|Country of origin||India|
|Distribution||Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh|
Bhadwari is an improved water buffalo breed from Uttar Pradesh, India, that is kept for milk production mainly in the Agra and Etawah districts, and in the Bhind and Morena districts of Madhya Pradesh. Cows usually lactate during 272 days with an average milk yield of 752–810 kg (1,658–1,786 lb) in this period.
Buffaloes play an indispensable role in the Indian economy, accounting for approximately 56% of total milk production in the nation, and 64% of the world’s production. Their contribution has been overwhelming due to their ability to thrive under harsh climatic condition and low requirement of input contribution.
Bhadawari buffaloes are specifically renowned for the high content of buttermilk fat found in their milk, which ranges from 6 to as high as 12.5%. The relative high percentage of buttermilk present in their milk is due to the Bhadawari’s efficiency in converting animal feed into butterfat; the Bhadawari buffaloes’ unique, advantageous profile therefore attracts farmers of many developing countries to interbreed them with one of the best meat and milch breed of buffaloes, the Murrah breed. Increasingly important in the livestock industry of countries with agricultural-based economies such as Bulgaria, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Nepal, the resulting hybrid breed of the Bhadawari and Murrah both enhances the milk production of other low-yielding breeds and creates a better market for liquid milk.
India has a population of 105 million buffalos, and 26.1% of the population lives in Uttar Pradesh. India also has nine well-recognized breeds based on their phenotypic characteristics (Murrah, Nili Ravi, Surti, Jaffarabadi, Bhadawari, Mehsana, Nagori, Toda and Pandarpuri), distributed over several agro-climatic zones.
The pure Bhadawari species has dwindled to a population of only several thousand because of cross species breeding with the Murrah buffalo. In the area of Uttar Pradesh, India, Murrah buffalo traits are becoming more common. Many view the germplasm of the Bhadawari extremely valuable for conservation.
The Bhadawari buffaloes are medium-sized, copper-colored and grayish black animals with two white lines at the lower side of the neck, which is a distinct feature of these buffaloes. The horns are curled slightly outwards, parallel to the neck with the tips curled upwards. The Bhadawari are known to be more resistant to disease and the effects of heat than other buffalo species. This makes them ideal for a domesticated draughting animal.
The Bhadawari mainly subsists on coarse feed, straw and corn products, roughage such as barley, wheat, straw, cornstalks, sorghum and sugar cane residuals. Under dire circumstances, the Bhadawari can survive on low quality crop residues and green forage.
A 2011 study in the Bundelkhand region of India was performed with the objective of documenting the calving pattern of Bhadawari (and the closely relate Murrah) buffaloes. Areas like Bundelkhand are found throughout India, as heavily dependent on livestock economics due to drought and monsoons, as a whole India has 95 buffaloes per 1,000 human beings; information on calving is detrimental to this region of the world. At the Indian Grassland and Fodder Research Institute in Jhansi, a herd of Bhadawari was intensely managed under a standardized system of nutritional requirements, and was done so over a period of 8 years (starting in 2002). All the while birth rate was kept in the view of climatological data. Results indicated that rainy (July-Sept) and autumn (Oct-Nov) seasons yielded the highest calving rate, at more than 70%, whereas the lower calving rates were in the winter season at 15.48% and the summer season at 4.88%. Results were then cross referenced with calving patterns across India and around other parts of the world such as Egypt. The seasonality in the Bhadawari calving indicates that reproductive desire is more dependent on climatic changes than diet.
Overall buffalo milk has greater nutritional properties and values than cow milk. Buffalo milk has higher levels of fat lactose, protein, calcium, and vitamins A and C, with lower levels of vitamin E riboflavin an cholesterol. There is an absence of carotene and a presence of bioactivepentasaccharides and gangliosides not present in cows. Fat globules are larger but contain less membrane material than cow milk. However, specific breed of buffalo does affect milk composition. In a 2008 comparison of four Indian buffalo breeds, the Bhadawari was shown to have more solids not fat than the Murrah, which had the highest performance for fat, total protein, and casein contents.
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