Deoni is a popular dual purpose cattle breed originating from the Marathwada region of Maharashtra as well as found in adjoining parts of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
Variedly known as Dongari, Dongarpati, Surti or Deccani, As a matter of fact, this breed has evolved during the last two hundred years and is claimed to have been developed from a strain descended from the mixture of Gir, Dangi and the local cattle.
Erstwhile Nizam Kingdom considered Deoni to be the best milking variety. Deoni is not only tough and resistant,in addition constitutes an important cattle genetic resource of India. The bullocks are good for heavy work and consequently suitable for intensive cultivation.
Empirical studies show that one pair of bullocks can pull the medium plough for about seven to eight hours a day and can plough about half an acre of land.
The Deoni cattle are reared through grazing in fallow lands, dry lands or bunds of the farms. During the night, they are housed either in separate houses or in a part of the owner’s residence.
The males of this breed are separated after 20 months of age and trained for agriculture operations. The calf and adult mortality of this breed is negligible and it is hardy and well adapted to tropical drought-prone areas.
Some time ago, the Karnataka Veterinary, Animal and Fisheries Sciences University (KVAFSU), established a livestock research and information centre at Bidar, equipped with qualified human resource and infrastructure.
One of its aims is to breed and popularise the Deoni cattle breed. KVAFSU conducts genetic improvement through selective breeding in accordance with the national cattle breeding policy.