(Post revised on 25 May 2015) ‘Manikyam‘, has been adjudged as the world’s shortest cow by the Guinness Book of world Records. This six year old Vechur cow is just 61.5cm from her hooves to her withers. This special cow belongs to Mr. Balakrishnan Nambukudy of Atholi, Kerala. Manikyam smashed the previous record by more than three inches. Guinness World Record team of five members visited the village to verify the record. Manikyam doesn’t have any physical deformities.
(Posted on 12 December 2010: ‘The World’s shortest cow: the Guinness war’)) The Guinness war for the title of ‘the world’s shortest cow’ takes place here in Kerala. And the vets take sides too. The Centre for Advanced Studies in Animal Genetics of the Kerala Agricultural University claims that they own the shortest cows belonging to the famous ‘Vechur’ breed of cattle.Though reports are appearing in he local newspapers, it is not a war between two cattle breeds.
Vechur cow named ‘Diana’ that calved twice, is only 77 cms in height and is expected to lift the Guinness title. While the process of declaring ‘’Diana‘ as the world record holder is under way, comes ‘Chotti’ of another famous desi breed ‘Kasargod Dwarf’ with only 74 cms in height. Now pregnant and thrice calved Chotti is owned by an young farmer Mr. Sooryprakash of Kozhikkod and his claims are amply substantiated by two vets also.
Diana or Chotti, both the cattle breeds of Kerala outsmart the present title holder (84 cms)‘Swallow’, the Dexter cow that gave birth to nine calves so far and is expecting. (The photos of Vechur and Kasargod Dwarf cows displayed here are stock photos and not that of the cows Diana or Chotti)
Average milk production of the Vechur cows is 2.3Kg/day. The age at first heat is 19 months and the average age of first lactation is 36 months. The inter calving period is about 14 months. The mean milk fat at 20 weeks of lactation is 6.235% and the SNF is 8.88%.
New born Kasargod Dwarf calves weigh approx.10.5 Kg. Adult males will weigh around 190 Kgs. while the adult female will weigh about 145 Kgs. The bulls normally are (av.) 107 cms tall while the cows are about 95 cms. tall.