Youth claims shortest cow of the world is his

Kozhikode: A Keralite youth has claimed that the shortest cow in the world is the one owned by him which is just 74 cm tall, shorter than the existing record holder `Swallow` from the United Kingdom.

Keen to get his six-year-old cow into the Guinness Book of World Record, Suryaprkash from Muipoth village near here has also dented the recent claim of the Kerala Agricultural University that the 77-Cm tall Diana in its farm is all set to beat the British cow`s status.

Aptly named as "Chotti" (means small one in Hndi) Prakash`s pet had delivered thrice and is pregnant again.

Though a student of Charted Accountancy, it was his interest in farming and live-stock rearing that prompted Suryaprakash to have a cow belonging to the breed known in Keala as "Kasargode Dwarf", when it was just a calf about six years back.

"I learnt from some farmers that the milk of this variety of cow has high nutritional and medicinal value. But what really sparked my interest was its short-stature, amiable disposition and adaptability," Suryaprkash told PTI.

"It never scares or kicks. Even children can go near and play with it.It adapts itself easily to the sorroundings of rearing but prefers to grze in open space for fresh green grass, instead of relishing artificial cattle feed or hay", he said.

"Chotti" yields an average 2.5 litres of milk per day and its dung and urine are of higher bio-fertiliser value than those of the common varieties, he said.

Praksh said he would be making a request to the Guinness authorities with the height of his cow getting certified by a competent veterinary surgeon.The Centre for Animal Genetics and Breeding uner the Kerala University last month claimed that 77 cm tall Dina at its farm is the shortest cow, which can erase the record of 83-cm tall "Swallow", a Dexter cow from Britain.

Diana belongs to a breed called "Vechur cows", saved from the brink of extinction through a conservation programme in late 1980s.

The `Vechur` cows derived their name from a villge near the temple town Vaikom in Kottayam district, where they were reared in large numbers in the past on account of high quality of their milk.

After extensive searches as part of conservation effots in the late 1980s, eight cows of the breed were traced in the state, with which the University started the conservation project.At present there are 100 `Vechur` cows at the college of Veterinary and animal Sciences.

They also stand out on account of their short stature and quality of milk and the first calving is possible at 36 months and inter-calving period being 14 months, according to experts.