The ONGOLE cattle are indigenous to the Andhra region in the Prakasam District in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The breed derives its name from the name of the place ONGOLE. Some also refer to this breed as NELLORE CATTLE, as this area was once part of the Nellore area. The ONGOLE BULL is in great demand, as it is said to possess resistance to both foot and mouth disease and mad-cow disease. These cattle are commonly used in bull fights in Mexico and some parts of East Africa due to their “strength and aggressiveness”.
Traditionally, the ONGOLE have been raised by local farmers, fed by both the Gundlakamma, one of the rivers that originate from the Nallamala Hills, and in the plains the Paleru River, a tributary of the Krishna River.
ONGOLE BULLS have gone as far as America, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Brazil, Argentina, Columbia, Mexico, Paraguay, Indonesia, West Indies, Australia, Fiji, Mauritius and Philippines. The BRAHMANA BULL is America is an off-breed of the ONGOLE. The ONGOLE ISLAND is an island located in Malaysia, where many ONGOLE can be found. The population of ONGOLE off-breed, in Brazil, is said to be around several millions. The famous Santa Gertrudis breed developed in Texas, USA have ONGOLE blood.
They are known for the toughness, rapid growth and natural tolerance to tropical heat and are disease-resistant. It was the first Indian breed to gain “worldwide recognition. The ONGOLE BULL is one of the heaviest breeds. They weigh approximately half a ton, are 1.5 mts in height and have a body-length of 1.6 mts and a girth measuring 2 mts.
The weight of an ONGOLE COW is 432-455 kg and the milk yield is 600 kg to 2518 kg. The lactation period is 279 days. The milk has a butter fat content of over 5%. This results in large, well-nourished calves with considerable growth by the time of weaning. ONGOLE COWS stay close to their calves to protect them from predatory animals.
The mascot of the 2002 Indian national Games was VEERA, an ONGOLE BULL.