A youth in Kerala has claimed that he owns the shortest cow in the world which has a height of just 74 cm, shorter than the existing record holder and 83 cm-tall Swallow of the United Kingdom.
Keen to get his six-year-old cow registered with the Guinness Book of World Records, Suryaprakash from Muipoth village near here has also dented the recent claim of the Kerala Agricultural University that the 77-cm tall Diana at its farm is all set to take over the British cow's status.
Aptly named Chotti, which means small in Hindi, Prakash's pet has delivered thrice and is pregnant again.
A student of Chartered Accountancy, Suryaprakash's interest in farming and livestock rearing prompted him to own the cow that belongs to the breed known in the state as Kasargode Dwarf, when it was a calf about six years ago.
"I learnt from some farmers that the milk of this variety of cow has high nutritional and medicinal value. But what really sparked my interest was its short-stature, amiable disposition and adaptability," Suryaprakash told PTI.
"She never scares or kicks. Even children can go near her and play with her. She adapts herself easily to the surroundings of rearing but prefers to graze in open areas with fresh green grass, instead of artificial cattle feed or hay," said the proud owner.
Chotti yields 2.5 litres of milk per day on an average and its dung and urine are of higher bio-fertiliser value than those of the common varieties, he said.
Prakash said he would make a request to the Guinness authorities to get his cow's height certified by a competent veterinary surgeon.
The Centre for Animal Genetics and Breeding under the Kerala University had claimed last month that the 77 cm-tall Diana at its farm is the shortest cow, which can take over the record held by the Dexter cow from Britain.
Diana belongs to a breed called Vechur cows, saved from the brink of extinction through a conservation programme in the late 1980s. The Vechur cows derived their name from a village near the temple town of Vaikom in Kottayam district in the state, where they were reared in large numbers in the past on account of the high quality of their milk.
After extensive research as part of conservation efforts in the late 1980s, eight cows of the breed were traced in the state, with which the University started the conservation project.