Alambadi cattle is a wonderful indigenous breed that derives its name from a village called Alambadi on the banks of river Kaveri, in the Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu. In this tract, there are plenty of uncultivated forest lands that allow the cattle an abundant pasture and unrestricted roaming grounds. Alambadi cattle are also found in the Erode district of Tamil Nadu. Raised on the hilly regions of Tamil Nadu, the breed survives on the grazing in the forest regions. The Alambadi cattle in the North are said to be the descendants of the Hallikar breed of Mysore.
Like the other Indian breeds the Mewati have good adaptability to extreme climatic conditions and can easily withstand environmental stress or diseases. However, in the recent years, the population of all this breed has gone down considerably and the situation is alarming.
As is the case in all other Indian breeds, the primary factors contributing to this sharp decline are adoption of crossbreeding for enhanced milk productivity, mechanization of agricultural operations diminishing the utility of bullocks, shrinking of common grazing land and several other factors.
These cows can produce good amount of milk though the quality of milk needs to be improved upon. However, since these are mostly considered as poor milkers, they are used only for draught purposes. The cattle mostly live in a semi-wild state in the forests most of the year, especially from the month of July to January, when they are kept in pens during the night.
The cattle are medium or large sized with fairly deep but compact body.
Alambadi is mostly bred by Konga Vellalas, Lingayats, Vanniyars and Vokkaligas of the region, in the hilly forest areas of the upper Kaveri basin Mettur (Salem dt.) Pennagaram, Dharmapuri (both in Dharmapuri dt.) Kollegal, Bangalore rural (both in Karnataka state). It is considered to be one of the rarest of breeds in the world. Alambadi is capable of existing even in extremely hot temperatures and its disease resistance capacity is remarkable. Today, this breed has become almost extinct.
The cattle are brought back to villages during harvest times when the harvested fields provide pasture for some time, and the cattle supply the necessary manure for the fields. This breed of cattle mostly exist on grazing and dry fodder only.
It can withstand all climatic conditions. The bullocks are generally docile and easily trained. They are active, hardy and can subsist on scanty ration.