Synonyms: Delhi, Kundi, Kali (India), Kerban-banleng (Sumatra), Kerban-shungei or Karban-Sapi (Malaysia)
Origin and Distribution: They were named as Murrah meaning curled. These buffaloes were also named as ‘Delhi’ referring to the centre of their origin. Murrah is considered to be the best milch-cum-rneat breed of buffaloes. Its home tract stretches around the southern part of Haryana comprising the districts of Rohtak, Jind, Hisar and Gurgaon, and the Union Territory of Delhi. However, this breed has spread to almost all parts of the country and is being bred either in pure form or is being used for grading up local buffaloes. In fact, this breed has even found an important place in the livestock industry of many developing countries like Bulgaria, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, China, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Nepal, former USSR, Myanmar, Vietnam, Brazil and Sri Lanka, and is being bred there extensively With increase in the popularity of Murrah buffaloes as dairy animals, farmers in different parts of the country started maintaining either Murrah buffaloes or got their local buffaloes mated to Murrah bulls for increased milk production. This has resulted in a great demand for genetically superior Murrah bulls in different states throughout the country. To meet this demand the Government of India established the Central Buffalo Breeding Farm for Murrah breed on 1 April 1973 at Awadi, Chennai, by taking over the main Tamil Nadu State Salvage Farm for dry cows. The mandate of the farm is to produce and supply good quality Murrah buffalo bulls to different state governments and other developmental agencies for improving milk production in buffaloes in the country. The farm has supplied 656 Murrab buffalo bulls to Andhra Pradesh.
Location and Topography: The native tract lies between 28° 15’ and 30° north latitude, and 75°45’ and 70°80’ east longitude.
Soil: These are mostly light-textured, sandy and loamy soils.
Climate: The tract has relatively hot and dry climate.
Maximum temperature: 45°C during summer.
Minimum temperature: may reach near freezing point in winter with frost for a few days. Annual rainfall: around 300 mm in arid zone and 500 mm in semi-arid parts of the tract.
Physical Characteristics : Murrah animals are jet black and massive with long and deep body. Head of females is short, fine and clear cut. Bulls are heavy and broad with prominent cushion of short and dense hair. Horns are short and tightly curved in a spiral form. Eyes are bright, active and prominent in females but slightly shrunken in males. Ears are short, thin and alert. Neck is long and thin in females, and thick and massive in males. Hips are broad. Fore- and hind-quarters are drooping, Tail is long reaching below the hock up to fetlock and ending in a white switch. Udder is capacious extending from hind legs to just behind navel flap with prominent milk-veins. Teats are long and placed uniformly wide apart. Hind teats are generally longer than the fore ones.
Morphometric and Performance Traits: Murrah calf Averages of length, height and heart girth: males are 150, 142 and 220 cm, females 148 (range 143 to 163), 133 (range 129 to 140) and 202 (range 197 to 220) cm . 1)
1)Average birth weight : male calves is 28 to 34 kg (average 31.7 kg), female calves 26 to 33 kg (average 30 kg). Overall weight at birth : 30.3 kg (range 26 to 34 kg).
2)Average body weight at first calving: ranges from 470 to 520 kg.
3)Adult body weight: ranges from 450 to 800 kg (average 567 kg) in males and from 350 to 700 kg (average 516 kg) in females.
4)Average age at first service : around 943.4 days (range 920 to 1,355 days) average age at first calving is 1,319 days : (range 1,214 to 1,647 days).Total lactation milk yield: 305-day milk yield lactation length and dry period average first lactation 1,678.4 kg (range 904-2,041 kg), 1,675.1 kg (range’1,355 to 1,964 kg), 307.0 days (range 254 to 373 days) and 187.6 days (range 145 to 274 days).
5)overall lactations :1,751.8 kg (range 1,003 to 2,057 kg), 1,660.1 kg (range 1,472 to 1,962 kg), 298.7 days (range 269-337 days) and 154.8 days (range 127-176 days). On an average, milk contains about 7.3% fat (range 6.9 to 8.3%). in first parity: Service period averages 177.1 days (range 141 to 281 days) and in overall parities 136.3 days (range 125 to 187 days. First calving interval varies from 455 to 632 days (average 488.1 days), overall calving interval varies from 430 to 604 days (average 452.9 days). Number of services per conception varies from 1.75 to 2.15 (average 1.93)
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