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Sunday, 18 Nov 2018
 
 
Murrah | Print |
Origin and distribution | Physical CharacteristicsPerformance | References

Origin: The Murrah buffalo is originally from Rohtak, Jind and Hisar districts of Haryana; Nabha and Patiala districts of Punjab states of India; and in Pakistan, but has been used to improve the milk production of dairy buffalo in other countries, such as Italy, Bulgaria, Egypt and Pakistan. The Murrah breed of Water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) is the premier milking buffalo. In Italy, it is the basis of Mozzarella cheese production, and therefore Italian Pizza. By Italian law, Mozzarella may only be made from buffalo milk, which is preferred for its very high butterfat content, up to 16% compared with 4% for European (Bos taurus) dairy breeds such as Jersey cattle and 8% for Zebu (Bos indicus) breeds such as Sahiwal. In Haryana, Murrah buffalo keeping has a special role as its husbandry has been the way of life. Consequently, Haryana has the privilege of being known as the livestock mint of India. The buffalo of Murrah breed, which is described as the “Asian tractor”, is in fact triple purpose animal — for milk, meat and work.

The Murrah buffalo is the finest genetic material of milk producing buffalo in the world. 
 

Physical Characteristics: Some of the important physical characteristics of Murrah include sound built, heavy wedge shaped body with comparatively small head, long face and neck. It has a jet black colour with white markings on the face and leg extremities but these are not generally preferred. The tail is long reaching the fetlock joint with black or white switch (8.0 inches).the horns are different from other breeds of buffalo – short, tight, turning backwards and upwards and finally spirally curving inward. The horns should be somewhat flattened. As the age advances the horns get loosened slightly but spiral curves increases. The skin is soft, smooth with scanty hairs as compared to other buffaloes. The udder is fully developed, drooping, with the teats equally distributed over the udder but hind teats are longer than fore teats. The loin is broader and sliding forward. The average height at withers for male is 1.42 meter and 1.32 meter for female. The length from point of shoulder to pin bone is 150.9 cm in males and 148.6 cm in females as an average for mature adult Murrah buffalo.

 

Performance:

Milk: The production of buffalo milk in the Asian-Pacific region exceeds 45 million tonnes annually of which over 30 million tonnes are produced in India alone. With selective breeding, improved management and the establishment of more dairy herds, milk yields are increasing worldwide.

Individual female animals produce an average of 3,000 litre-per-lactation. Many animals produce > 4,000 litres in a 300 day lactation. The potential for increased milk production therefore exists.  Daily lactation in peak period is about 14 to 15 litters but up to 31.5 Kg milk production had also been recorded. The elite Murrah buffalo produces above 18-littres milk per day. A peak milk yield of 31.5 kg in a day has been recorded from a champion Murrah buffalo in the All India Milk Yield Competition conducted by the Government of India.

It is an acknowledged fact that the buffalo is a better converter of coarse feeds into fat-rich milk even under harsh agro-climatic situations. Buffalo milk contains about twice as much butterfat as cow milk. There is no physiological need for concentrate feed to maintain this level. When concentrates are fed, the fat content rises. When fed ad lib, it can exceed 15 %. The buffalo, in fact, releases unwanted fat in the milk and stores only a minimum in the body tissues. In economic terms, therefore, the rearing of buffalo is advantageous than cow keeping. 

Meat: Recent investigations and trials have convincingly established the fact that when a buffalo is fed well and managed for early slaughter (at a live weight of 350 to 450 kg ), a yield of palatable, high-grade meat can be obtained at a competitive cost. A buffalo carcass has less fat, less bone and a higher proportion of muscle than a cattle carcass.
 
Furthermore a buffalo carcass does not need the customary and costly chill hanging for a specific period to ensure the "eatability" of the product. The buffalo is remarkable for its feed conversion ability. How it achieves this is not yet well understood.

The young buffalo calf achieves a daily weight gain of 800 grams without any supplement feed. Similarly, the power of the full-grown work-buffalo does not come from high level nutrients.

Murrah buffalo average mature body weight is 544.3 Kg and 453.6 Kg for males and females respectively. 

Work: Buffaloes are the most versatile of all work animals in the variety of tasks which they can be taught to undertake. The greatest output of thousands of buffaloes is in the form of work energy rather than the direct provision of food as milk or meat.

Reproduction: The average Age at fist calving of Murrah buffalo is 3 years. The Inter-calving period averages  400 to 500 days. This breed has a lactation period of about 300 days. (With minimum of ~230 days recorded under top quality Murrah). The dry period last for about three months, however, less than three may be there. Murrah has a gestation period of 310 days (average).

Table 1: Murrah Buffalo production and physical characteristics
 

Habitat

Central Haryana & Delhi

Average Production Traits

Phenotypic Traits

305 days Milk Yield

2000 Kg

Horns

Short & tightly curled

Age at First Calving

44 months

Colour

Jet-black

Lactation Length

300 days

Size

Long body with massive frame

Calving Interval

453 days

Forehead

Light neck and head

   

Tail

Long, White switch common

 Source – Central Institute for Research on Buffaloes (CIRB) - http://cirb.gov.in/buffalo/murrah.htm

Table 2: Murrah Buffalo production characteristics in different countries

Trait

Withers Height, cm

Weight, kg

Average daily

gain

CI, days

AFC, mo

Birth weight, kg

Milk yield/

lactation

Lactation length

Fat (%)

 

M

F

M

F

     

M

F

     

Brazil

140

135

750

550

501

   

35

30

1624

274

7

Equador

150

140

1000

950

501

   

30

25

1813

180

7.5

India

142

133

567

481

501

450

44

32.6

29.4

1828

300

7.2

Malaysia

140

130

550

450

800

450

40

30

26

1800

300

7

Nepal

150

140

567

431

     

32.6

29.4

     

Pakistan

                       

Sri Lanka

         

498

54

     

332

 

Vietnam

   

690

375

     

30

30

     

Source FAO DAD-IS 2009 (http://dad.fao.org/cgi-bin/EfabisWeb.cgi?sid=4cf62fe76d99eba64be35f25b069a41e,reportsreport13_50000020)

References

Agarwal, K.P. (2003). Augmentation of reproduction in buffaloes. 4th Asian Buffalo Congress Lead Papers, 121

Borghese, A (2003). Buffalo production systems in Europe and near East. 4th Asian Buffalo Congress Lead Papers, 13

Banerjee, G.C 1996; “Animal Husbandary” 7th ed. (reprited, 1996), p. 10 5 . Published by Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd

Borghese, A., M. Rasmussen, C.S. and Thomas 2007: Milking management of dairy buffalo. Ital. J. Anim. Sci. vol. 6, (Suppl. 2), 39-50

CIRB, 2008 Central Institute for Research on Buffaloes: Annual reports http://cirb.gov.in

ICAR, 1998 Technical series no. 1 International Workshop On Animal Recording For Smallholders In
Developing Countries. Anand (India) 20-23 October 1997

Kornel, D. and B.N. Patro, 1988. Genetic studies on the production and reproduction traits of Surti buffaloes. Indian J. Anim. Sci., 58: 1223–5.

FAO, 2005 REU Technical series 67: Buffalo Production and Research edited by Antonio Borghese

FAO 2007. State of the World’s Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture - India Country Report edited by Dafydd Pilling & Barbara Rischkowsky. Rome.

Jalatge, E.F.A and V. Buvanendran  1970: Statistical studies on characters associated with reproduction in the Murrah buffalo in Ceylon. Tropical Animal Health and Production 3: 114-124

Pathak, N.N. (2003). Buffalo production systems in India. 4th Asian Buffalo Congress Lead  Papers, 36.

Sebastian, L., V. D. Mudgal and P. G. Nair 1970: Comparative Efficiency of Milk Production by Sahiwal Cattle and Murrah Buffalo J Anim Sci  30:253-256.

Sasaki, M. (1997). Asian buffalo, small farmers asset. Dairy India, 5th Ed., 119-121.

Singh , I, P S Yadav and R K Sharma 2003 Artificial Breeding and Reproduction Management in Buffaloes -  Compendium of Lectures delivered in the ICAR sponsored Summer School.

Tien, N. Q. & Tripathi, V. N. 1991. Effect of age and weight at first calving on first lactation production in Murrah buffaloes. Buffalo Bulletin 10:1 p. 3-6.

Web Resource

Breeds of Livestock, Oklahoma State University livestock database http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/other/buffalo/murrah

FAO Domestic Animal Diversity Information System
http://dad.fao.org/cgi-bin/EfabisWeb.cgi?sid=4cf62fe76d99eba64be35f25b069a41e,reportsreport13_50000020  
 

 

 
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Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 December 2010 12:51