Sahiwal cow originated in a district named Sahiwal belonging to Punjab province in Pakistan Sahiwal cow is majorly used in the field of dairy production. It is a breed of Zebu Cattle. Among all the other Zebu breeds they produce the most milk, then comes the Red Sindhi and others. Sahiwal is loved for its multiple capabilities. It can provide high-quality milk with high butterfat content.
Sahiwal Cow Characteristics
Sahiwal is known to be native to Punjab. It has a list of characteristics that make this breed of cows special. Sahiwal is known to be one of the best cows to milch. The cows are mainly in brownish red color or similar shades. The shades can vary from a more reddish brown to a greyish red. In Bulls, the extremities are darker than the rest of their body.
Sometimes you may find some of the Sahiwal cow with white patches on their body. These cows have well developed mammary glands, the right slope at the hind part and shorter horns. The dewlap that hangs from the neck of the Sahiwal is not very large in size.
Where Sahiwal Cow are found?
In Punjab, the Amritsar and Ferozepur are the breeding area or districts of Sahiwal Cows. And in Rajasthan, Sri Ganganagar is the breeding area or district of Sahiwal Cows. Pure Sahiwal cow are available in Punjab in the district of Ferozepur near Abohar and Fazilka town.
Facts about Sahiwal Cows
Among the small-scale farmers, the Sahiwal’s are used for milk production whereas, in ranches, it is majorly used for the commercial production of meat. It is mainly known for its heat and drought tolerance, hybrid vigor, longevity, easy calving and others.There are some surprising facts about the Sahiwal cow that are still unknown to many. These facts are listed below:
1. “Junglies” once kept Sahiwal’s
The Sahiwal’s originated in central Punjab along dry Punjab. Earlier they used to be kept by professional herdsmen. These herdsmen were called as “Junglies.” The Junglies used to keep the Sahiwal cows in large herds and used to breed them. Later on, after the irrigation systems were introduced in the Punjab region, the farmers started to keep them in smaller numbers. The farmers used them as dairy and draught animals.
Sahiwal Cows have different names
The Sahiwal’s got their name from the Sahiwal area where they originated. The Sahiwal’s have a famous name, but people in different regions call it by different names. The Sahiwal cow are also known as “Lambi Bar,” “Multani,” “Lola,” “Teli” and “Montgomery” after the district Montgomery in Sahiwal from where it derives its name.
Sahiwal Cows are best to milch
The Sahiwal cows are prevalent in the field of dairy. These are primarily used for dairy purposes. The lactation yield of a Sahiwal cow ranges from 1500 to 2700 kilograms. On an average, these cows produce around 2325 kg of lactation. If the cattle are selectively bred, then that may lead to higher productivity. In an organized farm a milk yield of 6000 L was recorded. Hence, when it comes to dairy purposes, nothing can beat the Sahiwal’s.
Sahiwal Cow aredistributed over the world
The Sahiwal cow are the highest milk producing cows in India and Pakistan, but fewer people know that the Sahiwal’s have made their place in different parts of the world. Due to its exclusive features, the Sahiwal breed is appreciated in different parts of the world and hence have been exported to many. The Sahiwal breed came to Australia in the early 1950s. In Australia, it was used as a breed that served two purposes.
It led to the generation to two Australian dairy breeds, one called the Australian Friesian Sahiwal and the other known as the Australian Milking Zebu. They are now used in Australia majorly for beef production. The Sahiwal’s made their way to regions of Africa such as Kenya, Nigeria, Guyana, Jamaica, and others. Similarly, the Sahiwal’s have been exported to various areas of Asia as well including India.
Sahiwal’s have the ability to survive in unfavorable climatic conditions
The climatic conditions in various regions are not suitable for cattle at times. Hence, sometimes that may cause trouble to the herders and farmers. However, the Sahiwal cows prove to be the ideal choice in this case. The Sahiwal cow has the ability to survive unfavorable climatic conditions. Sahiwal bulls have shown the ability to produce small and fast-growing off springs. These calves have a proven ability to survive under unsuitable climatic conditions.
Sahiwal’s are Tick and parasite resistant
Sahiwal is a particular breed of Zebu cattle. Zebu cattle on an average have greater tick and parasite resistance than either African or European cattle. It is reasonably resistant to diseased caused by ticks. Therefore, it can grow and develop in the arid or semi-arid regions where the other breeds that are purely exotic find it difficult to thrive.
It is still suggested to dip or spray the Sahiwals with acaricide once a week and for the internal parasites, deworm the Sahiwals regularly once every three months or whenever necessary.Apart from the above mentioned, routine vaccinations against the diseases like Anthrax, Foot and Mouth, LSD and other diseases must be done.
Sahiwal Cows are heat tolerant
Scientists are continuously working to develop breeds of cows that are heat-resistant and have the superior ability to withstand the hot living conditions. Cattle farming is done in various regions where the temperatures can be significantly high and to breed the cattle suitably, and it is essential that the cattle be heat tolerant. The Sahiwal cows have the unique ability to tolerate heat. This feature makes it highly suitable for the regions like India.
Sahiwal’s have the property of Longevity and reproduce for up to 20yrs
One of the significant properties that make Sahiwal suitable for breeding is its longevity. The feature of longevity makes Sahiwal cow the perfect cattle to breed for the farmers. The Sahiwals are capable of reproducing for up to 20 years. This property helps the farmers or breeders to produce more Sahiwals and even experiment with cross-breeding to enhance the features of the cattle.
Sahiwal’s feeding habits
The Sahiwals feed on the natural pastures. These pastures include star grass, Kikuyu grass, as well as raised fodder. This raised fodder can be Foxtail grass, Boma Rhodes, Fodder Sorghum, and others. Minerals and water licks are vital for them. It is often suggested that the Sahiwals are grazed in a rotation in paddocks so that it gives the grasses some time to grow.
Physical Characters of Sahiwal
The Sahiwal’s are significantly Brownish Red color or its shades. The color of a Sahiwal ranges from the Brownish Red to Greyish Red. They may have some hints of white on the neck. In the male Sahiwal’s, the color becomes a bit darker towards the extreme ends of the body like head, tail, neck, and legs. The breed is also famous for the property of drooping ears. In males, the hump is massive but, in the females, it is less significant. The weight of a fully mature Sahiwal cow is around 500kg.The Sahiwal cow has a larger teat as compared to other Zebu breeds and this makes milking easier.
Sahiwal’s arebeneficial to farmers
The farmers owning cows with higher lactation receive incentives according to the milk produced by their cattle and Sahiwal’s produce the most milk among the all other Zebu breeds. These cows produce milk around 2500 kilograms and around 3000-kilo grams during the lactation period, and this can quickly earn an amount of Rs 1,500 and Rs 2,500 respectively to the farmer. The cow producing above 3,000 Kilograms can make the farmers around Rs. 5,000.
Apart from that, the cow producing more than 3,000 Kilograms can be purchased by the animal husbandry as well. The animal husbandry department can breed the Sahiwal’s further or cross-breed to create more unique breeds. The department may acquire the male calves of the Sahiwal’s that produce more than 3,000 kilograms of milk to make a high-quality bull.
This bull can produce excellent quality semen that can be used to produce elite cows. The farmers owning Sahiwal’s are provided with first two artificial inseminations for free while the next will be presented at the minimum price.
They also receive free of cost deworming facility and mineral mixture for a period of one year. The aim is to preserve the endangered breed ‘Sahiwal.’ The state government of Punjab has proposed to set up a Sahiwal Tradition Centre in Patiala to protect the original Sahiwal’s. They have suggested that the elite cows and bulls bought from the farmers will be kept in this center and efforts will be made to produce more elite and high-quality animals.
These cows come with a great set of characteristics. The characteristics are high milk yields, heat tolerance, ease of calving, tick and parasite disease resistance, bloat tolerance, drought resistance and excellent temperament.Hence, these were some of the unknown facts about the Zebu breed Sahiwal cow. These are some factors that make Sahiwal the primary and ideal choice of the farmers.