Sahiwal cattle, a Zebu breed, originated in Punjab area located on the Indian-Pakistani border. Originally, they were bred for draft and dairy purposes, and today, the breed is recognised as the best of the Indian and Pakistani dairy breeds.
Sahiwals are medium-sized cattle whose coat colour ranges between shades of brown and red, with white markings on the neck and underline. Sahiwals are known to be heat tolerant and tick and parasite resistant (both internally and externally). These features explain why the breed is popular throughout Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. Cows can produce up to 2270 kilograms of milk per lactation, made possible by a well-developed udder.
Easy calving, rapid weight gain, drought resistance, bloat tolerance, hybrid vigour and longevity (they can reproduce up to 20 years) are also characteristic. Sahiwal beef is noted for its even fat cover and leanness.
Sahiwlas were first introduced to Australia in the 1950's and they were originally bred as dual-purpose animals. Their introduction was encouraged by the CSIRO, who actually convinced the government to organise the importation. Since then, Sahiwals have contributed to the development of the Australian Milking Zebu and the Australian Friesian Sahiwals. Today, they are bred primarily for meat production.