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Animal Husbandry > Buffalo

Management

Feeding

General principles of feeding buffaloes are almost similar to those recommended for dairy cattle. Buffaloes have the capacity to consume more roughage, which they can digest better than dairy cattle. The fat percentage of buffalo milk is higher and hence buffaloes must be given more feed per unit of milk production. Milking animals must be given production ration of one kg concentrate mixture (0.14 to 0.16 kg DCP and 0.7 kg TDN) for every 2 kg of milk produced over and above the maintenance ration.

Animals in advanced pregnancy are fed principally the same manner as for dairy cattle. About two months of dry period is necessary. Besides maintenance and lactation ration, an additional 1-1.5 kg of concentrate may be provided from sixth month for the proper health of the dam and development of foetus. For buffalo calves, the general principles and feeding schedule are similar to that of the cattle.

Feeding Schedule

Feeding Schedule for different breeds of Buffaloes

Sl.No.

Type of animal

Feeding during

Green Fodder

Dry Fodder

Concentrate

1.

Murrah (7 to 8 litre milk per day)

Lactation days

Dry days

25 to 30

20 to 25

4 to 5

5 to 6

3.5 to 4.0

0.5 to 1.0

2.

Mehasana (6 to 7 litre milk per day)

Lactation days

Dry days

15 to 20

10 to 15

4 to 5

5 to 6

3.0 to 3.5

0.5 to 1.0

3.

Surti (5 to 6 litre milk per day)

Lactation days

Dry days

10 to 15

5 to 10

4 to 5

5 to 6

2.5 to 3.0

0.5 to 1.0

(Source: NDDB)

Protection against heat stress

  • As far as possible use draught animals for work during early morning, evening or night avoiding mid-day.
  • After work, give at least 15 minutes rest followed by a bath or wallowing in cold water.
  • Provide green cover and landscaping around the sheds.
  • Before start of work and after work provide cool wholesome water to drink.
  • Well ventilated thatched sheds may be provided.
  • When there is no work, tie the animals under a shady tree.
  • Give adequate rest in between/during work periods.
  • Buffaloes may preferably be used for wet ploughing.

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