Water buffalo are being used for ploughing and other types of labor, and as a source of meat, leather and milk. They may be found around Asia and in places like Turkey, Italy, Australia and Egypt to mansion a few.
They are mostly present in places where there is a lot of rainfall or water because they get dehydrated quickly and require water and mud to wallow around in. The water buffalo population in the world is about 172 million, with ninety six percent of them in Asia.
Water buffalo are called carabao in the Philippines and are regarded as the national animal there. In India their milk is a main source of protein. In Southeast Asia they plough hemp gardens.
One Thai farmer said, “they’re the spine of the nation and have been very important to our way of life. “Known as the “living tractor of the East,” they have since been introduced to Europe, Africa, the Americas, Australia, Japan, and Hawaii. There are 74 types of domestic water buffalo.
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 (Philippines), and not forgetting 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 domestic water buffalo.
There are two kinds of water buffalo–each considered a subspecies–are located 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, located from Assam in the west 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 research indicate that the swamp kind may have originated in China and domesticated about 4,000 years back, while the river type may have originated from India and was domesticated around 5,000 years back.
Coming from Encyclopedia Britannica, the river buffalo was around by 2500 BC in India and 1000 BC in Mesopotamia. The breed was selected mainly for its milk, which consists of 8 % butterfat. Breeds range from the Murrah with its curled horns, the Surati, and the Jafarabadi.
Swamp buffalo so much closely look like wild water buffalo and are used as draft livestock 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 get on the back of them to their wallows after their labours and clean their faces plus ears.
These livestock are especially ideal for tilling rice fields, and the milk is richer in fat and protein than that of the milk cow. Throughout much of Southeast Asia and South Asia water buffalo remain the chief draft animals for farming, although tractors have substituted them in many areas, particularly where crops other than rice are produced.
Buffalo, predominantly of the swamp breed is very much matched to paddy culture. It’s capable to flourish on rough fodder and roughage hard to digest by other animals, and are found in all sorts of farming areas.
Even in poor places, small paddy livestock farmers mostly own at least one animal. Following maturing, buffalo are being used as draft livestock for five or six years, or until they are too old to work, then they are slaughtered and sold for meat.
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There’s much more involved in managing productive water buffaloes. A good beginning is to buy your own water buffaloes, but before you do that get our recommended ebook about raising water buffaloes for newbies to avoid disaster mistakes.
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