In the north-west of the sub-Indian continent, buffaloes have long been selected for milk yield
and curled horn. It is the most important and well-known buffalo breed in the world.
Population size: 2 000 000 Black in color. Massive and stocky animals, heavy bones, horns are short and tightly curled. Placid. Height at withers of an adult male is 142 cm, body weight is 750 kg. Height at withers of an adult female is 133 cm, body weight is 650 kg. From its origins in the center of Haryana, it has spread to the Punjab, Ravi and Sutley valleys, north Sind and Uttar Pradesh. It has been exported to Brazil, Bulgaria and many countries of eastern Asia. Buffaloes are traditionally managed in domestic conditions together with the calf. They are hand-milked twice a day. They are fed different kinds of roughages (barley and wheat straw, cornstalks, sugar cane residuals). In addition, they are given concentrate mixtures. If grazing is available, they graze all day long. They are naturally mated. Some villages also provide artificial insemination.
Murrah Distribution and Habitat
The home of this breed is Haryana State and Union Territory of Delhi, but
these animals are extensively bred in a wide area extending from northern: Uttar
Pradesh through the south of erstwhile Punjab to Sind (Pakistan). This breed has
been introduced in many other parts of India as well. The best specimens are
found in Rohtak and Gohana tehsils of the Rohtak district, Hansi and
part of Hissar tehsil of the Hissar district, and Jind district.
Murrah buffalo-cows are amongst the most efficient milk and butter-fat
producers in India. They are used for milk and ghee production in almost all
the large cities and in rural areas in the north and west.
Many herds of Murrah buffaloes are maintained in the government and private
farms in India. Average production of 1,793 kg in 305 days have been recorded
with individuals yielding 3,590 kg in a single lactation. The maximum daily
yield recorded is 25.8 kg. The average butter-fat content is approximately 7 percent. The average age at first calving is 39.3 months.
Murrah Physical Characteristics
The Murrah buffalo is jet black in color, sometimes with white markings on the face or legs.
Bulls weigh around 550 kg and cows around 450 kg. They typically have short and tightly curved horns.
Average milk production is 2200 liters in a lactation period of 310 days.
Eyes are black, active and prominent in females but slightly shrunken in males and should not be walled i.e. the cornea should not have whiteness. The neck is long and thin in females and thick and massive in males. Ears are short, thin and alert.
(a) General: The Murrah buffalo-cow (Plate 15) has a very deep massive
frame with a comparatively light neck and head, short tightly curled horns,
well-developed udder, and long-tail reaching the fetlock. ..
The popular color is jet-black with white markings on the tail. The white
markings on the face and extremities common in Nili and Ravi buffaloes are not
liked in the true Murrah breed.
(b) Head: The head is comparatively small, shapely and clean-cut in
females but coarse and heavy in bulls. The forehead is broad and slightly prominent.
The face is' fine without white markings, and, with nostrils wide apart. Eyes are
prominent, active and bright in females but not so prominent in males. Ears
are small, thin and pendulous. Horns are characteristically short, turning back-
\ward and upward and curling inward in a spiral form, and flat in section.
(c) Body and Limbs: Neck is long and thin in females but very thick and
massive in males. The dewlap is non-existent. The chest is well developed and wide
across the brisket. Legs are short and straight with black hoofs.
The barrel is massive and well developed. In females the front portion of the
body is light and narrow, while the rear portion is heavy and wide, giving a
wedge-shaped appearance, but in males the rear portion is light and the front
portion is heavy. Back is wide and long, sloping and tapering towards the front.
Ribs are well rounded. The navel flap is small. There is no hump development
in the animal.
Hind-quarters are straight, wide, deep and slightly higher than fore-quarters.
Loins are broad and straight in males and slightly sloping towards the front
in females. Hips are broad and smoothly covered. Rump is broad, sI; lightly
sloping in males but more so in females. Pin-bones are prominent and far apart
in females but close in males. Flanks are narrow, i.e., well ribbed up. Thighs
and buttocks are flat and muscular, and the twist is arched in females to afford
ample room for a capacious udder. Hocks are strong and nearly straight in
males but bent in females. The tail is long, thin and flexible, usually with a white
tuft at the end reaching the fetlock. The lower end of the tail is without vertebrae to the extent of 25 to 30 cm.
The skin is thin soft and smooth with
scanty hair. The escutcheon is fairly wide.
(d) Udder: The udder is very well-developed with a prominent zig-zag
milk vein ~nd is carried well forward and backward between the hind-legs.
The teats are long, widely spaced and generally, the hind-teats are longer than
Averages for different body measurements in the two sexes are presented
Points for Disqualification
White colour and black switch of tail are generally considered disqualificy fop s-.p