‘Karan Fries’: A new dairy breed in Bhutan

Karan Fries at Samtse
Karan Fries at Samtse

28 September, Samtse: The Department of Livestock (DoL) officially released a dairy breed called ‘Karan Fries’ at the National Jersey Breeding Centre (NJBC) in Samtse on a trial basis to provide more options of dairy breeds for the livestock farmers in the country.

As envisioned by Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji, the Agriculture Minister to look into providing more choices of dairy breeds for Bhutanese farmers to help boost milk production in a sustainable manner, DoL imported 30 numbers of Karan Fries from Haryana, India in June 2014. The cattle are stationed at NJBC to evaluate its adaptability, production and reproduction performances under Bhutanese conditions.

Karan Fries was developed in India at the National Dairy Research Institute at Karnal by crossing Holstein Friesian with Tharparkar, an Indian milch breed. Holstein-Friesian cattle are best known for its milk production and are the most established dairy breed worldwide. Tharparkar cows are average milk yielders but are highly valued for their ability to withstand variable environmental conditions, higher resistance to diseases and capacity to thrive on low feed resources. The cross between these two breed exploited the desirable traits from both the breeds and was named as Karan Fries which is very popular amongst dairy farmers of North India.

According to Dr. Tashi Samdup, the Livestock Director, the breed would enhance milk production and is coupled with its high disease resistance and adaptability to local conditions. He added that such breeding intervention fits in well with the Department’s objective of enhancing milk production and import reduction.

Mr. Tashi Dendup, the Farm Manager at NJBC said that the study on breed’s adaptability and others under Bhutanese condition is going well. He added that the crossbreeding strategies at the farmer’s level will be developed once the trials are over. The breed at the moment in its first lactation produces 12 to 15 litres of milk daily and is expected to produce at least 18 to 25 litres in second and third lactation when it is fully adapted.

The research protocols which have been jointly developed by the National Dairy Development Centre, Yusipang; RDC-Jakar and NJBC will scientifically evaluate and declare its first performance result after one year of the gestation period.

Reported by Towchu Rabgay, Livestock Officer, DoL

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