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Best BREEDING and CALVING Seasons of BUFFALO

 

Records indicate that India, the inter-regional difference in the reproductive trait of Indian water buffalo is very little. The breeding and corresponding calving seasons are almost same throughout India, the breeding season from September to February and the calving season from July to November. During this breeding period, the bulls have been found to be very active sexually and the quality and quantity of semen is very high particularly during winter (November to February).

The buffalo cow show the maximum of ovarian activity and largest percentage of them conceive during this period. This holds the same for river as well as swamp buffaloes.

There is a big gap in our knowledge concerning the biology of seasonal sexual periodicity in the domestic buffaloes. The existence of a biological mechanism which makes them sensitive to the breeding stimulus during a particular season of the year is well established, but the exact nature of the internal mechanism that controls seasonal responses is not known. The endocrine mechanism of any animal may be responsible for its seasonal sex periodicity. During the late autumn and early winter seasons average day length and daily temperature is associated with the sexual vigour of the animal.

High environmental temperature above 23.6o C upsets the normal physiological functions of the buffaloes. High environmental temperature adversely affects spermatogenesis in the buffalo bulls and ovarian activities in the buffalo cows. It has been established that species evolved in the tropics and sub tropics do not respond to seasonal light stimuli and they appear to be sexually activated by decreasing day length and or developing temperature. Although the seasons are not so markedly differentiated in the tropics and the sub tropics like the temperate zone, there are some perceptible variations between seasons which become very much pronounced in the tropical and monsoon belts within these regions. And with this these narrow seasonal variations the buffalo responds sexually to seasonal influences which induce high or low intensity of sexual behaviour during a particular season of the year.

In a study conducted on murrah buffaloes it was found that the conception rate was highly correlated with day length and rainfall. The rainfall may be indirectly correlated with the conception rate through its effects on the growth of vegetation. The level of nutrition has been identified as an important factor on controlling reproduction of all animals. Among the climatic factor only. the effects of temperature and humidity are known from a limited number of experiments in India.

There is a need of research and investigation on the factors responsible for the seasonal sex periodicity on the domestic water buffaloes and to find out suitable husbandry practices for extending its breeding period and thereby to maintain the supply of milk for a greater part of the year than at present. The breeding and calving seasons of water buffalo is seen in table.

 

Table : Breeding and calving seasons of water buffalo

 

Sl.No

Type, breed

Country, place

Breeding and calving season and other features of seasonal sex periodicity in buffalo

1

River type

 

Buffaloes show a distinct seasonal sex periodicity

2

Indian buffalo

Govt. farms, India

Breeding period with the maximum number of buffalo cows coming into heat: Oct to Feb. the peak month being October. Approx. 61.7% of the calvings take place between July to November

3

Indian village buffalo

Insemination figs. Of 13,620 villages in Coimbatore District, India

Peak period of heat Oct to Feb

4

Indian (murrah)

Animal genetics section, Livestock Res. Station, Mathura, North India

Buffalo cows were observed to indicate seasonal sex-periodicity in respect of oestrus and conception; the period with highest oestrus frequency (62.8%) was Oct to Feb with peak in Dec. and this period coincided with higher conception rate, during the period April to Sept. with comparatively longer days and higher intensity of the sun, ovarian activity appears to be adversely affected. Bulls were least active sexually during humid season in respect of semen ejaculation and output

5

Indian (murrah)

Hissar, Haryana, N.India

Definite seasonal periodicity in calving was observed: 79.5% of the buffalo cows calved during July to Nov., the minimum (1.8%) during April

6

Indian buffalo

India

Most calving occurred during the period June to December

7

Indian buffalo

Indian Vet. Res. Inst. Izatnagar, N.India

Marked seasonal variation in the quality of the buffalo semen was observed: the quality was best during the period Sept to Oct. which corresponds with the maximum ovarian activity in the she-buffaloes

8

Indian (murrah)

A.I Centres in U.P, N. India

Sexual vigour of the he-buffalo was strongly associated with season, the period Aug. to Feb. was the best when 89% of the bulls were sexually very active. They were least active during hot months April to June

9

Indian buffalo (murrah mainly)

Military dairy farms, N.India

A definite breeding cycle was observed in buffaloes: the largest percentage (50% approx.) of conceptions in first and second calving females took place during Oct. to Dec

10

Indian (murrah)

Agri. College, Kanpur, N.India

Definite seasonal periodicity was observed in the number of services performed: approx. 82% of the services took place during Sept to Jan, Nov. having the highest number of services. The distribution of services according to season is given below: winter (Dec to Feb) 34.2% spring (March to May) 9.5% autumn (Sept. to Nov) 54.1% summer (June to Aug) 2.2%. Highest calving period: July to November

11

Indian (murrah)

Andhra Pradesh, S.India

The number of animal in oestrus was highest (33.6%) in winter and lowest (15.4%) in summer 65% of the inseminations performed during October to February

12

Indian (murrah)

Assam vet. College, E.India

Maximum number of calving took place during August to December

13

Indian (surati)

Poona Agri. College, Maharashtra, India

Buffaloes show a seasonal sex-periodicity

14

Indian (murrah)

Livestock farm, Chakganjaria, U.P, N.India

Definite seasonal periodicity in respect of insemination services was observed: the highest percentage (82%) of inseminations was performed during Sept to Jan; 905 of the animals calved during July to December

The gestation period of different types of buffaloes is given in table. which reveals that the gestation period of India buffaloes is of intermediate duration.

 Table : Gestation Period

 

Sl.No

Type, breed

Country, place

Gestation length in days

 

River type

 

 

1

River buffaloes

India

317

2

Indian “

300

3

“           “

310-314

4

“           “

304

5

“           (Surati)

313

6

“           (Buffalo)

314-320

7

“           (Murrah)

S. India

 

B

South Indian buffaloes:

 

 

1

Farm bred

 

305

2

Purchased

 

302

3

Indian (Murrah)

India

310

4

“                “

Hissar, Punjab, India

312 + 0.3

5

“                “

India

304.9

6

“            Buffaloes

Military dairy farms, India

307

7

“        (Farm bred)

Military dairy farms, N.India

308.1 + 9.6

8

“        (Murrah)

Agri. Univ. Pantnagar, N.India

311.3

9

“        (Murrah)

Agri. N. India

Range (287-56)

10

“             “

Assam Vet. College, E. India

305.49 + 3.45

 

The calving interval is the period between two consecutive calvings and its two components are the service period and the gestation period. Among the reproductive traits calving interval is the most important criterion. Table gives the calving intervals in different types of buffaloes.

 

Table : Calving interval in water buffalo

 

Sl.No

Type, breed

Country, place

Calving interval in days

 

 

 

Range

Average

A

River type

 

 

 

1

Indian buffalo

Rural areas in seven breeding tracts, India

-

541

2

Indian (Murrah)

Murrah breeding tract (rural)

-

441

3

Indian (murrah)

Military dairy farms in India

-

419

4

Purchased

-

407

5

Indian (farm bred)

Military dairy farms, India

-

454

6

Indian buffalo

India

-

420 + 88

7

Indian (murrah)

Agri. Inst., Allahabad, N.India

401-473

442

8

Indian buffalo

India

400-465

444

9

Indian (murrah)

Terai state farm, U.P. N.India

-

455

10

Indian (murrah)

Govt. livestock, Hissar, Haryana, N. India

-

513.4

11

Indian buffalo

Aarey milk colony, India

428.6 to 634.8

461 + 10.2

12

Indian (murrah)

Philippines

-

626

13

-

485.2

14

-

542.5 + 44.9

15

327-1062

520.6

16

Alabang stock farm, Philippines

-

425 + 49


The period between calving and conception is known as the service period and its length is dependent on post partum oestrus and the actual conception requiring one, two or more services. The post partum oestrus and the service period in water buffaloes wise given in tables.

 

Table: Post-partum oestrus in the water buffalo

 

Sl.No

Type, breed

Country, place

Average post-partum oestrus in days

A

River type

 

 

1

Indian (murrah)

India

87

 

                “

115

2

“             “

Livestock Res. Sta. U.P. Agri. Univ. N. India

185 + 13.65

3

“             “

Philippines

49.6 (range 45-53)

 

Lactation is an integral part of the reproductive cycle. In Indian conditions the average lactation period is 280-300 days depending on the breed and level of management. If the animals are not bred in time after parturition. They continue to give milk till 800-400 days. The wide variations in lactation yield and its length indicate that there is considerable scope for the improvement of buffaloes by proper feeding, breeding and management.

 

Table: Service period in water buffaloes

 

Sl. No

Type, breed

Country, place

Service period in days (avg)

A

River type

 

 

 

River buffalo

 

 

1

Indian (murrah)

U.P Coll. Of Vety. And A.H., Mathura

42

143.9+5.5

2

Indian buffalo

India Vet. Res. Inst., Izatnagar (U.P)

117 (for first four calvings)

3

Indian buffalo

India

201+11.3

4

Indian (murrah)

NDRI, Bangalore

173.9+6.2

5

 

202+8

6

Indian buffalo

India

149.36+7.4



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