The Jersey breed originated on the Island of Jersey, a small British island in the English Channel off the coast of France. The Jersey is one of the oldest dairy breeds, having been reported by authorities as being purebred for nearly six centuries.
Jersey bulls, while small as compared to the other dairy breeds, are extremely masculine. They are quite muscular about their crests and shoulders and are considerably less refined throughout than are the females. The same general qualities of straight lines and diary conformation as are found in the cows are desired in bulls. They usually range in weight from 1200 to 1800 pounds.
The exact origins of the breed are difficult to determine but it is known that in the 18th century, herds of small black-and-white cattle were brought into northern Holland and Friesland from northern Jutland to replace animals that had fallen victim to disease and flooding. These animals were crossed with the existing Dutch cattle and formed the basis of the Friesian.
Before the establishment of the Netherlands herdbook in 1873 and the Friesland herdbook in 1879, both black-pied and red-pied animals were maintained separately. The preference for black-pied cattle, particularly in the United States, led to the further segregation of red-pied animals and presently this colour variation only exists in small number in the Netherlands.
The Sahiwal originated in the dry Punjab region which lies along the Indian-Pakistani border. They were once kept in large herd by professional herdsmen called "Junglies". However with the introduction of irrigation to the region they began to be kept in smaller numbers by the farmers of the region, who used them as draft and dairy animals.
The Sahiwal is one of the best dairy breeds in India and Pakistan. It is tick-resistant, heat-tolerant and noted for its high resistance to parasites, both internal and external. Cows average 2270 kg of milk during a lactation while suckling a calf and much higher milk yields have been recorded. Due to their heat tolerance and high milk production they have been exported to other Asian countries as well as Africa and the Caribbean. As oxen they are generally docile and lethargic, making them more useful for slow work.
This breed is being developed in Australia by the Queensland Government for use in the tropical areas. The breed was evolved using the Sahiwal, a dairy strain of Zebu from Pakistan, and the Australian Holstein-Friesian.
Since the 1960’s when research work began on this breed, notable progress has been achieved towards the objective of combining tick resistance and heat tolerance with reliable milk production and fertility. It has now been extensively tested in the tropical and sub-tropical areas of Australia. Under these conditions, it outperforms the Holstein Friesian by approximately 15 percent.
In an effort to overcome the problems of traditional dairy breeds performing at reduced levels under hot, humid and tick-infested conditions, the Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) developed the Australian Milking Zebu (AMZ). This began in the mid-1950’s with the introduction of Pakistani Sahiwal and Red Sindhi dairy cattle, which were mated initially to high-producing Jersey cattle. Later, some infusion of Illawarra, Guernsey and Holstein-Friesian bloodlines occurred.
There is every reason to believe that the Khillari breed, with its several varieties, owes its origin to the Hillikar breed of cattle from Mysore State. Unlike some of the other breeds of cattle in India, it does not take its name from a geographical area. Khillar means a herd of cattle, while Khillari means belonging to Khillar; hence the herdsman is known as Khillari; in the Satpura range of hills, he is known as Thillari. There is a special tribe of professional cattle breeders in this region known as Thillaris.
There are four principal types of Khillaris prevalent in the different regions of Bombay State. The variety Hanam Khillar, or sometimes known as Atpadi Mahal (the word Mahal shows strong similarity of cattle of Mysore State), is prevalent in the southern Mahratta States of Bombay. In the districts of Sholapur and Satara and the adjoining areas the variety known as Mhaswad Khillari is prevalent. In the area of the Satpura range of hills comprising the West Khandesh district the variety prevalent is known as Tapi Khillari or Thillari. A variety of more recent origin known as Nakali Khillari - Nakali means "imitation" - is found in adjacent areas of these regions.