Introduction of Sahiwal Cow breed:
Today, let us provide information on Sahiwal Cow.
Sahiwal is the breed of Zebu cattle, it has an ability to give high quality milk with high butterfat content. The Sahiwal originated from Sahiwal district of Pakistan, and rear in the Punjab region of India. The Sahiwal cattle were in the beginning of the dry Punjab area which lies along the Indian-Pakistan border. Back in the olden times, they were kept in large herd by professional herdsmen, and then known as “Junglies”. However, with the opening of irrigation systems, the Sahiwal cattle were kept in smaller numbers by the farmers in the region where they used them as dairy animals. In modern days, the Sahiwal cattle are considered as one of the top dairy breeds in India and Pakistan mainly due to the high milk production as well as its resistance to tick borne diseases. Sahiwal is one of the rare species of cow which is very popular with the farmers. The reason for its popularity is that Sahiwal highly efficient in terms of milk production and giving a birth to young ones. Apart from this, Sahiwal breed milk contains more fat contents, it was very healthy in comparison to other imported cow breeds.
According to research conducted by the KARI (Kawanda Agricultural Research Institute), the breed is a good milk producer – compared to other local breeds and it has capable of an average of producing about 8-10kgs per day, with 4.5% fat contents in the milk, within an average period of 10 months. It has larger teats compared to other Zebu breeds, for making milking easier.
Physical characteristics of Sahiwal Cow:
Sahiwal has a color range of reddish brown to red, with varying amounts of white on the neck, and the underline. Coming to the male breeds, the color darkens towards the head, neck, legs, and tail. This breed is also known for drooping ears. The hump is very big, but in the female it is nominal.
- They are very high and long in size.
- Surrounded skin of umbilicus becomes slack and thick.
- Forehead of this Sahiwal is elevated and head is shot size.
- Horns are thick in strength and small in size.
- Udder is big sized and hanging.
- Sahiwal cow Tail is very long. About to touch the ground level.
- Adult ox weights in the ranges of 400-500 kg and coming to the cow ranges of 700-800 kg.
- It takes about 3-3.5 years to produce calf for the first time.
- The cow has an ability to give 12-15 kg milk daily and 3000-4000 kg per year.
- The calf weights about 22-28 kg when they born.
- Milk of Sahiwal cows to contain 4.5% fat.
Sahiwal Cow Cost:
Usually, Sahiwal cow price depends on milk production, age and health condition. On an average you can buy Sahiwal cow for Rs. 60, 000 to Rs.75, 000.
Feeding of Sahiwal Cow:
These Sahiwal cows thrive on natural pastures. This mainly includes some Grasses like Kikuyu grass (Pennisetum clandestinum), star grass (Cynodon plectostachyum) as well as raised fodder grasses like Boma Rhodes (Chloris gayana), Foxtail grass (Cenchrus Ciliaris) and Fodder Sorghum, among other types. It is highly recommended to the cows are grazed rotationally in the paddocks as this gives the grasses time to regrow.
Minerals and Water are also important to the Sahiwal Dairy Breed cattle. The Sahiwal kept for milk production can be related to a protein legume and concentrate for a better milk production.
Milk Production and fertility of Sahiwal Cow
Sahiwal is the highest milk producer as compared to all Zebu breeds, and after that Red Sindhi and Butana breeds. Cows give average 2270 kg of milk while suckling a calf. On an average in India lactation yields in Sahiwal cows have a range of 1400 – 2500ksg this has been recorded within the period of 260-300 days. One common problem is raised in India and Pakistan with this breed, i.e. shorter lactation length of 70-200 days. The age at first calving this cow ranges from 37 to 48 months and has a calving interval of 430 to 580 days. In Pakistani Sahiwal it should be different from India age at first calving is around 37 to 45 months and calving intervals have been reported as 390 to 490 days.
The other imported breed of cow can only give 60 litres of milk and coming to this Sahiwal are capable of producing 20 litres at a time. It can give birth to the calf throughout the lifetime and others can give just 3-4 times for a complete lifespan. It can also withstand under any extreme weather conditions compared to other imported breeds, those are required ambient temperature to survive.
Read: Dairy Farming FAQ.
Health management of Sahiwal Cow:
Ticks pose is the major risk to cows in pasture areas. Acaricide should be sprayed on animals once a week to prevent from tick borne diseases. To prevent from internal parasites, it is recommended to deworm the animals regularly for every three months, and if it is a necessary increase into four or five depending on the helminth fecal egg count.
In addition to the above, routine vaccinations should be done against diseases like Foot and Mouth, Anthrax, Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD), and other epizoonotic diseases. East Coast Fever (ECF) vaccine is now available in the market and this can be given once in the animal’s lifetime for Foot and mouth disease. And Anthrax vaccinations should be given twice a year.
Typical characteristics of Sahiwal Cow:
Purpose: Milk production.
Potential yield: 40-50 liters milk/day, 4.5% butterfat.
Average body size: Large (550-650 kg).
Description: Black and white short haired coat, short horn.
Advantages Sahiwal Cow:
- High milk production potential with low butter fat content of about 4.5%.
- Milk production will be depend on level of feeding given to the Sahiwal and other management.
- Suitable for zero grazing.
- It is suitable for frequent calving in their lifetime, so need of replacements is less.
- It gives a birth to valuable male calves.
- They Have lower cell counts.
Disadvantages Sahiwal Cow:
- Sahiwal is a Heavy feeder.
- It Need’s high level management.
- It is Susceptible to diseases, susceptible to milk fever.
- Feed requirements are high (90-110 kg fresh forage/day, i.e. 3 gunny bags).
- It requires Sufficient clean water (min 60 liters/day, more for heavy yielders).
Read: Prawn Cultivation.