Human Ecology

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 3–22 | Cite as

Energetics of Indian cattle in their environment

  • Stewart Odend'hal


Cattle and other domestic animals in 5.77 square miles of rural West Bengal were enumerated on three separate occasions during an 18-month period. Feed consumption and productivity measurements involving 80 cattle-day observations were extrapolated to the entire cattle population and an energetic balance sheet was calculated for a 1-year period. The cattle population appears fairly stable despite a high density. The age distribution reveals a demographic imbalance in both the younger and older age groups which contributes toward a more efficient utilization of available feed supplies. One of the major roles of the cattle is to convert items of little human value into products of direct human utility. The gross energetic efficiency of the entire cattle population was approximately 17%. The current management of cattle appears to be appropriate for the ecological framework in which they exist.


Environmental Management Domestic Animal Balance Sheet Efficient Utilization Current Management 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Brody, S. (1945).Bioenergetics and Growth. Hafner Publishing Company, New York. (Reprinted in 1968.)Google Scholar
  2. Dandekar, V. M. (1967). Cattle problem. In Shah, A. B. (ed.),Cow-Slaughter, Horns of a Dilemma, Lalvani Publishing House, Bombay, pp. 35–43.Google Scholar
  3. Environmental Science and Technology. (1970). Agriculture poses waste problems.Environmental Science and Technology 4: 1098–1100.Google Scholar
  4. Fahimuddin, M. (1963).Animal Production in Bihar. Asia Publishing House, Bombay.Google Scholar
  5. Food and Agriculture Organization. (1970).F.A.O. Production Yearbook 1969. F.A.O., Rome.Google Scholar
  6. Hafez, E. S. E. (1968).Adaptation of Domestic Animals. Lea and Febiger, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  7. Harris, M. (1966). The cultural ecology of India's sacred cattle.Current Anthropology 7: 51–59.Google Scholar
  8. Heston, A. (1971). An approach to the sacred cow of India.Current Anthropology 12: 191–209.Google Scholar
  9. Joshi, N. R., and Phillips, R. W. (1953).Zebu Cattle of India and Pakistan. F.A.O., Rome.Google Scholar
  10. Kleiber, M. (1961).The Fire of Life. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York.Google Scholar
  11. Kuriyan, G. (1969).India, a General Survey. National Book Trust, New Delhi.Google Scholar
  12. Kurup, C. G. R. (ed.) (1967).Handbook of Agriculture. Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi.Google Scholar
  13. Lodh, D. C. (1968).Will India Grow Her Food?. Debashis Goswmi, Calcutta.Google Scholar
  14. Morrison, F. B. (1958).Feeds and Feeding. Morrison Publishing Company, Clinton, Iowa. (Reprinted in 1967.)Google Scholar
  15. Myrdal, G. (1968).Asian Drama, Vol. I. Pantheon, New York.Google Scholar
  16. National Academy of Science-National Research Council (1956). Pub. No. 449.Composition of Concentrate By-Product Feed Stuffs. NAS-NRC, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  17. National Academy of Science-National Research Council (1958). Pub. No. 585.Composition of Cereal Grains and Forages. NAS-NRC, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  18. National Academy of Science-National Research Council. (1964). Pub. No. 1232.Joint U.S. Canadian Tables of Feed Composition. NAS-NRC, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  19. National Academy of Science-National Research Council. (1966). Pub. No. 1411.Biological Energy Interrelationships and Glossary of Energy Terms. NAS-NRC, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  20. National Council of Applied Economic Research (1965).Domestic Fuels in Rural India. NCAER, New Delhi.Google Scholar
  21. Odum, H. T. (1957). The trophic structure and productivity of Silver Springs, Florida.Ecological Monographs 27: 55–112.Google Scholar
  22. Odum, H. T. (1971).Environment Power and Society. John Wiley & Sons, New York.Google Scholar
  23. Panse, V. G., Amble, V. N., and Raut, K. C. (1967).Cost of Milk Production in West Bengal. I.C.A.R., New Delhi.Google Scholar
  24. Phillipson, J. (1966).Ecological Energetics. St. Martin's Press, New York.Google Scholar
  25. Ray, B. (1965).Census 1961 West Bengal, District Census Handbook; Hooghly. Government Printing, Calcutta.Google Scholar
  26. Schneider, B. H. (1947).Feeds of the World. Agriculture Experimental Station, West Virginia University, Morgantown.Google Scholar
  27. Science News (1970). Euthrophication: feedlots contribute nitrogen.Science News 98: 384.Google Scholar
  28. Sen, K. C. (1964). The nutritive values of indian cattle foods and the feeding of animals, Bulletin No. 25 (5th ed.), I.C.A.R., New Delhi.Google Scholar
  29. Shah, A. B. (ed.) (1967).Cow-Slaughter, Horns of a Dilemma, Lalvani Publishing House, Bombay.Google Scholar
  30. Shah, M. M. (1967). Cow slaughter: the economic aspect. In Shah, A. B. (ed.),Cow-Slaughter, Horns of a Dilemma, Lalvani Publishing House, Bombay, pp. 44–68.Google Scholar
  31. Slobodkin, L. B. (1964). Experimental populations of Hydrida.Journal of Animal Ecology 33 (suppl.): 131–148.Google Scholar
  32. Teal, J. M. (1957). Community metabolism in a temperate cold spring.Ecological Monographs 27: 283–302.Google Scholar
  33. Ubbelohde, A. R. (1963).Man and Energy. Pelican Books, Middlesex, England.Google Scholar
  34. Watt, B. K., and Merrill, A. L. (1963).Composition of Foods. Agricultural Handbook No. 8. ARS-USDA, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  35. Whyte, R. O. (1964).The Grassland and Fodder Resources of India. I.C.A.R., New Delhi.Google Scholar
  36. Whyte, R. O. (1968).Land, Livestock and Human Nutrition in India. F. A. Praeger Publishing, New York.Google Scholar
  37. Whyte, R. O., and Mathur, M. L. (1968).The Planning of Milk Production in India. Orient Longmans, Bombay.Google Scholar
  38. Wright, N. C. (1937).Report on Development of Cattle and Dairy Industry in India. Manager of Publications, Delhi.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stewart Odend'hal
    • 1
  1. 1.John Hopkins University Center for Medical Research and TrainingBaltimore

Personalised recommendations