The Sahiwal originated in the dry Punjab region which lies along the Indian-Pakistani border. They were once kept in large herds by professional herdsmen called “Junglies”. With the introduction of irrigation systems to the region they began to be kept in smaller numbers by the farmers of the region, who used them as draft and dairy animals. Today the Sahiwal is one of the best dairy breeds in India and Pakistan. Due to their heat tolerance and high milk production they have been exported to other Asian countries as well as Africa and the Caribbean.
The Sahiwal was exported to Australia via New Guinea in the early 1950’s. In Australia, the Sahiwal was initially selected as a dual-purpose breed. It played a valuable role in the development of the two Australian tropical dairy breeds, the Australian Milking Zebu and the Australian Fresian Sahiwal. Sahiwals are now predominately used in Australia for beef production, as crossing high grade Sahiwal sires with Bos taurus animals produced a carcass of lean quality with desirable fat cover.
This breed is being developed in Australia by the Queensland Government for use in the tropical areas. The breed was evolved using the Sahiwal, a dairy strain of Zebu from Pakistan, and the Australian Holstein-Friesian. Since the 1960s when research work began on this breed, notable progress has been achieved towards the objective of combining tick resistance and heat tolerance with reliable milk production and fertility. It has now been extensively tested in the tropical and sub-tropical areas of Australia. Under these conditions, it outperforms the Holstein Friesian by approximately 15 percent. Average milk yield is 3,000 liters for mature cows. Milk quality is good – protein level is 3.4 percent and butterfat is approximately four percent.
As tropical conditions affect milk production, it is worth noting the correlation of milk production of the AFS and environmental conditions from various research. A study conducted in Thailand on the AFS cows reported that the cows remain unaffected despite humidity levels and produced desirable levels of milk under Thailand’s tropical climatic conditions. However, in the summer when the Temperature-Humidity Index (THI) increased the milk production and reproduction decreasedIn a comparative study of AFS cows from Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand, the research farm owned by the Division of Veterinary Services in Air Hitam, Malaysia reported that over 39% of the AFS cows produced more milk and its milk yield was superior to the local breeds involved in the study.[ In the beginning of the developmental phase of the AFS, Queensland reported that the AFS cows had lower levels of milk production as compared to the Holstein-Friesians, but despite this difference the AFS was still considered to the most ideal breed due to its overall performance. One of the main aims of the Follicle Stimulating Hormone programme was to produce genetically superior cows that were able to meet the milking production needs and hence the embryos of the top 25% of the breed with impressive milk production was utilized further in the development of the crossbreed
Australian Friesian Sahiwal Characteristics
Australian Friesian Sahiwal Cattle are mostly found in dark red, but there are a few other color variations, such as dark black or white. They are mostly developed as a dairy cattle breed, having the best features of both Sahiwal & Holstein-Friesian. The Australian Friesian Sahiwal breed is well known for its 4 major characteristics, e.g. heat tolerance, tick resistance, production of excellent quality milk, and higher fertility rate.The average weight of a fully grown Australian Friesian Sahiwal cow is around 450-500 kg. Factors that cause fluctuations in average weight are growing environment, feed quality, and genetic makeup.
Even though multiple analyses have concluded that the AFS has optimal milk output levels, some analyses propose the opposite. Edwards (1985), for example, discovered that the Sahiwal Friesian cows had lactation problems at the start of their lactation cycle. A group of Sahiwal Friesian cows was evaluated for milk production in this experiment, and they showed poor lactation output and declining levels of milk output for 8 weeks continuously, resulting in the milk production process being halted. Furthermore, Peaker and Wilde (1996) discovered that Sahiwal Friesian cattle had short lactation cycles, which resulted in lactation failure. This was due to an ineffective milking process, which was often influenced by factors such as milk synthesis and secretion.
Australian Friesian Sahiwal Price
$600.00 – $2,300.00