Sahiwal - Origin and Distribution
Sahiwal breed cattle are primarily reared for milk production. Its origin can be traced in in the central and southern parts of Pakistan-Punjab, mainly in the districts of Montgomery (now called Sahiwal) and Okara. In India Sahiwal can be found in districts of Rohtak, Karnal, Hisar, Gurgaon in Haryana state, Union Territory of Delhi and in West Uttar Pradesh. This area is characterized by a subtropical and arid climate. There are although their numbers have dwindled considerably. There are no authentic records available to explain how in early days this breed developed. It is believed that it is a mixture of strains of diverse breeds that migrated from south of India, north of Pakistan and the adjoining territory of Afghanistan. There is an apparent similarity with the Gir breed hence it is considered as parental breed of Sahiwal cattle.
Characteristics of Sahiwal
Sahiwal cattle are long, fleshy and heavy with symmetrical body and loose skin, when compared with Red Sindhi which it closely resembles. The mature weight of cows is around 340–400 kg and of bulls up to 700 kg. They are colored reddish dunn or pale red, sometimes flashed with white patches. Muzzle and eyelashes are light in color. The skin color ranges from reddish brown through to more predominant red, with varying amounts of white on the neck, and the underline. In males color darkens towards extremities, such as head, legs and tail. The bulls have a large, massive hump which frequently falls to one side. The height at withers is around 136 whereas the female height averages 120 cm.