Riverine Buffalo

Bubalus bubali   s

Bubalus bubalis

  

The riverine or river buffalo is a sub-species of the water buffalo and it is believed that they originated from India as a milk, meat and draught animal.  Riverine buffalo were introduced to Australia for commercial farming purposes due to the quality of the milk they produce which contains 8 percent butterfat.  Breeds include the Murrah with its curled horns, the Surati, and the Jafarabadi.

Breeding

During the dry season, cows and bulls live apart.  At the onset of the wet season, males move into the areas occupied by females.  Mating extends over 8 months with a peak in March.  One male may mate with several, but not all cows in the group.  Gestation period is 312-334 days and in a lifetime of 20 years, a female may produce up to 12 young. 

Behaviour

When food and water are abundant, it sleeps at night in a more or less permanent camp in wooded country, moving out at dawn to a feeding ground.  Feeding ceases by mid-morning when it moves to water, first to drink and then to wallow.  In mid-afternoon it feeds again, returning to camp at dusk.  If the dry season is extensive it grazes at night and spends most of the day in wallows.  Swamp buffalo live in groups of 50-250, each having their own range (grazing area, camp, wallow, drinking point and rubbing trees).  When food and water are scarce, individuals often die rather than move to another area.

Diet

The Riverine Buffalo grazes selectively during the wet season on sedges and aquatic grasses.  In the dry season it consumes most available grasses and herbage.

Farm AnimalsLuke