As the name implies, the pygmy zebu is not very big, measuring about 1 metre at the shoulder. A typical characteristic of the zebu is one (sometimes two) humps on its back.
Two thousand years ago, the race was spread from India to other parts of the world where they were interbred with other cattle races. Zebu tolerate hot climates and are partly resistant to diseases such as rinderpest (cattle plague). On the other hand, as the quality of zebu meat is not very good, zebu have been interbred with good beef cattle. This has proved to be advantageous in extremely hot areas such as Africa and provided better meat than that obtained from thoroughbred zebu. In North America, zebus were originally interbred with other breeds of cattle and zebu bulls are now used in rodeos.
The cow’s eyes are placed on the side of the head, far from the muzzle. This gives the cow a wide field of vision, also while grazing.