First National Report Of Pakistan to the Convention on Biological Diversity Ministry of Environment Government of Pakistan Contents



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Important breeds of Cattle 31


For the past 50 years, cattle have been imported from the Northern Hemisphere. The crossbreeding of local cattle with Holstein-Friesian, Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Jersey, Guernsey, red Dane, milking shorthorn, and the Australian Illawara shorthorn has been encouraged at the government level. It is estimated that purebred animals constitute only 20-25 % of the total cattle population. Quality livestock is bred in government and military dairy farms. Artificial insemination facilities for cattle are available in many parts of the country.

Table 10.1 above gives information regarding the status of livestock in Pakistan. The description of some important breeds of cattle is given below:

  • Tharparkar

Synonyms: Grey Sindhi, White Sindhi, Thari

A relation of this breed is the Cutchi, which originates from Cutch on the northwest border of India and Pakistan. The home of the breed is the Tharparkar district of Hyderabad and even India. This is an arid area and in drought years cattle move to the surrounding regions where they have interbred with Kankrej, red Sindhi, Gir and Nagori cattle. Its habitat is situated just outside the tropics and is very arid. The rainfall averages 203 mm (8 inches) per annum. These are strong built, medium-sized animals with comparatively short, straight limbs and good feet. The skin is pigmented and thin, and the hair is fine and short. The coat colour is usually white or grey with a light grey stripe along the top line. In the male, the grey colour may deepen with age, particularly on the face and hindquarters. Black and red-coloured cattle are also seen. The hump is moderately well developed and firm; the dewlap is of medium size; the sheath in the male is semi-pendulous and of moderate length and the naval flap in the female is prominent.



      • Average weight of male = 950 lbs.

      • Average weight of female = 890 lbs.

      • Average milk yield in 300 days 3500 lbs.

This is one of the best dual-purpose work-milk breeds found in Pakistan and the Indian subcontinent. It can milk under very poor feeding conditions and has great powers of endurance and resistance to poor feeding and to drought conditions. Several of these cattle have been exported particularly to Zaire, Iran, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines.

  • Red Sindhi

Synonyms: Malir, red Karachi, Sindhi

The original breed was found at Malir outside Karachi, Hyderabad and Lasbella district. In Pakistan, it is believed that this breed is derived from hill-type cattle. It is somewhat similar to the Sahiwal. The home of the breed is now around Karachi, just outside the tropics where the climate is sub-tropical and semi-arid. The red Sindhi is a medium to small animal with a deep compact frame. The coat colour is usually red varying from dark red to dun yellow, often with specks of white on the dewlap and the forehead. The horns are thick at the base and laterally emerge and curve upwards.



      • Average weight of male = 925 lbs.

      • Average weight of female = 750 lbs.

      • Average milk yield in 300 days 4000 lbs.

This species is considered one of the best dairy breeds in Pakistan, though it is occasionally used for light work. It has been exported to India, China, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Brazil, Mauritius, Thailand, Philippines, Afghanistan, Turkey, Korea, East Africa, USA, Australia, Egypt, Iraq, and Japan.

  • Sahiwal

This breed originates from district Sahiwal of the Punjab province. The climate of its original habitat is hot and arid. It is a large, heavily built fleshy animal. The coat colour is varied, although reddish dun is common. Other coat colours are pale reds; dark brown and almost black flecked with white. The head is broad and massive in the male and the ears are of medium size with black hair on the fringes.

      • Average male weight = 1000-1400 lbs.

      • Average female weight = 600-950 lbs.

      • Average milk yield in 300 days is 7000 lbs.

This is the best dairy breed of Pakistan and has been exported to Turkey, Malaysia, and Kenya. In Jamaica, it has been crossed with the Jersey breed to produce the Jamaica Hope. In East Africa, it has been widely used to upgrade the small East African Zebu cattle. The Sahiwal breed can also be used for beef and work purposes.

  • Rojhan Bull and Cow

Rojhan cattle are bred in Bakht Baidar Khan and G.B. Isani. These are small animals with a red and white spotted coat (considerable variation in spot size, tight skin, small and alert ears, small pointed horns, short neck, proportionately large hump, and extended dewlap). Their thin tail usually ends in a white switch. They have a small, tucked up udder. Milk yield is very low. The adult male weighs 660-770 lbs and the female 500-600 lbs. Male stock is very suitable for draught work in hilly and sub-hilly areas.

  • Kankrej

This breed is from the districts of Tharparkar and Badin in the Sindh province. It also extends along the Rann of Kutch to the northern part of Gujrat in India. Its small strain is locally named Kutchi or Wadhiari and is found in the Thatta and Sanghar districts of Sindh. The body colour of the Kankrej cattle varies from silver-grey to a darker-grey. Males are darker at the shoulders, hump and hindquarters. The forehead is broad and slightly concave in the centre. The nose is slightly upturned, and the ears are large and pendulous. Females weigh 770-900 lbs, have a medium-sized udder and are good milk producers. Kankrej bullocks are prized as fast and powerful draught animals. Adult males weigh 1100-1450 lbs. As both good milk producers and strong workers, Kankrej cattle serve a dual purpose.
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