The domestic buffalo originally came from the Indian subcontinent and other parts of Southeast Asia. In the present day, they have spread to several parts of the world, including Australia, Europe, North America, South America, and certain countries in Africa.


Male Buffalo

They are raised for their milk and meat while also helping plow and farm in muddy terrains due to their big hooves, earning them the nickname “the living tractor of the East”. The milk of the buffalo is used to make a variety of dairy products, richer in protein and fatty acids compared to other cattle, including butter, cheese, cream, ghee, and whey.

Different Types of Buffalo Breeds

There are around 74 species of domestic breeds of buffalo worldwide, with 17 of the most-reared ones being found in India. Here are some of the commonly reared ones.

Types of Buffalo Breeds

Buffalo Breeds in India

Buffalo Breeds in Other Parts of the World 

History and Development

Baby Buffalo

Buffalo Animal

Research indicates that the modern water buffalo descended from the wild water buffalo, native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. There are two recognized classifications – the river buffalo found in the Indian subcontinent and west to the Balkans and Italy and the swamp buffalo, ranging from the state of Assam in India to the Yangtze valley of China. Both species were domesticated independently, with the river-type water buffalo being domesticated about 6,300 years ago, and the swamp-type reared about 3,000 to 7,000 years ago. The river buffalo dispersed west as far as Egypt, the Balkans, and Italy, while swamp buffaloes spread to other parts of Southeast Asia up to the Yangtze River valley.

Picture of Buffalo

Buffalo Image

They were imported to other parts of the world at different points of time. For instance, they arrived in Europe in 600 AD, and between 1824 and 1849 in Australia’s Northern Territory.

Buffalo Pic

Female Buffalo

They came later in the Americas, around the end of the 19th century, around 1895, near the Amazon River basin in 1895 in South America. In North America, they are quite new entrants, existing since 1974.

Quick Information

  • Biggest breeds of buffalo
  • Murrah Buffalo
  • Nagpuri Buffalo
  • Romanian Buffalo
  • Smallest breeds of buffalo
  • Surti Buffalo
  • Banni Buffalo
  • Carabao Buffalo
  • Best meat-producing buffalo
  • Murrah Buffalo
  • Jafarabadi Buffalo
  • Carabao Buffalo
  • Best milk-producing buffalo
  • Mehsana Buffalo
  • Bhadwari Buffalo
  • Nili-Ravi Buffalo

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Join our subscribers' list to get the latest news, and updates delivered directly in your inbox.