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Housing Management

Loose housing is the most economical system of keeping animals. Animals are kept loose in an open paddock throughout the day and night except at the time of milking. The open paddock is provided with shelter along one side under which the animals can take feed and do rest when it is very hot or cold. A common watering tank and feeding manager is provided to make management more effective. Loose housing system has an advantage over the conventional housing system as cost of construction is significantly lower and further expansion is possible according to requirement. In loose house animals get optimum exercise and it also facilitate easy heat detection of animals. Experiences in the Indian subcontinent suggest that loose housing should be preferred over conventional animal sheds.

Construction of Buffalo Sheds

During construction of a house for buffaloes, care should be taken to provide comfortable accommodation with proper sanitation, durability and arrangement for the production of clean milk under convenient and economic conditions. Climate of the region is also important and should be considered before construction of animal housing facilities so as to protect them from extreme hot or cold seasons.

  • Entire shed should be surrounded by wall of 5 ft height from three sides and the manger from one side. The feeding manger should be designed in such a way that quick and proper distribution of feed and fodder is possible and the animal face north when they are eating fodder under covered area.  
  • The height of the inner wall of the manger from the ground should be 50 cm for adult buffaloes and 20-25 cm for young calves.  
  • Depth of feeding manger should not exceed 40 and 20 cm for adult buffalo and young calves, respectively.  
  • Near the manger under the roofed house 5 ft wide, non-slippery easy to clean floor having a little slope should be provided.
  • The floor of the covered area should be a little above the ground level of the open area.
  • The drains should be located near the junction of covered and open area. Beyond that there would be an open unpaved or paved area. The covered and open area per animal should be 30- 40 and 800- 100 sq ft for adult buffaloes and 20-25 and 50 -60 sq ft for calves, respectively.
  • The feeding space should be provided with 2½ - 3 ft of manger space per buffalo and 1½ ft for calves in the covered area.
  • The roofing of shelter is done with slight slope by asbestos sheets on pipes and angle iron. The thatch roofing may also be considered to reduce the initial cost and provide comfort to animals as compared to asbestos or tin sheets.
  •  A common water tank is also provided in open area so that every animal can have access to fresh and clean water. 

                          Floor Space Requirements for Different Categories of Buffaloes

Category

Floor Space/animal (sq. ft.)

MangerLength /animal(ft.)

covered

Open

Buffalo

30 - 40

80 - 100

2.5

Calves

20 - 25

50 - 60

1.5

Pregnant buffalo

100 - 120

180 - 200

2.5

Bull

120 - 140

200 - 250

2.5