Feeding Requirement for Buffalo

 

Feeding of new born calves

 

Calves should be fed colostrum soon after birth within half an hour or at the most within two or three hours and continued for a minimum of 4 days, avoiding contamination fed at the rate of 1/10th of their body weight. It contains large quantities of immune bodies, which offer resistance against infections. Colostrum is rich in protein, minerals and vitamins especially vitamin A and has a laxative effect.
Up to 6 month old

 

Age of calf

Approx. body weight (kg)

Quantity of milk (kg)

Quantity of calf starter** (g)

Green grass (kg)

4 days to 4 weeks

25

2.5

Small qty.

Small qty.

4-6 weeks

30

3.0

50-100

Small qty.

6-8 weeks

35

2.5

100-250

Small qty.

8-10 weeks

40

2.0

250-350

Small qty.

10-12 weeks

45

1.5

350-500

1-0

12-16 weeks

55

-

500-750

1-2

16-20 weeks

65

-

750-1000

2-3

20-24 weeks

75

-

1000-1500

3-5

Growing buffalo

Age (months)

Approximate body weight (kg)

Concentrate mixture (kg)

Grass (kg)

6-9

70-100

1.5-1.75

5-10

9-15

100-150

1.75-2.25

10-15

15-20

150-200

2.25-2.50

15-20

Above 20

200-300

2.50-2.75

15-20

Adult female buffalo

When green grass is plenty

When paddy straw is the major roughage

Category

Concentrate mixture (Kg)

Green Grass (kg)

Concentrate Mixture (kg)

Green Grass (kg)

Paddy Straw (kg)

Dry buffalo

-

25 30

1.25

5.0

5 6

Milking

1 kg for every 2.5 - 3.0 kg of milk

30

1.25 + 1 kg for every 2.5 - 3.0 kg of milk

5.0

5 6

Pregnant

Production Allowance + 1 to 1.5 kg from 6th month of pregnancy

25 - 30

Maintenance + production + 1 to 1.5 kg from 6th month of pregnancy

5.0

5 - 6

Feeding schedule for working bullocks

 

Body weight

Normal work (4 hrs )

Heavy work (8 hrs.)

*Concentrate
mixture

Roughage
(straw)

*Concentrate
mixture

Roughage
(straw)

300 kg

2.5

5.0

3.5

5.0

350 kg

2.75

5.0

3.75

5.0

400 kg

3.0

5.0

4.00

5.0

*Concentrate mixtures

Tips for feeding dairy buffalo
  • Concentrate must be fed individually according to production requirements.
  • Good quality roughage saves concentrates. Approximately 20 kg of grasses (guinea, napier, etc.) or 6-8 kg legume fodder (cowpea, lucerne) can replace 1 kg of concentrate mixture (0.14-0.16 kg of DCP) in terms of protein content.
  • 1 kg straw can replace 4-5 kg of grass on dry matter basis.In this case the deficiency of protein and other nutrients should be compensated by a suitable concentrate mixture.
  • Regularity in feeding should be followed. Concentrate mixture can be fed at or preferably before milking half in the morning and the other half in the evening before the two milkings. Half the roughage ration can be fed in the forenoon after watering and cleaning the animals. The other half is fed in the evening, after milking and watering. High yielding animals may be fed three times a day (both roughage and concentrate). Increasing the frequency of concentrate feeding will help maintain normal rumen motility and optimum milk fat levels.
  • Over-feeding concentrates may result in off feed and indigestion.
  • Abrupt change in the feed should be avoided.
  • Grains should be ground to medium degree of fineness before being fed to cattle.
  • Long and thick-stemmed fodders such as Napier may be chopped and fed.
  • Highly moist and tender grasses may be wilted or mixed with straw before feeding. Legume fodders may be mixed with straw or other grasses to prevent the occurrence of bloat and indigestion.
  • Silage and other feeds, which may impart flavour to milk, may be fed after milking.
  • Concentrate mixture in the form of mash may be moistened with water and fed immediately. Pellets can be fed as such.
  • All feeds must be stored properly in well-ventilated and dry places. Mouldy or otherwise damaged feed should not be fed.
  • For high yielding animals, the optimum concentrate roughage ratio on dry matter basis should be 60:40.
Some recommended concentrate mixtures

Sl.no

Ingredients

Parts

1

Groundnut cake
Tamarind seed (decorticated)
Dried tapioca chips
Rice bran
Mineral mixture
Salt
 

30
15
30
22
2
1
 

2

Groundnut cake
Cotton seed
Maize/Jowar/ Rice
Tamarind seed (decorticated)
Rice bran
Mineral mixture
Salt
 

22
15
25
15
20
2
1
 

References Kerala Agricultural University. 2001. Package of Practices- Recommendations: Veterinary and Animal Husbandry, Kerala Agricultural University, Trichur. .