Gaushala Support

Many people who start and run Gaushalas believe that simply confining cattle  in  an enclosure and putting feed,  fodder (dry and  green) and  water for them is  all they have to do. This is not so and the incredibly high mortality rate of each  Gaushala  cannot  be explained away by simply saying that the animals were in poor  condition  when  they arrived.

In most Gaushalas,  the animals  are kept very poorly.  They stand  in the open during rain, hot sun or cold. There is usually overcrowding and the animals cannot move freely. The food is either inadequate or placed in such a way that only the dominant/aggressive animals get it. It is usually the cheapest dry hay. The water trough is badly placed. Sewage/drainage systems do not exist and the animals stand in their own faeces, which to us is “useful gobar”, but to them is simply the discard of their bodies. Their  feet become infected, they cannot sit or stand and they die quickly from decreased immunity and increased infection.

Most Gaushalas do not even have a veterinarian or a surgical  unit. If an animal falls down, it stays down till it dies. The unqualified staff have no idea of how to  even diagnose the problem. A Gaushala may have a mandir in it venerating the cow, but it rarely has a sickbay in which the animal is treated.

Cattle kept in Gaushalas are rarely segregated and calves  wander  between  the  large animals and are seldom allowed  access  to  feed  and  fodder.  Bulls  mount  cows  even  if they are not in heat, often killing them.

After some time, Gaushalas degenerate into semi dairies. The  group  controlling  the Gaushala starts segregating the milking cows from the old and sick ones.  These are fed better, made to breed and the milk is collected and distributed among these people. The calves are often sold on the sly to butchers.

Gaushalas are also discriminatory in receiving animals. They will  take  cows  but  not bullocks or bulls.  The males  are accepted  only after payment in  the form of  donation  and at times, the animals are again set free to not come back at night. They will  not  take buffaloes, which are equally badly treated and form the greater part of  animals  that are taken for illegal slaughter.

This manual has been produced in order to make Gaushalas, which are essentially hospital/shelters for large animals especially cows, more sensitive to the needs of the animals that are sought to be “saved”. We have given pointers on how  to  make Gaushalas financially viable.

This is the only manual of its kind. It has taken two years to put together. I wish I could say that we saw some really good Gaushalas  while we were researching it but,  alas, while some were better than others, none of them were truly gentle, loving homes for animals that need professional care. It is not good enough to simply put cows into pens and pat yourself on the back. It must be ensured that they are happy to be there. I hope this manual will help make conditions better for these poor unfortunates.

Maneka Sanjay Gandhi


Gaushala literally means the home for cows and is meant to rescue, shelter, protect, feed, treat and rehabilitate weak, sick, injured, handicapped and abandoned homeless cattle. These are the institutions of India’s great cultural heritage giving concrete example of India’s reverence and affection for animals, particularly for cows.

Worshipping the bull – Bail Pola festival, Maharashtra

The origin of Gaushalas can be traced back to the Vedic period when social customs and rules laid great emphasis on protection and development of cows for home and oxen for agricultural work.

Presently there are more than five thousand Gaushalas  in India.  They house over six lakh cows maintained at an annual cost running in to thousands of crores. Most of the

Overcrowding in a Gaushala and cattle killed in a Gaushala out of faulty drainage. Cow slaughter and cow killed in Gaushalas mismanagement are two sides of the same coin.

Gaushalas are being run as charity institutions. The resources of these Gaushalas differ widely in respect to the number and quality of cattle in them, availability of land, their finances and organisation.

The major challenges faced by Gaushalas are similar i.e. inadequate resources, lack of trained manpower and empathetic veterinarians. The animals in Gaushalas are old, infirm and maintaining their health is a challenge. Management personnel, do not have a proper scientific knowledge of feeding, housing, care and management of  these animals. In addition to this, most Gaushalas do not have the required land for proper housing and grazing of their animals. Since fodder and pasturage are also deficient in these Gaushalas, a large number of cows are kept in a state of semi starvation and disease.

It has been realised that institutions with better organisation and management can be self sufficient centres for the welfare for cows, turning Gaushalas into home than prison.

“The question is not, “Can they reason?” nor, “Can they talk?” but “Can they suffer?”

The five freedoms to aim for a Gaushala are:

  • Freedom from hunger and thirst by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and
  • Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and comfortable resting
  • Freedom from pain, injury and disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and
  • Freedom to express normal behaviour by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own
  • Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment, which avoid mental

These five freedoms can act as a checklist of ideal conditions by which we can  assess strength and weakness of any Gaushala and work on their improvement.

The problem is that Gaushalas are run like charities and exist mainly on random donations. Also cattle are seen only as productive when they produce milk. However if a Gaushala were to be a thriving business on its own, doing good and making money this will help the cows and change the perspective of people and policy makers who see dry cattle as a nuisance and simply as charity cases due to religion. A dry cow  is  an extremely useful resource just for its dung and urine, and the existence of  a  good efficient Gaushala boosts the fertility of the land, increases crop yields and  makes farming more lucrative and healthier by removing the need for pesticides and fertilizers. A Gaushala was a common installation in every village.  It needs to  be revived and seen as an essential part of Indian agricultural rejuvenation.

The need  of the hour is  to open  more modern  Gaushalas  and to strengthen and  upgrade the existing Gaushalas so that all  free  roaming  cattle  are  accommodated  properly  and their well-being and welfare can be ensured. Gaushalas, once considered as an economic drain today have a lot of potential for production of bio-fertilizers, organic pesticides and insecticides, organic energy, methane gas, panchgavya and  other medicines.  These have huge potential  to  become  self-sustainable  economic  units  by  bringing  about improvement in breeding, feeding, housing and healthcare of animals along with proper cattle waste utilization.

In this manual, an  effort  has  been  made  to  present  standard  and  practical  information on the scientific aspects of housing, feeding, healthcare  and  waste utilization  in  a simple and precise form. Comprehensive plans for reorganisation and improvement of existing Gaushalas along with setting up of new Gaushalas have also been extensively discussed.

Fig 1. Layout of Gaushala for housing 500 cattle

Fig 2. Layout of Gaushala for housing 3000-5000 cattle




Gaushalas are set up to rescue and take care of cattle that has been abandoned  or illegally sent for slaughter. Feeding, watering, medical care, maintaining better hygiene and welfare along with providing comfort and protection from inclement weather to the cattle are the primary functions of a Gaushala.

This section lays out guidelines for building Gaushala facilities suiting different climatic conditions.


The layout of a Gaushala is intended to show the size, number and location of different functional units, which would cater best to the requirements of cattle as well as  ease of labour for staff. The  layout  primarily  depends  on  the  herd  strength  and  the  land available for construction of different facilities. Attention to  details  of  location  and structure has a great effect on  the  health  and  comfort  of  cattle  as  well  as  keeping  the cost of construction and maintenance low.

A.   Land requirement

For opening or running a Gaushala of 500-800 animals effectively, a minimum space of 1.5-2.0 acres is required. Similarly, for opening or running a Gaushala of 2500 and 5000 animals effectively requires a minimum space of 5 and 10 acres, respectively. Suitable layouts for Gaushala of different sizes (500-800 cattle and more than 3000-5000 cattle) are given in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2.

B.   Important considerations in Layout of Gaushala
  1. In order to provide maximum comfort and welfare of residing  animals,  diseased, blind and  recumbent  (lying/collapsed)  animals  should  be  housed  in  separate Recumbent and blind animals are house separately in  order  to  prevent injuries. Animals with diseases (eg. Tuberculosis, Foot and mouth disease, Haemorrhagic septicaemia) that spread quickly require to be housed in isolation quarters.
  1. Pregnant and young animals should be housed in separate sheds for their
  1. In order to save labour, lactating animals may be housed separately. However, if the number of animals are low they can be housed with other
  1. Quarantine sheds  should  be  located  at  the  entrance  of  the    New entrants, rescued and  rehabilitated  cows,  and those from a place where they may have been exposed to the risk of infection, must be quarantined for  15 days  to 1 month to detect any disease before they are allowed into the herd.

Most Gaushalas are built on donated land and there is very little scope for negotiation regarding the choice of land. Nevertheless, while planning to set up a new  and  ideal Gaushala the  choice  of  location  should  be  the  first  consideration  and  emphasis  should be made on the below mentioned points regarding selection of site.

A.   Location and Shape

Ideally, a Gaushala should be located near a city so that facilities  are  easily accessible and there is an assured market for Gaushala products like milk, panchgavya, gobar gas, vermi-compost manure and other materials produced with the aim of making Gaushalas self-sufficient. Instead of being in the heart of an urban area, a small distance from it is preferable. Villages close to cities, on highways leading into cities are ideally suited for setting up Gaushalas.

Proximity to forest and grazing/agricultural land are also beneficial features that can be taken into account while selecting a site for the Gaushala. Besides providing a calm and noise free environment, cost of feeding would reduce substantially.

B.   Availability of water

Water must be available round the year, and it must be plentiful at the site of Gaushala. Water level and its quality should not be overlooked while selecting site as contaminated water can be a potential cause of health issues.

The water pH (levels of acidity)  should  fall  between  5.5  and  9.0,  which  is  conducive to the health of both cattle and humans.

C.    Topography

The land on which the Gaushala is proposed to be built should not have uneven, undulating or abrupt slopes as it increases the cost of setting up of the Gaushala. The facility should be at a higher elevation than the surrounding ground to allow  for drainage.

The land to be selected for setting up of Gaushala should be porous with gentle slope so that drainage of rainwater as well as waste from various management activities is efficient, and the Gaushala remains dry.

Cow drinking water from a water trough. The water in the trough has not been changed and green algae has formed.

D.   Connectivity

The site for construction of the  Gaushala should  be located  near  an  all  weather  concrete or tar road ensuring round the year connectivity for ease of working staff, volunteers and devotees reaching the Gaushala. Poorly

developed or bad roads will stop them from making  regular  visits  to  Gaushalas  and offer their services.

In addition to this, commute time for staff increases with poor connectivity and management will end up in paying extra salary to  staff  to  start  living  in  the Gaushala itself or somewhere nearby.

D. Sun exposure and wind protection

In hot and humid areas an ideal site will allow buildings to be placed such that direct sunlight can reach the platforms, gutters and mangers in the cattle shed

Buildings should be placed and constructed such that direct sunlight can reach the platforms, gutters and mangers in the cattle

without increasing the ambient temperature inside the cattle house. Sunlight is a disinfectant.

East-West orientation of cattle sheds is best suited for Gaushalas in hot areas.

In cold areas, Gaushala buildings should be located at a site having maximum sun exposure on the north and south sides. They must protect the cows from the winds. A Gaushala building site with as many trees as possible around it is ideal, as trees act as windbreaker along with providing natural shade.

E. Orientation of sheds

Gaushalas   in    tropical    and

subtropical climates of India should be such that they efficiently protect cattle from extreme heat, i.e. soaring temperatures, and particularly from direct sunlight. Providing shade becomes an important factor.

In places with prolonged

summers, longitudinal axis of cattle sheds should be in east to west direction. Only then, some part of the floor under the roof will be in shade through out the day.

Direct sunlight reaches the specially designed fence line feed manger of the cattle shed, while the area under the shed is perfectly shaded.

Direct sunlight acts as a disinfectant decreasing the number of disease-causing micro-organisms.

This shaded area should  be  paved with concrete  to keep  the  animals dry and hygienic.

In colder parts of India,             the

longitudinal   axis   of

cattle sheds should be in north to south direction. With  the north-south orientation, every part of the floor area under and on either side of the roof will receive sunlight at some point of time during the day.

Diagrammatic representation of North South and East West orientation of cattle shed showing position of shaded area at 9:00 AM, 12:00 Noon and 4:00 PM, respectively. While some part of the shed would always be under shade in case of East West orientation, North South orientation ensures maximum sun exposure.

Also, if paving the shaded area under  sheds  with  concrete  is  not  possible,  the  north- south orientation is the best choice in order to keep the area as dry as possible.  This  will help to keep the animals dry, warm and more hygienic. North south orientation of sheds will be better for cattle in cold areas of country because:

  • This facilitates drying of ground under shed more easily thus aiding in better
  • Animals can easily move towards the shade side of the shelter (which is west side before noon and east side after noon).
Questions to be taken care of before site selection: –
  1. Should the land be leased or purchased? Does the site have room for expansion?
  2. Is the site located on high ground with good natural drainage?
  3. Can the site be easily reached by public transport? This may be important for staff and
  4. Water/drainage/electricity connectivity of Gaushala and at what cost?
  5. What building materials are readily available in the area?
  6. What materials are recommended suitable as per local climatic conditions?
  7. Should you convert an existing building or build a new one? Upgradation may be cheaper, but may not be as comfortable as a new
  8. What is the cooperation level of local people?
  9. How will you dispose of the cow dung?


Keeping in view the diversity, both in terms of the types of cattle and environmental conditions,  loose  housing  system  can  be  used  throughout  India  with  slight modifications, alterations, additions and deletions according to  the specific needs  of  the area in question.

Loose house system

In this housing system, cows are kept loose throughout the day and night. The animals are more comfortable as they can move about freely, are not restrained and can exercise at will. In it, an open field is provided with a shelter along one side under which the animals can rest when it is very hot and which protects them from rains and cold weather. This housing system has a continuous manger (feed bunk) for feeding under sheltered standing space, and  a common water  trough in  unsheltered space. Feeding and management of cattle is easier in it because of common feeding and watering arrangement. The loose house is enclosed by means of walls, iron railings or plain–wire fence.

Generally, 1/3rd of the total area should be provided with shelter while 2/3rd is kept open/unsheltered. But, if the stocking density is high and large number of animals are to be housed in the Gaushala, the area under shelter may be increased to half of total area.

Each loose house pen holds about 80-100 cows and is cared for by one family at Shree Pathmeda Godham Mahatirth in Rehsil, Rajasthan. The cows are housed with appropriate stocking density but landscape is devoid of any tree plantation for the comfort of the animals.

Planting shady trees inside the loose  housing  would  reduce  the  requirement  of  area under artificial shed to  1/10th  of  total  fenced  area  as  compare  to  minimum requirement of 1/3rd in treeless conditions. Trees reduce the ambient air temperature beneath  the canopy.

The loose house is the system of choice for housing cattle in Gaushalas throughout India except in the Himalayan region.


The Indian Standards Institute (ISI) has brought out certain standards of space requirements for farm animals. Although, these standards are for dairy houses, the dimensions of Gaushala sheds can be similar, incorporating need-based modifications.

A.   Floor Space Requirement

The cattle enclosure should give them enough space to move around, interact with each

Loose housing system with water trough in the middle and feed troughs under the shed. The arrows show the slope of the floors towards the drain. This system of housing cattle is most effective throughout India.

other, move away from the dominant ones, lie down and rest for as long as they want.

The floor space requirements of cows  under  loose  housing  system  is  given  in  Table below.

Sr. no.

Type of animal

Floor space per animal (m2)

Covered area

Open area










Adult cows




Pregnant cows











B.   Feeding and Watering Space Requirement

Dimensions of mangers and water troughs should be such that animals  of  all  categories have a free access to these. Feeding and watering  space  requirement  for  different categories of cattle in Gaushala:

Type                      of


Space                          per

animal (cm)

Total manger  length  in  a

pen for 100 animals (cm)

Total water trough length in

a pen for 100 animals (cm)














Manger length depends on the feeding schedule. If green  fodder  is given  once or  twice daily, the cattle  will rush to eat it.  Therefore,  the length of  the manger has  to be  long so that all the animals can  eat  at  the  same  time  without  aggression.  However  if  green fodder is part of the food the entire day then different  cows will eat at  different times and the manger length can be shorter.

Generally, all the animals in a pen  may feed  at the same time,  but all  animals  don’t drink water simultaneously. Thus, while the length of the manger should be sufficient to provide enough feeding space for all the animals in the pen, it will be sufficient if the length of water trough is provided for only 10 per cent of the animals in that pen.

C.    Space Requirement for Waste Disposal

Well fed dairy cows produce 20-30 kg of dung per day. A weak Gaushala animal will not produce less than 20 kg if fed properly. This dung has to be gathered and  stored. Roughly, an average of 2 cubic metres is required to store the dung of a cow. Which means that two manure pits are needed with a size of 20 metres X 15 metres  with a depth of a minimum 2 metres in order to accommodate the dung of 500-800 animals for three months. This manure has to be emptied every three months and can be sold or given away to farmers.

D.   Space Requirement for stores

The stores at the Gaushalas will be required for storing concentrate feed, dry fodder and equipment.

Approximate storage space (cubed metres or volume) required per  quintal for different types of feeds and fodder has been given in Table.

Hay (Loose)


Hay (Baled)


Hay (Chopped)


Straw (Loose)


Straw (baled)




Grain and oil cakes


The space for construction of stores is further determined on the presumption that 0.2 m3 storage space is required per adult animal in the Gaushala. Building stores based on

these approximations checks wastage of storage space (excessively large stores) as well as the requirements for expansion due to inadequate space.


Cows are highly social animals and naturally form groups. Males and females tend to form separate groups, except during the breeding season, and the young calves tend to form small groups in the proximity of the female group. Within their groups, these herd animals engage in complex interactions to communicate dominance, subordination and peer bonding within the group. They have a strict linear hierarchical structure with the most dominant animal at the top.

Picture of overstocked cattle shed in a Gaushala. It could also be injurious to the caretakers working in such cattle sheds

In addition, when new adult cattle are rescued/adopted and introduced into a Gaushala, adult animals meeting for the first time are likely to fight to establish dominant / subordinate relationships amongst themselves.

The groups formed can  live in  perfect harmony  as  long as  each  animal knows  its  place and gives way to animals of higher rank. However, the order is not static and bound  to change with cattle of lower rank in later stage of life dominating others whose position is normally higher, and fast-growing and maturing  animals  may  move  up  the  ladder  of social order.

The introduction of new animals into a group or the mixing of groups will normally lead to fighting until a new social order is established, and this may cause a growth check as well as injury to them.

The building layout must allow space for this and therefore narrow passages and corners where an aggressive dominant animal can trap another animal should  be avoided  in pens and yards. The order usually remains stable provided the group is small so that all

animals in it  can remember  the positions of the others, i.e. fewer  than 80 in case of cows. However, ISI standards are much lower than 80 and vary according to the category of animal to be housed. Though flexibility can be shown in case of category of animals that are housed in groups, bulls and pregnant animals (15 days prior to giving birth) should be housed singly. Since no Gaushala has the luxury of housing single animals in a pen and it is cruelty to the animal as well, it is advised that all  bulls  should  be castrated on entry as soon as they are strong enough to withstand the operation. This reduces or eliminates aggression.

Sr. no.

Type of animal

Maximum no. of animals per shed








Adult cows



Pregnant cows









Any building construction starts from foundation and rises gradually from floors, plinths to walls and roofs. An ideal Gaushala should have the following buildings and structures necessary for the proper care and management of cattle population of different categories.

A. Primary Cowshed
  1. Roof

The roof of cowshed in Gaushala should be light, strong, durable, weather proof, a bad conductor of heat and free from the tendency to condense moisture inside. It is obviously the most important part of cowshed, as it provides protection from weather conditions, notably rain, frost, snow and direct sunlight.

Types of roof:

There are two types of roofs: Sloping and Flat.

Sloping  or  Pitched  roofs  are  best  in  medium  to  heavy

Double pitched slope for housing cattle in Gaushala

rainfall areas. These have a slope of more than 10  degrees  to  the  horizontal  surface. Sloping or Pitched roofs are more economical than flat roofs as they do not require intermediate columns for support. In areas with heavy snowfall,  steeper  slopes  are provided to reduce snow load on roof.

The sloping roof can be mono pitched/sloped or double pitched/sloped depending on the requirement of building. Mono pitch roofs should not exceed a  width  of 10 meters.  For mono pitched roof, the supporting walls or posts are higher on one side than the other.

Mono pitched roof for housing cattle

 Truss types for double pitched roofs

If the building needs to be larger,  double  pitched  roof  is  used  with  wider  span.  For double pitched roofs,  it is customary  to  fix roof trusses  or  roof  frames.  A couple closed roof or a collar beam roof  is suitable for  span of  up to  6 meters.  A  king  post  has  to be used for still wider spans. In any  case,  width  of  more  than  27  meters  is  not recommended due to lack of ventilation.  It  becomes  difficult  to  deliver  clean,  fresh  air into the centre.

Flat roofs should have a slope from 1 degree to 5 degrees only. This slope is provided to

Corrugated asbestos cement sheet as roofing material for roofs of Gaushala is most preferred

prevent rain water stagnancy  on  top  of the roof. These are used in only in low rainfall, dry areas  and  need  the  support of intermediate columns.

Corrugated aluminium sheet roofing in cow


Corrugated asbestos cement sheets are recommended for cowsheds due to their comparatively lower costs. These are best suited in almost all parts of the country, have a self-life of 35-40 years, and require minimum maintenance.

Corrugated mild steel (MS)/corrugated galvanized iron (GI)/corrugated asbestos cement/ corrugated aluminium sheets also have many advantages such as  fire  resistance, reparability, reasonably long life, and are hygienic and  economical in the long run.  Also, these being light materials do not require heavy roof supporting structures and are the suggested materials for building roofs of sheds. The metal roof materials used for the Gaushala building should be corrugated as it increases the strength of the material.

Tin is the least appropriate material for animal house roofing of cattle sheds in Gaushala because it absorbs heat.

Wood makes the most comfortable roofs,  being  the  best  insulator  but  is  liable  to  fire risks and is costly.

Thatch and bamboo are readily available and cheap materials. These are good insulators and can be put over rough and cheap trusses. However, these are unhygienic, especially during monsoons and harbor insects, flies, cobwebs and vermin and are highly prone to fire hazards. Though, initial investment in thatch roofs is small, they are costly in the long run due to high cost of maintenance and frequent replacements.


Traditional wood, bamboo and thatch roofs

Cowshed roof is supported with pillars. These may be built  either  of  stone,  column  of bricks laid in cement mortar, cast iron pipes or hard  wooden  posts  based  on  the availability and cost. Each of them should be placed at an interval of 15 feet.

The roof should have a minimum height of 10 feet from floor to roof at the lowest point.

In very hot regions, a ceiling of wooden planks, stout country cloth, old gunny bags, tarpaulin cloth, compressed or loose straw should be fixed to the underside of the roof for better heat insulation. For similar reasons, the upper surface of roof should  be painted white, while the under surface is painted with darker colours.

The recommended overhang for open-sided sheds is 0.9-1.0 m.  Fit all the  roofs  at their lower edge with  a 15  cm half  galvanized  sheet gutter to  convey and discharge rainwater for easy drainage.  In dry regions, the  rainwater can be diverted and stored in tanks for future use.

The cowsheds with double pitched/sloped roof structure should have a separate roof over the middle gallery (central feeding passage). Separate roof which will have a gap of about 1.5 foot to facilitate smoother passage of the air and to provide better ventilation and lighting.

2.   Floor

Surface of the floor should be non-slippery and free of edges or fittings that may cause injury to animals besides being hard, impervious to water and easy to clean. Characteristics of a good floor in Gaushala can be summed up as:

Provides a relatively dry walking and resting surface to animals Provides firm and comfortable footing to animals

Is durable and easy to clean


Grooved concrete flooring under covered area of shed for housing of cattle

Flooring can be constructed with stone or bricks laid and set  in  cement  or  with  lime mortar,  stone-slab  flooring  etc.  However,  cement concrete floors  are  recommended  due to their comparatively low cost  and  also  keeping in view non-slippery nature,  durability and comfort for animals.


Grooved concrete floor under construction

The floor should be laid over a firm foundation, height of which should be normally 50-100 cm above ground (and should be made higher in areas where heavy rainfall and dampness in soil is expected). The foundation is usually constructed with

bricks or stones masonry and should be able to bear heavy weights.

Cattle are less confident while moving over smooth surfaced floors. So, grooved concrete flooring should be used in cowsheds. Basic guidelines for grooving of concrete:

Parallel grooves on concrete floor should be spaced 35 mm apart Groove width should not exceed 10 mm

Grooved edges should be smooth

Grooved floor with proper slope towards underground drainage system inside the covered area

Lateral grooves (that go from side to side of  a cow) produce less  slip  than

Brick lined floor in cattle shed. Although non slippery nature of floor is favourable,

longitudinal grooves (that run from head to tail)

The surface of cement floors can also be roughened or grooved  by imprinting the impression of a piece of expanded metal or suitable wire mesh on  the surface while the concrete is still moist.

Cleaning of grooved floors is a cumbersome job and requires application of pressure washer. Specialized equipment for cleaning the grooves has been discussed on page 62.

Under no circumstances should the floors be left kutcha/unpaved, as they will tend to retain moisture, harbour disease causing organisms and cause major issues of hygiene.

The ability of the floor to cope with, hold  and  direct  excess  liquids  towards  drainage should also be a key construction feature. A floor slope of  1  in  20  (1  cm per 20  cm of length should be lowered towards the drain) should be provided/used  around  water troughs where excessive spilling  of  water  takes  place  and  regular  drainage  is  needed. The floors under covered area should have a slope of 1 in 40  from manger  towards  the drain and  1  in  60  is  the required  slope gradient in  the open  areas.  The passageways  of all the buildings should also have a slope gradient of 1 in 80.

3.   Drainage

The liquid manure and wash water from the shed is collected by shallow drains/channels which should be “U” shaped with a width of 30 cm and a depth of 6 to 8 cm. A slope of 1 ft. for every 100 feet length shall be provided to the drains inside the cow sheds to allow the flow of urine and wash water from inside to outside the shed.

The edges of the drains should be rounded so  than  they do  not  damage  the hooves  of cows. The drains in different cowsheds should be made continuous  by  routing  them through intervening fences and partition walls.

The drains  should then be connected  to an open surface main drain (dimensions: 90 cm wide on top and 20 cm wide at bottom with a depth of 30  cm from top  to  bottom).  The slope of the drain should be 1 foot for every 250 feet of length towards the liquid manure storage tank usually located near crop fields.

The material used to construct the drains should be cement concrete.

Cross sectional view showing slope of drains inside and outside the cattle shed

4.   Walls

The walls of the Gaushala can be constructed with materials like brick, stones  or concrete with variable thickness depending on the location and function with thickness of 9 inches and 12 inches and 4.5 inches respectively.

For ordinary (non-weight bearing) walls, brick wall should be ideal with thickness not exceeding 9 inches. Non-weight bearing walls are only partitions having no load of super structure. Weight bearing brick walls of the cowsheds should be constructed of  12 inches’ thickness. Walls supporting the roof and wall portions with which animals come in direct contact must be robust and materials such as brick, stone or cement concrete should be used for construction of lower parts of such walls.

Walls should be erected over a foundation of sufficient strength. The depth of foundation should be 2.5 feet for both load bearing and non-load bearing walls. However, a cement concrete slab of 3 feet in length 6 inches in depth is laid as foundation in case of load bearing walls.

The height and strength of the wall depends upon the age and category of animals to be housed in the building e.g. the walls should be  stronger  and  more  durable  for  housing bulls as compared to calves. Otherwise, 5 feet high and 12 inches’ thick wall is sufficient for all the categories of animals. The walls should be finished with hard cement plaster

and made washable for maintaining hygienic conditions and prevent it from becoming breeding ground for insects, ticks and mites. Usually the inner face of walls is plastered and the outer one left unplastered in low rainfall areas.

Corners should be filled and rounded to prevent accumulation of dust and external parasites. The sharp edges and angles should be rounded off to prevent accident and injury to the animals.

Stone or brick walls are costly but are more durable and hygienic, while bamboo and mud walls are economical but are temporary and it is difficult to maintain clean and hygienic conditions in them.

Fences as a replacement of walls

In conditions of financial paucity, walls and partitions can also be made of galvanized corrugated iron or asbestos sheets by fixing them to posts placed 2.5 to 3.0 m apart. The fences should be made using galvanized iron (GI) pipes with a diameter of 2 inches. The three pipe rails of the fence should be fixed at a distance of 2, 3.5 and 5 feet from the ground level with a total height of 5 feet from the ground level. The supporting posts for these rails should be 6 feet long (1 feet underground and 5 feet over the ground level). These supporting posts should be fixed at a distance of 6 feet from each other.

An angle iron piece (6 inches  long)  should be welded  horizontally  at  the base of  these posts before grouting to strengthen its grip in the foundation.  These  supporting  posts should be grouted  in  a circular cement concrete foundation  with  a diameter of  9  inches and a depth of 21 inches.

Due to wetting with cow urine, dung and water the iron posts at the base get rusted and corroded over a period of time and this is the major reason of their damage. In order to avoid this, the foundation for fixing the fence post should be up to 9 inches above the

Fences as a replacement of walls and tree plantation in a Buffalo farm giving the most comfortable housing for the animals

ground level. The total length of the foundation for fixing the fence posts will thus be 21 inches (9 inches over the ground and 12 inches underground).

5.   Gates

The gate should be wide enough to allow the passage of tractors (as they are used for various maintenance activities).

Iron gates are preferred for their durability, strength, ease of installation and economical nature in the long run.

Hinged gates are better than double bar gates.

Gate of the sheds should be located centrally and should be 8-10 feet wide.

Distant view of 3 hinged gates in the modern head to head cattle sheds (2 in to the entrance of cattle sheds and 1 in to the central feeding passage)

The gates should be free from protrusions and sharp edges that can hurt an animal.

Picture of a hinged gate at the entrance of central feeding passage in a modern shed

6.   Electrical Fittings

The only essential electrical fittings required are those for artificial lighting. These can be energy saving CFLs/LEDs  and  can  be powered  through  solar panels, if possible. However, electrical  wiring  need  to  be placed in cowshed such  that  the  plug  points  are located at appropriate places that allow  electricity supply to ceiling fans, grooming brush, water foggers

Automatic grooming brush

and light in all the enclosures. Care should be taken to ensure that electrical fittings are beyond the reach of animals.

In tropical regions, provision of fan with foggers or mist cooling must be installed to protect the animals from severe heat stress during summer months and in hot climate areas.

For  protecting  the  animals  from  cold  stress  during  winter  provide  automated  wind

breaks of tarpaulins operated with motor

Picture of a fan fitted with fogger for keeping the temperature inside the shed low

or       manually          on                     the   windward (from where wind is coming) side of the shed.

7.   Manger

Well insulated electrical switch board and fittings mounted on a pillar on a pillar at approximate height of 6 feet (well beyond the reach of animals)

Manger should be constructed under covered area. In addition, the manger should be of continuous type.


Mangers are recommended to be built with reinforced cement concrete. The inside and outside of the manger should be plastered  with  cement.  The  surface  should be rounded off  and  finished  smooth.  The  top  of manger walls shall be arced rather  than  flat  to  avoid any injury to the  animals  while  feeding.  Mild  iron plates may should be fixed  over  the  curve  of  the manger to avoid injury to the dewlap of the cows.

A long pipe of 2.5-inch diameter shall be fitted all  along  the  length  of  the manger  just above and parallel to the inner wall.  This pipe can be fixed either by  erecting  it alongside and parallel to the inner wall of manger or by means of a series  of angle iron  brackets coming out from roof supporting posts. This pipe prevents cattle from getting in to the manger or jumping out over the manger.

A.   Dimensions of elevated manger

The feed mangers in cowsheds should be designed such that the animals cannot get in to them. Dimensions of the such elevated mangers are:

Category of animal

Dimensions of mangers (cm)



Height of inner wall

Adult cows and buffaloes








B.   Dimensions of fence line manger

Elevated manger for feeding of cattle in Gaushala. The long pipe prevents animals from jumping into the manger

A better system is the alternate fence line system in which the manger is constructed at ground level. Standard dimensions for the construction of fence-line feed barriers for cattle are as under:



Age/category                                               of


Throat height (in cm)

Height of neck rail (in cm)


Calves (< 1year)




Heifers (1-3 year)




Adult cows (> 3year)



The neck rail should be made of galvanized iron pipes with 2.5-inch diameter.  So as  to reduce aggression and  fighting at  the  time of  feeding,  the  fence line  may  be partitioned for allowing individual feeding at the distance of 2 feet each in case of adult cows.

Elevated manger verses fence-line feedings system

Elevated mangers presently used for feeding  of  cattle  in  Gaushalas  are  made  up  of cement concrete. These are the traditional and most widely used design of mangers. However, fence line feeding system allows access to feed from  ground  level  while preventing the cows from walking and defecating on the feed by use of fencing. It is economical to construct fence  line  manger  and  reduces  the  cost  of  building  feed mangers. Fence line feeding system is  the  most  time  and  labour  efficient  way  of delivering large amounts of feeds to large group of animals and is  safe for workers  and cattle.

The fence line feeding design improves digestion  of feed  in  cows by allowing  cows  to  eat in a grazing position. Feed tossing by animals is also reduced in fence line feeding due to lower manger height elevation, as compared to the elevated mangers.

Fence line manger is constructed at same level on which delivery of feed is required. This allows the manger to be easily cleaned mechanically or by hand which saves labour and time.

Fence line feeding system of cattle allowing grazing like behaviour from ground level

Because of absence of outer manger wall in fence line feeding, it allows good air- circulation in the feeding area. In fence line feeding, animals head is in natural grazing position. Feeding with their head in the downward position directly improves digestion of


8.   Water Trough

Water trough in the middle of open area of loose housing system.

Water troughs in Gaushalas should be designed such that the animals cannot get in to them.  The water troughs should be constructed in the loafing/open area. The access area should be sufficiently wide to permit free movement of animals. It should not be directly under a tree to prevent contamination from leaves, excreta of birds, dust etc.

The water in the troughs constructed in the open should be covered with roof to prevent water getting very hot during the summer season. A two-metre wide paved platform should be provided adjacent to the water troughs to withstand heavy movement of the animals and permit easy washing and cleaning.

Water troughs are to be built with reinforced cement concrete and paltered with  cement. The edges should be rounded off  and  surface finished  smooth.  The  height of  inner  wall and water trough should  not be more than 50 cm in case of  adult animals  and  20  cm in case of calves for  ease of access to  water.  The depth of  the water  trough should not be more than 40 cm and 15 cm in

case of adult animals and calves, respectively as the water beyond these depths would not be accessible to them. A 2.5 inch diameter pipe should be fitted above and parallel to  the  inner wall of water trough to prevent animals from jumping into the water troughs. There should be a provision of water outlet (hole) at the bottom of  the  trough  for empty the trough  for  the purpose of cleaning and white washing. There should be a tap to refill the water.

Water trough at the corner of a shed with a tap and fence over it to prevent animals jumping into the trough

B.   Sheds for sick and old animals

Sick and old animals housed together on a sand floor. Food is offered individually to each animal.

These are the sheds for special care  of  needy  cows that are afflicted with ill health,  injuries,  disease,  or are nearing their  end.  The  structures  will  need special housing conditions for specialized treatment, proper handling and support of animals. The sick animal house should be isolated and positioned at a

reasonable distance away from healthy animal sheds.

It can be reasonably presumed that in a large sized  Gaushala the  number of  animals with special needs including sick animals normally ranges between 20-25 per cent of the total animals. Accordingly, in a Gaushala proposed to be set up  for  housing  1000 animals the housing facilities for about 200 old and sick animals need to be created.

Out of these  200  animals  with  special needs  it  is  presumed  that  about 10  animals  will be in critical condition requiring intensive care at any given time. Therefore, there should be 10 individual pens for housing critically ill animals requiring intensive care.

Individual sick animal units for one cow should be sized as 3 x 4 m2  covered shed and another 3 x 4 m2  open common paddock area adjoining the covered shed with a partition gate in between. Water and feed trough should be placed inside covered area of the shed. The pen should also have facilities for tying of the animal so that one worker can easily restrain a cow for close examination and administering treatment. These houses need  to have comfortable flooring and  good  lighting  arrangements.  They  should  also  have facilities for the workers to have a bath and to change clothes  in  order  to  maintain protocols related to infectious diseases.

The sick animal bay should be set  up  to house a  minimum  of 50 adult  cows and 50 adult bulls/bullocks and 50 calves. Also, there should be facilities for housing minimum of 20 lame and another 20 blind animals in separate pens.

The sick and old animals with special needs require greater climatic protection. Their housing requirements are greater and more sophisticated as compared to normal animals. The loose house recommended for normal animals thus require to be suitably modified in order to make it offer greater protection from high as well as low ambient temperature, from strong hot and cold winds, and heavy rains.

1.   Roof

The roof should be of a single or double slope type at a height of 14 feet at the highest point and 10 feet at lowest point. The materials used should be the same as those used for the construction of the primary Gaushala cowshed.

2.   Floor

The flooring in these sheds should be the same  as those of the main shelter area.

Keeping in view the requirement for additional comfort, good quality removable rubber mats or permanently fixed mattresses should be placed over the floors.

Alternatively, ample amount (at least 6 inches thick) of   

   Lame animal sheds should have a provision of sand bedded floor for

33   the comfort of animals

dry and clean bedding material (details discussed in bedding management on page 78) should be provided over the floors (which have to be replaced daily).

Special provision of sand flooring should also be put in place for recumbent and paralyzed animals. Pressure/bed sores are (common in recumbent and paralyzed animals) are much easier to prevent than to treat. Using a sling (Page 61) is good for the muscles, circulation, respiration and spirits of recumbent animals. In addition, regularly shifting position of animals also presents bed sores.

The floor of the paddocks for housing animals suffering from lameness should be sand bedded. Sand bed requires extra maintenance. Remove all damp/wet spots and concentration/pile of manure from the stall daily (preferably twice). Refill the stall with fresh sand every week. The need to add sand into the stall can be easily determined by the visually examining/inspecting the shed. When the sand gets too low, cows will be more uncomfortable and should be avoided.

3.   Drainage

The suggested construction practices for the drainage system are the same as those for the main Gaushala. However, the drains originating from these sheds should not pass those where healthy animals, in order to mitigate the spread of diseases. The slope of the drains outside sheds is from healthy animals shed to diseased animals shed and not the other way around.

4.   Walls

The protocols for building walls can be the same as those for the primary Gaushala cowshed. Only brick walls  should be used  in the construction of sheds  for sick animals as fencing leads to the spread of communicable diseases.

These animals should be housed in sheds, the covered area of which have walls on three sides up to the roof with an adjacent open common paddock for roaming, exercise and rest. Temporary addition of tarpaulin sheets on sides of covered area in standard cowshed could negate the necessity of building walls up to the roof. This would further add to the multi-utility of the shed for different categories of animals depending on their numbers.

Shady trees should be planted in the centre of these open paddocks for added climatic protection. Diseased animals prefer tree shade to artificial shade due to enhance comfort level in the former.

Walls facing the paddock should not be more than 5 feet in height so to facilitate observation. The open paddocks adjoining the sheds should be enclosed by a wall and built 9 inches in thickness.

5.   Gates 34

The shed should have a 10 feet wide and 5 feet high hinged iron gate in the center for easy movement of animals and workers.

6.   Electrical Fittings

The shelter for these animals shall have a special provision for comfortable microclimate inside the sheds. For this the shed should have provision of ceiling fan, exhaust fans,

Sequence of photographs showing manual operated sling aiding a paralysed cow to stand up

heating and cooling devices etc. The shed must be well ventilated and have provision of supplementary light.  Motorized/manual  slings  (details  discussed  in  equipment  chapter on page 61) need to be installed to aid in care of animals that have lost mobility.

7.   Manger

The feeding in these sheds needs to be done manually using wheelbarrows, as tractor trollies cannot be used to prevent spread of  diseases. The feeding passage thus should have 7  feet wide and 5 feet high gates on both ends  to permit ease in manual feeding. Some of the animals housed in these sheds will not be able to reach the manger and water trough, so feed and water should be made available at their disposal in durable containers as per the prescribed diet schedule.

8.   Water Trough

Group of calves feeding in the feed manger

The water troughs made of cement concrete should be constructed  inside the sheds using the same construction protocol as for the main Gaushala cattle shed.

C.    Calf Shed

The construction of the calf shed will follow the same protocols as the main Gaushala shed, but varies in the number of animals that can be housed in a specific area, and in the size of mangers and water troughs. Male and female calves can be kept together till they are one year old.

The dimensions of mangers and water troughs for calves (defined as animals up to one year of age) are as under:

Dimensions of mangers/water trough (cm)



Height of inner wall




The standard dimension for the construction of fence-line feed mangers for calves are as under:

Age/category of animal

Throat height (cm)

Height of neck rail (cm)

Calves (< 1year)



D.   Maternity/Calving  pens

These sheds are meant for pregnant cows  which  are to  be shifted  to  individual  calving pens about 2 weeks prior to the expected date of calving.

These pens should have provision for individual feeding and watering both inside the covered area as well as the open area. The bedding  material   should be soft to meet the requirement of higher comfort levels for these cows (details discussed in bedding management on page 78).

Individual maternity pen for near and post parturition cows having provision of adequate bedding material.

All construction protocols for this shed will be the same as those of the primary shed of the Gaushala, barring the

space requirement modification. The animals need to be placed in individual pens, which have 12 m2 covered area and about 24 m2 open area.

E.    Bull pens

Special pens need to be constructed for bulls as they might display aggressive behaviour towards each other as well as other animals. The issue of aggression can lead to devastating consequences especially at the time when the female animal is in heat. Bulls are extremely strong and capable of causing extensive destruction as well as grievous injuries to other animals.

Individual housing is the only method by which these animals can be cared  for  in  a Gaushala. A bullpen should ideally have a minimum of 12 m2 covered  resting area and  a large open exercise area of 24 m2.

All other construction protocols used for the main Gaushala shed (except those for constructing walls and gates) can be followed

1.   Walls

The walls of the pen must be at least 12 inches in thickness and 5 feet in height.

In case of fencing, eight  horizontal  rails  of  minimum  of  2  inches  diameter  GI  pipes should be installed up to a height of 5 feet and fixed to posts which are a minimum of  5 inches in diameter, and not more than 6 feet apart.

2.   Gates

The gate of bullpens must be so designed that the bull cannot lift it off its hinges and there should be at least one safe exit where the staff can escape for its safety, as  and when required. It is important to reemphasise that bulls should be castrated.

F.    Quarantine sheds

Quarantine sheds are built to reduce the risk of introducing dangerous infectious diseases from outside into the Gaushala, by segregation of apparently healthy cattle (introduced into the Gaushala for the first time), which have been exposed to the risk of infection.

The quarantine period provides a monitoring period during which animals that were incubating disease on the day of arrival are likely to show symptoms. The idea is to allow sufficient time for any contagious disease that quarantine animals may have in the incubation stage, to become active and obvious. The arriving animals in the Gaushala should be quarantined for a minimum of 30 days. During quarantine, the cows must not have contact with healthy animals or share pastures or grazing lands.

Quarantine sheds should be located at the entrance of  the Gaushala.  A quarantine shed in a large Gaushala (accepting an average of 2-3 new animals for the Gaushala on daily basis) should have three animal sheds sufficient to accommodate  about  40  adult animals (20 males and 20 females) and about 20 calves.

Quarantine shed with walls up to the height of roof and windows for ventilation should be built

at the entrance of a Gaushala. Buckets and other equipment for cleaning of quarantine and isolation sheds should be separate from regular use equipment.

Along with the animal accommodation, there should be a provision of cattle crush (trevis) (details discussed in equipment chapter on page 59) for restraint of animals in order to facilitate medical procedures. The trevis should be installed under a shed (30 x 15 feet2). The shed should also have a working rack and sink with water supply.

All other construction protocols used for the main Gaushala shed can be followed for the quarantine sheds.

G.    Isolation sheds

Isolation sheds are meant for animals suffering from highly contagious diseases. They need to be constructed in the same manner as sheds for sick and old animals, and the only reason for separate construction is to minimize the spread of diseases.

10 isolation sheds is an optimal number for a Gaushala with 1000 animals. These sheds can be used for regular purposes of housing sick or sensitive animals if there are no instances of highly contagious disease in a facility at that point of time.

H.   Stores

Stores will be required for storing concentrate feed, dry fodder and equipment.

1.   Roof

Mono-pitched/sloping roofs  should  be  used  for stores  and should not  exceed  a  span  of 10 meters. 12 degrees is the ideal pitch for the roof of the store. This minimizes cost and is adequate to prevent stagnation of rain water.  At no cost should the roof  construction allow for seepage of water into the store.

The materials used can be same  as  those  used  for  construction  of  the  main  Gaushala shed. Corrugated aluminium or white galvanized iron  (GI)  sheets  have  comparatively higher rate of heat rejection and are best suited for open hay stores, manure pits, tractor sheds etc.

2.   Floor

The floors of the store should be cemented or cement concrete.  They should be smooth to prevent accumulation of waste and water and do not require grooves.

3.   Walls

The walls of a store should be built keeping in view, the preservation and security of stored materials. The walls should be leak proof and construction practices can be the same as the main Gaushala shed.

The store should be closed on all sides, and  present  no  opportunity  for  the  ingress  of pests through gaps, holes,  etc.  Measures  for  waterproofing  (in  areas  which  are susceptible to the problem of water seepage) should be carried  out as  food  stock  exposed to moisture will develop aflatoxins. Food tainted with such toxins can cause  grievous sickness in animals. For this purpose the stores

should be built on a higher ground also.

4.   Gates

For feed stores it is better to have shutter gates with 8-10 feet width allowing tractor- trolley to enter and leave the building from same gate.

5.   Electrical Fittings

Galvanised rolling shutter gates for stores

The only electrical fittings required are those for artificial lighting. These can be energy saving CFLs/LEDs and can be powered through solar panels, if possible.

H.   Silage unit

Good-quality silage is an excellent feed for cattle and an ideal Gaushala should have its own silage-making unit. Silage is a fermented product resulting from the fermentation of green fodder crops in a controlled environment and the absence of oxygen. This is a method of green fodder preservation and can be easily done in Gaushalas.


The silage-unit comprises of a silo pit which can be of  any shape,  but a  rectangular shape is preferable. The depth and width are generally kept equal (say 8 feet). The depth should not be less than 8 feet and the length can be kept twice or thrice the width or depth.

The corners must be rounded off and sides of pit must be made smooth  so  that  the exclusion of air may be  easy  and  the  compression of  the  fodder  is  not  interfered  with. Put a plastic sheet on the floor and sides of the pit.

A cubic foot of space can hold around 18kg of green fodder at the time of filling. Taking the shrinkage into consideration, one cubic feet of packed space will give around 12 kg silage at the time of feeding.

As per this calculation, a pit measuring 8 feet deep  X  8  feet wide X  10  feet long can  give 640 cubic feet which can hold approximately 11,520 kg of green fodder  at  the  time  of filling.

Such a silo is expected to feed a unit of 100 cattle for about seven to ten days during fodder scarcity. It is advantageous to have several pits rather than one single very large pit.

I.   Hospital

All Gaushalas should have a dedicated space for veterinary care. The veterinary facility should have space for animal examination, along with an operating room.

1.   Animal examination area

Since, restraining is the first step of any treatment administered to any animal. Cattle requires a special equipment to restrain them known as trevis or crush, made up of very strong iron (detail on page 59).

Approximately three trevis need to be installed in a Gaushala with 1000 cattle that also provides medical assistance for non-residential animals.

Since, sick and wounded animals kept in their designated sheds require to be examined and administered treatment regularly, these and the animal examination area should be built in close proximity.

There should be a separate space allocated within this area for recumbent animals (animals that cannot stand up). It

should have a dry,  padded  floor to prevent sores. To help the animals                               stand,             a sling mechanism should also be installed (discussed in detail on page 61).


 The roof should be 10 feet high supported by pillars. The wall should be of 5 feet wide height and 9 inches’ thickness, and an iron gate measuring a minimum of 10 feet should be built. Construction methods and materials used for the main Gaushala  can  be followed for this area as well.

2.   Operation Theatre

The operation theatre should be large enough to allow movement of 6-8 people to carry the animal in and out. Construction materials used for  the  primary  shed  in  the Gaushala can be used in the construction of the OT, except wherever mentioned.


The roof of the OT should be constructed with concrete and have a false ceiling for better temperature control. The edges should be rounded off wherever possible  in  order  to prevent accumulation of dust and cobwebs.


Operation theatre should have smooth cemented floor, for ease in cleaning and maintaining sterile conditions. Ceramic tile may also be installed  on the floor and walls to the ceiling in the operation theatre. Tiled floors resist moisture and handle scrubbing much more readily than a cement floor.

Electrical Fittings

To keep animals undergoing procedures  in  OT  comfortable,  they  should  be  protected from extremes of temperature, by installing fans, air conditioners and heaters, whenever

required. A large number of electric plug points should be installed to power electrical instruments used  for surgeries.  There should  also be provision for adequate lighting,  and an overhead light on top of the operating area.

Ideally an operation table made of painted galvanized iron  (covered  with  a  washable rubber mat), measuring 4 x 8 feet, fitted with a hydraulic or manual  mechanism  for adjusting its height should be installed. A cost effective  solution  can  be  created  by installing a large washable mattress (measuring 4 x 8 feet) on the floor only.

There should also be provision  of  a  large trolley  to  move the diseased  or  injured  animal to the operating area. The operation theatre should be spacious with wide gates, to allow movement of trolley in and out of operation theatre.

Operation theatre should have provision for as much natural light from windows as possible so that electricity failure does not create complications during surgery.

Large animal operation theatre with a large operation table and a small operation table, fitted with overhead lights and having appropriate facilities of oxygen cylinder and an anaesthetic machine.

J.     Office
  1. Location

The office of the Gaushala should be located at the entrance and at an elevated area. Ideally it should be a double storeyed building with the office at the top floor. The cattle sheds and other buildings should be so arranged that most of them can be easily seen from the office.

Having the office at the centre facilitates efficient supervision of all the surrounding area while having office at the entrance provides a barrier check for people and animals entering/or leaving the premises. A double storeyed office at the entrance serves both purposes.

2.   Space requirements

An office room (10 x 15 feet2) for supervisor along with a store-cum-change room (20 x 15 feet2) for storage of equipment etc. should be constructed side by side.

3.   Roof

Flat roof of concrete supported by walls is ideal for office. Roof for office in very hot areas requires false ceiling for thermal comfort. Corrugated asbestos roof painted with white colour on the inside may also be used.

4.   Floor

An office with a cement concrete floor and roof painted with white colour on the inside. The picture also shows an almirah kept for record keeping and other requirements of supervisor

Of the materials commonly used for the flooring, cement concrete is  undoubtedly the best flooring material for offices. It is most economical and durable flooring material. However, if budget is not the constraint, ceramic tiles may also be used for flooring of offices.

5.   Walls

The wall should be finished with smooth plaster cement covering making the surface hard and free from moisture. The walls may also be covered with glazed tiles up to a height of 5 ft. to prevent accumulation of dirt and dust. The corners  of the walls should be rounded off to minimize occurrence of cobwebs.

6.   Gates

The wall should have hinged aluminum door of 4 feet width and 6.5 feet height opening on both sides for entry of staff and visitors with ease.

7.   Lighting and Ventilation

The office walls should have 4 X 3 feet of windows fitted with glass to allow natural light and air inside. Apart from this overhead lighting system in the roof should be fitted to supplement natural light.

8.   Electrical Fittings

Office should be electrically wired for powering various lights, fan and ventilation equipment. Electric plug points should be installed to power computer, CCTV connections and other electrical instruments used in office.

K.   Staff Facilities
  1. Location

The location of staff quarters should be on the windward  side  (from  where  wind  is coming) of the Gaushala, to prevent flies and smell from the manure heap being blown towards them. The staff quarters  should  also  be located  as  near as  possible to  the  sick and old animal sheds to provide immediate emergency services.

It is better that houses are north facing. In winter, south-facing windows let in sunlight that converts to heat. Planting trees against these windows will keep the house cooler.

2.   Construction of staff quarters

Staff quarters for labour and employees constructed and located in the premises of Gaushala, should be made available at nominal rent or even free of cost to encourage them for 24 hours availability. These may also act as rest rooms for workers to take rest

during the intervals between shifts or in rest periods. Quarters for labourers should be a minimum of a room and kitchen. Common bathrooms and  latrines  be in  one place. These should be multiple storied to save space. The quarters should have low- maintenance exterior. There should be a manger and a doctor/para vet accommodation as well.

L.   Waste Management System

Liquid manure from each shed should be connected to an open surface main drain (Dimensions of drain: 3 feet wide on top and

9 inches wide at bottom with a depth of  1  feet  from  top  to bottom). The slope of the drain should be 1 feet for every 250 feet length of the drain towards the liquid manure storage tank.

Liquid manure storage system:

The liquid manure storage tank should have its direct outlet towards crop fields  for collection of urine (if the tank is located at a higher level) and requires an outlet with pumping device (If the tank is located at a lower level).

The inspection chamber, the settling chamber and liquid manure storage tank should be

Liquid manure tank

constructed using 9-inch-thick brick walls or 4.5-inch-thick reinforced cement concrete (RCC).

Size of liquid manure tank

The process for collecting and depositing solid manure has been discussed (Page  77). The manure that is washed with water pipes is called liquid manure and this can go into a liquid manure tank. The slope of floor should be 1:40 towards the drain which leads to the tank. The liquid manure tank is to be located underground. Drains leading to  it should be sloped at 1:100 and should be continuous.

Once the drain goes outside the shed it is to be connected to a drain which has a slight slope of 1:250 leading to the liquid manure tank. This will facilitate urine and liquid faeces collection. The liquid manure tank should have 3 chambers: inspection chamber, settling chamber and manure storage chamber. The dimensions should be 1 x 1 x 1

metre, 3 x 3 x 3 metre and 4x 4 x 4 metre respectively. CI (cast iron) pipes with a diameter of 6 inches should be used for carrying the liquid manure from inspection chamber to settling chamber and then onto the storage tank.

The production of liquid manure is presumed to be 0.5 cubic feet (14 litres) per cow per day in winters and 0.25 cubic feet (7 litres) per cow per day in summer. During summer season, the quantity of urine voided by animals is less and the urine gets evaporated within a short time after voiding due to high temperature. In addition to this an adult animal voids 25-30 kg of faecal material.

Presuming that on an average 50 litres  of  liquid  manure will  be produced  per adult cow per day a liquid manure storage tank of 4 x 4 x 4 m (length x width x depth) can accommodate liquid manure produced by about 1000 adult cows provided the tank is emptied every day in winter and every  alternate day  in  summer.  This  can  be emptied using a motor and sent to agricultural fields.

Construction of solid manure pits

Manure pits should be located far off from the animal sheds, as fresh manure lying near animal sheds is an ideal breeding ground for insects and flies. For reason of hygiene, the manure pits should be located at a minimum distance of 10 metres  from wells,  rivers and tanks.

In Gaushalas it will be better to construct a number of small sized manure pits rather than one big manure pit. For ease of dumping and lifting of manure from the pit, the depth of the pit (height of retaining walls) should not be more than 7 feet (4 feet underground and 3 feet over ground). The width of the pit may be at least 15 feet in order to allow tractor trolley to enter inside for unloading and loading purposes with a ramp at the entrance.

The walls should be made of bricks or cement concrete and should have a thickness of

22.5 cm. The bottom of the pit should not be left earthen to prevent excess water to seep into the soil.

M.   Gobar gas plant/Biogas plant

If the land is large enough, a biogas  plant  based  on  the  conversion  of  dung  should  be built. This turns the dung into gas which can be used for lighting, cooking and be sold to farmers. The minimum land necessary for a biogas unit ranges from 10X10  m2  for  50 animals to 15X15 m2 for 1000 animals.

1.   Selection of construction site

The selection of construction site for biogas plant is mainly governed by the  following factors:

The site should be on a slightly higher elevation than the surrounding. This helps in avoiding water logging.  This  also ensures  free flow of slurry from overflow outlet to the composting pit.

For effective functioning of bio-digesters, right temperature (20-35°C) has to be maintained inside the digester. Therefore, it is better to avoid damp and cool place while sunny site is preferable.

To make plant easier to operate and avoid wastage of raw materials, especially the dung, plant must be as close as possible to the cattle shed.

To mix dung and water or flush manure to  the digester,  considerable quantity of water is required. If water source is far,  the  burden  of  fetching  water  becomes more. So, site should have a permanent water source.

The selected site should also ensure easy operation and maintenance activities like feeding of plant, use of main gas valve, composting and use of slurry, checking of gas leakage, draining condensed water from pipeline etc.

The site should be at a sufficient distance from trees to avoid damage to bio digester from the roots.

The well or groundwater source should be at least 10 meter away from the bio digester especially the slurry pit to avoid the ground water pollution.

If long gas pipes are used, the cost of production of biogas will be increased as the conveyance system becomes costly. Furthermore, longer pipeline increases  the risk of gas leakage. The main gas valve which is fitted just above the gas holder should be opened and closed before and after the use of biogas. Therefore, the plant should be as near to the point of application as possible.

Type of soil should have enough bearing capacity to avoid the possibility of sinking of biogas structure.

2.   Location of biogas plant

A biogas plant should not be located further than 5 meters from the field. The digester

Biogas plant at Govind Godham Gaushala near Hambran Road, Punjab meeting half of the power needs of the Gaushala.

chamber must be in  an open area and should not be near to any natural or artificial water source as animal excrement may seep into underground water. The plant should also be situated on an elevated area and not on the low land to  avoid the danger of floods. The excess manure should flow into the agricultural field or the storage tank and not into natural water bodies such as rivers to avoid the risk of pollution.

3.   Size of biogas plant

The size of the biogas plant in Gaushalas is based on three parameters

  • Daily input of cattle dung
  • Retention time of cattle dung till biogas is produced
  • Volume of digester

Capacity of the plant should be designed based on the availability of raw materials. The capacity of the plant determines the quantity of  gas  produced  in  a day.  One kg  of  cow dung along with equal quantity of water (1:1) under anaerobic  conditions  in  a  day produces 0.04 m3 or 40 litres of biogas

When a biogas plant is underfed, the  gas  production  will  be  low.  In  this  case,  the pressure of the gas might not be sufficient to fully displace the slurry in to the outlet

chamber. If too much material is fed into the digester and the volume of  gas  is consumed, the slurry may enter the gas pipe and reach up to the appliances.

The size of the digester i.e. the digester volume is  determined  by  the  length  of  the retention time and by the amount of fermentation slurry supplied daily. The amount of fermentation slurry consists of the feed material (e.g., cattle dung) and the mixing water.

Example: 25 kg of cow dung + 25 litre water = 50 litre fermentation slurry The digester volume is calculated by the formula

Digester volume (litre) = Daily feed (litre/day) x Retention time (days)

Assuming the retention time to be 40 days, then the digester volume can be calculated by:

Digester volume = 50 (litre/day) x 40 (days) = 2000 litre or 2 m3

4.   Biogas generator

A biogas generator is a reactor or chemical processing machine designed to organically breakdown biological source materials  into  gases  such  as  methane  and  hydrogen  that can then be combined with oxygen for use as source of fuel.

A biogas generator is a sealed container with inlet for  organic  waste  infusion  with anaerobic bacteria.  The bacteria break  down the waste in the absence of oxygen into a gas mixture of about 60% methane and 40% carbon dioxide, which is siphoned off into another container. Industrial level systems are simply larger scale versions of the same process. They have an elevated waste-feeding chamber that channels the material into a

reactor chamber filled  with  digesting  slurry.  The  biogas  generator  pipes  transport  gas out of the top of the chamber and treated slurry to the outside of the container.

Methane from a biogas generator is  the main component of  the natural gas, which  can be used to heat homes and  for other uses  such  as cooking and hot water production. The slurry after drying acts as good organic manure

It is easier to  get a professional  company to  make the unit rather  than  attempting it on your own. Companies have been listed.

N.   Vermi-compost and bio-pesticide unit

Vermi means earthworm. Vermi-compost is an organic fertilizer produced by earthworm species and microorganisms, which grow on animal and farm waste. It involves a simple process of decomposition used to enhance the process of waste conversion in to manure.

Vermicomposting is environment friendly and cost effective technique for solid waste management.

1.    Construction of Vermi-pits

Vermi-composting should be done in a pit dug in the soil.  For greater efficiency,  cement brick tanks are used. The tank is constructed  on  raised  land,  that  is,  above  ground  to avoid water logging. The floor is higher in the center  and  slopes  on  sides.  The specifications for construction of pit are:

Length = 3 m Height = 1 m Width = 1.6 m Volume = 4.8 m³

Adequate numbers of holes (8 x 5 cm diameter) are dug at the bottom for draining of water. Bed is 5 to 10 cm thick constructed of broken bricks or sawdust.

Beds/rows of vermi-compost

To avoid permanent construction of cemented pits, plastic sheets may be placed on ground, which prevents both earthworm and vermi-wash from going into the ground. Beds/rows are made of partially decomposed cow dung (1 m wide and 75 cm high) with a distance of 75 cm between the two rows, so that people can walk in between the rows and collect the vermicompost.

2.   Shed for Vermi-compost Walls

The shed walls should be made up of galvanized steel pipes (8 ft. in height placed at equidistance of 8 ft.) covered with green coloured agro net to protect earthworms from sunlight.  The width of  the shed should be 20 ft.  and length could be variable according to the production capacity of Gaushala.


The roof of the shed should be rounded  or  barrelled  and  covered  with  green  coloured agro net.  An  additional  plastic  sheet is  required  during rainy season  to  prevent seepage of water.

A thatched roof with slope of 20° supported by wooden pillars of 8 feet height would be cheap and may be provided for cover over vermi-pit  from  above  if  budget  is  the constraint.


There should be 2 gates in vermicompost sheds. The gates of vermicompost shed should be at least 8 feet of width on both sides of shed to allow entry and exit of tractor-trolleys. The gates should be made up of galvanized steel pipes fitted with agro net.

O.         Network of roads

Vermicompost unit with rounded green coloured agro net roof and walls

Straight pathways/roads must connect buildings of hospital, office, residential quarters, cow houses and stores. Roads must be well gravelled for quick transport and as far as possible roads must be straight for easy economic transport. If constructing bituminous/asphalt roads is not possible, slab stone roads and concrete roads connecting various buildings within the Gaushala should be built. The width of two intersecting roads should be 4 and 5 meter, to facilitate the turning of tractor and other heavy machinery easily.

Improving the Existing Sheds

Net work of concrete roads outside the

cattle shed providing proper

connectivity of various sites

There are many ways by which the housing of animals can be improved without spending a lot of money. For example, Using economical materials for construction like corrugated asbestos sheets as roofing material

and brick lined floors instead of cement-concrete floors.

Before spending money on improving existing facilities in Gaushala, a simple question should be addressed. How much is to be spent on improving existing infrastructure? If the current status is very poor and our desired level of improvement is very high, the most appropriate step would be to go for new infrastructure in Gaushala in stepwise manner.

The changes should be gradually applied and by using locally available materials. If the money is surplus and management can afford to spend money to modify existing sheds to modern cattle sheds, some of the suggested alterations for improving the existing cattle sheds are as follows:

  1. The surface of the floor  in  the shed should be made even  by  levelling  off and filling  up of The surface can be made cement concrete,  paved  with bricks  or at least  made hard by good ramming.
  1. The cattle sheds may be having a roof made of straw or mixed with mud or galvanised iron (GI) sheets or asbestos sheets. Straw and mud roofs may be leaky and harbour insects and pests. In rainy season, the roof may leak wetting the feed in the mangers thereby making animals prone to diseases. Corrugated asbestos sheets are best suited in almost all parts of the country. These have a self-life of 35-40 years and require minimum
  1. In traditional Gaushala cattle sheds, the height of  roof  is  kept very low.  It makes  the shed dark inside and prevents proper air To make it better the roof should be raised to proper height, which is at least 10 feet at eaves of the shed.
  2. Over-crowding is another problem  in  traditional  Gaushalas    Care  should  be taken to ensure that there is at least about 40 square feet of area per cow available in the cattle  sheds.  This  makes  the  animals  existence  much  more  comfortable.  Apart from this, sheds housing large  number  of  animals  (more  than  80)  should  be partitioned using galvanised iron (GI) posts with gates for exchange of animals. This compartmentalization results in keeping animal number  less  than  80  in  any  case  so that animals maintain their social order.

Machinery and Equipment

Machinery and equipment are essential such as the trevis/crush/chute for restraining cattle, ramp for loading and unloading of animals, chaff cutter machine, milking pails, milk cans and other implements for handling and grooming of cows.

A list of machines and equipment is presented below which is necessary  for  the handling, restraining, treatment and overall management of cattle in Gaushala. These equipment have a direct impact on the welfare of the animals and in turn also make Gaushala management less labour intensive.

1.    Ramp for loading and unloading of animals

Loading and unloading cattle onto  or off  a vehicle can  be  the most stressful  part of their transportation. It is important that loading and unloading be performed in a quiet and competent manner.

Loading and unloading  facilities  need  to  be  compatible  with  a  range  of  vehicles.  This will mean that same premises may need to have  more than one ramp  according  to the height of vehicles.

Location/placement of ramp in Gaushala

The unloading area should be secure and provide a wide, clear, straight path from the vehicle to the quarantine shed where the animals are to be kept. There should only be one clear and obvious  route for the animals  to travel down,  which  should be kept free of non-essential personnel and other distractions.

It is  further  advisable  to  have  the  loading  ramp  slightly  away  from  the  entrance towards open ground. This  provides  area  to  slow the  animals  down  as  they come down so they are less likely to injure themselves or others.

A permanent ramp consists of a raised flat concrete space to provide a relatively level surface where the tailgate of vehicle is dropped prior to unloading of the animals. Since animals need to  walk down  a slope from the raised flat  area to  ground level, the slope of angle should be around 10°. If the space for ramp construction is less, slope can be increased after putting grooves on the ramp to  prevent slipping of  the animals.  Under no condition, should the slope of the ramp be more than 20°.

Although, concrete ramp has advantage of durability, it has disadvantages like

Concrete ramps are suitable for specific height vehicles only. For vehicles with nonadjustable height of tailgates, loading and unloading becomes difficult affair. Sick and old animals might be injured by the hard concrete surface and develop abrasions, contusions, etc.

Permanent ramp made of concrete for loading and unloading of animals.

Therefore, a special height adjustable ramp makes  a perfect link between the levels of the truck and the Gaushala ground surface, making loading and unloading quick  and easy. The ramp may be fitted with a motor for adjustment of height. Manual adjustment of height is also possible with locks at multiple levels to adjust height according to the level of vehicle.

The width of the ramp should be equal or greater than the width  of  vehicle  to  avoid tripping of the animals. However, 8-10 feet ramp width is sufficient for all the most commonly used transport vehicles. The ramp may

have a variable length of 4-6 metre. The sides of a height adjustable ramp should be solid. Standing space should also be provided at the sides of the passage for the attendants to assist and direct old and sick animals.

The floor of the ramp should  be  made  from checkered iron sheets to prevent slipping of the animals.

Checkered iron sheets

Depending on  the needs  of  Gaushala,  these special  ramps  can  be  made  in  different

Height adjustable ramp fitted with motor compatible with all transporting vehicles of varying height

lengths and with different loading capacities.

  1. Crush/Trevis/Chute

A cattle crush, also known as  a squeeze chute or trevis,  should  be a  strongly built stall to hold cattle safely while they are examined, marked for identification, or given veterinary treatment. It should be so designed to keep the animal still in order to

reduce the risk of injury to the animals or the attendant while the animal is handled.

Cattle crushes should be made using standard heavy steel/pipe. This increases the durability of the equipment and reduces the risk of harm.

The length of cattle crush should be  an  approximate of 1.6m. The width should vary between 850-950 mm to suit type  and  size  of cattle to be handled. The height of the crush is

approximately 1.4m above floor level.

Crush with open sculling gate at the front end

A sculling gate at the front  end  of  the  crush  is  provided  to  restrict  the  movement  of neck. The sculling gate has a  greater  opening  width  when  the  animal  is  entering  the crush  to  minimize cases of  animal refusing to  enter. When  the animal is  driven forward the gate closes on the neck. The two heavy adjustable steel pipes in sculling gate  are squeezed and fitted at one of the multiple locking position on the horizontal bars fixed at a height of 1.4 metre. After administering the treatment, sculling gate is opened after releasing the steel pipes to remove the animal easily.

A space for wooden tail bar  or  rump  bar  should  be there  at the  rear  end  of  the crush. The use of wooden  bar  is  primarily to  reduce the occurrence of  injury to  the animal  in case animal tries to move back or kicks at the bar. Use of padded wooden bars further reduces the risk of injury to the animals. However, sliding or hinged gate may also be installed as an alternative for ease in operation.

At the front end of the crush, there should also be provision for hanging the Glucose/NSS drip bottles at a height.

Cattle crush for handling and restraining of cows in Gaushala

Buff alo getting treatment administered calmly

in a specially designed cattle crush

The floor of  the  area  where  crush  is  installed  should be made of concrete slab finished with non-slippery diagonal grooves at  100mm  intervals  to  prevent animals slipping.

3.    Cow Sling for lifting cows

Cow sling fitted with hydraulic motor or manually operated by operators should be available in Gaushala that lifts and supports sick/old/recumbent/infirm cows humanely and safely. The main purpose of a cow

Cow sling for lifting and supporting sick/old/recumbent/infirm cows

sling is to encourage blood circulation, feeding and assisting the cow to become fully mobile again.

It should be such designed to support a downed cow over a large body area to reduce pressure points which may further injure the animal. It should be manufactured from long life materials like tarpaulin sheets, etc.

Sequence of photographs showing manual operated sling aiding a paralysed cow to stand up

For making a sling, a large cloth sheet or tarpaulin sheet may be used. Fold to a length of 5 feet and width of 3 feet (length may vary according to the length of animal). Holes should be made for the legs and the udder to fit into them. Tie a thick cotton rope to the corner of each side and tie the other end of the ropes to the hooks on the frame as shown in pictures below. The rope is passed over the pulley

fixed at the top of iron post at least 7 feet in height and then through a pulley at the top on the side of frame. The rope then leads downward towards the pulley at 3 feet height on the sides attached with a handle for manually pulling the cow upwards or motor for automatic lifting. Tractor may also be used to pull the ropes. While helping the animal to stand with the help of slings one must ensure gentle handling and avoid jerky/quick movements.

Refrigerator of appropriate size according to the requirement of Gaushala should be installed at the Gaushala

The cattle load that needs to be lifted would be around 600-800kg.

4.   Refrigerator

Gaushala   should    have    a

refrigerator for storing vaccines, hormones, medicines

and other items that have manufacturers’ requirements                

Portable refrigerator for transporting medicines, vaccines, hormones, etc.

to attend calls

for storage at a temperature lower than room temperature.

Apart from this, ice application, which at times forms the core of treatment, can only be made available within the Gaushala via means of refrigerator of appropriate size.

A portable refrigerator with battery backup should also be available for storage and transport of items that require storage at low temperature.

5.    Cow mattresses

Mattresses for cows should be easily washable, waterproof, non-slippery, durable and cost-effective; along with providing a comfortable and supportive bedding surface.On

e-piece roll out rubber mattress for cows

6.   Curtain for sheds

Rubber mattress with minimum of 20mm thickness and easy to roll must be purchased.  Guaranty  period  of   mattress is also critical while purchasing  and  5- year conditional warranty should be insisted on.

To protect cattle at places where weather conditions  are often harsh, the right curtain system can  provide  comfort and improve the ease of operation. These curtains require to be placed on the side of the sheds adjoining the  manger. These curtains should be manufactured using tarpaulin sheets or other durable and water proof material.

Sick   and   old   animals   shed     and calf sheds must have provision of these curtains to provide additional comfort and


7.   Gum boots

Green coloured curtains manufactured using tarpaulin sheets  are best for  a Gaushala.

While rearing and maintaining cattle in a Gaushala,  the care takers/attendants require to do heavy duty work and at times damage their feet and lower limbs. If correct footwear is provided to them with a cushioned sole and foot bed that supports the arch of the foot, chances  of injury become lower.

Gumboots for Gaushala  workers

Care takers/attendants  of cows work throughout the day on the concrete floor that, at the time of manure clearing, also involves risk of slipping. Gumboots with  proper grooves on the sole must be made available to them. Gumboots prevent damage and infection to their feet.

8.    Floor Groove cleaners

Floor Groove cleaners for cleaning the grooves  of cement concrete  floors  of  cattle  sheds  should  be made available  in  each shed  and  to  each  employee of   Gaushala   involved   in cleaning activity.      The cleaner should have a comfortable handle for easy cleaning. It should  have  three  or  more  pointed prongs made up of iron, for  digging  the  faecal material from the grooves of floor. These prongs may be adjusted according to the width of grooves.

9.        Bull Leader

Gaushalas today have a large number of bulls. Training of bulls at younger stages of life requires specialised equipment called  bull leader,  distal  end of which fits into the hole of the  nasal  septum  of  the  bull and allows the trainer  to  take the  lead.  The  bulls  can   be easily  controlled   with  the  use of bull leader  and  every Gaushala where  large  numbers of    bulls    are    housed    should procure     this     equipment    for Floor groove cleaner for cattle sheds of Gaushala Bull leader for effective handling and training of bulls in Gaushala easy handling and training of bulls.

10.     Mouth Gag

Mouth gags for drenching and examination of cattle in Gaushala Occasionally, the need  arises  to visually or physically examine the inside  of  the mouth of cattle to check for injury to the tongue, gums, teeth, etc.  For drenching the animals also, mouth gags are required.

Basically, a mouth gag is made of cast aluminium or cast  iron.  It  consists  of  two wedges, one for each side of the mouth, which are pushed up between the upper and lower molars. The reflex clamping of the jaws ensures that they are retained open and access is made for drenching or evaluation.

11.          Bull Holder

Bull holder is a necessary instrument for rendering care to bulls and calves.  This stainless steel, cast aluminium or polished alloy instrument is placed on the  nasal septum of the animals, making them  easy to handle.  It only creates  pressure on the nasal septum without leaving any incision. These are also called as bull pliers  or bull nose and may also be used for ease of drenching sick and old animals.

Bull holder with spring, rope and chain for handling/controlling bulls and calves Many variants of bull holder are available  in  the  market  like  bull  holder  with  spring, bull holder with rope and bull holder with chain.

12.        Bull Nose Punch

Bull nose punch is used  to perforate  the fleshy part of the nasal septum prior to insertion of a nose ring, reducing stress, risk of accidents and making the job more animal friendly.  The bull  nose punch  is  made up of stainless steel, cast aluminium or polished alloy.

13.                   Bull Nose Ring

Bull   nose  ring   made  of Bull nose punch used for ringing the bull calves as well as the bulls Bull nose ring and ring applicator stainless steel, copper, brass and even nickel plated are available in the market in different size (40mm, 60mm and 70mm in diameter). Bull nose ring is inserted and fixed into the nasal septum of animal after puncturing with bull nose puncher.

This eases the handling, controlling   and restraining of bulls.

Although, bull nose ring can be manually applied to the animal, a specialised applicator is also available for easing the application of bull nose ring.

14.                   Bull Nose String

Bu ll nose string passed directly through the nasal septum of the animal for controlling it.

After the application of bull nose ring, one end  of  nose string is  passed  through  the hold and tied a knot, with other end of string behind the horn. It may be made up of cotton  or synthetic  material.  Cotton  rope is most preferred because it is strong, safe and easy to  use when  making knots. Rough, hard  ropes like coir should not be used since they can cause abrasions.

15.                   Cattle Neck Plate
Cattle neck plate made up of iron used for identification of animals.

Cat tle neck plate made up of plastic in different colours. Numbers are used for identification of animals.

Cattle neck plates made up of galvanised aluminium or plastic  may  be  used  for identification of animals. The advantage of using neck plates is that they do not require piercing of body parts and hence do not cause any pain  in  the  name  of  animal identification.

16.                   Electric dehorner

Electric dehorners are powerful instruments allowing safe removal of horns in cattle. It is important to dehorn livestock because of the potential damage the horns  can cause.  It is  better to dehorn livestock at a young age because it minimizes stress and bleeding.

Ele ctric dehorner with an electric wire supply for dehorning in GaushalaDehorning of cattle over the age of 12 months should be done only with help of anaesthetic.

17.                   Weighing Machines

ISI marked weighing machines of different grades should be available in the Gaushala for weighing cows, purchased items like concentrate, gur, etc. and milk before sale.

Weighing machines required in Gaushala are of  three  types:  Heavy  duty  weighing bridge, hanging weight balance and platform weight balance.

Heavy duty platform weight balance for measuring weights of animals at regular intervals to assess their health and well being

Hanging weight balance for weighing items of regular use in Gaushala

Platform weight balances are easy to handle as compared to hanging weight balance

18.    Manual grooming equipment

A variety  of  manual  groomers  should  be  available  in  the  Gaushala for grooming, washing and comfort of the animals.

6″ Rice root body brush for

rough grooming of cattle          Body brush with handle

Plastic grooming brush or curry comb for washing livestock

Grooming brush with rubber bristles

19.     Hoof Cutter for Cattle

The main reason for large number of lame cows in Gaushalas is the unmanaged hooves of animals.

Hoof cutter for cattle

A heavy duty hoof cutter simplifies the task of keeping cattle hooves neatly trimmed in order to prevent sore, ill-shaped or quarter cracked hooves. The long handle provides additional safety to the handler from kick of animals.

20.                   Plastic halter

An all-cotton or  nylon  like  plastic  rope  made  halter  that does not rot  or  swell  is  required  for  handling  and controlling  animals  in  Gaushala.  Durable,   well-finished halter with adjustable lead can best  manipulate  the movements of animals.

21.                   Drenching Gun

Plastic halter

Drenching gun or cattle drencher allows safe and easy administration of fluids to  cattle.  The probe is inserted into the side of the mouth to encourage and enable swallowing. Easy-grip handle for one handed use should also be the feature of drenching gun used in Gaushalas.

22.                   Tag applicator

Drenching Gun/cattle drencher

Light weight ear tag applicators made of aluminium, finished with long lasting paint

and fitted with deep jaw ensuring correct ear tag placement could be used in the Gaushala  for identification purpose  of  the animals.

23.                   Plastic ear tag

Ear tag applicator for cattle in Gaushala

Flag shaped yellow coloured

ear tags, easily visible from a distance and made of durable plastic could be used for identification of cattle in Gaushala.

The plastic ear tags should fit the ear tagging applicator.

Manual chaff cutter

24.                   Chaff Cutter

Plastic ear tag for identification of animals in Gaushalas

Motorised chaff cutter

25.                   Grain grinder

Chaff cutters are efficient in uniform cutting of  green  as well as dry fodder. They are also useful for silage preparation. Electric chaff cutter instead of manual chaff cutter minimizes the requirement of daily wage workers and also helps in uniform chopping of fodder for cattle in Gaushalas.

Grain  grinders  are  required  in  Gaushala  for reducing  the  particle size of  cereal  grains.  Although it involves additional cost, yet some processing is needed for improving the digestibility of the grain. Reducing the particle size increases the microbial activity in the rumen and enzyme action in the

small intestine. It improves palatability and makes grain more digestible.

26.                   Spray tank

Pressure spray tank of plastic should be made available in the Gaushala, Automatic grain grinder Sprayer tank for disinfecting Gaushalas store.

27.     Milk pail

necessary for disinfecting the premises. It should have a smooth pumping action, and attached  with  comfortable  and easy to attach backpack straps. It should also be light weight, reasonably

compact, easy to use,  clean, transport  and

Milk pail of different sizes for storing milk before sale or processing

A milk pail is a tall, conical or cylindrical container for the collection and transportation of milk. It is originally a lidded bucket with a handle and made up of aluminium or steel. Milk pails are available in different quantities; the most commonly used milk pail is of 45 litres.

28.      Milk measures

Milk measures made up of stainless steel or aluminium available in 50 ml. to 2 litre capacities should be available in the Gaushala.

29.       Large trolley

A large trolley to carry the diseased or injured animal from one shed to  the other or  from shed to the hospital or from the hospital into the operating  theatre  should  be  available.  The width of the trolley should be such to allow movement of trolley in and out of the gates.

Milk measures

A trolley made of painted galvanized iron fitted

with four wheels and measuring

4 feet wide & 8 feet long  would be ideal for carrying animals. It should be covered with a washable rubber mat for comfort of the sick/diseased animals. Iron rings should be fitted to the sides of the trolley for supporting the animal by tying while transferring. An iron flap at one end for supporting the head of extra long animals  should  also be there.

30.                   Calf feeding bottle/Nipple pail

Trolley for carrying animals.

2 to 3 litre calf feeding bottle made up of plastic and fitted with  nipple is  required  for feeding orphan and abandoned calves. A plastic pail fitted  with  one or more nipples  may also be employed for feeding them milk. These pails should be flattened on both sides for

Milk feeding bottle Milk pails with single and multiple nipples ease of drinking by calves and fitted with strong wire handle. It has an advantage of easy cleaning. While purchasing pails/bottle it must be ensured that food grade plastic is used for manufacturing to avoid contamination of milk.

Management of Gaushala

The management of Gaushala is an art of combining ideas,  facilities,  processes, materials and labour for the well-being of cows in most economical way. It involves decision making, examining major constraints and determining methods of minimising these constraints while managing different units of the Gaushala.

A manager is an organiser and decision maker who is well informed about the minutest details and affecting animals.

Behaviour of cattle

Cows are much more intelligent than we think. They are slow movers but quick learners. They have remarkable emotional sensitivity and are deeply affected by emotional and physical pain  like early separation  of  their young  ones,  dehorning, etc.

The memory or ability to remember things is well displayed by the dominance- submission relationships in cattle. Cattle recognize each other and even good and bad behaviour of individual humans.

Cows and their calves communicate using calls. These calls are  low frequency when they are close and high frequency when they are separated by a distance. If the calf dies or gets separated from its mother, the cows mourns her baby.

Cows sleep for approximately 4-5 hours per day only. But rests a lot while sitting and chewing the cud for hours.

Cows are easy to manage if they are kept in groups from the start of their life. They learn things quickly when they are in a friends’ zone.

Social factors and physical condition of animals influence the quantity of feed consumed by them. Calves reared individually consume less feed as compared to those reared in groups due to visual reinforcement. As compared to  healthy animal, sick and old animals will show a reduced appetite. Off-feed and reduced feed intake is one of the earliest symptom of disease in a cow.

In order to manage cattle, we must understand that they are sentient beings. In Gaushalas, confinement also interferes with the habitat of the cows and their social organisation.

For effectively managing a Gaushala, its manager should also have  knowledge  of  the animal’s behaviour individually and in groups, besides other skills of management.

Knowledge of behavioural such factors as social companionship, dominance by other animals, regular feeding and resting behaviour and the rhythms of other activities such as sleeping and breeding further helps in improving the status of cows in Gaushala.

a)     Imprinting

Imprinting is when a newborn animal is able is to recognize its mother from among other individuals of the same species. This process helps to ensure that the young will not become separated from their parents, even among large herds of similar animals. The best–known from of imprinting is mental imprinting, in which a young animal acquires its behavioral characteristics from its parent. Imprinting is believed to be especially important in hoofed mammals which tend to congregate in large herds in which a young animal could easily be separated from its mother. New born calves can easily be imprinted to interact comfortable with humans.

Calf after its birth with developed maternal imprinting is able to recognise its mother from a group of individual animals of same species

b)    Memory

Memory is the ability to remember and capacity to retain or recall things that are learned or experienced. Animals also learn by watching others and imitating them.

The existence of dominance-submission relation in cattle is evidence that cattle do remember or recognize each other. Apart from this, feeding, drinking and even sexual behaviour in cows is learned and improved by imitation.

c)     Stress and strain

Change in behaviour is the most common and identifiable evidence of stress in cows. Many environmental factors like unfavourable temperature, rearing conditions, food supply, stocking density, space allocation and confinement are agents of stress.

These stress conditions can produce deviations in existing normal behaviour or even result in the generation of new behaviour patterns like reduced intake of feed, absence of feeding, self-isolation, etc.


A cow when allowed to graze naturally can cover an average distance of 4 km per day, which increases if the weather is hot and they are troubled  by flies. During summers, shift from a day-time grazing to a night-time grazing must be made, if  animals  are not fed in their sheds only.

Cattle are also not equipped to graze very close to the ground and snap grass at a height more than one cm from the ground.

Herd of cattle grazing in the open grasslands

1/3 with hay.


They avoid foliage contaminated by urine and dung. Taste is the major factor in deciding which plant to eat, although smell, sight and touch also play a role. If a choice between hay and silage (preserved green fodder) is given, cows spend roughly 2/3 of  their eating time  with silage  and

Cows quickly consume large volumes of green forage.  This  habit  developed  during evolution of the animal, when grazing in the open was only alternative for feeding, where they were exposed to predators and inclement  weather.  After  ingesting  large  volumes, they move to sheltered areas, relax and ruminate leisurely. Rumination involves regurgitation of consumed feed, proper mastication and re-swallowing food,  which  they have previously ingested.

Cows prefer to sit down and chew the cud roughly for 4 to 9 hours daily, under any housing conditions. But, if the floor is wet or

exposed to rain, they may ruminate standing or walking  slowly.  Throughout  the  day,  cattle ruminate 15 to 20 times the period of which varies from a few minutes to  more than  one hour.  When the green fodder consumed is soft and of  good quality, the  rumination  time  will  be  short.  The peak activity for rumination is immediately after night-fall.


Cattle drink using their muzzles keeping the nostrils above the surface of water. An adult cow usually drinks water one to four times per day, but consumes a daily average of 40-50 litres of water in normal conditions. The frequency of drinking water increases in hot weather.  There may be deviation in water consumption by the animals depending on the following factors.

Cow drinking water from its muzzle keeping the nostrils above water

  1. Body size of the animal– Large sized animal will have higher water requirement and will consume more
  2. Condition of the animal– Lactating animals will require more water  depending on the milk yield of the
  3. Season– Naturally, water consumption increases during hot weather and cows consume 20-25 per cent more
  4. Nature of feed– Animals receiving predominantly dry feeds require more  water than those getting succulent green
d)    Aggressive Behaviour

This is the type of behaviour which results when cattle are kept together artificially. When two animals from different background meet for the first time, fighting will not occur if one or both shows a submissive or evasive response. If the animal threatened is slow to submit, it may be butted usually at the rump or side. If the attacking animal has horns, they may cause serious injury.

A subordinate animal quickly retreats when butted.  If  not,  fighting  between  cows  can cause physical injury along with submissive and meek cows not getting sufficient opportunities to feed properly when group-fed. However cows (females) are less confrontationist than males (bulls). There is no aggressiveness in bullocks.

Aggressive posture by the animal being threatened is an indication that it accepts the challenge. Aggressive posture includes lowering of head, horns pointed on the other

animal and eyes crossed towards it. The tight posture of cows is  similar to  the  ‘fight or flight’ posture of bulls. Bull in addition paws the ground, rubs its head and neck on the ground and ploughs up earth with its horns. The animals may  stand one or  two  metres away from each other displaying aggressive posture for some time presumably playing a ‘war-of-nerves’ with each other.

e)     Sexual Behaviour in Cattle

For proper and effective management of a Gaushala the knowledge of sexual behaviour and nature of sex drives/characteristics in males and females is a must.

Agonistic behaviour of two bulls engaged in a fight for dominance


Young bulls are  inexperienced  and  approach  cows  hesitantly.  When  exposed  to unfamiliar surroundings, expression of  sexual  behaviour  is  further  reduced  in  young bulls.

However, in a natural environment, a bull will detect a cow in heat 2 days before it is actually receptive to mating and will remain in its vicinity as guarding behaviour.

Once the cow comes in heat, the bull, while following the cow, will lick and smell the external genitalia while curling its upper lip exposing the gums. The head is held horizontal, neck is kept extended, nostrils are widened and tail is held up.

If there are 2 or  more males,  they  will  display  confrontational  behaviour  between  them as discussed.

While grazing together,  bull butts  the hindquarter of  cow nudging her to  move forward. The female showing positive response stands firm while shifting some weight backwards. The bull stands behind the cow placing his  chin and  neck  on the rump.  Non-responsive cows move away from the bulls. After mounting and mating, bull continues to follow/accompany the cow for some more time.

After attaining puberty (at one and half years of age), sex drive in males gradually increases and it requires the management of Gaushala to castrate the breed bulls to prevent unnecessary mating.


Cow mate only when in heat. After attaining puberty (1.5-2.0 years  of  age),  when  cows come in heat, normal behaviour and routine gets disturbed. A reproductive healthy cow comes in heat after every 18-24 days. On successful mating (conceiving) the cow stops coming in heat till it gives birth to young one and again comes in  heat  after 60  days  of giving  birth.  It should  not be mated  before 60-90  days because the  uterus  is  healing.  If not mated, a cow will come in heat 10-12 times per year.

While the most essential characteristic for  identification  of  heat  is  mounting  of  male, there are often visible signs of heat like bellowing, mounting by other cattle, swelling and reddening of vulva and clear discharge from the vulva.

Normal feeding, rumination and resting pattern becomes affected. They ignore social hierarchal status and approach both dominant and submissive female animals in their shed, indiscriminately leading to agonistic behaviour. Heat period lasts for 24 hours approximately.

Management of Behaviour

Following means can be implemented to manage their behaviour.

  1. While following a routine procedure in Gaushala like feeding, watering, milking, weighing , cows can be trained to control their behaviour. On repetition of a routine, cows start to recognize  and  follow  these  procedures.  Conditioned  reflex can be developed easily eg. Sound of  tractor to  assemble for feeding, whistles  and calls for assembling etc.
  1. Control by force using varied variety of ropes is another method of managing behaviour of cattle in Vaccination, drenching, blood collection, ear tagging, tattooing, A.I., pregnancy diagnosis, dehorning etc. requires restraining and handling of animals. While manipulating their behaviour for complete

restraining, trevis (discussed in detail on page 59) should be  employed  to immobilise the animal.

  1. Chemicals may also be used at times to control animal Ferocious animals, which are difficult to handle, can be restrained by this method. As use of excessive force would result in a permanent state of panic, chemical agents of varied nature and intensity may be used for such animals to alter the behaviour of animals by depressing their nervous system eg. Xylazine and Ketamine. The effect will last for only 30 minutes.
Routine Gaushala operations

Management of Gaushala means taking care of all the animals and, this care includes common practices like feeding, health cover, grooming, etc. Special management practices for individual classes of animals, like milch cows, dry cows, etc. are  also covered under these operations.

There are some activities that are routinely required to be carried out in Gaushalas. If properly executed, these operations help in effectively managing a Gaushala.

a)     Identification

 Proper identification or marking  of  cows  in  Gaushala  is  the  first  pre-requisite  for accurate record keeping.

Most commonly used methods for identifying cattle in Gaushala are tattooing,  ear tagging and neck chain. Of these methods of identification, the  most  acceptable technique is application of tags.


It consists of piercing outlines of desired numbers or letters on to  the skin  inside the ears of the animal. A black tattooing pigment is incorporated into these punctures after piercing the outer skin for identification.

Tattooing sets comprising a tattooing forceps, tattooing ink  and  series  of  letters  and figures are available in market. Tattooing should be done on the inner side of the  ear avoiding ear veins.

The part of the ear to be tattooed should be thoroughly scrubbed with soap and  water,  wiped dry and swabbed with methylated spirit to remove dust and other infection causing agents.  Tattooing ink (black or green) is liberally applied over the letters or figures. The desired number of figures, fixed to the tattooing forceps, is then imprinted

Picture of tattoo on the ear of calf

over the part of the ear by pressing the jaws of the forceps firmly. Some more ink is also rubbed into the tattooed punctures with  the  bulb  of  the  thumb  after  removing  the forceps. Identification mark is primarily because of steel points carrying small amount of coloured ink into the subcutaneous tissues and cartilage of ear.

While this procedure is less painful than tagging it is not practical as it requires close physical inspection.


Tags or labels for identification of cattle are made  of strong plastic with numbers stamped on them. Tags are fixed generally to the ear with a special tagging forceps. Antiseptic solution should be applied to the wound after tagging to encourage healing and prevent infection.

Tags should be applied in the upper edge of the ear as close to the head as possible. This should be far enough from edge so that it is less likely to fall off or tear off from the ear lobe due to free swinging, or during fighting between animals. After the death of animal the tag number can be reused but after 5-6 years to avoid confusion in the records of animals.

b)    Castration

Cow with an ear tag for proper identification of the animal

Castration is the removal of testicles or glands that produce male sperm cells. Males are rendered docile at an age of 1 year. The older the calf becomes, the more it suffers at the time of castration. Castration should also be avoided in rainy seasons for fear of fly menace.

Vasectomisation of bulls can also be performed, where the vas deferens is destroyed leaving nervous and blood supply intact. These bulls show normal sexual activity, but their semen do not contain sperms. Hence,  they cannot impregnate  cows and  are used as teaser bull to detect heat. One teaser bull for every 50 breeding cows could be kept in Gaushala for the purpose of heat identification.

c)     Dehorning

The removal of horns is called as dehorning. Since, horns  serve as  no useful purpose for the animals in Gaushala, they should be removed as early as possible (4-10 days only).

In young calves  dehorning  is  performed  by arresting horn growth when root of horn is in the

Dehorning using an electric dehorner in a young calf

form of bud. Although, this method of disbudding causes pain to the animal, it is for the overall good of all. Specially designed hot iron rod either electric or not is applied to the horn buds. It is a bloodless method of dehorning and can be performed in any season of the year. However local anaesthesia and pain killers should be used.

Chemicals like caustic potash or caustic soda can also be used for disbudding. These are applied on the horn buds after  surrounding  the  area  with  heavy  grease/vaseline  to protect the eyes of the animal.

In adult cattle, the horns are hard and difficult to cut. Saw and clippers should be used carefully avoiding any injury while dehorning the animals.

d)    Bedding

Management of bedding in Gaushalas is very essential as cows generally spend 10 or more hours per day resting on the ground. Comfortable resting surface encourages resting behaviour in cows. The reverse brings about abnormal behaviour in cows.

Furthermore, comfortable bedding negates the hardness of floors thereby minimizing the possibility of injury to animals. It reduces hock and knee abrasion as well as hock and knee swelling. Thus, a soft, dry, comfortable surface for cows to rest on in order to be healthy and more comfortable should be ensured in their sheds. However, bedding materials will only be effective on the floors under the roofed area.

If bedding is not given (continuous housing on concrete) the cattle are inclined to develop abnormal postures, lesions on carpal joints of front legs and tails due to a continuous state of discomfort. Non-maintenance of bedding also results in an accumulation of dung and urine over it, which might result in slipping and animals getting injured.

Various kinds of bedding materials can be provided however, each having its advantages  and disadvantages. Some choices  of    bedding material include clean sand, straw of various kinds, wood shavings or mattresses manufactured specially for cattle comfort.

Paddy straw over concrete floor as a bedding material to increase the comfort of cows

Of the beddings available locally, sand  is  the best bedding material  for  Gaushala cattle. It induces increased lying time, decreased injuries and reduced need for hoof trimming. The depth of sand should be 6-8 inches over a hard floor. Sand covered area of 40 feet2 (8’ x 5’) per cow would be appropriate for an adult to rest comfortably.

6-8 inches of sand on firm even natural earth. Because of inorganic nature of sand, it absorbs the urine and dung of cow quickly keeping the floors clean, thereby curtailing infections

An earth bed (kuttcha floor) also provides  some cushioning  for cows resting and provides  good footing. However, there  is requirement for bedding to be used over it for enhancing  cow comfort.

Although, earth bed and sand bedding has several advantages, it requires a significant amount of regular management to be employed for cow comfort. Both of these requires a lot  of  maintenance  and  replacements  because  along  with  providing  bedding, maintenance of proper sanitation and hygiene of the floors need to be ensured.

If paddy straw or other locally available dry crop residues  are used  as  bedding material over concrete floors, 6 inches thick bedding should be provided.

Other options of bedding materials for cattle in Gaushala include mattresses or rubber mats (discussed in detail on page 78). These are specially designed for the comfort of cows by various manufacturing companies.

e)     Grooming

Rubber mattresses for the comfort of animals

Grooming is of considerable importance to cows. It is  actually a social activity and acts as a way to cope with stressful situations.

The animal may groom itself or socialise for grooming. Self-grooming of cattle includes licking, scratching with hind hoof, scratching with horn, shaking, rubbing, pawing, etc.

One function of grooming behaviour is merely cleansing of the coat while another function is related to the establishment and maintenance of the social structure in the herd. In Gaushalas, grooming posts (where an animal can rub its body) are not easily available or accessed  as they would be in pasture systems. Therefore, grooming should be applied as an environmental enrichment of cattle, enhancing their physical or social

Of all the activities that are dear to cows, eating is the most popular but grooming runs a close second.


The most basic form of grooming that can be undertaken in Gaushalas comprises of brushing the hair coat of animals. It can be performed for cleanliness and appearance of animals. It stimulates the cutaneous blood and lymph circulation, removes waste products like skin secretion and loose hair, and removes lice and other skin parasites from the hair coat. Vigorous brushing also keeps skin in loose and pliable condition and brings out the natural oil in the hair giving the animals a healthy look.

Dandy or body brush made of stiff bristle fibres should be used for grooming. The brush is held in the left hand for left side and right hand for right side for the safety of the groomer. Face should never be brushed but wiped with a clean khadi or flannel cloth.

Stationary brush, rotating  brush or swinging brush may also be installed which also helps to lowers stress level in animals. However, motorized brushes require a higher investment. Additional power and wiring is required for these brushes and may require more money than just the cost of the brush.

A single brush should be installed per 60 cows. If the animals are overstocked, dominant cows may use the brushes more than subordinate cows.

  1. Exercising
  2. Bu ll exercise unit at LUVAS for keeping bulls in good shape should be installed at every Gaushala

Exercise keep the animals active and helps in maintenance of good health. It gives them exposure to sunlight providing Vitamin-D. It is also necessary because  too  much standing at one place weakens their leg muscles, causes the  hooves to overgrow  and puts abnormal strain on legs and feet.

Exercise is  more essential for bulls  to keep them in good condition. For that purpose they should be paraded for an hour each day. Bull exerciser can be used to exercise a number of bulls simultaneously.

g)    Weighing

Gaushala should regularly weigh animals to get stock of their general condition, growth, well-being and health. eg. Loss of weight in the animals of Gaushala is an indication of some form of subclinical disease, worm infestation or nutritional deficiency.

Mass weighing and vaccination of cattle

A weighing yard made with collecting pens, cutting gates, passages and other fittings to permit quick and efficient weighing of large number of animals are the pre-requisites for weighing.

Animals should be weighed after fasting for 12 hours; fed animals will weigh more than their actual weight.

h)   Manure Management

 Animal waste/manure should be completely and promptly removed from the sheds so that it does not cause any disease. Cattle sheds should be cleaned of manure at least once in a day and if labour is not a problem, twice daily.

Manure  should be accumulated in an open field, located as far off as possible from cattle sheds but within

the premises of Gaushala after considering the labour required in transporting manure from the sheds. This is necessary as a safeguard against foul odours and fly menace, which not only affects the health of cows but also has a negative impact on the aesthetic value of Gaushala.

Then it may be applied to Gaushala  lands,  used  in  gobar-gas  plants  or  vermi-compost units or sold.

If possible, a Gaushala should sign a contract with an outside party to remove manure and supply/sell it to local farmers, etc. The outside party can put its own labour and vehicles in to collect and load the dung.

Daily Gaushala operations

It is important that a daily routine is established and adhered to for feeding, cleaning, record keeping and other Gaushala activities. Having a daily routine set for Gaushala

will ensure that essential tasks are performed properly and there are fewer chances of lapses on the part of caretakers of cows.

Woman workers removing cattle manure from a cattle shed

It should be the duty  of the Gaushala manager to ensure that these routine works should be completed within the time set in daily routine.

Management of    Gaushala is a full time job.  There are no holidays. Duty rosters, for  each category  of staff  i.e.

caretakers and attendants should be meticulously made and duties in rotation for maintenance and care of cows should be assigned to them.

Sample weekly duty roster

Name  of


















Ram Singh

Harvesting, chaffing and feeding of green

fodder to animals

Attending                                 injured and sick animals

Cleaning                                              of mangers/waterers.

Removal waste



Office/store/hospita l cleaning

Duty at gate and quarantine shed

24 hour emergency duty



24 hour  emergency


Harvesting, chaffing

and feeding of green

fodder to animals

Attending           injured

and sick animals

Cleaning                           of







l cleaning

Duty  at   gate   and

quarantine shed

Om Vati

Duty  at   gate   and

quarantine shed

24 hour  emergency


Harvesting, chaffing

and feeding of green

fodder to animals

Attending           injured

and sick animals

Cleaning                           of


Removal      of   farm



l cleaning



l cleaning

Duty  at   gate   and

quarantine shed

24 hour  emergency


Harvesting, chaffing

and feeding of green fodder to animals

Attending           injured

and sick animals

Cleaning                           of


Removal      of   farm



Removal      of   farm



l cleaning

Duty  at   gate   and

quarantine shed

24 hour  emergency


Harvesting, chaffing

and feeding of green fodder to animals

Attending           injured

and sick animals

Cleaning                           of



Cleaning                           of


Removal      of   farm



l cleaning

Duty  at   gate   and

quarantine shed

24 hour  emergency


Harvesting, chaffing

and feeding of green fodder to animals

Attending           injured

and sick animals


Attending           injured

and sick animals

Cleaning                           of


Removal      of   farm



l cleaning

Duty  at   gate   and

quarantine shed

24 hour  emergency


Harvesting, chaffing

and feeding of green fodder to animals


Milking                         and

grooming duty

Milking                         and

grooming duty

Milking                         and

grooming duty

Milking                         and

grooming duty

Milking                         and

grooming duty

Milking                         and

grooming duty

Milking                         and

grooming duty


Milking                                         and grooming duty

Milking                                         and grooming duty

Milking                                         and grooming duty

Milking                                         and grooming duty

Milking                                         and grooming duty

Milking                                         and grooming duty

Milking                                         and grooming duty


Milking                         and

grooming duty

Milking                         and

grooming duty

Milking                         and

grooming duty

Milking                         and

grooming duty

Milking                         and

grooming duty

Milking                         and

grooming duty

Milking                         and

grooming duty


A well-planned basic daily routine should be carried out. Changes  in the  timings  of  this daily routine should not be often as cows being creature of habit respond negatively to changes.

Draw up a daily Gaushala operations plan and assign duties to the workers according to this plan. A model of such plan is discussed below, which can be modified by  the Gaushala manager according to their requirements.

Most Gaushalas should not be in the business of milk as this leads to corruption and discrimination. However milk can be obtained from recently calved cows and this milk can be given to orphan or undernourished calves.

4.00 AM – 5.30 AM

All the milk animals in  cattle shed  should  be milked.  They  should  be fed  half  of  their daily concentrate  ration  (Feeds  containing  more  nutrients  and  less  fibre  Example: Cereal grains, cereal grains by  products,  oil  seed  cakes,  mixture  of  cereals  and  seed cakes etc., for details Page ) requirement prior and during the milking.

Usually, it takes a maximum of  5-7  minutes  for  a  milker  to  milk  single  cow.  So depending on the number of animals in milk appropriate number of milkers should be assigned.

During milking, the milker should check for any health issues  and  injury  to  the animals.

5.30 AM – 6.00 AM

The raw milk is delivered the office and the place where milking of the animal is performed is washed and disinfected.

6.00 AM – 7.00 AM

Gaushala manager should check all the sheds and visually inspect cattle for any health issues, injuries and heat in cattle.

Isolation of sick animals and animals in heat is performed.

5.00 AM – 8.00 AM

Another set of care takers clean the cow dung/animal waste from the sheds. The semi- solid cow dung should be lifted manually directly into the tractor trolley to be disposed of away from the shed.

The urine and residual cow dung on the ground concrete floors should then be flushed clean by using water under pressure from a hosepipe.

Specialised floor groove cleaning device should be used  for  cleaning  the  grooves  and edges of floor.

8.00 AM-9.00 AM

Clear all the mangers of the left over feed and fodder of previous day.

After cleaning the cow sheds, periodical (every week) disinfection should also be performed using antiseptic solution like phenol (THIS IS NOT PHENYLE) to kill disease- causing microorganisms.

9.00 AM – 1.00 PM

After cleaning the mangers all categories of animals should be offered concentre mixture according to their body requirements with some dry straw before the arrival of green fodder.

Harvesting, chaffing and feeding of  green  fodder  according  to  the  seasonal  availability and in appropriate quantities  should  be  done  during  this  period.  Mangers  in  the different cowsheds should be filled up to the brim with green fodder.

Injured, sick and recumbent  animals  are attended throughout the day. But  it is  easier to handle the animals in the morning because of lower temperature, less external disturbance and calm nature of the animal.

1.00 PM – 2.00 PM

During this period, only emergency activities are carried out in the Gaushala.  This period should be lunch cum rest time for all the workers/staff.

2.00 PM – 4.30 PM

All the periodical activities like weighing, vaccination, white washing of water troughs and feed mangers, silage making, hay making, etc. should be performed during this period.

4.30 PM – 6.30 PM

The milch animals should be milked and fed other half of daily concentrate ration.

Concentrate ration should also be provided to the non-productive animals in  their cowsheds.

6.30 PM – 7.00 PM

The raw milk is delivered into the office and place where milking of the animal is performed is washed and disinfected.

7.00 PM – 4.00 AM

Night watchman comes on duty and keeps a vigil throughout the Gaushala. In case of any emergency (medical or non-medical), a caretaker should be kept on standby available on telephone.

Feeding management

Cattle in Gaushalas should be given fresh green fodder, dry fodder and concentrate feed according to their body requirements.

The cattle should be fed in suitably constructed feed mangers as discussed earlier in the housing chapter. Manger space requirements per animal has also been discussed.

When the stocking density inside the sheds increase suddenly due to a massive influx of rescued animals, empty plastic drums cut longitudinally and mounted on  a wooden frame should be used as portable feed mangers for that period only.

During shortage times of shortage of green fodder, animals should be fed individually by tying them to the rings fixed at the  base  of  the  manger.  If  animals  are  fed  in  groups, bossy cows will drive away docile ones, resulting in negative effect on health due to starvation.

Water supply management

Clean and fresh drinking water should be made  available  to  all  cows  in  the  Gaushala round the clock in specially designed water troughs as discussed in  housing chapter.  An adult animal during hot  weather  generally  drinks  5-8  times  in  a  day  and  consumes about 45- 65 litres of water daily.

Water requirement and frequency of drinking increases with increase in ambient temperature.

Besides requirement of  water for  the  animals  to drink,  it is  also required for the washing of animals and cleaning of sheds and other units of Gaushala.

Temperature of water supplied for drinking should not be too hot in summers and too cold in winters. Cows prefer drinking water at 15-25º C temperature. If the water tank supplying water trough is located in the open, provision of shade by providing appropriate roof should be made, to keep the temperature of water favourable for drinking.

Water should be devoid of any undesirable smell or taste. This can be judged by the willingness with which animals drink it.

Turbid water or water with lot of suspended matter should be avoided as such water might have been exposed to contamination by animal excreta and other organic wastes.

Water troughs should be emptied and cleaned  at 15 day intervals  and a fresh coat of lime should be applied inside the trough. This will ensure proper sanitation and prevent algae growth.

It must be ensured that mineral poisons such as lead or arsenic and other containments do not find their way into drinking water made available to animals.

Water trough with round edges to prevent injury to the animals

Care of Gaushala herd

Proper care and efficient management of the herd should play a pivotal role in overall management of a Gaushala. All Gaushala operations must be planned with regard to the comfort of the animals. Care of calves, pregnant cows during and after calving, heifers, bulls, sick and old animals therefore, should receive the personal attention of the manager.

Care for the New Born Calf

After parturition/calving, allow the cow to lick her calf so as to make it dry as well as to ensure calf’s comfortable breathing.

If the mother is  not attending  her  calf,  remove  all  mucus  from  the  nose and  mouth  of calf by rubbing with a clean and soft towel. The sooner the calf dries the lesser are the chances of it catching cold especially in winter.

The calf will start breathing while mucous is cleared off. If the calf does not start breathing, artificial respiration should be provided by alternately compressing and relaxing the chest walls with the hands after laying the calf on its side.

Apply tincture of iodine to the navel and dust with boric acid power. If a long  cord  is attached to the navel, cut it off  about 2″ from the body before applying iodine.  The navel cord should not be tied but allowed to drain.

Under normal conditions,  the calf  will be on its feet and ready to suckle its mother within an hour. Some assistance at this stage should be provided, and much of the infection can be prevented if the attendant cleans the udder before the calf drinks milk from it.

Calf should be allowed to drink its first milk (colostrum) at least for 48 hours. The antibodies present in colostrum protects the calf against diseases and helps the calf to pass faeces (because of laxative action of colostrum).

Calf should be fed milk at a rate of about 10% of its body weight per day, up to a maximum of 5-6 litres per day.

New borne calves are best maintained in an individual pen or stall for the first few weeks which allows more careful attention. After 4 weeks of age, they may be group housed.

Measurement of body weight of the cow and the calf after calving should be undertaken for record maintenance. Identify the calf by ear tagging, within 5-10 days of birth.

Dehorning of calf should be done at an early age preferably within 10-15 days.

At the age of 3 months, the calf should be vaccinated against anthrax and 15 days thereafter it should be vaccinated against Back Quarter.

Benefits of colostrum

If a cow starts milk producing before calving, the colostrum should be freeze stored for feeding the calf later. None  of  it  should  be  wasted.  The  digestibility  of  colostrum increases when it is fed at 99-102°F temperature. The importance of colostrum is best explained below in following points:

  1. The protein of colostrum consists of a much higher proportion of globulin  than normal milk. This globulin is the source of antibodies, which aids in protecting the animals from many infections liable to affect the calf after
  1. The protein content of colostrum is 3 to 5 times as that of normal milk. It is also rich in minerals like copper, iron, magnesium and
  1. Colostrum contains 5-15 times the amount of vitamin-A found in normal milk, depending upon the quality of feed ration provided to the mother during the dry
  1. Colostrum is also superior to milk in having a  considerably  greater  amount  of several other vitamins which have been found essential  in  the  growth  of  dairy calves, including riboflavin, choline, thiamine and pantothenic
  1. Colostrum acts as a laxative to free the digestive tract of faecal
Teaching the calf to drink.

When the calf is allowed to stay with its mother, its natural instinct automatically leads the calf to the udder of its mother within half-an-hour to one hour of its birth. However, calves who are weak may need a little assistance to search out the teats.

If the mother dies during calving, teaching the calf to drink becomes necessary. This is an operation that requires considerable patience, as some calves are slow in learning to

take milk from  a bucket.  One should  pour a litre of the cow’s milk into a clean bucket used for feeding calves and bring the nose of the calf in contact with milk. This is best accomplished by allowing the calf to suck the finger of the feeder so that its head may be guided into the bucket and then the hand of the feeder can be gradually lowered into the bucket and submerged in  the milk sufficiently deep to allow a little milk to be taken by the calf. By continuous feeding, it will learn to drink.

Bottle feeding of calves

Nipple pail, equipped with a rubber nipple which the calf sucks may also be employed for feeding of calf. The nipple pail has the  advantage that  the calf takes the milk slowly, and is thus less likely to have digestive upsets.

When nipple pails are used, one should rinse them thoroughly after each feeding.

Care of young calves

Calves should be group housed in specially designed calf sheds from 4 weeks of age to 1 year of age. Housing calves in groups or individually have their own advantages and disadvantages. Group housed calves have more space and engage in normal inter calves social behaviour. There is also reduced labour requirement in managing one large shed instead of multiple small calf sheds.

However, early life calf mortalities are primarily caused by digestive and respiratory problems that spread  by  infection  from  shed  mates.  So  they  are often  kept  separate up to 4 weeks of age but in close proximity where they are able to see/hear each other. They

should also be let loose in an open yard for 2-4 hours of daily exercise, play and socialization.

Calf pens should be regularly cleaned and provided with dry bedding material. The floors should provide comfort, insulation, warmth along with keeping calves dry and hygienic.

Calves are more vulnerable to cold temperatures. During winter nights, rolling tarpaulin curtain should be hung from the roof on three sides of the shed to prevent calves from cold. In severe winters, the fourth side of shed should also be covered with rolling curtain, which is rolled up during the daytime. Calves should be manually shifted in and curtains rolled down afterwards during nights of winters. Therefore, while freedom of movement is restricted during winter nights to protect calves from catching cold, they can move into the open area to have the benefit of sunshine during daytime.

Care of the pregnant Cow

A cow carries  her  calf  for  an  approximate period  of  nine months. However,  the period may  range from  270  to 290 days  after  conception. If accurate breeding  records  are  kept in Gaushala, due date of calving  can  be  easily  calculated.  Knowing  expected  date  of calving would make it easy to undertake all future care of pregnant cows.

Advance stage pregnant cows  should  be  separated  from  rest  of  the  animals  and  shifted to individual calving pens about 10-15 days’ prior to the expected date of  calving.  The calving pens should be clean, well  ventilated,  well  bedded,  disinfected  and  should  have the provision for individual feeding and watering.

Soft bedding material  should be provided to meet the increased comfort requirement of these cows. For this purpose,  grooved  concrete  floor  should  be  covered  with  rubber mats. The mats have to be replaced daily before washing and disinfecting the floors.

Most of the animals  require little or  no  assistance in  actual  act of  parturition  provided they are in a reasonable  healthy  state.  At  the  same  time,  it  is  also  advisable  that someone shall be at hand to provide assistance during parturition in case an emergency arises.

Major symptoms of cows that are about to calve include swelling of the udder, swelling of the vulva, and relaxed ligaments around the base of tail. Birth usually takes place in one or two hours.

The first sign of calving includes the front feet of the calf appearing first, then the nose. Remember that if  the labour  prolongs  for  more than  four  hours,  abnormal  presentation of foetus is probable. Immediately call the veterinarian for aid.

After parturition, the exterior of the female genitalia, the flanks and tail should  be washed with warm water containing some crystals of potassium permanganate or neem leaves boiled in water. This will give a good antiseptic wash.

Keep the mother and the calf warm to prevent them from catching cold. Give the mother warm gur water to drink just after parturition.

The placenta will be expelled by the cow within 2 to 4 hours. If it is not expelled between 8 to 12 hours, administer ergot mixture (ayurvedic preparation) orally. Beyond 12 hours’ veterinarian should apply manual help. The discharged afterbirth should be immediately buried deep into the ground.  All  care should  be undertaken  to  avoid  licking  or  ingestion of placenta by the cow as the practice  adversely  reduce  milk  yield  due  to  excessive protein intake.

Cows should be kept in the calving shed till 4-5 days’ post parturition, after which these can be shifted to milch animal sheds or regular animal sheds.

Calving pens design must also provide  provision  for  downer  cow  lifting.  Correct equipment for lifting, moving and treating downer cows e.g. slings should also be at the disposal of calving pens. (as discussed on page 61)

Amount of concentrate fed  to  cow  after  parturition  should  be  gradually  increased keeping in view the additional requirement of nutrients for milk production.

Care of dry cows

Young males and females can be housed together in a single shed until the attainment of age of puberty and sexual maturity. These should be separated after one year of age and housed in separate sheds according to their category.

The females from the age of one year to  their  first  calving  are  called  heifers.  Heifers should be housed in groups in separate sheds or  in  the  sheds  of  dry  cows.  However, efforts should be made towards keeping cows in manageable groups of similar age and weight together.

The maximum number of dry animals to  be housed together in  single shed  shall not be more than 80. The sheds should be temporarily partitioned for limiting the maximum number of animals in direct social contact with each other.

Care of bulls

Bull calf should be separated from other calves at 1 year of age. The bulls attain sexual maturity at about 1.5-2.5 years of age.

Rubber mats or sand should be provided as bedding material for the comfort of bulls.

As discussed before, the bull calves should be dehorned within a few days of  birth making the bulls less dangerous. Dehorning the bulls at later stages of life is complicated.

Ringing of the animal should be done at the age of 1 year, because at this time bull calf starts showing its strength. A smaller ring is placed at this age, which may be replaced by a bigger ring later. Direct use of bigger ring could injure the nasal septum of the animals interfering with normal grazing. Bull leaders, chain, ropes, etc. can be easily hitched to the bull nose ring and the animal can be easily controlled with minimal application of force preventing injury to the animal.

Young bulls can be easily trained for handling and leading, which is difficult later. A 4-6 month old bull should be regularly trained for commands with a rope halter on its face. While leading the attendant/trainer should never walk in front, but on the side. The lead should be kept higher than natural. If the lead drops, bull may butt the attendant/trainer.

Growing as well as mature bulls require to be regularly exercised. This prevents them from putting on fat and keeps them in a state of health. Regular exercise also prevents overgrowth of hooves, which hinders in walking as well as natural mating.

An adult non-castrated bull should never be allowed to mix with cows and should be housed separately. Separate feeding and watering arrangements should  be made for each bull inside the bull pen.

If the bulls are not  to  be used  for reproductive purposes,  they should  be castrated  at 1 year of age.

If natural mating is practiced in  Gaushala, a service stall where the cow in heat can be tied prior to and during the service should be provided in the bull pen.

Care of old and sick cows

Every Gaushala should have a separate housing facility for housing old/disabled/infirm/sick animals. The shelter for these animals shall have a special provision for comfortable microclimate inside the sheds and comfortable floors for rest.

The sheds should have provision of ceiling fan, exhaust fans, heating and cooling devices etc. It would be best to have a shady tree inside the open area of the house for enhanced comfort of animals.

In order to minimize stress, appropriate stocking density  and  grouping  of  animals according to their  special condition should  be done.  Majority of  cows are likely  to  engage in the same activity at the same time,  so  overstocking  would  be  frustrating  for  already sick and old animals.

Sick calf provided with a blanket made up of hessian cloth to protect the animal from cold

The floors should be covered with good  dry  rubber  mats  or mattresses for  comfortable  resting of these animals (as discussed in equipment chapter on page 62). Floors should also be further made comfortable by putting locally available materials like straw, saw dust etc. 6 inches  thick  dry  and clean bedding material should be provided over concrete floors.

As animals housed in old/sick sheds are extremely vulnerable to contracting      new            infections, cleanliness and daily maintenance

by changing the soiled bedding material and disinfecting the floors should be a  very critical activity and looked after by the

manager as a prime task.

For recumbent animals (cannot stand), facility should be created (Lifter Cow Sling) to shift their position twice or  thrice in  a day to avoid bedsores. Apart from  this, slings for supporting the animals to stand should also be made available.

Special feeding and watering arrangement of the recumbent animals as  per  their need should also be made in the shed. Since the animals cannot reach the manger and water trough, feed and water should also be made available at their disposal.

Further, access to sick animal sheds should only be limited to those caretakers who carry out the necessary daily activities. These caretakers should not have access to other healthy animal sheds. This will minimize the spread of infectious diseases in the Gaushala.

Lifter Cow Sling for supporting sick/old/recumbent/infirm cows

The recumbent/diseased animals under treatment, housed in open yard should be fully covered on all sides by a 1-inch squared mesh/net to prevent crows and other birds from pecking at the animal under treatment.

Blind animals should be kept tied near the manger to prevent them from trampling over others or getting themselves injured by falling.

Practices to handle an injured animal after a fall

Before providing assistance to fallen cattle,  immediately call  for adequate manpower  to help the rescue mission.

If the cattle could not stand by itself even after external support, a hydraulic trolley with 1000 kg or more capacity, fitted with wooden planks over it should be used for lifting.

Bamboo and tarpaulin sheet can be used  to  make  a  shift  stretcher.  After  the  cow  is placed on it, it can be lifted from four sides to place on the transporting vehicle.

Allow the animal to recover from shock by letting it stand for 10 minutes. Then feed it some jaggery. Feeding something sweet will help pacify the animal.

Check the wounds and provide first-aid if required. Ensure check  up  by the veterinarian once the animal is stable, even if the animal sustains no major injury.

Seasonal management required in a Gaushala

  1. Summer management

 The loose housing  system  (as  discussed  in  housing  chapter  page  19)  is  most  suitable and economical for climatic conditions in India. However, some structural modifications should be made in very hot areas for lowering the temperature.

Cattle in Gaushala should be protected from direct sunlight by maximum provision of shade. Trees are an excellent source of shade. They not only effective block solar radiation but also, the evaporation of moisture from leaf surfaces cools the surrounding air without interfering with air circulation. Therefore, good shady trees should  be planted both inside the sheds and around the periphery of the Gaushala. Given the freedom of movement, cows tend to move under the shade of large trees like neem, peepal, bargad, sheesham, etc. rather under artificial sheds. But, the trees should be planted at a minimum distance of 10-15 feet away from the walls, to avoid damage to the walls and shed.

Ceiling fans and high-pressure sprinklers/foggers should  be installed  inside the covered area of shed in very hot areas.

Curtains made of gunny bags  soaked  in  water  at  regular  intervals  should  be  used  to keep the temperature inside the sheds low.

Due to high temperature  conditions  the  feed  intake  decreases.  So,  ample  amount  of green fodder should be provided to animals to nullify the effect of heat stress. Apart from this, feeding of cows should be done during cooler part of the day.

Provide ample amount of clean cool fresh water to the cows throughout the day.

Also, cows should be kept inside their sheds  during peak heat hours  i.e. 11 AM to 4 PM to avoid heat stress.

If a cow gets a heat stroke (description on Page ), move it to a cool place and put an ice wet cotton cloth on its forehead. Provide cold water to drink and call the veterinarian immediately.

While transporting animals during summer season, drinking water  should  be  made available to minimize the effects of  heat  stress.  Animals  should  only  be  transported during the cooler hours of the day. While stopping  the vehicle,  park  the vehicle  in  the shade and duration of stops should be kept to  a  minimum  to  avoid  the build-up  of  heat due to stationary vehicle. As a general rule, cows should not be travelled  in  vehicles  for more than 8 hours  at  a stretch and should be loaded off, offered feed, water  and allowed rest after every 8 hours of journey.

b)   Winter management

During winter season, number of animals in the shed can be slightly increased (10-15% ).

In winter season, the cattle usually  remain  inside  the  sheds  during  night.  Bedding material should  be placed  on the floor to  make it comfortable for sitting.  A jhool/covering of cloth made of gunny bags should be placed  on old,  weak  and  young animals  to keep them warm during the night.

During daytime, spread bhusa in the open and change the position of recumbent cows to open shed for exposure to sunlight.

Winter is particularly difficult for young calves. At night they might need to be protected from cold stress by housing them indoors instead of in the open and by provision of abundant bedding for protection against cold floor surfaces. Young calves should be fed adequate amount of milk. And to keep them warm electric bulbs, room heaters  or halogen heaters should be placed in their pen at a height and out of  their reach. It must be ensured that the room temperature in calf pens should not go below 8° C,  which would be detrimental to their health.

Provide simple windbreaks like bushes or curtains during cold weather to help cattle cope with cold temperatures.

Energy rich feed like gur, grains and high quality forage should be given to  all animals to meet their high energy requirements during the winter.

Feed cattle in late afternoon or early evening. Heat production from feed reaches its maximum 4 to 6 hours after feed is consumed.

c)    Rainy season management

Although short, the rainy season can adversely affect the wellbeing and health of the animals. So, Gaushala management should be prepared to put in extra efforts during rains.

The chances of spoilage of dry fodder increases during rainy season, which can only be prevented by proper storage in closed, covered and dry conditions.

The chances of ecto and endo parasitic infestations also increase during rains especially from drinking contaminated water and from wet floors. Deworming of the animals should be performed along with maintaining clean supply of water during this period.

There is  a risk of cows slipping and falling due to  slippery floors. It is  important that the staff makes sure that the cattle is under the shed  when it rains.  Proper drainage system, must also be ensured as a result of long term planning, so that water does not collect at one place and flow towards the drain.

Planting of Trees Planting of Trees

As discussed before, it is necessary to plant shady trees in the animal sheds and their surrounding area, to provide the animals with congenial microclimate and protect them against thermal stress. It requires a lot of patience and planning for making the sheds tree laden.

Shady trees such as Banyan (Ficus benghalensis), Peepal (Ficus religiosa), Indian  Fig (Ficus racemosa), May flower or Gulmohar (Delonix regia), Arjuna (Terininalia arjuna), Tulip poplar (Thespesia populnea or paras peepal), Neem (Azadirachta indica), Siris (Albizia lebbeck), Jod tod (Casurina equisetifolia), Jeevputra (Putranjiva roxburghii), Sukhchain (Pongamia pinnata), Babul (Acacia nilotica), Bakul (Mimusops elengi), Karanj (Pongamia pinnata), Child-life-tree (Putranjiva roxburghii), Kadamba (Anthocephalus cadamba), Balam kheera (Kigella pinnata) and Rain tree/ monkey pod (Samanea saman) should be planted in the Gaushala, according to their growing ability and geographical presence in the area.

Ashok (Polyalthia longifolia, also effective in alleviating noise pollution), Tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulip or paras  peepal),  Subabool  (Leucaena  leucocephala)  and  Eucalyptus can be planted around the buildings at a distance of 10 feet to act as a wind breakers.

The dense foliage fruit trees like Jamun/black plum (Syzygium cumini), Mango (Mangifera indica), Star-fruit (Averrhoa carambola), Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus), Ber fruit or Indian Jujube (Ziziphus mauritiana) and Tamarind/Imli (Tamarindus indica) besides providing fruits also provide shade to the animals. These also attract birds in the Gaushala making the environment pleasant.

Apricot (Prunus armeniaca), Mulberry (Morus alba),  Amla  or  Indian  gooseberry (Phyllanthus emblica), Papaya (Carica papaya), Pomegranate (Punica granatum), Pear (Pyrus), Orange (Citrus sinensis), Peach (Prunus persica), Guava (Psidium guajava), Apple (Malus pumila), Litchi (Litchi chinensis), Chiku (Manilkara zapota) and Date or khajoor (Phoenix dactylifera) are some other fruit trees which provide  less  shade  but  can  be planted outside cattle sheds (connecting roads, open areas) for their ornamental value.

Hedge after attaining a height of about 6 feet would also act as  a wind  break.  Shrubs that are not consumed by cattle should be preferred for hedging. Some examples of hedges that can be planted in the Gaushalas are:

  1. Duranta Golden
  1. Schefflera
  1. Ficus
  1. Alternanthera
  1. Mehandi
  1. Thuja
  1. Tecoma
  1. Clerodendrum (temple tree)
  1. Kaner
  1. Cypress Golden
  1. Murraya exotica (Kamani)

Surveillance of Gaushala

Close observation of Gaushala to limit any malpractice should be done by employing security measures. With CCTV cameras, security alarm and detector system, the monitoring of Gaushala while sitting in the office is very much possible.

Although, these surveillance equipment are not cheap but installing a Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) for surveillance of the premises, will help avoid theft along with monitoring the activities of staff, and making correct and fair decisions when settling disputes.

The instrument in electronic surveillance alone cannot stop a crime, manual surveillance must also be there.

Determination of Age of Cattle

In Gaushala, management may be required to assess the age of animal. This can be adjudged by the appearance of teeth in the mouth and rings in the horns. The cattle may be dehorned or horns may be worn out. However, age is indicated by time of appearance and extent of wear of temporary and permanent teeth. Age can be determined by form and location of teeth in the mouth.

Number and types of teeth in cattle

Sr. No.

Types of teeth

Temporary teeth

Permanent teeth


Lower Jaw

Upper Jaw

Lower Jaw

Upper Jaw


Incisors (only in lower jaw)

























The difference between temporary and permanent teeth is that temporary teeth are smaller with distinct neck between the root and pale in color.

The number of teeth at different age of cow is mentioned below:

Age of Cow

Total Number of Teeth

0 day

2 (2 temporary)

1 month

20 (20 temporary)

6 months

24 (20 temporary + 4 permanent)

1 year 3 months

28 (20 temporary + 8 permanent)

1 year 9 months

32 (14 temporary + 18 permanent)

2 years

32 (10 temporary + 22 permanent)

2 years 6 months

32 (8 temporary + 24 permanent)

3-4 years

32 (2 temporary + 30 permanent)

5-6 years

32 (32 permanent)

7-8 years

Wearing down of 1st pair of central incisors take place

8-9 years

Wearing down of 2nd  pair of middle incisors take place

9-10 years

Wearing down of 3rd    pair of lateral     incisors take place

10-11 years

Wearing down of 4th pair of corner  incisors take place

The details regarding eruption and wearing of teeth of cows is mentioned bellow and taken into consideration to determine the age.


Pai r

Positio n

Total Number

Age for teeth Temporary

Eruption and wearing Permane





Lower Jaw










At birth


10 months

2 Years




7-8 Years





2nd week







3 Years





3rd week



8-9 Years








4th week


21 months

4 Years      9-





10 Years


5 Years  10-


11 Years













2 months


6 months

18 months









4 months


10 months




20 months







6 months


15 months


24 months















6 months













12 months











18 months









For  example: To calculate the age of a recently rescued cattle in Gaushala, examine the mouth for its teeth. The first thing would be to check for the number of teeth. If the teeth are in good shape and less than 32 in number,  then it could be assumed that the animal is  less than 5 years of age (because the 4th pair of incisor/corner incisor erupts at 5 years of age). If the animal has complete set of teeth than we look for wear and tear. If the first pair of incisor is worn out, then the animal is 7-8 years of age. Similarly, age up to  11 years can be calculated from the table above.

By the age of 11 years, all the incisor teeth become smaller due to wear and tear.

By the 12th year of age, the dental tables become square instead of oval and teeth stand apart leaving space between them.

After the age of 12 years, age estimation by examining the teeth becomes practically difficult. It is very difficult to determine exact age of cattle after 12 years of age via teeth examination.

Gaushala Records and Employee Management

Record Keeping

Everything in a Gaushala should be maintained in  a transparent  manner and  records are no exception. Record keeping helps in easing the complicated job of management of Gaushala. With proper records, sound planning for synchronization of all inputs and outputs is possible.

If all the facts pertaining to Gaushala are well recorded, evaluation and planning in Gaushala becomes much easier and precise. The importance of keeping  accurate, detailed and up-to-date records cannot be underestimated.

Records should be clear, simple and contain only relevant points such as a daily record of the number of OPD cases treated, incoming and  outgoing  animals,  number  of pickups, earnings and expenses and any other significant happening in the Gaushala.

Why keep records?
  1. Use records to avoid mistakes

Records helps to correctly identify animals in Gaushalas. For this purpose, unique identification number should be provided to each animal residing in  Gaushala.  When  the law requires to ascertain health status or well-being of rescued animal kept in Gaushala, records play a major role.

In case of rescue ordered by court and animals kept for a specific period of time, records will only tell when the animal was received, and help prove that the animal was kept for the legal period if any question arises.

Good record keeping will further save time, by helping avoid mistakes while performing various activities at Gaushalas.

b.      Use records to document your workload

Managing large number of animals in Gaushalas on a small budget is  a  difficult  task. Accurate records of total number of animals, number of daily intakes,  treatment administered to all animals and statistical analysis of morbidity and mortality will help

the management allocate existing funds sensibly and work towards increasing the flow of money.

Documenting the number of animals handled in a year, will substantiate the proper utilisation of funds and the need for more funds, equipment and personnel.

With proper, accurate and detailed record of fund dispersion the chances of getting a reasonable budget from the local administration and donors increases considerably and will ultimately benefit the Gaushala in getting feed, medicine and other facilities for the cows.

c.        Use records to avoid legal problems

The law requires that a certain amount of care must be taken in the handling of animals in Gaushalas. Many donors have very strong feeling towards the cows. Some will surely be taking Gaushala management to court if they feel  mishandling of animals on the part of Gaushala.

Therefore, individual records of the animal can prove that due care of the animal was observed and everything the law requires was followed.

d.        Records help in improving animal productivity and health

The records are an essential guide for the feeding, breeding and healthcare of the animals. Through records, the performance of each animal can be known; the feeding and management can be further based on the individual animal.

How long to keep records?

A policy regarding how long files are kept for after an animal leaves the premises whether by death or donation should also be instituted beforehand.

Filing systems for records

A good filing system for maintaining these records is equally critical. In a Gaushala, practical application of different filing systems would tell which filing system is best suited as this depends on the size of the operation.

If records cannot be made digital Gaushala management will have to choose between filing records numerically, chronologically, alphabetically or use a combination of all three.

Medical records can be organized alphabetically according to the medical condition of different animals or numerically by assigning each animal a number (tag number) when they enter in the Gaushala. These files could then be transferred over into a separately

organized system of files arranged alphabetically  by  client’s  name  when  record  of adoption of animal is to be maintained.

All adoption-related forms, such as adoption applications, adoption agreements, and adoption report forms would also be contained within this file along  with  the  medical record of the animal.

Alternatively, organize the files in the same manner along with photographs of the animals. This will avoid any confusion in changing names  or losing track  of numbers. The best way to do this is to make sure that there is a team of qualified staff members, and a leader of this team, in charge of record keeping.

For records about medications and stores it is wise to do these chronologically, in the form of a daily ledger. When orders are placed, when items are used, when stocks are running low or date of expiry of medicines- information should be entered on a regular basis.

Different classes of information entered in different coloured pens would also ease the understanding of records.

Digitalization of Records

A computer should be used for  maintaining  records  of  Gaushalas  if  possible,  as  it  can play a crucial role in record management. Given below are the formats for various performance records and  various  business  records/registers  which  need  to  be maintained at Gaushala.

The same tables  for maintain  records  of various  aspects  of  Gaushalas  can  be developed on excel sheets with  the  help  of  computers.  Digitalization  eases  and  organises  the records in a more efficient manner.

Individual Record Books in Gaushala
  1.  History sheet


Where                        it








Num ber

came from



whic h


recorde d


g (Yes/No)





r            in

milk? (Yes/N



-Donated by farmer

is          it now?



  1. Daily livestock register










during the


during the










  1. Financial transactions year _













  1. Farm supplies year


Home produce










  1. Miscellaneous expenditure Gaushala year









  1. Expenditure on fodder production year



of seed

Value of fertilizers/manure

Labour charges

Expenditure on

operation of tractor

Irrigation charges


Total expenditure

  1. Production from Gaushala year


Total milk

Value of dung/manure

Total value




  1. Sales from Gaushala year


Particulars of produce sold

Particulars of party





9.    Attendance register

Month    :                              




Emplo yee Name
















































































Limitations of Records

Records are useful only if they are used to assist in making decisions that improve the efficiency and profitability of Gaushalas. They are the first source of information used in

troubleshooting management problems. To use records effectively, however,  their limitations must be fully understood.

Records simply provide a snapshot in time of a Gaushala as a whole or an individual animal. Even sequential records or rolling records are simply a group of snapshots in time. The usefulness of the data depends on the accuracy of that snapshot.

An additional consideration is that herd records often include only those animals currently in the herd; cows that have died recently may not be included. For example, a sudden improvement in health status of animals may be due to increased deaths and removal of diseased animals rather than an improvement in management.

Evaluation of records should be only the initial step in any  troubleshooting  protocol. Records are of great value in helping to solve a problem, but they  rarely  provide  a conclusive answer without supplemental investigation.

Work Force Management in Gaushala

Whether managing a Gaushala with limited number of paid employees or running a diversified productive Gaushala unit with hundreds of employees, the underlying principles of successful employee management would remain the same. Management is an art of accomplishing work goals through the labour and skills of others. The means of accomplishing this objective is what distinguishes an effective manager from an ineffective one.

Management skills have become more important as Gaushala is not limited to managing cattle only and requires to be transformed into a business model. To position the Gaushalas for the future, many of these managers  have already explored  opportunities to expand their facilities and look for unconventional/new sources of income.

Following expansion, they often find that they are no longer managing cattle but instead are primarily managing people. Despite their tremendous knowledge of cattle, managers who lack skills or more particularly emotional skills may find that they cannot  extract the same level of performance from their employees.

Successful managers must study and understand the needs and  reasons  for  the behavior of their employees with the same zeal that they studied the needs and reasons for the behavior of their cows housing. Effective managers must have the ability to establish and maintain effective relationships with employees and prospective employees.

Four major ingredients are essential to successfully run Gaushalas: good housing, good feeding, good records, and above all good management. A manager can make or break any established Gaushala via his/her management skills.

It is important that workers know to whom they are responsible and for what they are responsible. The bigger and the more complex the operation, the more important this information becomes. It should be written down in an organization chart of Gaushala.

On operations of  Gaushala  where  multiple  employees  do  the  same  jobs  (cleaning, milking, feeding, etc.), it is especially crucial that every employee performs these tasks in exactly the same way. Cows thrive on routine, and any break  in  routine imparts  stress  to the cow and affects performance. The easiest way to ensure this consistency is to create written protocols or standard  operating procedures  for every procedure in  Gaushala.  In that way  every  employee understands  exactly  what  is  expected.  These protocols should be written as simply as possible and in as  much  detail  as  possible in  local language  to avoid any misinterpretation  or misunderstanding.  Every employee should  have a copy of the protocols for the job he or she might perform.

In addition, laminated copies of protocols should be pasted in areas where the jobs are actually performed. For example, milking protocols should  be pasted  in  the parlor,  and shed cleaning protocols should be pasted on entry of sheds.

Miscommunication between the manager and employee regarding job expectations is the primary cause of employee dissatisfaction, ranking well above salary issues. All communications should be discussed first in person and then followed with a written summary of the discussion. Managers and employees who rely strictly on face-to-face communications often walk away with different interpretations of their meeting or may have different memories of the discussion at a later date. Written follow-ups prevent, or at least minimize, these potential sources of job friction.

Conversely, managers who rely strictly on written communication are often perceived as distant and uncaring by their employees. A combination of communication methods is the best approach to maintaining a stress-free workplace.

Even in situations where communication is excellent,  employee performance sometimes does not meet expectations. Good managers should assess the reasons for this poor performance rather than simply dismissing the employee. Occasionally, changing job responsibilities can put an employee in a better position to utilize strengths. The ability to evaluate employees’ strengths and weaknesses and to place people in situations where they are most likely to be successful is the primary trait separating good  managers  from poor managers.

Job satisfaction of employees depends on whether or not they feel they are valued as an asset to the Gaushala. This is more important than salary, work hours, and work conditions. Therefore, a management priority is to create a team environment where every employee has the opportunity for input. This doesn’t mean that employees should be allowed to do their jobs any way they want; it simply means that they must feel that their input is valued and that the successes of  the  Gaushala  are,  in  part,  their successes.

Employees costs are on an average, 10-15 percent of the total Gaushala expenditure. Labourers may receive bonuses based on piecework or exemplary work. They must also get overtime pay and a few permanent employees of Gaushala should have group insurance and a retirement plan.

The labourers should have the pride of working in a Gaushala and should be provided with incentives also. Normally, we think of incentives as monetary in nature, as direct payments or bonuses for extra production or efficiency. However, there are other ways of encouraging employees to do a better job. The latter are known as indirect incentives, and they include housing allowances; the use of the farm tractor or car; utility allowances; vacation time with pay; time off, sick leave, group health insurance, job security and year-end bonus for staying all year. These indirect incentives are critical to the successful management of a Gaushala.

The effectiveness of any organization, whether profitable or not, comes directly from the quality of its employees, their knowledge of and commitment towards the organization, as well as their attitude toward co-workers and their work. Therefore, the role of the Gaushala manager and other upper members of management is also to hire the right employees to carry out all the management practices in Gaushala and  effectively motivate them. First priority of the selected employees should be to serve the animals. Apart from this, employees making the Gaushala team also requires to be hardworking, punctual, intelligent and social.

Ensuring Gaushala employees safety  and  well-being  at  work  as  they  belong  to  a  team can increase cohesion and cooperation between them.

It is also prudent to outline a policy for dismissal in advance so that in  the  case  that someone needs to be let go, that it can remain professional and unbiased.

Responsibilities of Gaushala Manager
  • Supervising cleaning and sanitization of entire
  • Ensuring all the cattle are fed at appropriate time with quality feed in appropriate
  • Managing donations in kind, like food
  • Checking the comfort of each animal, according to weather
  • Checking for repairs and maintenance of building when
  • Gaining knowledge of the laws to deal with cattle rescue
  • Coordinating with lawyers to fight for rescued
  • Checking morbidity and mortality by inspecting each and every animal
  • Getting volunteers to manage and organize fundraisers for the
  • Using Internet services to enhance your knowledge of management of the shelter and caring and well-being of the
  • Making sure records are kept and protocols are
  • Interacting with local
Personnel selection

From the very beginning, it should be made sure  that  everyone  you  employ,  paid employees as well as  the volunteers,  have a clear idea of  what  their job  description  is. What responsibilities this  job  demands,  and  what,  if  any,  are  opportunities  for promotion. Interviewing candidates and choosing an individual with the most relevant experience is  necessary for engaging paid  staff.  With volunteers,  since there is  less  risk and responsibility, you do not have  to  look  as  closely  at  qualifications.  However,  the intent of volunteers must be good and they must be  well  aware of  what  role  they  are taking on day-to-day basis, while choosing to work in a Gaushala.

Technical and supportive work force required

The work force required for undertaking all Gaushala activities shall depend on the level of mechanization and automation of routine cow management operations. However, it has been estimated that on an average one worker can look after all routine activities of 25-30 cows along with their calves excluding the work of harvesting of fodder.

Some routine activities such as milking, heat detection, care of downed calves and neonates etc. require experienced and dedicated workers. Two or three workers have to be trained for the specialized jobs such as first aid,  animal identification,  de-worming etc.

Besides, at large Gaushalas technically qualified persons will have to  be hired  such  as the farm manager, veterinarian and stockmen. The estimated work force required at different sizes of Gaushalas is given as under:



Name of staff position

Number of positions required at different

sizes of Gaushalas


100 cows

500 cows

1000 cows


Gaushala Manager-cum-Veterinary



1 (1)


Veterinary     stock                              assistants-cum-






Technicians      for                                  mechanical                              and

electrical works etc.




Office          clerk-cum-farm             record






Unskilled workers














It is recommended to employ one Veterinarian (in-house/resident) to look after a herd of 500 cows with two Assistants and 1 worker per 30-50 cows.

If the Gaushala is growing its own fodder then either people have to be hired to till the fields or it has to be outsourced to a person who will take a percentage of the crop. If the Gaushala is making its own vermicompost, biogas then, again a decision has to be taken on whether people are to be hired directly or whether the project is to be outsourced and the money shared.

It is also prudent to have some kind of evaluation at different point of time, so that it is clear to the manager of Gaushala exactly what are the capabilities of the new staff.


The term training refers to the acquisition of knowledge and skills as  a  result  of  the teaching of vocational or practical skills and knowledge that relate to specific useful competencies. The first level of training is  immediately  after hiring.  This  training is  the least rigorous. It is an induction training whereby you can introduce the employee to the organization and the organization to the employee.

A more senior member of the team  can  lead  them  through  the day-to-day  tasks  that will be their responsibility and offer them the occasional opportunity to attempt these tasks under the supervisor’s instructions.

The second level is more job specific  training  that  ought  to  occur  on  a  regular  basis which may decide orientation of employees in future. This can  be  a  weekly  one-hour session at different times for different groups of employees to make them well versed and efficient in their work. The training of staff purely depends  on  their  job  profile  and different Gaushalas can also club together for combined training and exchange of ideas.

Training for front office staff
  • How to keep records of visitors
  • How to deal with difficult visitors and social workers
  • How to make entries in accounts
Training for veterinary staff
  • How to feed cows in different
  • How to prepare balanced rations for cows at different stages of
  • How to unload injured cows from an
  • How to handle severely injured
  • How to effectively dress wounds for quick
  • How to administer an intramuscular and intravenous
  • How to deal with a cow that is known to have an infectious
  • How to recognise a sick cow in the
Training for Public Relation staff
  • How to seek-out donors and solicit
  • How to plan an
  • How to discuss delicate issues like euthanasia and
  • Principles of good
Where can you train the staff?

Though there are many well managed Gaushalas, which can be contacted for assistance. Nagar Nigam Gaushala, Carterpuri/Chauma, Gurgaon managed by Vishnu Charitable Trust can be visited for training of staff. This Gaushala was established in the year 2010 with an aim to make the roads of Gurgaon city stray cattle free since these were traffic hazards leading to accidents injuring the cows as well as the humans. The Gaushala is based on Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) Model in which one partner is Nagar Nigam, Gurgaon and the other partner is Vishnu Charitable Trust, an NGO committed to the welfare of cows and its progeny. This Model is successful and recommended for Gaushalas in each district of the country.

They rescue, shelter, protect, feed, treat, care for and rehabilitate the old, weak, sick handicapped and injured cattle abandoned on the roads by their owners. While on the roads, these stray cattle feed on plastic and other rotten stuff from garbage dumps and eventually die prematurely because plastic is a non-biodegradable material.

Nagar Nigam Gaushala has been widely acknowledged as a Model Gaushala. It has been recognized by the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and is a member of FIAPO (Federation of Indian Animal  Protection  Organisations)  and  Gau  Seva  Ayog,  Haryana. They have got a functional  hospital  working  round  the  clock  with  one  qualified Veterinary Surgeon and two Veterinary Livestock Development Assistants (VLDAs) who reside in Gaushala premises. They have two Cattle Ambulances, purchased out of funds provided by AWBI, on call at any time for rescuing cattle in Gurgaon.

They also specialize in organic manure prepared by aerobic composting microbes. This can be used for plants, flower pots, gardens, parks, kitchen garden, lawns, golf courses and organic farming.

The Gaushala staff is capable of imparting rigorous training to labour and supervisors who can then transform the non-functioning and new Gaushalas into model Gaushalas.

They have castrated more than 700 bull calves in a humane manner and distributed the bullocks to poor farmers for agriculture purposes. These are  farmers  who  either  can’t afford to buy a tractor or these who don’t need a tractor because of  very  small  land holdings.

This Gaushala can be contacted at:

Nagar Nigam Gaushala, Carterpuri/Chauma

Gurgaon — 122001

Email: Website: www. Gaushalaonline. corn Telephone: 0124-2365177

Apart from Nagar Nigam Gaushala, Gurgaon, the Gaushala workers and supervisors can also be deputed to training programmes conducted on dairy farming and welfare of cows at other Gaushalas, State Agricultural Universities, ICAR institutes or at nearby Krishi Vigyan Kendras. These can also be requested to design and conduct training programmes on topics such as “Care and Management of Cows in Gaushalas” for the Gaushala personnel.

Management of volunteers

A robust and well monitored volunteer program is a great asset for any Gaushala. In order to make volunteer program effective, it needs to be well planned. It is a good idea to have a paid staff member whose specific job is volunteer management. This individual can be in charge of recruiting and hiring, training and evaluation, conflict resolution and scheduling of volunteers.

Depending on the size of the Gaushala, this person might have other duties as well. Another good idea is to a have a system of recognition in place, so that while  a volunteer’s labour might go unpaid it does not go unnoticed.

Volunteer of the month’ awards, or opportunities for getting hired, are both possibilities. It is also necessary to have realistic expectations about their contributions to the organization. If asking too little can cause boredom and disinterest in volunteers, asking too much will be perceived as unfair and can cause exhaustion.

Dos by volunteers
  • Register your contact details in volunteer
  • Take guidance from shelter manager in which section help is
Don’ts by volunteers
  • Do not open animal enclosures without permission as animals may

Veterinary Universities/Colleges that are offering courses in Veterinary and Animal Sciences (B.V.Sc. & A.H.) should have round the year Internship (practical training on rotation basis) in nearby Gaushalas for the betterment of Gaushalas as well  as developing a sense of responsibility in new veterinarians.

Gaushala  management  can  offer  to  accommodate  these  Veterinarians  to  augment various managerial and treatment aspects. They  will  learn  for  free  and  you  will  have extra hands for free as well as a pool of trained personnel to  take  on  as  employees  if needed later.

Areas in which volunteers can be used
  1. Managing and soliciting food from
  2. Feeding and care of
  3. Finding outlet for sale of Gaushala
  4. Supervising
  5. Helping in the feeding of recumbent
  6. Brushing and grooming
Insurance of employees

Under the Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) Act, Indian workers who earn Rs. 21,000 or less per month are entitled to free medical treatment as well as cash payment in case of temporary or permanent disablement as a result of their work. Employees can avail of healthcare services at clinics and hospitals run by Employees’ State Insurance Corporation by contributing 1.75% of their salaries.

Common problems and challenges at Gaushalas

It is important to understand  the  common  problems  and  challenges  generally  faced  by the Gaushalas in order to manage them  properly.  Here  the  human  factor  is  very important. Listed below are the common shortcomings which are  self-explanatory  and which the management should never lose sight of:

  • Lack of inspirational leadership, will and
  • Lack of practical guidelines for staff and workers resulting in
  • Adhoc working, uncoordinated effort and job responsibilities of all concerned with Gaushala not being well defined or
  • Unskilled and untrained manpower lacking interest and
  • Improper utilization of
  • Absence of fair system for incentives/recognition/rewards and punishments for the

Most importantly, a lack of respect and empathy for the animals in whose name this institution has been set up. Bad food, bad water, bad veterinary care, all this comes from the belief that confinement is the primary duty of the Gaushala and everything else is irrelevant.

Protocols of Rescue

Each year thousands of cows are wilfully let off by their owners. The Gaushala provide comfortable accommodation and the best possible care to these surrendered, abandoned, abused, neglected, unwanted, sick or injured cows.

Unfortunately, there are several other cows that requires to be rescued, to save them from slaughterhouses after their milk has gone dry or the farmer simply cannot afford to keep them anymore.

Cows are put in trucks to be transported to slaughter houses where cows are mercilessly bought at supposedly ‘farmer melas’ and butchered for their skin, meat, fat and bones. Despite cow slaughter being illegal in most parts  of  the  country,  cows  are  killed mercilessly and brutally.  Cruel  treatment  including  extreme  overcrowding  and deprivation of feed and water are common  visuals  during  transport  of  cows  to  these illegal slaughterhouses. This transportation is  usually  undertaken  during night  to  avoid any interference by the public or police personnel and avoid punishment. The cows are beaten with wooden sticks and iron rods and  sticks  are  inserted  in  their  rectum  to prevent their movement. Non-cooperating animals  are given  sedatives.  They are stacked like sacks and the animals get exhausted, crushed, injured  and  even  suffocate to  death. They lie in their dung and urine. While the law is clear that

Only specially registered trucks can carry animals.

Not more than 4 adults and 2 calves can be carried in a large truck.

Often upto 90 animals per truck are found, most of which are severely injured.

Therefore, when  the team is  set for rescue,  necessary precautions  and  certain  guidelines of Animal Transport Act  1978  must  be  adopted  while  loading,  transition  and  unloading of the cows as there is high probability of injury during these activities. Even a little carelessness or insensitivity may leave the animal traumatized.

Standard Operating Procedure during Rescuing

Cattle being transported in extremely overcrowded and inhumane condition

The following standard protocol should be followed for the rescue and pick up of any abandoned stray cattle:

  • Immediately after reception of rescue/distress call, driver on duty is to be informed of all details of address, its location with a landmark and the present situation prevailing In case of any confusion, the manager of the Gaushala has to be intimidated of the situation and his decision will be final. Time is critical in case of rescuing cows because there might also be an animal health related emergency requiring veterinary assistance. So, a rescue team is dispatched initially on request call.
  • The number from which rescue call was received is to be recorded on a paper slip and copy of which is submitted to guard at the gate of Gaushala on exit for record and future
  • The driver should log destination with landmark and kilometre reading in the log book at the time of exit from the Gaushala, and also at the time of
  • At the place of rescue, name of the person or authority handing over cattle with address and phone number is to be recorded if    Driver  should  immediately ensure if the phone number provided is correct or not.  Time and  number of  animals  is  to be placed on record.
  • At site of rescue, condition of animal should be examined and the person who made the rescue call is made to sign that he/she understands how seriously ill/injured the animal is. To check for the pregnancy status of cattle, a qualified veterinarian must also perform pregnancy diagnosis, prior to transporting animals to the

The design of a vehicle used to transport animals must be according to the standard guidelines providing safety to the animal during loading, transit and unloading, and protecting them from unnecessary suffering, injury and inclement weather.

The vehicle must be escape-proof  and sufficiently  strong  to  bear  the weight of  the cow. The walls, floors and side protection gates must be free of any sharp  edges,  protrusions, gaps, holes and spaces  that are likely  to  cause injury.  Slippery conditions  on  floors  must be avoided. There must be ample space and free access to the animals in the vehicle to

Hydraulic vehicle for animal transport

allow them to be inspected and cared for.

  • Sufficient space should be provided inside the animals compartment along with ensuring that there is adequate ventilation and above all the animals should be standing in their naturally position, without any hindrance in their natural
  • Animal should be made to stand or sit facing  the  direction  of  movement  so  that they can balance themselves properly and do not
  • If the journey is long, water should be offered in between the journey and even be sprinkled over the cows in extreme hot weather
  • In normal routine and non-emergency situations, the animals should be picked up in the morning as they are calm and can be easily controlled. Cows should be picked up causing minimum anxiety and panic to avoid injury to the animal as well as the

Project Report Of Gayatri Gaushala

Supporting Documents