Water buffalo are being used for ploughing and other kinds of work force, and as a source of meat, leather and milk. They can be found around Asia and in places like Turkey, Italy, Australia and Egypt as well.
They are mostly present in places where there is a lot of rain or water because they get dehydrated very easily and require water and mud to wallow around in. The water buffalo population in the world is around 172 million, with ninety six percent of them in Asia.
Water buffalo are known as carabao in the Philippines and are regarded as the national animal there. In India their milk is a major source of protein. In Southeast Asia they plough grain fields.
One Thai animal farmer said, “they’re the spine of the nation and are very important to our way of life. “Known as the “living tractor of the East,” they have been introduced to Europe, Africa, the Americas, Australia, Japan, and Hawaii. There are seventy four types of this livestock.
The water buffalo or domestic Asian water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) is a big bovid located on the Indian subcontinent to Vietnam and Peninsular Malaysia, in Sri Lanka, in Luzon Island in the Philippines, and in Borneo. The wild water buffalo (Bubalus arnee) native to Southeast Asia is known as a special species but very likely represents the ancestor of the local water buffalo.
There are 2 kinds of water buffalo–each know as a subspecies–are based on morphological and behavioural criteria:
1) the river buffalo of the Indian subcontinent and further west to the Balkans and Italy; and
2) the swamp buffalo, found from Assam in the west going through the southeast of Asia to the Yangtze valley of China in the east.
The origins of the domestic water buffalo breeds are debated, although results of a phylogenetic study indicate that the swamp kind may have originated in China and domesticated around 4,000 years ago, while the river type may have came from India and was domesticated around 5,000 years back.
Researched from Encyclopedia Britannica, the river buffalo was around by 2500 BC in India and 1000 before Christ in Mesopotamia. This kind was chosen mainly for its milk, which contains 8 % butterfat. Breeds include the Murrah with their curled horns, the Surati, and the Jafarabadi.
Swamp buffalo so much closely resemble wild water buffalo and are used as draft animals in rice paddies throughout Southeast Asia. Breeds range from the 900-kg (2, 000-pound) Thai and haizi to the 400-kg wenzhou and carabao. Kids ride them to their wallows after their labours and clean their faces and ears.
These animals are especially ideal for tilling hemp fields, and their milk is richer in fat and more protein than that of the milk cattle. Through much of Southeast Asia and South Asia water buffalo remain the key draft livestock for cultivation, although tractors have substituted them in many areas, particularly where crops besides rice are cultivated.
Buffalo, predominantly of the swamp kind is well suited to paddy culture. It’s capable to flourish on rough fodder and roughage indigestible by other animals, and are found in all kinds of farming areas.
Even in poor locations, small paddy farmers usually have at least 1 animal. After maturing, buffalo can be used as draft livestock for 5 or six years, or until they are very old to work, then they are killed for meat production.
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There’s much more involved in managing healthy water buffaloes. A good beginning is to get your own water buffaloes, but before you do that get our recommended guide about starting a water buffalo farm to avoid disaster mistakes.
On the other hand if you’re serious about livestock farming and want to raise various types of animals such as goats, sheep, cattle, yaks, chickens, geese, rabbits and horses then get yourself a copy of the one and only ebook to livestock farming here: GuideToProfitableLivestock.Com
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