Buffalos contribute a lot to the agricultural industry of developing countries as they provide milk, meat, and drought power. Just like cattle, buffalos are also polyestrous, which means that they can breed all year round.
However, the calving pattern is affected by feed supply, ambient temperature, photoperiod, and rainfall.
How much does a buffalo cost? A buffalo can cost from $1000 to $1,200. The variation is based on age, breeding, and weight. There are trophy buffalos that are more expensive, with prices from $10,000 to $20,000. It depends on the quality and breed value. Trophy hunters are even willing to pay more for the horn’s length.
Whether you would buy and want to raise a buffalo, knowing the cost is important. You’ll need to set a budget before buying and the amount of money that you need to invest. You’re on the right page, as you’ll learn more about this matter.
Why Does Buffalo Cost So Much?
You’ll wonder why a buffalo costs so much. By knowing the following reasons, you’ll understand better:
Low Reproductive Efficiency
Even though buffalos can adapt to harsh environments, resist numerous bovine tropical diseases, and make use of poor-quality roughages, they have relatively lower reproductive efficiency regardless of their location.
The reproductive disorders that typically happen among buffalos are low conception rate, a longer period for reaching puberty, poor estrous expression, and extra time needed for postpartum ovarian quiescence.
These things usually happen in areas where there is limited research regarding the management of buffalos. Among the reproductive disorders that are mentioned, the conception rate can be increased through better management and feeding.
Based on the study made by Dr. Ibrahim Soliman from Zagazig University in Egypt, small, private buffalo farms located in countries at the macro level are under economic obstacles. They experience unstable economic policies, poor infrastructure, and undeveloped marketing characteristics.
Therefore, these businesses resort to conservative decision-making on investments in agricultural projects. They prefer importing and construction contracts. Hence, feed, equipment, and veterinary medicine come from other countries.
The expenses on these essentials become higher due to the higher exchange rate of foreign currency. Thus, there’ll be an increase in the buffalo’s cost when released on the market.
How Profitable Is Buffalo Farming?
A study of Water Buffalo Farming in Southern Australia in Turkey ended up discovering that this kind of farming is profitable. The traditional methods practiced in buffalo farming can’t get in the way as long as modern husbandry techniques are recognized by policymakers.
For example, a promotional advertisement should be enacted as well as preparation of infrastructures.
Furthermore, buffalo incentives must remain the same, training for buffalo producers and improvements of policies through input subsidies are the ways to improve this industry.
To sum it up, establishing a buffalo culture should be practiced to achieve the desired profitability.
In India, a dairy farm with 10 buffalo gains profit, ranging from $11,600 to $15,500 yearly. However, the profit rate is obtained after a year of hard work.
How Do I Start a Buffalo Farm?
Apart from preparing your land and money to start a buffalo farm, here are the things that you have to know. You have to know that they should be raised differently from cows.
Finding a Suitable Area
Apart from a fenced, calming area, you have to consider other things when selecting a place for a buffalo farm. It’s best if it’s a grazing area as feed and roughage can cost a lot. Moreover, it’s also a big help if there’s a source of clean water in the area.
Selection of Buffalo Breed
The popular breeds of buffalo are Anatolian, Bhadawari, Egyptian, Jafarabadi, Mediterranean, Murrah, Nagpuri, Nili-Ravi, and Romanian. Your choice will depend on whether you desire to work in meat or milk production.
These animals don’t require special arrangements for housing. Every buffalo will be fine with 40 feet square for housing.
Aside from roughage, buffalos can consume aquatic plants. There’s no need for concentrated feed as it doesn’t enhance their size or weight. It doesn’t even have a positive impact on milk production as it only increases fat by 15%.
Nevertheless, you have to look at the quality of roughage or crop residues. Some buffalos won’t be able to digest this feed well. So, you can give them a supplement through the combination of urea and molasses.
You have to know that the breeding pattern of buffalos is based on feed supply, ambient temperature, photoperiod, and rainfall. They reach puberty later than cows.
The female can be a candidate for reproduction when it weighs around 250 to 275 kg. On the other hand, the male buffalo has viable sperm when it is 24-month-old.
Buffalos usually produce 3 calves in two years. However, the calving interval is shortened to 14 to 15 months within a well-managed herd.
After insemination, the pregnancy of a female buffalo can be confirmed through rectal palpation in 40 to 45 days. The gestation period will take 305 to 340 days.
How Many Acres Does a Buffalo Need?
A buffalo needs 2 to 5 acres of land.
Buffalo Cost by Size
In the live export market, the kilo of live buffalo is $1.60 to $1.85. If there are a few exporters, it can go up to $2 per kilo. A heavy buffalo can weigh 490 kg, so it would cost you $785 to $980.
The light one is around 315 kg, so it can cost $505 to $630. Since you have to import a buffalo, you have to expect an additional fee for transport.
Factors Impacting the Cost of Buffalo
Here are the factors that impact the cost of buffalo:
It’s the major factor that affects the price of a buffalo. You’ll find various capacities on buffalos as they have different qualities. Some breeds are ideal for meat production, while others are reliable in delivering milk. Hence, various purposes lead to a range of prices.
This is also a vital factor as experts can detect the buffalo if it’s in the perfect state or has premium qualities.
The size of a buffalo indicates the age and the animal’s production level. It’s just right that a mature buffalo costs more than the younger one, as the producer invested a lot of time, effort, and money in growing it. The bigger, the more expensive buffalos are sold based on their weight.
Daily Maintenance Cost for Buffalos
Spare a $2 daily maintenance cost for every buffalo. A mature buffalo requires an $800 annual maintenance cost for feed, animal care, and veterinary.
Feed Cost of Buffalo
The amount of feed, as well as the price, differs. When you grow buffaloes for milk, each of them requires 100 lbs. of feed per day. This needs $1,000 a year.
In the case of buffaloes for meat production, they need 30 lbs. to 40 lbs. of feed a day. Hence, the annual feed expense is around $200 to $300.
Based on the nutrition requirement for buffalo, there’s no need to add concentrate feed. It doesn’t fatten buffalo; instead, it increases the fat content of its milk by 15%. Roughage is enough whether you grow buffalos for meat or milk.
Farm Expenses of Buffalo
In a year, the total farm expenses for every buffalo can range from $300 to $1,000. There are variations as buffaloes for milk production have different requirements from those that are raised for meat.
Buffalo milk production has higher expenses as you can earn multiple times from it. The earning for meat production is just a one-time transaction when the animal is ready for release.
You can lower the expenses by having land that has enough grass and plants to feed the buffalo.
Maintenance Cost of Buffalo
If you raise a calf, the maintenance cost will just be $2 a day for one buffalo. This is given when you raise the animal in a land where they can just forage. There will be an additional amount if you have to pay for labor.
Veterinary Expenses of Buffalo
When it comes to raising animals, veterinary care is crucial. Cutting down the allotted cost for vet fees and necessary medicine is not prudent at all. The average cost of this for every buffalo is $88 to $126.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Hard to Raise a Buffalo?
It’s not hard to raise a buffalo as this animal is resistant to diseases. Everyone can raise it despite their location.
Can Buffalo and Bison Breed?
Buffalo and bison can be bred. Bison can breed with other bovines like buffalo. This creates cattalo, a term that combines cattle and buffalo, an exotic animal regarded by some states in the US.
How Many Years Does a Buffalo Live?
Buffalo can live up to 25 years in the wild. When in captivity, it has a longer lifespan of 29 to 34 years.
Buffalo becomes expensive because of the breeding complexity and economic obstacles. When growing this animal, you have to be knowledgeable about breeding management.
The government in some countries needs to improve regulations on the buffalo industry so producers can have a chance to gain more profit.
Once there are a lot of opportunities in buffalo farming, many will be interested to embark on this business. This means high supply and low price.
List of Sources
Opportunities and Challenges for Improving the Productivity of Swamp Buffaloes in Southeastern Asia