Buffalo Breeds in Pakistan

Created on Thursday, 10 November 2011 Written by Bakhat B.Khan
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buf-1There are three types of buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) of the old world: Cape buffalo of Africa, water buffalo of the Near and Middle East, and Swamp or marsh buffalo of the Far East. These types differ from each other in outward appearance, habits, and temperament.

 

 

buf-1

There are three types of buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) of the old world: Cape buffalo of Africa, water buffalo of the Near and Middle East, and Swamp or marsh buffalo of the Far East. These types differ from each other in outward appearance, habits, and temperament.

Buffaloes found in the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent thus belong to the second group, i.e. the water buffalo or riverine buffalo. Although raised for milk production, Pakistani buffaloes are considered to be triple purpose domestic animals (milk, meat, and draught). Three buffalo breeds found in Pakistan are Kundhi, Nili-Ravi, and Azi Kheli.

 

A.        Kundhi

kundhi

 

Habitat:  Kundhi buffaloes are found throughout Sindh, particularly on both sides of
the Indus river from Kashmore in the north to Shah Bandar in the south on the coast of the Arabian Sea. They are also found in some parts of Balochistan province.

Physical Characteristics:  These are massive, jet-black animals. Their horns are broad at the base and taper upward and inward, giving them a fishhook shape, hence the name ‘Kundhi’. White spots on the body and straight horns are considered undesirable in this breed. They have a broad forehead, short neck, and medium-sized ears. The average age at maturity is 30 months in males and 36 months in females. Adult males weigh 500-600 kg, and females 300-400 kg. They have large, strong udders, and milk yield per lactation is 1700-2200 litres with over 6.5 percent butter fat.

 

B.        Nili-Ravi

NiliRavi

 

Habitat:  The hometract of the Nili-Ravi buffalo includes Lahore, Sheikhupura, Faisalabad, Okara, Sahiwal, Pakpattan and Vehari districts of Central Punjab; and Multan and parts of Bahawalpur and Bahawalnagar districts of southern Punjab. However, because of their well-recognized dairy qualities, these animals are now found all over the country. Nili-Ravi buffaloes are in great demand in several other countries as well. Nili and Ravi were recognized as separate breeds until 1960’s when merging of the two breeds was accepted in the form of Nili-Ravi breed. Some animals of Nili and Ravi as separate breeds are still available in their respective hometracts: Nili (valley of Sutlej river), Ravi (Sandal Bar area of river Ravi).

Physical Characteristics:  These buffaloes are massive, somewhat wedge-shaped animals. They are mostly black, but often have white markings on the forehead, face, and muzzle, and lower part of the legs. The tail switch is often white. They have small curly horns, wall eyes, and a large, strong udder. Males attain maturity at 30 months, and females at 36 months. Milk yield is 1800-2500 litres per lactation with 6.5 percent butter-fat. Males may be used for draught purposes, especially for preparing the land for paddy cultivation and are a good source of beef. Adult males weigh 550-650 kg, while females weigh 350-450 kg. White markings extending above hock and knee and over the neck and body constitute a serious disqualification.

 

C.         Azi Kheli 

 

This breed belongs to Swat valley in the NWFP province. The colour is light brown (or albino) with some animals fully or partially black. Productivity almost in the same range as of Kundhi buffaloes. Estimated population size is around 50 thousand. Detailed studies of various characteristics of the breed are in progress (Khan, 2005).

 

Prof. Dr. Abdul Ghafoor

Director Research,

University of Agriculture 

Faisalabad 

 

 

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