A big crowd of gawkers has gathered around Yuvraj, a giant 1400kg Murrah bull that on Friday was crowned champion at Meerut’s All India Cattle Show by a 10-member jury, startled as much by the animal’s size as by his owner’s refusal to sell it for a mind-boggling Rs 7 crore.
As Yuvraj chews on unconcerned, owner Karamvir Singh, who has brought him up “like a son”, says he doesn’t really need the money. “I earn close to Rs 50 lakh a year from Yuvraj,” he smiles. “Everything in life is not about money.”
Yuvraj stretches to 14 feet in length and a couple of notches over 5 feet 9 inches in height. “He drinks 20 litres of milk a day, gobbles 5kg of apples and 15kg of very fine quality cattle feed,” says Karamvir. “He also takes a 4km-walk daily. I spend more than Rs 25,000 on his upkeep. A farmer from Chandigarh did offer me Rs 7 crore, but I don’t think I am ready to sell Yuvraj.”
Ravinder Sangwan, senior scientist at Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Agriculture University where the competition for India’s top bull was held, has an explanation why Yuvraj is a cash cow that Kurukshetra-based Karamvir Singh may not want to part with.
“Yuvraj is a perfect specimen of the Murrah breed,” Sangwan says. “It generates 3.5 to 5 ml of very high quality semen everyday which is diluted to increase the volume to 35ml. Now, 0.25ml, which is one dose of semen used for artificially inseminating Murrah buffaloes, costs close to Rs 1,500. So, ideally in a single day, a dairy farmer can earn roughly about Rs 2,10,000. And since Yuvraj’s mother was a high yield buffalo, said to be producing close to 25 litres of milk a day, Yuvraj’s semen is in great demand in almost all the northern states. I am not surprised at the offers being made.”
“He has earned the Best Animal trophy and there’s a reason for that,” says Prof Rajvir Singh, head, Animal Husbandry department at Meerut. “The jury had scrutinized 30 characteristics that include morphological trait, semen quality, genetic history and even the quantity of milk that its mother used to yield. On all parameters, Yuvraj has shown excellence.”
Regarding the Murrah breed, Sangwan said, “The Murrah is a world famous high-yield breed found to have its origin in Haryana’s Rohtak and Jind districts. It is also found in west UP.”
Besides the Murrah there were other breeds that participated in the national-level cattle show, like the Tharparker, Brown Swiss, Gir and Jersey varieties. Yuvraj, of course, came tops.