattle breed.

1. Gather Knowledge First

First of all, you have to learn practically about raising cattle from an experienced farmer. Doing this is important, because raising these animals will be very easy if you can learn more about their caring procedures.

2. Start Small and Expand Gradually

Starting with a few cows will be a very good idea. Take care of a few cows, gather practical knowledge and expand your herd gradually. You will face many problems if you start with a large herd.

3. Purchase Good Quality Animals

Purchasing good quality, healthy and active animals is very important for managing a healthy and active herd. Begin with selecting healthy and genetically superior breeding stock.

Look for cattle with excellent physical characteristics, good temperament, and a history of high milk production. Consider purchasing your breeding stock from any of your local farms or breeders.

4. Providing Enough Shelter is Also Important

Construct sturdy shelters to protect your Kankrej cattle from extreme weather conditions. Ensure proper ventilation and drainage in the shelter to maintain a comfortable environment. Ensure enough space is available per animal inside the house.

5. Clean the House Regularly

Keep the cattle house clean and provide them ample space for easy moving. Proper sanitation reduces the risk of diseases and ensures the comfort of your cattle. Apply disinfectant occasionally after cleaning.

6. Ensure Grazing Space

Kankrej cattle are excellent grazers like many other native Indian cattle breeds. So, ensure sufficient pasture land for them to graze on, and practice rotational grazing to prevent overgrazing.

7. Provide Them High Quality Food

Provide your animals with very high quality and nutritious feed to meet the dietary needs. Supplement their diet with minerals and vitamins if necessary. And never feed them with rotted or contaminated food.

8. Ensure Adequate Fresh Water Supply

Ensure a constant supply of clean and fresh water. Cattle require a significant amount of water daily, especially lactating cows. Never provide them with dirty or contaminated water.

9. Perform Regular Veterinary Care

Performing regular veterinary care is very important for the good health of your animals. Schedule routine check-ups and vaccinations with a qualified veterinarian. Timely healthcare prevents diseases and keeps your cattle in good condition.

10. Monitor Their Body Condition Regularly

Regularly assess the body condition of your cattle. Adjust their diet if needed to prevent under- or over-conditioning. Doing this is very important for keeping your herd healthy and active.

11. Perform Deworming Occasionally

Worms can harm a lot to your animals. So, deworm your cattle regularly to keep them free from internal parasites. Consult your vet for the most suitable deworming program.

12. Always Maintain Proper Hygiene

Practice good hygiene when handling cattle. Clean and disinfect equipment, feeders, and water troughs regularly.

13. Practice Temperature Control if Required

Kankrej cattle are adapted to hot climates, but they can still suffer from heat stress. Provide shade and cooling measures during extreme heatwaves. And provide them with enough bedding materials during the cold months.

14. Practice Good Breeding

Plan breeding carefully to ensure the health of the cow and calf. Avoid breeding too early or too late, and maintain a proper bull-to-cow ratio.

You can practice both AI or natural breeding depending upon the size of your herd.

Be prepared to provide assistance during calving if necessary. Have a clean and safe area ready for calving, and monitor cows closely during this period.

Handle calves gently from an early age to build trust and ensure they grow up with a calm temperament.

15. Keep Records

Maintain detailed records of your cattle’s health, breeding, and production performance. This data is invaluable for making informed management decisions. Keep data of everything from starting to marketing.

16. Milking and Weaning Timely is Important

Follow proper milking techniques to maximize milk production and maintain udder health. Keep milking equipment clean and sanitized.

When weaning calves, do it gradually to reduce stress. Provide supplemental feed to replace the mother’s milk.

17. Take Good Care of the Bulls

Handle breeding bulls cautiously (if you have any), as they can be unpredictable. Use proper safety protocols when working with them.

Special Notes

Kankrej cattle is resistant to Tick fever and it shows very little incidence of contagious abortion and tuberculosis. It has also been observed that the red color is recessive.

As a very hardy breed, the Kankrej bullocks are used for road transport and agricultural operations. The cows are good milkers.

On an average, Kankrej cows yield about 1738 kg in a lactation period which ranges from 257-350 days. The average fat content in their milk is about 4.8 percent. The average age at first calving is about 39-56 months.

Kankrej cattle is a very important breed in the formation of some other popular cattle breeds. Review full breed profile of this cattle breed in the chart below.

Breed NameKankrej
Other NameWagad, Waged, Wadhir, Wadial, Wadhiar, Bannai, Vaghiyar, Vadhiyar, Nagar and Talabda
Breed PurposeMainly kept as a draft animal, but also suitable for milk production in India
Special NotesHardy, Active
Breed SizeHeavy
WeightAverage body weight of Kankrej cattle ranges from 550-570 kg in bulls and from 330-370 kg in cows.
Climate ToleranceAll Climates
Skin ColorSkin color varies form silver to gray to iron gray or steel black.
Milk YieldGood
Country of OriginIndia

Related Queries & FAQs

There are lots of questions and queries related to Kankrej cattle. Here we are trying to list the common questions and queries about this beautiful cattle breed. Hope you will find answers of your questions or queries. Don’t hesitate to ask us if you have more questions.

What are Kankrej cattle?

Kankrej cattle are a distinct breed of cattle native to western India. They are known for their unique physical characteristics and adaptability to harsh environmental conditions.

What is the history of Kankrej cattle?

Kankrej cattle have a rich history dating back over 1000 years. They were initially bred by pastoral communities in Gujarat and Rajasthan and have been valued for their draught power and milk production.

What is the typical coloration of Kankrej cattle?

Kankrej cattle are typically gray or silver-gray in color, with variations ranging from light to dark gray. The lighter shades are more common.

What is the distinctive feature of Kankrej cattle’s horns?

Kankrej cattle are known for their impressive, lyre-shaped horns that can be quite long, extending upward and curving outward. These horns are used for defense and are a distinguishing feature of the breed.

How large do Kankrej cattle typically grow?

Adult male Kankrej cattle, or bulls, can weigh between 600 to 800 kilograms, while adult females, or cows, generally weigh between 350 to 450 kilograms.

What purpose do the humps on Kankrej cattle serve?

The prominent hump on Kankrej cattle’s shoulders is composed of a large mass of muscle and serves as an energy reserve. It helps them endure periods of food scarcity and high energy demand.

What is the dewlap on Kankrej cattle?

Kankrej cattle have a loose fold of skin under their necks called a dewlap. It is thought to aid in thermoregulation by dissipating excess heat in hot climates.

How adaptable are Kankrej cattle to environmental conditions?

Kankrej cattle are highly adaptable to diverse environmental conditions. They can withstand extreme temperatures, ranging from scorching summers to chilly winters, and are known for their resilience in arid regions.

Are Kankrej cattle good milk producers?

Yes, Kankrej cattle are classified as dual-purpose cattle, excelling in both draught work and milk production. Kankrej cows typically produce around 1200 to 1500 kilograms of milk per lactation cycle, known for its high-fat content.

What is the temperament of Kankrej cattle?

Kankrej cattle are known for their docile and gentle temperament. They are easy to handle and work with, making them suitable for various agricultural tasks.

Are there conservation efforts for Kankrej cattle?

Yes, there are conservation efforts in place to preserve and promote the Kankrej breed. The decline in their population due to modernization has prompted government agencies and conservationists to take action.

How to start raising Kankrej cattle?

To start raising Kankrej cattle, you should begin by acquiring healthy breeding stock, providing proper shelter, nutrition, and healthcare. Consulting with experienced cattle farmers and veterinarians is essential for success.

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