Ongole cattle are indigenous to the region in Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh. The breed derives its name from Ongole town. They are also referred as Nellore cattle.
The bull, Bos Indicus, is in great demand as it is said to possess resistance to both foot and mouth disease and mad cow disease. This bull breed also participates in traditional bull fight in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. The cattle breeders use the fighting ability of Ongole bulls to choose right bulls for breeding and thus sustaining the breed with purity and strength. It was the first Indian breed of cattle to gain worldwide recognition.
Traditionally, the Ongole cattle has been raised by local farmers, fed by both Gundlakamma, one of the rivers that originates from the Nallamala Hills, and in the plains, the Paleru river, a tributary of the Krishna River.
Ongole bulls have gone as far as America, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Indonesia, West Indies, Australia, Fiji, Mauritius, Indo-China and Philippines. The Brahmana bull in America is an off-breed of the Ongole. The famous Santa Gertrudis breed developed in Texas have Ongole blood.
An Ongole bull is one of the heaviest breeds. They weigh approximately half-a-ton, are 1.5 meters in height and have a body length of 1.6 meters and girth measuring two meters.
The weight of an Ongole female is 432 to 455 kgs. Milk yield is 600 to 2518 kgs! The lactation period is 279 days. Ongole milk has a butterfat content of over five percent. This results in large, well-nourished calves with considerable growth by the time of weaning.