The cattle available in our country are of various breeds and their crosses. The pedigree record is difficult to recognize as farmers do not keep any account of their cattle breeding. However, we assessed the breeds on the phenotypical characteristics of the cattle. This phenotypical expression is the effect of dominant genes over recessive genes. Most commonly, there are Native , Sahiwal, Sindhi, Holstein-Friesian, Jersey, Brahman, Red Chittagong Cattle, Pabna Cattle, and Mirkadim Cattle in our country. Here is a summarized description of some of the prevalent breeds in our country.
Local or Native Cattle: Commonly available in Bangladesh, evolved over hundreds of years to survive under feed shortage conditions. Relatively smaller animals with adult live weight of 150-250 kg. They have a prominent hump, deep shoulders, well developed hind quarters but the head is slim with crescent-shaped pointed horns. Have a carcass (meat) yield of 47-52% of their live weight. Excellent quality of meat with relatively higher intramuscular fat, juicy and tender characteristics.
Pabna Cattle: Mostly available in Pabna and Shirajganj districts. Also available in Tangail, Dhaka, Manikganj&Bogra areas. Riverine char areas of Pabna and Shirajgan districts use to grow lush pastures especially during the dry winter which act as naturally nourishing fodder. Pabna cattle are in fact evolved from the crosses of Sahiwal or Sindhi, or Hariyana breeds with the native cattle. Relatively larger than native cattle, their body weight ranges from 250-400 kg with color texture of grey, deep red, faun (red) or mixture of red & white. Like other typical zebu cattle, they have prominent hump, deep shoulders, pendulous dewlap & well developed hind quarters with wide bulging head. Meat yield of Pabna cattle ranges from 47-52% of their live weight. Like the native cattle, Pabna cattle are also producers of excellent quality meat with relatively higher intramuscular fat and have juicy and tender characteristics.
Red Chittagong Cattle (RCC): The RCC is a unique type of native cattle predominantly available in the greater plain lands of Chittagong, but also to a smaller extent in neighboring Noakhali and southern Comilla area. Phenotypically it has all basic characteristics of Native cattle of Bangladesh except that all its external body coat including tongue, eye-brow, eye-ball, eye-lash, horns, hooves and tail are bright faun (red) color. Adult live weight of RCC male cattle ranges from 250-400 kg but female RCC cattle ranges from 150-250 kg. RCC yield excellent quality beef, having carcass (meat) yield of 48-52% of their live weight. They have relatively higher intramuscular fat and has juicy and tender characteristics.
Sahiwal Cattle: Sahiwal originated from the Sahiwal district of Punjab province in Pakistan. Sahiwal is a breed of Zebu cattle which is primarily used in dairy production but also good meat yield with prominent hump, deep shoulders, pendulous dewlap and well developed hind quarters with wide bulging head. They are light brown in color and have pendulous ear and loose skin. They are relatively larger than native cattle and body weight ranges from 350-450 kg. Meat yield of Sahiwal cattle ranges from 47-52% of their live weight. Like the other Zebu cattle, Sahiwal cattle are also producer of excellent quality meat with relatively higher intramuscular fat and have juicy and tender characteristics.
Sindhi Cattle: Red Sindhi cattle are the most popular of all Zebu dairy breeds. The breed originated in the Sindh province of Pakistan, they are widely kept for milk production across Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and other countries. Red Sindhi cattle is primarily used for dairy production but is also good meat yielder. Like Sahiwal, they also have prominent hump, deep shoulders, pendulous dewlap and well developed hind quarters with wide bulging head. They are dark brown to deep brick coat color and have pendulous ear and loose skin. Red Sindhi cattle are dual purpose animal of good milk and meat yielder. They are relatively larger than native cattle and body weight ranges from 350-450 kg. Meat yield of Red Sindhi bull ranges from 47-52% of their live weight. Like the other Zebu cattle, Red Sindhi cattle are also producer of excellent quality meat with relatively higher intramuscular fat and have juicy and tender characteristics.
Holstein Friesian Local Cross: Popularly known as Holstein Friesian cattle, they are basically a temperate dairy breed originating from Holland. Currently it is found across the globe, outstanding for its high milk production but its male animal covers nearly 40% of global beef (especially ground beef and roast beef) production. Typically, they are black or black & white, red & white or white. Purebred adult Holstein Friesian male can weigh over 500 kg. Properly managed crossbred Friesian cattle can attain 350-400 kg live weight within 2-2.5 years. Meat yield ranges from 47-50% of their live weight. Meat are relatively lean (less fat) and have good tenderness. Their docile nature and high growth rate makes them an attractive choice for beef fattening.
Mirkadim Cattle: Speaking of reputation, perhaps nothing can match Mirkadim cows. This herd is not exactly a ‘breed’ of its own; rather, Mirkadim is an area in Munshiganj where these cows are farmed. Of course, not all cows from Mirkadim are the special ‘Mirkadimergoru’. Mirkadim cattle are mostly white in color. The horn, eyelid, eyebrow, tail head, muzzle looks reddish white. The height ranges from 3 to 5 feet, length about 4 to 7 ft. Body configuration is rectangular. Rear view is whitish red and hooves are sometime whitish. Mirkadim cows cater to a premium and niche market. They are well-fed and exclusively cared for, buyers claim their meat to be of superior taste. The meat is said to have a distinct flavor which cannot be found in any other cattle breed. Meat yield ranges from 48-52% of their live weight.
Brahma Cattle: The Brahma breed (also known as Brahman) originated from Bos indicus cattle from India. The Brahman or Brahma is a breed of zebu cattle that was first bred in United States from cattle breeds imported from India. It varies in colour from very light grey or red to almost black with short, thick, glossy hair which reflects much of the sun’s rays and black pigmented skin, making it able to graze in the midday sun without suffering. Brahman have an abundance of loose skin which is thought to contribute to its ability to withstand warm weather by increasing the body surface area exposed to cooling. Brahmans are intermediate in size among beef breeds. Bulls will generally weigh from 700 to 1,000 kgs and cows from 500 to 700 kg in average condition. The calves are small at birth, weighing 26 to 30 kg, but grow very rapidly and wean at weights comparable to other breed. Meat yield of Brahma cattle ranges from 50-52% of their live weight.
Excluding by-product (Like head meat, liver, spleen, Lung, Heart, Kidney, Paya, processed stomach) Dressed yield of cattle is (47-52) %. But include all these by-product the dressed yield will be (58-60) %.
Bull: An uncastrated adult male is called a bull.
Steer: A castrated male is called a steer.
Heifer: A young female before she has had a calf of her own and is under two and half years of age is called a heifer.
Cow: An adult female that has had a calf is a cow.
Feeds: Bengal Meat uses farm-grown green fodder mostly maize, Napier and legume hay (like Black Gram or Alfalfa). It uses its own concentrate mixture using selected feed ingredients.
Feeding: Animals are group-fed in feedlot system. Animal have free access to chopped fodder and fresh clean water throughout the day (24 hours). Concentrate are given twice daily based on their body weight. They are kept under feed-lot system at least for two months before marketing. Prior to that animals are fed individually at farmer’s level with natural feeds.
Concentrate: Concentrates are grains, seeds, husks, bran like maize, corn, wheat bran, rice polish, rice husk etc. These may be either in mash, ground or pelleted form. There is no negative effect of concentrate and is natural.
Before putting into feedlot, animals are vaccinated against FMD and Anthrax. At the same time, they are dewormed with broad spectrum anthelmintic. Animals are kept free from use of any kind of steroid or any other growth promoter in the feedlot.
Animals intended for Qurbani sacrifice should be healthy and must not have the following defects:
Age matters :
All cattle meet the sharia requirement of minimum age limit of two years for cattle.
Animal’s intended for qurbani sacrifice must have reached adulthood. In the Case of cow Min. 24 months of age. And for goat Min. 12 month.
Cattle, like many animals, start life with baby or milk teeth. From average two years of age these teeth are replaced with permanent teeth. Permanent teeth erupt in pairs starting with the center pair. sf