The Gir is distinctive in appearance, having a rounded and domed forehead, long pendulous ears and horns which spiral out and back. They originated in northwest India – in Gujarat – where the Gir forest extends up to the sacred mountain Girnar (or Gir-var, ‘the king of hills’). The forest is famous as the last abode of Asiatic lions. The Gir breed was kept by the local Maldhari people for their livelihood and then spread to neighboring Maharashtra and Rajasthan. Today the Gir is on the verge of extinction in India because people are using more buffalo milk than cow’s milk.
The Gir is a moderate to large size breed that can do well in hard conditions. They are highly fertile, calving very easily and regularly. Girs are considered to be the most gentle of the Zebu breeds. They love being with humans. They adore being brushed and scratched on their big dew laps, around the head, and between the back legs. They are very gregarious and at night they form a circle – very close together – with their calves sleeping under their necks. Gir cows are one of the three Zebu breeds used to develop the American Brahman.
What is our plan?
To develop a Gir herd at Hare Krishna Valley we need to buy seed stock (3 cows), renovate our existing Dairy, build a new Goshala where the cows can shelter and be cared for, and fence off parts of the Valley from native kangaroos (who compete with our cows for pasture). We must also improve pastures, provide supplementary feed, meet veterinary fees and breeding costs (until we breed a stud bull). The cows will be hand-milked and their milk offered to Lord Krishna. The whole herd will receive our care and devotion for life.