Prospect of Nutrition and Feeding for Sustainable Buffalo Production

May 16, 2013

Sustainable Buffalo Production
Sustainable Buffalo Production

Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) is known as efficient convertor of poor quality forages into high quality milk and meat. Buffalo is mainly categorized as Asian and Mediterranean with two main sub Species (River and Swamp type) present in Asia. At present, around 95% of the world buffalo population is contributed by Asia; where animals are mostly fed on low quality roughages and crop residues with poor nutritive value resulting in poor production, reproduction with delayed onset of puberty in heifers and high mortality in young stock.

Recent investigations showed that use of bST in buffalo fed high energy density diets and increasing the level of rumen un-degradable proteins in the diets of lactating dairy buffalo, improved the production and reproduction performance. Furthermore, use of stair step feeding system in growing heifer reduced the age at puberty with significant reduction in the cost of feeding. Further, milk fed calves can be successfully and economically weaned as early as 8 weeks of age without any adverse effects on growth when given free access to good quality starter diet.

Despite the recent developments in buffalo nutrition, a number of other areas; like establishment of nutrient requirements for lactating buffalo according to stage of lactation and production status, requirements for growing heifers aimed to reduce age at puberty, development of milk replacer for young buffalo calves, use of various feed additives and performance enhancers, changes in rumen microbial ecology and reduction in methane production, still need considerable attention. Full Story Click Here

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