The Cattle Preservation Centre
The Beejom Cattle Preservation Centre: Beejom Samrakshana
Our indigenous cattle are the heart of the farm. An incredible 11 breeds of indigenous cattle grace our cowshed. We have Milch and draught breeds, cows and bulls, young and old and we are a Dung farm not a dairy. We totally have 142 bulls and cows ( including calves) now.
We are a cattle preservation centre engaged in the preservation of our beautiful indigenous species of cattle which are rapidly going extinct due to unsustainable agricultural practices. The food grown at Beejom is thanks to the fertilizers and pest repellants made with their dung and urine.
We have in our shed the Gir, Sahiwal, Tharparkar, Red Sindhi and Kankrej, Rathi and Hariani breeds from the northwest of India. We have the Malenad Gidda, Vechur and Kangeyam breeds from the southern states. We also have the rare Swarna Kapila or the golden cow. They are golden from the tips of their horns to the soles of their feet. Their eyes are hauntingly beautiful.
They are called kapilas because legend goes that Kapila Rishi is supposed to have bred them and reared them in his ashram. These variants of the Malenad Gidda breed are peculiar to the Dakshina Kannada region of Karnataka. They are nimble and swift footed and are often found grazing on medicinal herbs in the deep forests of the western ghats. Their milk therefore is precious but little. As a result these cows and bulls most often go for slaughter. They belong to the beautiful ethnic biological diversity of the sub continent and are sadly fast going extinct.
We brought 7 of this species from Karnataka (2 males and 5 females of which 5 were Kapila) to Beejom three years ago. Today we have bred many Malenad Gidda and vechur cows and bulls on the farm of which at least 4 are beautiful golden Kapila.
This cattle preservation has taught us traditional methods of animal husbandry. Animal husbandry is a branch of agriculture; a science. Looking after bulls and taking care of cows is very different indeed. Bulls are large beautiful powerful wilful animals. We have a training school for them so that they can be used to plough, pull the cart and run the water mill. Soon we also propose to start an oil mill and sugarcane mill.
We pure breed the cattle in a gentle sustainable way and so rest the cow for a couple of years before she can is pregnant again. Since many of our breeds are dwarf cattle which are on the verge of extinction, the preservation of their species has become crucial.
The male and female calves enjoy an equal status on the farm. We don’t trade or give away our cattle. This is their forever home.
We also make ploughs to order.