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  Bulgarian Murrah

From 1962 to 1990, Murrah buffaloes from India were imported into Bulgaria and a new population of buffalo was created by upgrading the local buffalo.

Population size: 14 000

The buffalo population in Bulgaria has dramatically declined since the Second World War, with the advent of Holstein and mechanization. Furthermore, after 1989, privatization forced the cooperative buffalo farms to close down. The private sector is composed of small units which have made selection and recording more difficult.

Description: Black or black and brown or dark grey in colour.

             

Body weight of adult male is 700 kg.

Body weight of adult female is 600 kg.

Distribution: All over Bulgaria, Romania and South America.

Husbandry

Buffaloes are traditionally managed under domestic conditions together with the calf. They are hand-milked twice a day. Some milking machines are now available. During winter, they are kept in sheds and are fed different kinds of roughages: barley and wheat straw, cornstalks. In addition, they are given concentrate mixtures, sometimes mixed with beet pulp. During the summer, they graze all day long in the marshy areas and in the evening they return to their sheds. They are mated mainly through natural mating. Some villages provide artificial insemination. In state buffalo farms (200-400 buffaloes) they are managed according to their condition: heifers, lactating, pregnant, dry. Milking buffaloes are kept in closed sheds and tied up. During winter, they are allowed outside in paddocks for part of the day, in summer they are allowed to graze. They are always given concentrate mixture in addition to roughage. AI is used on all buffaloes. Average slaughter weight is 400 kg, at the age of 16 months. Carcass yield is 50.4 percent. Overall growth rate is 750 g/day.

Dairy performance:

Lactation duration : 270-305 days

Milk yield : 1800 kg

Milk fat : 7.04 percent

Products

Yoghurt and milk by-products. Processed meat products are very important: all kinds of salami and sausages, Pastarma, lukanska and flat sausages.

Sources: Peeva et al, 1991; Peeva, 1996; Alexiev, 1998.