Rathi is an important milch breed of cattle found in the arid regions of Rajasthan. This breed functions as a major livelihood source for the farmers in this region. It takes its name from a pastoral tribe called Raths who are Muslims of Rajput extraction and lead a nomadic life. Rathi animals are particularly concentrated in Loonkaransar tehsil of Bikaner district, which is also known as Rathi tract. The Breeding tract of this breed lies in the heart of Thar Desert consisting of Bikaner, Ganganagar and Jaisalmer districts of Rajasthan. Rathi cattle are thought to have evolved from intermixing of Sahiwal, Red Sindhi, Tharparkar and Dhanni breeds with a preponderance of Sahiwal blood. The animals are usually brown with white patches all over the body, but animals having completely brown or black coat with white patches are also seen. The eco system in its native tract is fragile and the lands are less fertile with very low productivity. Scorching summer (50 degree C), chilly winter (2 degree C), dry monsoon (less than 200 mm rainfall in a year) and dust storms are the characteristics of the region. Rathi cows are efficient and good milkers. The cows on an average produce 1560 kilo grams of milk. The lactation milk yield ranges from 1062 to 2810 Kg. Selected cows have produced around 4800 Kg at farmer’s doorstep.
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Animal Breeding Group, NDDB