TIRUPUR: The Kangeyam bulls are no doubt the show stealers of many jallikattu events, but maintaining them is not an easy task. Ask their owners, mostly those, who are selling them unable to cope up with the increasing price of cattle feed.
Kangeyam Bulls, considered one of the best breeds in Tamil Nadu, are now sold at the Tirupur market at even Rs 80,000, said Coordinator of Cattle Sellers Market K Eswaran, adding that this was not the case at least a few months ago.
Offering numbers to substantiate his claims, Eswaran said, "In the past few months, there has been a steady rise in the number of bulls sold at the Cattle Sellers Market in Thenampalayam Market in the city. Around 200 bulls were sold in the past two months. Though ten per cent of them were old and sold to the slaughterhouses, rest were young and sold for a price ranging Rs 40,000- Rs 75,000. Some were even sold for Rs 80,000. Though many owners were unhappy to sell them, maintaining them had become a costly affair for them. It's sad to see the bulls as money makers." Many people, who bought them for jallikattu a few months ago, returned to the same market to sell them at a lower price, he added.
K Balakumaran, one of the sellers, said, "It's a matter of pride for the dairy farmers and villagers to rear a Kangeyam bull. However, the money required for maintaining them is taking a toll on their pride. The price of the cattle feed, including cotton seeds, rice bran, groundnut extract and fodder, has increased many folds in the previous months. If labour cost is added, then per day expense comes around `300. This has made it difficult for any ordinary farmer to keep a bull on their farm. So, I sold my bull for Rs 30,000."
Explaining, an owner of Kongu Goshala, Siva Kumar, said, "I own six bulls and 80 cows. Rearing a cow for milk is more beneficial than a bull. Cattle feed and labour cost incurred for a cow is around Rs 150 a day but the amount raises to Rs 300 a day for bulls. Besides, apart from breeding, the bulls are not used for any heavy work. Until a few years ago, most of the bulls were used as draught animals but with the arrival of tractors, the animals now mostly remain idle. So, small farmers are selling them to big farmers. If they do not fetch a good price, many are selling them to slaughterhouses as well."