Red Sindhi

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Red Sindhi

The Red Sindhi is an indigenous milch cattle breed with a reputation of being heat tolerant. It is the most popular of all Zebu dairy breeds. This breed originated in the mountainous region called `Mahal Kohistan’, spread over parts of Karachi, Thattha and Dadu districts in Sindh. Though the original breeding tract is in Pakistan (formerly India), some organised herds are available in Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Kerala and Assam.

Red Sindhi breed has a high genetic potential for milk production and are largely maintained for this purpose, across India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.
These cattle are also hardy, with a high degree of resistance to heat and ticks. They adapt themselves well to stressful environments, and are docile and quiet. The bullocks are steady workers, and are therefore, well suited for road and field work.

Red Sindhi is considered to have originated from Las Bela cattle found in the state of Bela, Baluchistan. This breed is also known as “Malir”, “Red Karachi” and “Sindhi”.
The home-tract of this breed extends to the irrigated areas of Hyderabad (Sindh) and the arid plains of Lasbella district in Balochistan.

Due to its hardiness, its heat resistance and high milk yields, this breed has been promoted to many parts of India, and also to other parts of the world – including at least 33 countries in Asia, Africa, Oceania and the Americas.

In many countries, this breed has been used for crossbreeding with European-origin dairy breeds in order to combine its tropical adaptations such as heat tolerance, tick resistance, disease resistance, fertility at higher temperatures, etc.

Characteristics:

  • The Red Sindhi cattle have medium-sized, well-proportioned, and compact bodies.
  • The body colour is mostly deep red, but also varies from a deep reddish brown to a yellowish red. Occasionally, small white patches are seen in the dewlap and forehead. In the males, the colour is darker on the shoulders and thighs.
  • Their head is of a moderate size, well-proportioned with clear-cut outlines.
  • The forehead is broad between the eyes and flat or slightly protruding, with a short crop of hair.
  • The face is of medium length, gradually tapering into a square and they have an intelligent facial expression.
  • They have a well-developed black muzzle with wide nostrils and muscular lips.
  • The crest line is wide between the horns, and the poll is slightly protruding at the centre.
  • They have thick, short, curved, horns that emerge laterally and end in blunt tips. These are thick and stumpy in males but thin in the females.
  • The hind quarters are round and drooping, and the tail switch is black.
  • The ears are of medium size, fine, clean-cut, and are carried at an angle. The skin inside is generally coloured butter yellow, with a dark fringe along the edge.
  • The hump is well-devThe Red Sindhi cattle have medium-sized, well-proportioned, and compact bodies.
  • The body colour is mostly deep red, but also varies from a deep reddish brown to a yellowish red. Occasionally, small white patches are seen in the dewlap and forehead. In the males, the colour is darker on the shoulders and thighs.
  • Their head is of a moderate size, well-proportioned with clear-cut outlines.
  • The forehead is broad between the eyes and flat or slightly protruding, with a short crop of hair.
  • The face is of medium length, gradually tapering into a square and they have an intelligent facial expression.
  • They have a well-developed black muzzle with wide nostrils and muscular lips.
  • The crest line is wide between the horns, and the poll is slightly protruding at the centre.
  • They have thick, short, curved, horns that emerge laterally and end in blunt tips. These are thick and stumpy in males but thin in the femaleeloped in males.
  • The females have capacious and pendulous udder with medium sized teats.
  • The eyes are fairly large, clear and well set apart, with eyebrows rather light.
  • The neck is generally short and fairly thick at the junction of the head and evenly joined at the shoulders.
  • The navel flap is of moderate size, thin and clear-cut.
  • The sheath is pendulous in males, but nominal in females.
  • The dewlap is rather abundant both in males and females, but thin and hangs well in nice folds, with a soft mellow feel.
  • The jaws are strong with the dewlap extending well underneath the lower jaw.
  • Average height of a male is 130 cms and that of a female is 120 cms.
  • Average body length of a male is 140 cms and that of a female is 140 cms.
  • Average weight of a male is 450 kgs. and that of a female is 320 kgs.
  • Average chest girth of a male is 180 cms and that of a female is 140 cms.
  • The milk yield of the cattle ranges from 1100 to 2600 kg per lactation with an average yield of 1840 kg per lactation. However, yields as high as 5,450 kg in a lactation period of 300 days have also been recorded.
  • The average lactation length is 265 days.
  • Fat percentage in the milk varies from 4 to 5.2% with an average of 4.5%.
  • Age at first calving ranges from 30 to 50 months with an inter-calving period of 12 to 18 months.

The population of this cattle breed has shrunk to even less than 70,000 numbers, according to the year 2013 census. The prevalent situation calls for an urgent need for genetic management and conservation of this breed. In view of the status and performance of this breed, all organized herds in our country should be declared as conservation units. Attempts should be made to multiply the germplasm of this breed at a faster pace.

An improvement programme incorporating all organized herds (Associated Herd Progeny Testing) should be planned on a priority, for improvement of this breed.

Our Surabhivana constantly strives to accelerate the movement of conserving our native Indian breed of cattle.

Indian Cow Facts

Red Sindhi is considered to have originated from Las Bela cattle found in the state of Bela, Baluchistan.

In many countries, this breed has been used for crossbreeding with European-origin dairy breeds in order to combine its tropical adaptations such as heat tolerance, tick resistance, disease resistance, fertility at higher temperatures, etc.