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Sahiwal: A Cow, That Gives 20 Liter Of Milk At A Time

Sahiwal is a breed of ‘Zebu cattle’ and is considered to be one of the best milch cattle breed in India. The breed has derived its name from the Sahiwal area in Montgomery district of Punjab in Pakistan. It is the most promising breed that produces highest quantity of milk followed by the very similar Red Sindhi and Butana breeds.

Dr. Sangeeta Soi
Sahiwal Cow Standing With Its Calf
Sahiwal Cow Standing With Its Calf

Sahiwal is a breed of ‘Zebu cattle’ and is considered to be one of the best milch cattle breeds in India.  The Sahiwal area in the Montgomery district of Punjab, Pakistan, is where the breed got its name. It is the most promising breed, producing the most milk, followed by the Red Sindhi and Butana varieties, which are extremely similar.

The Sahiwal cow is an endangered species that is extremely popular among farmers. Sahiwal's appeal stems from the fact that it is more efficient in terms of milk production and childbirth than other breeds. Apart from that, its milk has a higher fat content, making it healthier than milk from other imported cow breeds.

Research on Sahiwal 

Since 2006-07, Dr. Ranvir Singh of the Indian Veterinary Research Institute in Uttar Pradesh has been one of the leading scientists working on this breed. Dr. Singh claims that the ‘Ghumanti' community of Muslim Gujjars from Muktsar Bhatinda, Punjab, has begun breeding this species. These communities each have 30 to 50 cows, which are their sole source of income.

During his research, Dr. Singh visited all of Punjab's communities and homes and discovered that no family member who owned a Sahiwal cow had ever been diagnosed with cancer. People who drank other cow-breed milk for drinking or other reasons, on the other hand, developed various diseases.

Qualities of Sahiwal  

Sahiwal milk includes 5-6% fat, but other breeds' milk is just 3 percent fat. There are three forms of protein in Sahiwal's milk: Alpha, Beta, and Globin. A1 and A2 alleles exist in beta protein. Only the Sahiwal breed has allele A2, which included proline rather than the histidine protein seen in other breeds' milk.

Because of the presence of this additional allele, Sahiwal's milk is a godsend to humanity, as it aids in the treatment of ailments such as cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease. This is why the Sahiwal cow is regarded as a valuable breed.

Another imported variety of cows can only produce 60 liters of milk, whereas the Sahiwal can produce 20 liters at a time. It may give birth multiple times over the course of a lifetime, whereas others can only do it three to four times.

It can also withstand harsh weather conditions, unlike other imported varieties that require a constant temperature to survive. It can give birth in 21-22 months and is also thought to be the most intelligent breed.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has introduced the scheme called ‘Rashtriya Gokul Mission’ under which, an amount of 500 crores will be used for the betterment of this cow breed. As per the scheme, there are many incentives and subsidies on the purchase of Sahiwal.

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