Breeds of Livestock in Pakistan


Pakistan possesses a huge livestock wealth. According to Economic Survey (2004-05), there are about 138 million head of livestock in the country. A species-wise break-up indicates that there are: 26 million buffaloes; 24 million cattle; 25 million sheep; 57 million goats; 4.8 million equines; and 0.8 million camels. In addition, there are about 700 million poultry birds (day old chicks, layers, broilers etc.) in Pakistan.

Several breeds of almost all the farm animals mentioned above exist in the country since long. Some new breeds of buffalo, cattle, sheep and goat have been reported from certain parts of the country. Detailed studies about their characterization are underway. Hopefully, detailed information concerning such breeds would be incorporated in the next edition of this booklet.






Heavy Draught


A.        Bhagnari (Nari)


Habitat:  This breed originates from the lower valley of the Nari river around Jacobabad (Sindh) and upper Nari valley in the territory of Jacobabad, extending up to Sibi (Balochistan).

Physical Characteristics:  Typical animals are massive with compact and well-proportioned body and limbs. Body colour is white or grey, deepening to almost black on the neck, shoulders, and hump in mature males. They have a medium-sized head with a short, strong neck. Other characteristics include a small dewlap; small pointed ears; stumpy horns; medium-sized hump; straight back; wide, muscular, and drooping hindquarters; and black tail switch. The cows are low milk yielders. Adult males weigh 450-600 kg, while females weigh 325-425 kg. Males are suitable for heavy draught work.

B.        Dajal


Habitat:  These cattle come from the Dajal area in district Dera Ghazi Khan in Punjab province.

Physical Characteristics:  The Dajal breed is considered an offshoot of the Bhagnari breed, having similar features. However, Dajal cattle are comparatively smaller in size and lighter in colour. Cows are low yielders. Males are as good for draught work as are those of the Bhagnari breed.




A.        Dhanni (Pothwari)


Habitat:  The districts of Attock, Chakwal, Rawalpindi, and Jhelum in the province of Punjab are the hometract of Dhanni cattle. Because of their attractive body colour and proven utility, Dhanni males are very popular all over Punjab. They are also taken to other provinces of the country for ploughing and haulage.

Physical Characteristics:  Dhanni cattle are medium-sized with a compact body and varying body colour: (i) predominantly white coat with black spots (Chitta Burga), (ii) predominantly black coat with white spots (Kala Burga), (iii) white mottles with brown and black patches (Nuqra), (iv) predominantly red coat with white spots (Ratta Burga). Their head and ears are small, and the horns are stumpy. The dewlap is small, hump compact, and back straight. They have a tight sheath, whip like tail ending in a white switch. Milk yield is generally low (1000-1200 litres). Adult males weigh 350-450 kg, while females weigh 270-330 kg. Males are sturdy animals having great agility. They are very suitable for medium draught work.


A.        Lohani


Habitat:  Lohani cattle originated in the Loralai district of Balochistan and Dera Ismail Khan district in NWFP.

Physical Characteristics:  Lohani cattle are small-sized and short-statured. Body colour is red splashed with white spots. They have short thick horns, small ears, a short neck, well-developed hump, moderate dewlap, black tail switch, small tucked-up udder, and a low milk yield. An adult male weighs 300-350 kg and female 230-280 kg. Lohani cattle are very hardy and sure-footed; male stock is suitable for light work in hilly and subhilly areas. Cows produce 800-1000 litre/lactation.


B.        Rojhan


Habitat: Rojhan cattle live in the Suleiman Range in the southern part of Dera Ghazi Khan district (Rojhan, Umarkot, and Somemiani) in Punjab, and parts of Dera Ismail Khan and Bannu districts in NWFP.

Physical Characteristics:  Rojhan cattle are small-sized 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 300-350 kg and the female 230-280 kg. Male stock is very suitable for draught work in hilly and subhilly areas.




A.        Kankrej 


Habitat: This breed is from the districts of Tharparkar and Badin in Sindh province, extending along the Rann of Kachh to the northern part of Gujrat in India. Its smaller strain, locally named Kachhi or Wadhiari, is found in Thatta and Sanghar districts in Sindh. Some population of this breed is also found in Punjab.

Physical Characteristics:  The body colour of 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 center. The nose is slightly upturned, ears large and pendulous, and horns strong and lyre-shaped. Females weigh 350-400 kg, have a medium-sized udder, and are fairly good milk producers. Kankrej bullocks are prized as fast and powerful draught animals. The adult males weigh 500-650 kg. As both good milk producers and strong workers, Kankrej cattle serve a dual purpose.


B.        Tharparkar (Thari, White Sindhi) 


Habitat:  The Tharparkar breed has been named after the district from which it originates. This district has large stretches of sand dunes, and adequate grazing is only available a few months after the monsoon rains (July to September). They are very well-adapted to the extreme climatic conditions and feed scarcity of their hometract.

Physical Characteristics:  Thari are medium-sized animals with a long tapering face, slightly convex forehead, medium-sized horns that curve upward and outward, and large, semi-pendulous ears. They are generally light-grey, with the colour deepening on the fore- and hindquarters in males. A white stripe runs along the backbone. The tail switch is black. They have a well-developed, firm hump, medium dewlap, deep barrel, and strong legs. The udder is medium-sized and strong. Cows are fairly good milk producers. Adult males and females weigh 450-600 and 350-400 kg, respectively.


C.         Achai and Gibrali


Habitat:  NWFP


Physical Characteristics:  Both are small to medium-sized animals. Males are used for light draught work. Cows are raised as dairy animals but they are not high yielders. Detailed studies are underway (Khan, 2005).



Key Reference : Sheep and Goat Production By Mr. Bakhat B. Khan

Muhammad Ramzan Rafique
Muhammad Ramzan Rafique

I am from a small town Chichawatni, Sahiwal, Punjab , Pakistan, studied from University of Agriculture Faisalabad, on my mission to explore world I am in Denmark these days..

Articles: 4630

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *