Originating from Montgomery district, now in Pakistan, Sahiwal breed is found in various parts of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. This is considered to be the best -Zebu milch breed.
The animal is generally dull in colour. Some may be pale red. dark brown or even blackish and others may have spots or large white areas. They have a symmetrical body, broad head, long deep lethargic and heavy constitution. The skin is fine and horns stumpy. Because of the heavy dewlap, the animal is also known as 'Lola'. The average weight of its males is about 522 kg and that of females is 340 kg.
Oocytes collected from the ovaries of Sahiwal cattle by follicular aspiration using an ultrasound machine with a transvaginal convex transducer with a needle guide, single lumen 18-gauge 55 cm long sterile needle with an ultrasound echo tip were subjected to in vitro maturation, fertilization and culture for development of embryos to the blastocyst stage.
An embryo was transferred to the recipient i.e. surrogate mother resulting into establishment of pregnancy in cattle for the first time. This procedure allows carrying out research in cattle oocytes since cow slaughter is banned in the country.
Further, this technology will also be useful for infertile, aged/tired and problematic yet valuable dairy cattle, and for those which do not respond to conventional embryo transfer program.
The distinguishing characteristics of Sahiwal are deep body, loose skin (lola) short legs, stumpy horns, and broad head. They are generally lethargic. The colours vary from different shades of red to pale red and dark brown splashed with white spots. Horns are short and thick. Loose horns are common in females. Males have massive hump, voluminous dew lap and pendulous sheath. It has a long tail reaching up to the ground and tapering to a good black switch. In the females naval flap is prominent. Males weigh about 545 kg while females weigh 400 kg. Sahiwal is a good milch breed.
The average yield even at the village level is 1,360 kg in 300 days lactation while in some well managed farms the yield has gone up to 2,700-3,200 kg in 300 days lactation. The bullocks are good for work but they are slow.