5 Most popular buffalo breeds in the world

Most Popular breeds of Buffalo

Buffalo is native animal of Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. Largest population of buffalo in the world exists in india and Pakistan. Pakistan is 5th largest milk producer in the world. Buffalo is indigenous animal of Pakistan. 

Most popular buffalo breeds in the world
Most popular buffalo breeds in the world (Photo from Pakistan)

Here are the most popular breeds of buffalo in indo-pak region (Subcontinent) with their prominent physical characteristics.

1. Nili Ravi Buffalo

Country of Origin: Pakistan


The hometract of the Nili-Ravi buffalo includes Lahore, Sheikhupura, Faisalabad, Okara, Sahiwal, Pakpattan and Vehari districts of Central Punjab; and Multan and parts of Bahawalpur and Bahawalnagar districts of southern Punjab. However, because of their well-recognized dairy qualities, these animals are now found all over the country. Nili-Ravi 'buffaloes are in great demand in several other countries as well. Nili and Ravi were recognized as separate breeds until 1960's when merging of the two breeds was accepted in the form of Nili-Ravi breed.

Physical Characteristics:

  • These buffaloes are massive, somewhat wedge-shaped animals.

  • They are mostly black, but often have white markings on the forehead, face, and muzzle, and lower parts of the legs. Due to which it is called “Panj Kalyan”.

  • The tail switch is often white.

  • They have all curly horns, wall eyes, and a large and strong udder.

  • Males attain maturity at the age of 30 months, and females at 36 months.

Nili Ravi buffalo breed characteristics
Nili Ravi buffalo breed characteristics

2. Azi-kheli Buffalo

Country of Origin: Pakistan

These buffaloes are mainly found in Khwaza Khella and Madyan areas of Swat district about 175 km north east of Peshawar in KPK, but can be found in whole valley of Swat. Azi-Khelies have been named after a local tribe ‘Aziz Khell'.

Azikheli buffalo
Azi-kheli Buffalo Breed

  • Colour variation in Azi-Kheli is quite pronounced, varying from complete albino animals to piebald to even black.

  • Young animals have normal brownish hair, while hair coat usually becomes scanty and thin in adults.

  • Forehead has a white marking of varying size and can be totally white with a tapering face.

  • Horns are small semi-sickled in shape.

  • The tail is characteristically short and slender.

  • Estimated liveweight is 350 to 450 kg.

  • The udder in lactating animals is fairly developed.

  • Milk yield per lactation is about 1800 litres.

  • Age at first calving is about 45 months with a calving interval of 18 months.

  • Azi‑Kheli buffaloes are generally docile.

3. Kundhi Buffalo

Country of Origin: Pakistan

Kundhi buffaloes are found throughout Sindh, particularly on both sides of the Indus river from Kashmore in the north to Shah Bandar in the south on the coast of the Arabian Sea. They are also found in some parts of Balochistan province.

Kundhi Buffalo Breed Characteristics
Kundhi Buffalo Breed Characteristics

Physical Characteristics:

  • These are massive, jet-black animals.
  • Their horns are broad at the base and taper upward and inward, giving them a fishhook shape, hence the name `Kundhi'.
  • White spots on the body and straight horns are considered undesirable in this breed.
  • They have a broad forehead, short neck, and medium-sized ears.
  • They have large, strong udders.
  • The average age at maturity is 30 months in males and 36 months in females.
  • Adult males weigh 500-600 kg, and females 300-400 kg.
  • The milk yield per lactation is 1700-2200 litres with over 6.5% butter fat.

4. Murrah Buffalo

Country of Origin: India

  • The Murrah buffalo is a breed of domestic water buffalo which was originated from India. It is a popular dairy buffalo breed and kept mainly for milk production.
  • The home tract of this breed is Fatehabad, Gurgaon, Jind, Jhajhar, Hisar and Rohtak districts of Haryana. The breed is also found in Nabha and Patiala districts of Punjab and around Delhi, and it is the pride of Haryana.
  • The Murrah buffalo is very popular and a very good milk producer not only in India but also probably in the world.
  • Today the breed is available in many countries around the world such as Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Phillippines, China, Malaysia, Nepal, Brazil, Ecuador and Azerbaijan.
  • The Govt. Haryana had launced an incentive cash prize for farmers to expand export of these animals.
  • The Murrah buffalo has been used to improve milk production of dairy buffalo in other countries such as Bulgaria, Egypt and Italy.
  • It is used for both meat and milk production in Brazil. However, read some more information about this very popular dairy buffalo breed below.

  • Murrah buffalo breed characteristics
    Murrah buffalo breed characteristics

  • Physical Characteristics
  • The Murrah buffalo is very beautiful in appearance. It is mainly jet black in color, but sometimes appear with white markings on the face or legs.
  • Generally they have short and tightly curved horns. Their eyes are black in color, slightly shrunken in males but active and prominent in females.

  • The females have long and thin neck, while the males have thick and massive neck. Their ears are short, alert and thin.
  • The females have fully developed, drooping udder with teats equally distributed over the udder but hind teats are longer than fore teats.

  • Average body height of the mature bulls is around 142 cm at the withers, and around 132 cm for the cows.
  • Average live body weight of the mature Murrah buffalo is around 750 kg for bulls and around 650 kg for cows. 
  • Uses
  • The Murrah buffalo is a dairy breed, and it is raised mainly for milk production. But it is also used for meat production in some countries.

Special Notes

The Murrah buffalo are very good for milk production, and very popular around the world as a dairy animal.
Average milk production of a cow is around 2200 liters in a lactation period of 310 days. Daily milk production of a cow is around 14-15 kg, with a maximum recorded production of 31.5 kg.

First calving generally occur within 3 years of age. Generally average inter-calving period is between 400 and 500 days.

5. Surti Buffalo Breed

Country of Origin: India

The Surti buffalo is a breed of water buffalo which is found in the Charottar tract of Gujarat, India.

It is actually found between the Mahi and Sabarmati rivers. The best animals of this breed are found in Anand, Baroda and Kaira districts of Gujarat.

It is also known by many other different names such as Surati, Gujarati, Nadiadi, Talabda, Charotar and Deccani.

Surti buffalo breed characteristics
Surti buffalo breed characteristics

Physical Characteristics

  • The Surti buffalo is a medium sized animal with rusty brown or silver-grey body color. The head of these animal is fairly broad and long with convex shape at the top in between horns.
  • The horns are of sickle-shaped and flat. The horns grow in a downward and backward direction and then upwards at the tip forming a hook.
  • Their skin color is either brown or black. The back of these animal is unique and straight. Some good animals have two white collars.
  • The females have well developed, squarely placed between the hind legs and finely shaped udder.
  • Average body height of the mature Surti buffalo is around 130 cm at the withers for males and around 125 cm for the females.
  • They are mainly used for milk production purpose. The females produce between 1500 and 1600 kg of milk in their first lactation.
  • But milk production increases after the first lactation. From second lactation they are able to produce up to 1900-2000 kg of milk.
  • Generally calving interval of the Surti buffalo is between 400 and 425 days.

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