The Ankole watusi cattle belong to the ankole group of sanga cattle from Central and Eastern Africa.
At the start of the 20th century, some of the ankole group was brought to Germany as zoo specimens and they eventually spread across Europe and the United States.
A herd was started in New York in 1960 by crossbreeding with an unrelated Canadian bull. The Ankole watusi world record International Registry was started in 1983, and by 1989, a breeding standard was established.
They are distinguished by the large horns, which are widespread. Their horns have the largest circumference among all cattle.
Ankole cattle are named after the Tutsi tribe of Rwanda. It is believed that the Ankole cattle were reared by the Egyptian herdsmen who brought the Zebu tribe, which is originally from India.
The Zebu cattle were crossbred, which led to the Sanga group of cattle, and eventually, the Ankole family originated from them. The sangha is reared in Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda.
The original Sanga cattle are reared in Zambezi and Ghana. These cattle are considered sacred in Africa by the peoples who rear them as their livelihood depends on Ankole.
The Ankole cattle are also known as Inymabo by the local people and are considered majestic due to their long horns.
In local tribes, the warriors are compared to the Ankole-Watusi cattle of the family for their bravery and resilience.
The Ankole-Watusi cattle is a large cattle that is domesticated for its blood, meat, and milk. Their body is covered in short hair which can be white, black, red, reddish-brown, or brown.
This cattle breed has short necks with dewlaps hanging from their chin. They are recognized by their large, hollow, wide horns. They have long tufted tails.
The cows do not have upper incisors instead they have a thick layer called the dental pad. This results in making the design of their jaws such that they can grind their food in a circular motion.
This makes it ideal for tough stems and herbaceous plants that these cattle eat.
The Ankole-Watusi cattle is a large animal with a sturdy body. This cattle breed has an average height of 4.0-4.5 ft and can grow to a length of 6 ft.
Their horns are the largest among all cattle. An Ankole watusi horn can weigh between 9-16 lb and have an extremely large circumference.
The Ankole-Watusi cattle can run at a speed of 25 mph like all cattle. This cattle breed can jump pretty high and far despite the size and body mass.
The Ankole-Watusi cattle can consume close to 154 lb of grass in around 8 hours. These cattle will twist the grass with their tongue and then cut them with their lower jaws.
Ankole-Watusi cattle are ruminating animals that help them break down the tough parts of the plants like stems that they eat.
The cattle are known to have a four-chamber stomach which has a rumen, reticulum, omasum, and abomasum. The food will pass through the rumen where it will mix with some special bacteria.
From here, it moves to the reticulum, where it is broken down further. From here, it is regurgitated to be chewed once more.
This is one of the slowest passage rates among all animals. Ankole Watusi cattle feed on stems, grasses, and herbaceous plants.
The Ankole-Watusi cattle are found in most parts of the world. This cattle breed is mostly born and raised on farmland or near pastures and meadows.
These native cattle are found on uncultured, unfertilized, not irrigated rangeland. This cattle breed requires large areas for grazing and walking as this breed is known to walk long distances in search of food and water.
The Ankole species of cattle are domesticated creatures with horns living in a social group.
Every Ankole cattle herd has a dominant male, with whom all the females of the group will mate.
Mating happens year-round, but more calves are born in spring. A calf is born after a gestation period of nine months.
The young ones can stand and walk immediately after birth and can recognize their mothers.
Calves of these cattle are nursed by their mothers for a period of six months.
The females reach sexual maturity by one year and can continue to mate for 12 years.
Ref: livestockconservancy, kidadl, balisafarimarinepark, thecattlesite, wikipedia
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