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Proposed Butana X Illawarra X Sahiwal X Red Danish Synthetic Dairy Breed.
by Mike Nassau

Crossing a temperate dairy breed with a tropical dairy breed has been done many times in the hot tropics. Using a temperate breed can greatly increase milk production per lactation as tropical breeds produce much less. Using a tropical breed can increase fertility since temperate breeds may be completely or largely sterile under the heat stress in the tropics.


Butana from Sudan at top, Danish Red from North Europe
The Butana breed is found on the Butana plateau east of Khartoum in central Sudan. It is a good milk producer for a tropical breed, comparable to the Red Sindhi. It is a Zebu, it has been in Africa for some 1300 years. Before that it probably shared its ancestry with the Red Sindhi in southern Pakistan, which it closely resembles.

The Danish Red is a large, high producing dairy breed found widely over Northern Europe, it is known by many names, Norwegian Red, Byelorussian Red, etc.
  The Crosses and Selection
The proposal is for a dual program in India and the Sudan. A herd of Butana cows in Sudan is to be inseminated with semen from Illawarra bulls in Australia, a herd of Sahiwal cows in India is to be inseminated with semen from Danish Red bulls in Northern Europe. To prevent inbreeding and loss of heterosis there must be at least a thousand cows in each herd in each generation and fifty to a hundred bulls must be used. The bull calves of the highest producing cows will be selected to sire the next generation. Semen from Butana X Illawarra bulls will be sent to India to inseminate the Sahiwal X Danish Red cows and vice versa. I propose the name Indosudan for the four breed synthetic.
Selection will be based on criteria established by the national Departments of Agriculture. Besides milk production, milkability (milk letdown) and teet formation (suitable for machine milking or not) might be considered. Fertility and tick resistance are very important, but they are pretty much self-selecting. Since the original breeding stock would all be deep red in color, the appearance of the Indosudan cattle should be pretty uniform. After two generations of mating within themselves (with selection for desired characteristics, mainly milk production and fertility under heat stress), the progeny of the four way crosses would be considered to be the new breed.




Sahiwal cow top, Sahiwal bull bottom
The Sahiwal is the top milk producer of any Zebu breed. It originated in the Montgomery district of Punjab in Pakistan, but is widely used in India and Pakistan.


Illawarra top two pictures, Red Sindhi bottom
The Illawarra breed was created in Australia as a mix of Milking Shorthorn and Ayrshire, there has been some infusion of red Holstein and Danish Red in some lines, but they are still mostly Milking Shorthorn and are affiliated with Milking Shorthorn breed associations in other countries.

The Red Sindhi is from southern Pakistan, it is smaller than the Sahiwal. I include its picture mainly because it resembles the Butana so closely in size, form and color, and I couldn't find any photos of Butana cows or mature bulls.
 
   

Mike Nassau
email: mikenassau@yahoo.com  

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