Ankole Cows: Ankole Cattle in Uganda

If you want to meet the cattle monarchs, Uganda, particularly the western section of the country, is the place to go. Long-horned cattle may be seen roaming throughout the huge pasture grounds, accompanied by one or two cow caretakers wielding long sticks, which they keep nearby to help fend off danger. These Ankole cows are ideal for breeding since they can withstand tough conditions and thrive on less food and water. Ankole cattle are primarily rated in the districts of Isingiro, Bushenyi, Ntungamo, Mbarara, and Kiruhura in Western Uganda. The cattle eat mostly grass from the wide fields, and farmers occasionally augment their diet with supplements. The cows are best renowned for their large horns, which may reach up to eight feet in length from tip to tip. According to mythology, the horns are for defense if the cattle are assaulted.

History Of The Ankole Cattle

ankole cows

As previously stated, Ankole cows are from the Sanga cattle breed, which is separated into numerous varieties, with the Ankole being the Watusi cattle type. The Watusi cattle are called after the Tutsi tribe of Rwanda. The Ankole Watusi cattle are considered sacred by most Africans. Some people do not eat their beef while some do depending on where they come from. The Ankole cattle were raised by shepherds who are thought to have arrived from Egypt with the Zebu cattle, which originated in India. The crossbreed resulted into the Sanga cattle family, from which the Ankole cattle descended. The sanga breed is raised in Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda. However, the original Sanga is still raised in Ghana and Zambezi.

Cattle are revered due to the importance they hold in the families of cattle keepers, as most individuals rely entirely on the cattle to provide for their families. They are also used to determine one’s social standing; for example, if one owns a lot of livestock, their status is higher than someone who has fewer animals. The cattle have distinctive traits such as large horns, a pendulous sheath and dewlap, and a neck hump that varies in size.

The Ankole cows, also called as the Inyambo by the locals, are majestic, long-horned animals that travel long distances in search of pasture and water. They are also regarded as a benchmark for warriors, as well as a gorgeous divine incarnation. The calves are raised for both milk and meat, but the skin can also be utilized to make cultural regalia such as drums, stools, sandals, and apparel. Inyambo are raised in the Right Valley, particularly along the cattle route between Rwanda and Uganda. People who rear cattle also identify time based on the grazing period of the cows, therefore mornings are referred to as grazing time and evenings are referred to as home time because this is when the livestock is brought home from the grazing areas.

The cattle vary in size based on the care they receive from the farmers, but calves always range between 14 and 23 kg, giving them a suitable choice for interbreeding when the time comes. Following a quick introduction to the Ankole cows, we shall cover the Ankole cattle’s way of life and the breeds.

Ankole Cows Prices in Uganda

An adult Ankole cows costs approximately $1,000, or 3.5 million Ugandan shillings.

Ankole Cattle Breeds

There are three primary breeds of Ankole cows, which are as follows:

The Bahema breed

The Bahema breed can be found in northern Kivu between the Amin and Edward Lakes. The Bahema breed has smaller horns than the other breeds, and the hue of their color changes throughout time. This is the major breed raised in Uganda, and it is raised primarily for wealth generation through products such as milk and ghee, meat, and to pay dowry.

Tutsi Breed

This is primarily raised in Burundi near Lake Tanganyika. The Tutsi breed has the greatest horns and is mostly red in color.

The Bashi Breed

The Bashi Breed is located in Kivu’s southern region, near Lake Kivu.

The Kigezi Breed

The Kigezi breed is uncommon. However, it has several characteristics with the Bahema breed. This can be found in the Kigezi highlands.

ankole cows

What do Ankole cows require to grow well?

The Ankole cows do not require much shelter because they can readily care for themselves. All they need is a shed to hide in, especially when it rains. If you are constructing a cow barn, you must ensure that there is adequate space for all of the animals so that their long horns do not collide. The good news is that these cattle can survive on very little food and water. They have a good digestive system that can absorb moisture within the cow’s body as long as the diet contains proteins.

How Do You Sell Ankole Watusi Cattle?

These cattle are sold like any other cattle, but they command a greater price than other breeds due to their huge bodies and long horns. Cattle can be sold at the farms, or they can be brought to various metropolitan areas for sale. Abattoirs that sell meat in significant amounts all throughout the country typically purchase Ankole cows. They can also be sold through online advertising, as people are increasingly using the internet, or through word of mouth. In Uganda, word of mouth is undoubtedly the best way to market these cattle. The pricing of Ankole Watusi cattle is mostly determined by their size and age.

The Horns of Ankole Watusi

Ankole cattle are used not just for food and bloodletting, but their horns are also marketed for ornamental purposes. Because of the beautiful design that these horns create when put in a space, any art enthusiast should own them. These horns are carried to market wrapped in natural cowhide and separated by a twine rope on each horn to avoid damage during transportation. The horns weigh between 9 and 16 kgs each and can be offered at various rates depending on the design desired by the client.

Significance Of Ankole Cows

  • Because of its high-fat content, calf milk is used to make ghee and yogurt.
  • The blood recovered from the cattle after slaughter is also used in the preparation of a local delicacy.
  • The cattle are utilized to strengthen social bonds. When people go out to graze their cattle, they are bound to enhance their relationship by discussing various subjects and their livestock.
  • Cattle are a source of revenue for farmers.
  • Cattle waste, particularly dung, is utilized in the finishing of houses and as manure in gardens, particularly banana plantations.
  • The urine of cattle is also used medicinally and as liquid fertilizers
  • Cattle also play an important role in the introduction rituals because they are used to pay dowry. The Ankole people feel that dowry is sufficient only if the groom pays the number of animals specified by the bride’s family.
  • The lengthy horns are utilized for ornamentation in various places of art.
  • Cattle also signify a social status for those who nurture them; those who own a large number of cattle have a high social status.
  • The skin and hide of the humans are utilized for decorating and clothing by the locals.
  • Cattle also supply nourishment in the form of meat, milk, and numerous byproducts.
  • Cows are regarded as the best present that one can give to someone else in Ankole.

After being introduced to the amazing Ankole Watusi cattle, you may wish to add a few to your herd for a crossbreed or create your own farm. Starting a farm is not difficult, and all you need are basic cow rearing skills. The Ankole Watusi cattle can also be crossed to create a new breed of cattle. And with their help, you will have an unending supply of manure at no expense.

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