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Kuhzestani or Iraqi buffalo

Population size: 200 000

Description

Horns are short and grow upward forming a ring at the end. In size, it is very likely the biggest buffalo breed in the world.

             

Height at withers of adult male is 148 cm,

Body weight is 800 kg.

Height at withers of adult female is 141 cm,

Body weight is 600 kg.

Distribution

In Iran, they are located in Kuhzestan and Lorestan. In Iraq, mainly in the South, in the peri-urban areas of Baghdad and Mosul.

Husbandry

 Buffaloes are raised outdoors all through the year. They are housed in paddocks made of local plants (reeds, brushes, palm leaves) with a wall on one side, and three open sides. They are hand fed at the time of milking, morning and evening, with available green forage. They are also fed any type of by-products: waste of sugar cane, reeds from marshy land, home baked wastes. Those that swim in ponds and rivers are also fed aquatic plants. Milking is done by hand in 95 percent of cases and in a few cases with movable milking machines, there are no milking establishments. Male buffaloes are very hazardous, strong and difficult to handle and always aggressive to humans. In a few cases, for tilling operations, they are castrated. Females are very sensitive to non-familiar persons and reduce milk yield with non-familiar milkers. Generally females are also not docile. Average slaughter weight is 400 kg, at the age of 12 months. Carcass yield is 50 percent. Overall growth rate is 580 g/day.

Dairy performance:

Lactation duration : 200-270 days

Milk yield : 1300-1400 kg

Milk fat : 6.6 percent

Products: Milk, yoghurt, fresh cream, fresh cheese, butter.

Sources: National Buffalo Project, 1988; Magid, 1996; Saadat, 1997; Borghese, 2005.