Animal Husbandry - Buffalo
01. Water Buffalo breeding
02. Breeding and Calving Seasons for Water Buffalo
03. Gestation period of different types of buffaloes
04. Reproductive Efficiency of Water Buffalo
05. Artificial insemination in buffalo - features
Agri and Envt article spotlightHow to build greenhouse
Article on greenhouse technology and explains how to build a greenhouse, Size of the Greenhouse, Structural Details, Sit...
Latest agricultural articles
Biomass briquetting and utilization
Features of garden - floral clocks, japanese lanterns, fountains etc.
Features of garden - furnitures, bridges, seats, bird baths and sundials
Features of garden - fences, garden gates, arches and walls
Features of garden - greenhouse, summer house, steps etc
features of garden - terrace garden, kitchen garden, children garden
Different gardens - water garden, bog garden and wild garden
Features of a flower garden
Designing a flower garden (contd)
How to design a flower garden
You are reading article on Water buffalo breeding
Animal Husbandry - Water Buffalo Breeding and its Characteristics
II. Growth Characteristics
A. Buffalo Birth weight
B. Buffalo Growth rate
C. Buffalo Maturity
D. Age at First Calving
III. Breeding and Calving Seasons of Buffalo
IV. Reproductive Efficiency of Water Buffalo
V. Artificial Insemination
VI. Progeny Testing in Buffalo Breeding
The domestic water buffalo, apart from being a farm animal, is a major source of milk and butter fat, besides meat and tractive energy. In order to improve them, systematic breeding is necessary. So far it has been a neglected aspect world wide. But now a lot of studies related to breeding are in progress. This booklet describes the main aspects of reproduction and breeding of buffaloes.
I. Introduction to Buffalo breeding
Buffalo breeding; like any other branch of animal husbandry, is a enterpreneur in nature, and its success depends to a great extent on the understanding of the whole process of its reproduction and the various factors involved in it. The efficiency of the reproductive process in the water buffalo is linked up with a number of factors controlled by heredity and environment. Among these, its slow growth rate, delayed maturity, seasonality in breeding, higher age at first calving, longer calving intervals etc. are some of the major problems in buffalo breeding. A sound knowledge of the physiology of reproduction of the buffalo is essential for the farmer to have better control over these factors.
II. Growth Characteristics
The birth weight, growth rate and maturity of an animal are important parameters of the growth characteristics. The dirth of scientific data on these aspects of the water buffalo except its birth weight, constitutes a serious weakness in the breeding programmes. These characteristics have been discussed here with special reference to genetic and environmental factors which are causing variation in these characters.
A. Birth weight
The birth weight of water buffalo is higher than that of all domestic breeds of cattle except Friesian cattle. If we compare the birth weight of Egyptian, Indian and Pakistan buffaloes, the birth weight of Egyptian buffaloes is significantly higher than the those in the Indian sub-continent. This clear dit1erence in birth weight between the breeds is mainly due to the difference in the genetic factors and different climatic conditions under which the breeding has been done.
The birth weight of buffalo varies with respect of the s*x of the calf and the calving sequence. The average birth weight of male buffalo is significantly higher than the female buffaloes. During subsequent calvings the birth weight of calves increases up to the fourth calving when the dams attain full maturity weight. In a study, birth weight of the male calves was found to increase in subsequent calvings and there were no significant increase in the weight of female calves. The average birth weight is found to be ranging between 27.3 to 33.2 kg. Table 1 provides the birth weights recorded at different places in India.
B. Growth rate
The growth rate of the domestic water buffalo is lower than that of cattle. It is a slow maturing animal and its growth continues till 10th year, although rate of growth is slower after the fifth year. The delayed maturity affects the age at first calving and ultimately the total productive life of the animal. But very little work and experiments have been done on this aspect. Due to lack of information regarding the growth rate of buffaloes, generally the growth rate of cattle are used as basis for buffaloes also. This is a serious drawback of buffalo breeding throughout the world. It is found that the average longivity and useful life of murrah buffaloes is 127 months and 83 months respectively: For increasing the longivity of buffaloes, it is very essential to reduce the age at first calving and the calving interval. Among the non-genetic factors, feeding aspect of buffaloes need attention. In India, there is a general neglect in the feeding of buffaloes during the early stages of their growth period which adversely affects their subsequent growth rate and delays their maturity.
The se*ual maturity of male and female buffaloes is attained in about 2-3 years depending on the type of breed management practice and feeding. The average age of buffalo bull at first service is 3.5 years while the heifers come into heat at 2-2.5 years age. The oestrous cycle in river type of buffalo is around 21 days and the duration of heat varies from 21-24 hours. In Indian buffaloes the average heat cycle length is 37 days and oestrous could be for 24 hours. In India generally river type butIaloes are more common. It has been observed that the onset of heat is not very pronounced and often it is difficult to detect. This is the main reason for the highest percentage of the conception failures during the first service. There is considerable scope for reducing the age of first conception by proper feeding and management practices particularly the careful checking of heat.
Next : Breeding and Calving Seasons for Water Buffalo