The Goshala at Govardhan Eco Village was started in 2003. Beginning with only 9 cows & bulls, the number today has increased to 104 and is expected to reach 150 in next few years. One of the unique features at the Govardhan Ecovillage Goshala is the personal attention and care given, with separate special zones allocated for Bulls, Cows, Calves and milking Cows. Pregnant Cows are offered special diet and care to ensure proper health of the Cow and the calf. Old cows and bulls are given special care. Cows at Govardhan Ecovillage are treated as one of the family members and all due care is given to them. The health status of each and every cow is noted on a daily basis and is logged for long term monitoring. To ensure proper medical care a veterinary doctor visits the Goshala regularly and is locally available in case of all emergency situations. Primary treatments are done with homeopathy and herbal medicines. Apart from providing clean hygienic surroundings, fresh water and ventilation, great care is taken with regards to their diet. Proper nutrition is provided in the form of kadbakutti, corn flour, tuar and wheat bran. Lucerne grass, Yeshwant grass, Paragrass grown at our own farmland provides very good nutrition for our Cows. With 7 people serving the Cows round the clock, it is ensured that all timely requirements are taken care off. Govardhan Ecovillage Goshala provides excellent facilities for Cows and bulls, setting world-class standards in Cow care with rope free zones, fresh water, special calf care and many other practical considerations.
In order to demonstrate their utility bulls have been engaged in variety of activities:
- Ploughing the fields,
- Extracting oil in oil mill
- Flour mill
- Transportation within the farm
- Animal Driven Prime Movers: for water pumping application
- After the calves drinking sufficient Milk from the cows rest quantity is distributed to the children and senior citizens.
Cow dung is being used in:
- Biogas plant
- Cow dung cakes as fuel
- Soap powder
Cow Urine is being used in:
- Go Ark (Distilled Cow urine)
Traditionally cows are treated as one of the family members and due care is given to them. As for their diet green fodder like corn & millet is being grown in abundant quantity. Nutrition is provided in the form of Napier grass, Yeshwant grass, Paragrass, and Corn grown at our own farm land provide very good nutrition for our cows.
COW BREEDS AT OUR GOSHALA
The Tharparkar breed: Earlier India had 120 indigenous breeds of cows. The number is now reduced to 30. Tharparkar is one of the pure indigenous breeds. It originally comes from the Sindh region of Pakisthan. After the partition, they have crossed the Thar Desert to come to Jaiselmer, Badmer and Jodhpur regions in Rajasthan, and also along the Kutch border of Gujarat. And now these cows are the native of those regions in India. Since “they crossed the Thar desert”, they are called as Tharparkar. They are well known as a dual purpose breed – for milk and agriculture.
The Gir breed: Understanding the importance of giving pure cow milk to the residents of Govardhan Ecovillage and the Gurukul kids, the Goshala brought Gir cows from Swami Narayana Goshala. In December 2009, the Goshala brought 4 cows and 1 breeding bull along with a bull calf from Swami Narayana Temple, in a place called Swami nagadhada in Rajkot district of Gujarat. Gir is basically a milk breed. Its bulls are not as efficient as Tharkar bulls for Farming. But can be engaged for other cottage industry applications – ADPM, oil Ghani, etc.
The Dangi breed: They are from Ahmadnagar and Nasik districts of Maharashtra. This breed has excellent working qualities in heavy rainfall areas, rice fields and on hilly tracts. It’s a Draught breed. Their feet are oily, while working in paddy field doesn’t stuck up in the mud unlike the bulls of other breeds. We use trained bulls to teach ploughing to new bulls. We normally tie a trained bull along with an untrained bull while ploughing so that the untrained bull gets trained.
Bull Training: Our bulls are trained to plough the fields and to be yoked for carts to transfer stuff in the premises of Govardhan Eco Village. This keeps them active and healthy.
Regular Cleaning: Staff at Govardhan Goshala collects the dung at regular intervals. And Goshala is regularly cleaned. Even Cows and bulls are bathed weekly.
Love and Affection: This is the most important aspect of goshala. People are encouraged to spend time with cows and brush them. Thus, cows in Govardhan Goshala are not scared of human presence and they like to be with people. They are treated here like any other member of the society.
Open Grazing: Apart from dry grass, green grass and special diet provided in the evening cows at Govardhan Goshala go for open grazing in the forest at 8 am and come back by 11 am. This keeps them healthy and happy.
Goshala is Spacious: Our goshala has separate areas for cows, bulls, new born calves, sick cows and progenitors. They have enough space to roam, sit, stand or sleep. There are shaded areas as well as open areas where they can be exposed to sun.
Natural Flooring: Unlike commercial barns we don’t have flooring made of cement or kiln-bricks but natural which is covered with straw which is healthier, natural and safer for cows to walk and run. The straw is changed regularly.