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Dwarf cow’s genetic superpowers beat environmental threats

Meet the adorable looking dwarf cow. There’s a video below so you can see the diminutive creature which stands almost three feet tall, or 87 centimeters. They weigh, depending on the breed, around 250 to almost 300 pounds and yield about 5 pints of milk per day. But before you go look, you should know that “cute” isn’t the attraction here.

The critter eats like a goat so farmers don’t need cattle feed or hay to keep a herd alive. They carry a ‘thermometer gene’ that makes them resistant to heatwaves and drought. And, they’re resistant to many diseases too.

In short, some breeds of dwarf cows are so climate change hardy that they seem to be the perfect food for humans in the coming food shortage. Of course, their carcasses produce small amounts of meat. Because of that, geneticists may soon infuse their genetic superpowers into bigger breeds. In any case, these animals promise a brighter future for humans who need to eat meat and milk products.

Ok, now take a look at this remarkable little beastie….

Here is a video of the Kasargode dwarf cow which is only one of several breeds.

Right now, the little cows are highly successful in feeding households in India where many areas are suffering from droughts and heat waves that not only kill food animals but grass and other cattle fodder too.

"Of the 2.3 million cattle in Kerala, just under seven per cent percent are dwarf varieties, agricultural experts say,” according to an article in the Daily Mail. “This may be because the smaller breeds are a similar price to larger crossbreeds, at around 20,000 rupees ($300 or £200) each.”

Obviously paying the same price for a smaller animal that yields less meat and milk than its larger counterpart is a hard decision for some farmers. Do you bet the farm on the cows that can survive just about anything nature throws at it, or do you bet on the bigger cows that yield more product per animal but may not survive long?

At the moment, farmers in India are betting one way or another without a clear consensus as to which is the better route. Continued and increasing droughts and heatwaves are, however, beginning to heavily shape the odds for both cow types.

Sooner than most wish, farmers everywhere will be facing the same gamble. Meanwhile, researchers are racing the clock to figure out what genetically modified beast might prove to be the best solution.

Dwarf cow’s genetic superpowers beat environmental threats

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