Vrundavan Gaushala – Ratanpur

This goshala was started in 1965 on the main campus at Ratanpur. The following are the objectives :

  1. To develop animal husbandry as a complementary vocation alongwith farming to help economic development of the surrounding villages.
  2. To help the animal breeders improve their cattle herd and make them do profitable dairying.
  3. To give practical education to the students in cow breeding.
  4. To work for the improvement of the Kankrej cow-breed.
  5. To supply pure cow –milk to the students and the families on the campus.

Gradual Development of the cow-breed :

In 1965 ten kankrej cows were purchased from Banny area of Kutch and this goshala was started. On account of proper care and rearing the herd increased to 50 by the year 1975, and 90 by 1985. During this period we gave away some good calves free of cost to some farmers and sold some calves at a concessional price. By so doing the Banny Kankrej cow breed developed in this area. We have distributed 128 cows so far in this area as well as in the tribal area.

There was no facility of artificial insemination (AI) in this area. The people also were not mentally prepared for that. At that time we bought one best improved bull from the Dantiwada Agriculture University. The service of this bull being available to the people, there were revolutionary results in cow-breeding and in milk production.

Experiments to improve cow-breed :

In 1991 we purchased four J × K and one K × H. F. cross-bred cows, and began an experiment in cross-breeding. We have achieved very encouraging results of this cross-breeding system. Our kankrej cows used to give on an average 5 litres of milk, which was increased to 7 litres. By the increase of average 2 litres of daily milk, there was an increase of 600 litres of milk per lactation. In 1988 we started a cross–breeding centure in our goshala. A calf born of this cross-bred gave 25 litres of milk a day. This result was shown to the farmers in our surrounding villages. Inspite of the Banas Dairy being nearby, they now take benefit of our cross-breeding service on a large scale.

Physical Amenities of the Goshala

On getting financial assistance from Swiss Aid Abroad through the kind services of shri Pierre Oppliger and Mr. Schnellmann, we had constructed permanent goshala building in 1965, which included milking shed, 1 calf-room, 1 bull room, 1calfing room, 1 laboratory/process room, 2 quarters for the gopals (herd-men), 3 compost pits 6’ × 20’ ×3’ each, 2 open yards, 2 grass godowns, 1 feed store, 1 water trough, pakka sheds for the cows-10. There is enough facility for treatment of the cows.

Soil Conservation and Development of Fodder

50 bighas of land is allotted for the goshala. In 50% of this land cash crops are grown and in 50% various green fodder crops. These green fodder crops are seasonal, annual and crops of longer periods. The dry hay of the cash crops is used in the goshala, yet about 15% dry grass is purchased from outside. The green fodder is produced on our land in enough quantities.

It has been our desire to develop this goshala into an ideal one. Before this goshala was started, the surrounding farmers never used to grow green fodder for their cattle. Most of the time of their family members was spent to collect dry grass from the hedges around their field or from the fields. Nowadays the animal breeders have started to grow green fodder in their fields.

Our institution has so far grown successfully the green fodder of jowar, maize, lucern, oat, gajraj, African toll, N.B.21, C.O.1 and Chinese rize. These are the various crops yielding higher production. We have supplied the seeds or roots of these fodder crops to the farmers and made them grow fodder crops for their milch animals. These fodder crops are tasteful for the animals and have high nutrition value.

Milk Production

We have a double-purpose local cow breed in our goshala. There are cross-bred cows also. Average milk production per day per cow has been 7.5 litres. Total milk production of a Kankrej cow per lactation remains from 1,800 to 2,200 litres, while that of a cross-bred it remains from 2,800 to 4,000 litres. Average fat content in the milk is from 4-2% to 5%. At present there is a herd of 40 cattle heads in our goshala.

Achievements of the goshala

This goshala has gained very encouraging results by introducing improved green fodder varieties, proper ways of breeding, vaccination for certain animal diseases, giving better nutrition to the cows, etc. On account of these various measures milk production has considerably increased, the first lactation age has been lowered and the dry period between two lactations has been lowered and the dry period between two lactations has been shortened. From 1965 to 1975 average milk production per cow was 5.5 litres a day which went up to 5.9 litres during the period between 1976 to 1985. On account of good fodder and nutrition this has been raised to 7.5 litres during 1986 to 2000. Due to many years’ hard and concerted work, the goshala is now self-supporting in the supply of green fodder and in the field of milk production required on the campus.

The goshala supplies necessary milk to 425 students and 20 families living on the campus. Not only that, there is surplus milk nowadays which is sold to the local milk co-operative society.

Extension Activities of the goshala

These activities like giving improved bulls to the village panchayats, distribution of calves, seeds of improved fodder varieties or roots, holding demonstrations, vaccination service, artificial insemination, primary medical service, infertility treatment, animal disease diagnostic and treatment camps, women’s seminars, night meetings, visits to good goshalas, tours, lectures etc. have been carried out as extension work of the goshala. As a result of such extension education work the farmers have learnt better ways of animal breeding, they have improved their herds and increased their milk production. Such results are obvious in this area.

  1. Different magazines on the subject are subscribed to keep the students and the farmers abreast of the latest research.
  2. The students of the Mahavidyalaya visit the farmers allotted to them every week and help them in development of their farming and animal husbandry.
  3. The crop museum of various green fodder crops is prepared for the benefit of the farmers.
  4. Animal diagnosis and infertility treatment camps are organized every year. Alongwith it vaccination is also carried out.
  5. The animal breeders are made aware of and conversant with the latest knowledge of the vocation with the help of District Panchayat Vaterinary branch, Banas Dairy, Cattle Breeding Station at Jagudan and the Agriculture University at Dantiwada by means of demonstrations, lectures, tours and visits, film shows etc. The animal breeders have responded very enthusiastically to such programmes and they have encouraged us in our extension work.
  6. When an animal dies in the goshala, the students are given practical knowledge of the animal anatomy by dissecting the dead body and showing them the internal organs, their shape, size, position in the body etc. They try to understand the respiratory system. The digestive system, blood-circulatory veins etc. In this way the students are habituated to learn and their nausea is removed.

This goshala is a special laboratory for the students. They participate in various processes from milking to breeding to medical treatment in the goshala.

Efforts are on to start good goshalas at our Virampur and Kuvala centres. Then gradually the work would be taken up at other centres.

This goshala has provided the following services from 1988 to 1999.

Medical treatment to 7,112 animals
Vaccination Service to 10,941 animals
Artificial insemination to 6,258 Cows
Pregnancy testing of 6,047 Cows

Moreover 4,391 animals were given medical treatment in the diagnostic and treatment camps.

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