Animal Husbandry

Top 10 Indian Buffalo Breeds and their Characteristics

Updated on 25th June, 2024, By Sonu Gupta
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Top 10 Indian Buffalo Breeds and their Characteristics
India with a buffalo population of approximately 110 million has the largest buffalo population in the world. There are 17 buffalo breeds found in the country. Some of the popular Indian buffalo breeds are Murrah buffalo, Surti buffalo, Jaffrabadi buffalo, and Toda buffalo, among others.

Table of Contents

Introduction

India has the largest livestock population in the world, which includes milch animals like cow and buffalo. According to the 20th Livestock Census (2019), the buffalo population in the country is 109.85 million, which is an increase of 10% over the 19th Livestock Census (2012). Livestock Census is done once in 5 years.

Buffalo is one of the two important sources of milk and milk products in the country. The other is Cow. Like many Cow Breeds, there are many buffalo breeds found in India. As per Animal Genetic Resource of India, there are 17 buffalo breeds in India.

Popular Buffalo Breeds in India

Many types of buffalo breeds are found in India. Some of the most famous desi buffalo breeds are Murrah, Surti, and Jaffrabadi buffalo, among others. These buffalo breeds are mainly used for milk, draught, manure and meat.

Murrah Buffalo

Best Indian Buffalo Breeds - Murrah

The Murrah buffalo is an indigenous buffalo breed with its origin in Haryana (Rohtak and Hisar). It is also found in Nabha and Patiala of Punjab and Delhi. Kundi, Delhi and Kali are its other name. It is the best buffalo breed in India.

They are usually jet black and their characteristic feature is tightly curved horns. It is the most efficient butter fat and milk producer of India.

The average milk yield ranges from 1500 kg to 2500 kg per lactation and the butter fat content is 7.83%.

Jaffrabadi Buffalo

Best Indian Buffalo Breeds - Jaffrabadi

The Jaffrabadi buffalo is another popular desi buffalo from Gujarat's districts of Jamnagar and Kutch. It is the heaviest buffalo breed in India. They are used for dairy and draught purposes.

It is known for its drooping horns (spiral-shaped). The udder of this breed is well-developed with funnel-shaped teats.

The average milk yield ranges from 1000 to 1200 kg per lactation. Madharis, the traditional breeders, are known to maintain these breeds.

Surti Buffalo

Best Indian Buffalo Breeds - Surti

Surti buffalo is a native to Baroda and Kaira district of Gujarat. Their other names are Nadiadi, Deccani, Talabda, and Charator.

Surti buffaloes have sickle-shaped horns, with silver-grey to rusty brown coat colour. They are excellent milk producers, with an average yield of 1000 to 1300 kgs per lactation. The milk is highly nutritious, with a higher level of fat percentage (8-12%).

Bhadawari Buffalo

Best Indian Buffalo Breeds - Bhadawari

The Bhadawari buffalo is native to the Bhadawar region in the Agra district of Uttar Pradesh. They are also found in the Gwalior district of Madhya Pradesh.

These types of buffalo breeds in India are medium to large and are copper coloured. Like Surti Buffaloes, they have two white lines ‘Chevron’ at the lower side of the neck.

They are recognized for their high milk production and on average they produce 800 to 1000 kgs of milk for every lactation.

Their milk is rich in fat, ranging from 6 percent to over 12 percent, making it suitable for dairy products.

Mehsana Buffalo

Best Indian Buffalo Breeds - Mehsana

Mehsana buffalo is native to the Mehsana and Banaskanta regions of Gujarat. They are the crossbreed between Surti and Murrah. Their body is longer than Murrah, but horns are relatively less curved than Murrah.

Mehsana buffaloes are predominantly black or grey and have white markings on their legs or faces. They have good milk production, with an average yield of 1200-1500 kgs.

Nili Ravi Buffalo

Best Indian Buffalo Breeds - Nilli Ravi

The Nili Ravi buffalo is primarily found in Punjab’s Ferozepur district. They trace their name origin to River Ravi.

Nili Ravi buffaloes have wall eyes, and their horns are tightly coiled and small. Besides, they have a small and elongated head bulging at top and depressed between eyes.

They are excellent milk producers, with an average yield of 1500 to 1850 kg per lactation.

Toda Buffalo

Best Indian Buffalo Breeds - Toda

The Toda buffaloes trace their origin to the ancient tribes Toda of Nilgiris Hills of Southern India. It is a semi-wild breed. The Toda breed of buffalo is known for its sturdy build and is well-adapted to hilly terrains.

Toda breed of buffaloes have a thick hair coat in fawn colour. They are well-suited for work in hilly and forested areas.

While their milk production is lower than some other breeds at 500 kgs per lactation. The fat percentage in milk is around 8%.

Nagpuri Buffalo

Best Indian Buffalo Breeds - Nagpuri

The Nagpuri buffalo variety hails from the Nagpur, Akola and Amrawati districts of Maharashtra. It is also known as Barari or Elitchpuri.

This buffalo variety is medium to large, and their horn is flat, long and curved. Their horns resemble a sword.

Nagpuri buffaloes have a predominantly dark grey coat and have white patches on their face. They are renowned for their milk production, with an average yield of 700 to 1200 kgs.

Pandharpuri Buffalo

Best Indian Buffalo Breeds - Pandharpuri Buffalo

The Pandharpuri breed of buffalo traces its origin to the Solapur and Satara districts of Maharashtra. It is also known by the name Dharwari.

These light-black to dark-black buffalo breeds are medium in size and has a long & compact body and long narrow face. The horns of these buffaloes are very long extending beyond the shoulder bone.

The average milk yield of these buffalo breeds ranges from 1000 – 1500 kg per lactation period of 350 days.

Godavari Buffalo

Best Indian Buffalo Breeds - Godavari Buffalo

As the name suggests, these buffalo breeds hails from the deltaic regions of Godavari and Krishna rivers.

They are black in colour with mix of brown hair on the body and the weight of these buffaloes' ranges from 400 – 600 kgs. They are medium in size and have a compact muscular body.

The average milk yield per lactation period of 305 days ranges between 1200 kg and 1500 kg.

Conclusion

Buffalo is an important source of milk and meat in India. India has the largest buffalo population in the world and 17 buffalo breeds are found in India. Each buffalo breed exhibits some unique characteristic feature depending upon geographical regions. Some of the famous buffalo breeds are Murrah, Jaffrabadi, Surti, Bhadawari, Mehsana, Nili Ravi, Toda, and Nagpuri buffaloes.

Frequently Asked Questions On Top 10 Indian Buffalo Breeds and their Characteristics

1. How many breeds of buffaloes are found in India?

17 buffalo breeds are found in India.

Haryana and Punjab are the best place to buy best buffalo breeds in India.

Murrah buffalo breed has the maximum milk yield per lactation. It ranges between 1500 kg and 2500 kg.

Sonu Gupta
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Sonu Gupta
Sonu Gupta holds a bachelor's degree in arts. He is a seasoned SEO expert with focus on strategic planning and optimization of tractor related content. He is a believer of following a customer-centric approach in execution across his field of interest. He is an avid traveler, reader, and has a great interest in agriculture.
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