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Physical Characteristics and Morphometric Traits of Buffaloes Reared in Kashmir Valley

Parwaiz Ahmad Dar Azmat Alam Khan Anees Ahmad Shah Tasaduk Wani Ashiq Manzoor
Vol 8(2), 130-136
DOI- http://dx.doi.org/10.5455/ijlr.20170723052835

Present study was undertaken to record the physical characteristics and morphometric traits of buffaloes in Kashmir Valley. Two geographically isolated districts with highest buffalo population viz, Anantnag in South Kashmir and Baramulla in North Kashmir were chosen. Physical characteristics and morphometric traits were recorded from randomly selected 150 animals each from the two districts using random sampling technique and recorded in a pre-structured questionare. Black coat colour (66.68%), black colour of muzzle (77.77%), black colour of eyelid (72.96%) black colour of hooves (71.12%) curved horns (84.07%) oriented backward and upward in 35.56 per cent and backward, upward and forward in 28.16%. Considerable number of animals (52.22%) were having straight forehead followed by convex (46.67%) and dewlap was absent in all animals. All the animals were having horizontal orientation of ear. The navel flap was absent (82.22%). 72.89 per cent animals had bowl type udder, of small size (75.24%), cylindrical shape of teat (85.04%) with pointed tip of teat (65.88%). The overall mean body length, chest girth, height at withers, ear length, horn size recorded were 51.70±0.23, 76.00±0.33, 52.22±0.36, 9.16±0.08, 13.19±0.23 inches respectively. The overall majority of the animals were seen having predominant black coat colour, curved horns, horizontal orientation of ears, straight forehead and absence of dewlap. Most of the animals had cylindrical teats with pointed tip, bowl type and small sized udder, and having not so prominent milk vein.


Keywords : Buffalo Colour Morphometric Traits Physical Characteristics

Introduction

Livestock sector plays a critical role in the welfare of rural Indian population. Furthermore, livestock is closely linked to the social and cultural lives of several million resource-poor farmers for whom animal ownership ensures varying degrees of sustainable farming and economic stability. This enterprise provides a flow of’ essential food products, draught power, manure, employment, income and export earnings. Livestock is important source of income and employment in rural sector. Seventy per cent of livestock of country is owned by 67 per cent of small, marginal farmers and landless labourers. Forty per cent of the people living below poverty line are largely dependent on livestock for their precarious existence (Rao, 2004). The contribution of livestock sector to the national economy in terms of Gross Domestic Product is 4.1% at current prices during 2012-13 and 3.5% at constant prices during 2004-05 (DAHD, 2014). India has about 190.90 million cattle and 108.70 million buffalo population. The Indian dairy industry has made a remarkable progress in last three decades with unprecedented growth in milk production. India has emerged as a leading milk producer country in the world with 132.4 million tones milk. The buffalo population has increased from 105.3 million to 108.7 million showing a growth of 3.19% and the milch buffalo has increased from 48.64 million to 51.05 million with an increase growth rate of 4.95% (DAHD, 2014). State of Jammu and Kashmir has also witnessed an impressive growth in livestock sector, particularly in dairying. State produces 1.630 million tones of milk thus facilitating the per capita availability of 316 g/day which is higher than national average of 299 g/day (DAHD, 2014). Buffaloes have better capacity of converting coarse feed stuffs into quality milk and meat. Buffaloes have a number of advantages over cattle in utilization of low quality roughages to produce more protein and gain more body weight, more disease resistance power and outstanding draught capacity (Sarkar et al., 2013). The nutritive interest of buffalo milk products is also higher than cows because of the higher concentrations of protein, fat, lactose, minerals and vitamins in buffalo milk. Buffalo milk and its derived products could be a good source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) for humans like other food products from ruminants. Numerous potential physiological effects have been attributed to CLA including those related to its potential antiadipogenic, antidiabetogenic, anticarcinogenic and antiatherosclerotic properties (Frank et al., 2012). The present study was therefore undertaken to study the physical characteristics and morphometric traits of buffaloes reared in Kashmir Valley.

Materials and Methods

The study was conducted in Kashmir Valley which is surrounded by Himalayas on all sides with average temperature ranges from -5˚ to 32˚C. In Kashmir Valley two geographically isolated districts with highest buffalo population viz. Anantnag in South Kashmir and Baramulla in North Kashmir were included in the study. Anantnag district is situated in south and south west of Kashmir valley. Geographically the district lies between 33o-20′ to 34o-15′ north latitude and 74o-30′ to 75o-35′ east longitude and district Baramulla is situated at 34.1980° N Longitude and 74.3636° E Latitude, extending over an area of 4190 square km. Random sampling technique was used to select the animals within the selected districts. A minimum of 150 animals in each district were covered. The information was collected by close observation, measurements of animals and personal interview of the farmers on the basis of pre-formulated and tested questionnaire before actual investigation; the investigator introduced himself to the respondents and the objectives of the study were explained to them with a view to convince them to give proper response. The physical characteristics of buffalo were observed carefully and the measurements were taken by self with the help of a measuring tape. The physical characteristics studied were colour of coat, muzzle, eyelids, tail switch, hooves, horn colour, horn shape, horn size, horn orientation, ear length, ear orientation, forehead, dewlap, navel flap, shape and size of udder, shape and size of teat and milk vein. Morphometric traits were measured body length (from point of shoulder to pin bone), chest girth (circumference of body immediately behind the shoulder) and height at withers (height of the point of withers from the ground). The data generated on these traits was tabulated and classified. The proportionate data of physical characteristics was compared through z-test of proportions while as the data on morphometric traits was analyzed through analyses of variance and students t-test as applicable. After performing statistical analyses tests were referred by p-values, any p-value ≤0.05 was taken as statistically significant. The comprehensive statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 15.0 Chicago, USA for windows used for analyses.

Results and Discussion

The information of colour variation is presented in Table 1. Black coat colour was predominant and found in majority (66.68%) of the animals followed by grey (12.59%), brown (11.85%) and dark brown (8.88%). The findings are in accordance with Siddiquee et al. (2010) who found predominantly black animals in Mymensingh and Companigang districts of Bangladesh, but Rahman et al. (2015) reported the coat color of the buffaloes in Sylhet district of Bangladesh, was predominantly light to dark grey color (92.50%).The data revealed that black colour of muzzle was found maximum proportion (77.77%) of the animals and few (22.23%) had pink coloured muzzle. Rahman et al. (2015) reported even higher proportion (96.00%) of animals in Sylhet District in Bangladesh had black coloured muzzle. Similarly black colour of eyelid was predominant in majority (72.96%) of animals. The findings are in accordance with Rahman et al. (2015), who reported that eyes and eyelashes of indigenous buffaloes at Sylhet district of Bangladesh were predominantly black. It was found that considerable number (45.18%) of the animals had black colour of tail switch followed by white colour (33.70%) and brown colour (21.12%). The findings are contrary to Sohel and Amin (2015) in Mymensingh district of Bangladesh, but similar findings were reported by Rahman et al. (2015) in Sylhet district of Bangladesh. It was found that majority (71.12%) of the animals were having black colour of hooves rest had grey (28.88%). The findings are in accordance with Rahman et al. (2015) who reported that hoof color was predominantly black (96.70%). Majority (70.70%) of the animals were having black colour of horns 21.12%. Similar findings were reported by Khan et al. (2014) in Pakistan, wherein that 52.00 percent of buffaloes were having black colour of horns (Table 1).

Table 1: Colour variation in buffaloes reared in Kashmir (N=150/district)

Parameters Variant Percentage
Anantnag Baramulla Overall
Coat colour Black 62.00c 72.50b 66.68c
Brown 16.00bA 6.66aB 11.85a
Dark brown 6.67a 11.66a 8.88a
Grey 15.33b 9.18a 12.59a
Muzzle colour Black 80.00b 75.00b 77.77b
Pink 20.00a 25.00a 22.23a
Colour of eyelid Black 72.00d 74.16c 72.96e
Brown 9.33c 5.83a 7.77c
Grey 3.33b 3.34a 3.35b
White 15.34c 15.84b 15.55d
Right eyelid black left white 0.00a 0.83a 0.37a
Colour of tail switch Black 41.33b 50.00c 45.18c
White 36.00b 30.83b 33.70b
Brown 22.67a 19.17a 21.12a
Colour of hooves Black 74.00b 67.50b 71.12b
Grey 26.00a 32.50a 28.88a
Colour of horns Black 76.66d 70.00c 70.70c
White 2.67b 2.50a 2.59a
Brown 0.00aA 5.84aB 2.59a
Grey 20.67c 21.66b 21.12b

Different small case superscripts across rows in a particular parameter indicate significant difference between different variants and different upper case superscripts across columns indicate significant difference between districts

Majority (84.07%) of the animals were found having curved shape of horns and rest of the animals (15.93%) had straight horns. The findings were closely related with Sohel and Amin (2015) who reported curved or sickle shaped horns in buffaloes in Mymensingh district of Bangladesh. The considerable numbers of animals (35.56%) were having backward upward orientation of horns followed by backward upward farward (28.16%), upward inward downward (18.88%), backward (8.88%), backward upward downward (6.29%), backward upward farward downward (1.86%) and right horn downward farward upward left horn backward upward farward (0.37%). The findings are closely related with Sohel and Amin (2015) (Table 2).

Table2:Horn shape, orientation, Shape of forehead, Size of dewlap, Ear orientation of Buffaloes reared in Kashmir (N=150 animals/district)                                                                                               

Parameters Variant Percentage
Anantnag Baramulla Overall
Horn shape Curved 82.00b 86.66b 84.07b
Straight 18.00a 13.34a 15.93a
Orientation of horn Backward 8.00b 10.00cd 8.88b
Backward upward 35.33d 35.84e 35.56d
Backward upward downward 6.66b 5.84bc 6.29b
Backward upward forward 27.35cd 29.16e 28.16d
Backward upward forward downward 0.66a 3.33b 1.86a
Upward inwards downward 21.34c 15.83d 18.88c
Right horn downward forward upward & left is backward upward forward 0.66a 0.00a 0.37a
Shape of forehead Convex 45.34b 48.34b 46.67b
Concave 0.66a 1.66a 1.11a
Straight 54.00b 50.00b 52.22b
Size of dewlap Absent 100 100 100
Ear orientation Horizontal 100 100 100

Different small case superscripts across rows in a particular parameter indicate significant difference between different variants and different upper case superscripts across columns indicate significant difference between districts

As depicted in Table 2. Considerable number of animals (52.22%) were having straight forehead 46.67% had convex and only a meagre proportion (1.11%) of animals were having concave forehead. Dewlap was absent in all the animals in both districts. The findings are contrary with Siddiquee et al. (2010) who reported presence of dewlap in buffaloes of Mymensingh and Companigang districts of Bangladesh. Horizontal orientation of ear was found in animals of both districts. Information is presented in Table 3. The navel flap was absent in maximum proportion (82.22%). Majority of the animals had small sized, bowl type udder, cylindrical teat with pointed teat tip and non prominent milk vein. Size and shape of the udder teats and milk vein are indicative of milking ability of a dairy animal. Small udder size, bowl shaped udder (Abdullah et al., 2013) cylindrical teat (Tilki et al., 2005) and non prominent milk vein have been found associated with low milk production.  Prasad et al. (2010) also reported that bowl shaped udder was found in most of the buffaloes in Andhra Pradesh.

 

 

 

 

Table 3: Size of navel flap, shape and size of udder and teats and prominence of milk vein Udder and milk vein in buffaloes reared in Kashmir Valley

Parameters Variant Percentage
Anantnag Baramulla Overall
Small 16.67b 18.34b 17.41b
Size of navel flap Large 0.00a 0.83a 0.37a
Absent 83.33c 80.83c 82.22c
Shape of udder Bowl 86.45bA 56.25aB 72.89b
Round 13.55aA 43.75aB 27.11a
Large 0.00aA 4.16aB 1.87a
Size of udder Medium 14.41bA 33.34bB 22.89b
Small 85.59cA 62.50cB 75.24c
Cylindrical 86.45b 83.34b 85.04b
Shape of teat Pear 13.55a 16.66a 14.96a
Pointed 67.79b 63.55b 65.88b
Teat tip Round 32.21a 36.45a 34.12a
Prominent 11.86a 20.84a 15.88a
Milk vein Not prominent 88.14b 79.16b 84.12b

Different small case superscripts across rows in a particular parameter indicate significant difference between different variants and different upper case superscripts across columns indicate significant difference between districts

In terms of dairy characteristics like size and shape of udder the animals in Anantnag district had better dairy characteristics than those of Baramulla district.  The information about morphometric traits are presented in Table 4.

Table 4: Morphometric traits of adult buffaloes (N=150/districts)

Parameter Average
Anantnag Baramulla Overall
Body length ( in inchs) 51.53±0.29 51.90±0.37 51.70±0.23
Chest girth ( in inchs) 75.28±0.35A 76.85±0.59B 76.00±0.33
Height at withers ( in inchs) 51.29±0.51A 53.32±0.49B 52.22±0.36
Ear length  ( in inchs) 9.25±0.11 9.04±0.09 9.16±0.08
Horn size ( in inchs) 12.56±0.30A 13.94±0.35B 13.19±0.23

Different upper case superscripts across columns indicate significant difference between districts

The overall mean body length, chest girth, height at withers, ear length, horn size recorded were 51.70±0.23 inches, 76.00±0.33 inches, 52.22±0.36 inches, 9.16±0.08 inches and 13.19±0.23 inchs respectively. Among two districts the comparison of morphometric traits revealed that animals of Baramullah district had more masculine characters like broader chest girth and greater height as compared to animals of Anantnag. The overall results of body length, chest girth and height at withers are almost similar with the findings of Siddiquee et al. (2010) of Bangladesh, Tariq et al. (2013) of Pakistan. The results of horn size and ear length are almost similar with (Khalid et al., 2014), who reported the horn diameter (18.646±2.059 cm) and ear length (29.5±2.118 cm) in Nili Ravi buffaloes of Pakistan. The particular geographical areas of study are high altitude mountainous belts of Kashmir Valley, the animals are mainly utilized for milk, meat and manure for agricultural purposes as well.

Conclusion

Majority of the animals were seen having predominant black coat colour, curved horns, horizontal orientation of ears, straight forehead and absence of dewlap. Most of the animals had cylindrical teats with pointed tip, bowl type and small sized udder, and not so prominent milk vein.

Reference

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