Cattle belong to the family Bovidae. European cattle are non-humped and belong to the species Bos taurus, while the cattle found in Pakistan are humped and belong to the species Bos indicus.
A. Red Sindhi
Habitat: The Red Sindhi breed originates from a mountainous region called ‘Mahal Kohistan’, spread over parts of Karachi, Thatta, and Dadu districts in Sindh. The home tract of this breed extends to the irrigated areas of Hyderabad (Sindh) and the arid plains of Lasbella district in Balochistan.
Physical Characteristics: This is a medium-sized breed with a compact build and red body colour. The Lasbella strain is comparatively darker, and the colour of the bull is likely to be darker at the shoulders. It has a large head with an occasional bulge in the forehead. Horns are thick and stumpy in males but thin in females. Ears are fine and small. The hump is well-developed in males. The dewlap is moderate in both sexes. The sheath is pendulous in males, but nominal in females. Hindquarters are round and drooping, tail switch black, and udder medium to large and strong. Milk yield per lactation varies from 1200 to 2000 litres. Adult males weigh 400-500 kg, while females weigh 300-350 kg. Red Sindhi animals are hardy and adapt very well to stressful environments. Although the bullocks are slow, they are used for various agricultural operations. Animals of this breed have been imported by several countries.
B. Sahiwal (Lola)
Habitat: Sahiwal cattle live in parts of districts Sahiwal, Okara, Pakpattan, Multan, and Faisalabad in the Punjab. The breed is named after Sahiwal, which is part of its hometract.
Physical Characteristics: This breed is medium-sized, and has a fleshy body. Females have reddish dun colour; males may have a darker colour around the orbit, neck, and hindquarters. Males have stumpy horns; females are often dehorned. Ears are medium-sized and drooping. Skin is loose and fine with a voluminous dewlap and sheath. The hump in the male is massive, but in the female it is nominal. The tail ends in a black switch. The udder is large and strong and occasionally have white patches. Milk yield is 1500-2200 litres per lactation with a fat content of 4.5 percent. Adult males weigh 400-500 kg, while females weigh 300-350 kg. Males having body weight of more than 1000 kg have also been documented. Sahiwals are in great demand in several Asian and African countries. They have also been exported to Australia.
Habitat: Cholistan tract (a desert area) and adjoining colonised areas of Bahawalnagar, Bahawalpur and Rahimyar Khan districts.
Characteristics: Large-sized flabby animals, small horns, long ears, hump well-developed in males, dewlap large both in male and female, speckled red, brown or black all over the body including head, sheath pendulous in male, tail ends in black switch, udder medium-sized with milk yield varying from 1200 to 1800 litres/lactation, average body weight 450 to 500 and 350 to 400 kg in male and female animals respectively. Cholistani cattle are of recent origin, probably have been derived from the crossing of Sahiwal with the local cattle. Males are a good source of beef and may be used as draught animals (Mason, 1996).
Key Reference : Prof. Dr. Abdul Ghafoor, Director Research, University of Agriculture Faisalabad