The Romanian Buffalo is a breed of water buffalo that evolved in Romania. They are known for their tasty milk used to make dairy products, as well as their sweet-tasting meat. Their population at present is decreasing. In 1996, the total number of buffalo counted to 209,432, which were raised in 86,480 herds. The total number of adult females was 97,320 while the number of adult males was 2510. With rapid decline, the number of female recorded in the herd book in 2003 was 275.
|Also known as||Bivol românesc, Romanian Water Buffalo|
|Physical Characteristics||Coat color is uni-coloured and in black; the back line is sinuous with the tail point and the loin coming lower than the heights of the crump and the wither|
|Horns||2 horns; each being about 50-70 cm long and found in both males and females; horns are directed towards the back|
|Uses||Milk production, dairy; meat production; draught work|
|Milk Production||Normally yields 958-1455 kg milk per lactation period|
|Meat Production||350-400 kg (Average slaughter weight at 22-24 months)|
|Popular Traits||Yields high quality milk and meat; adaptable, hardy, and economical to rear|
|Calving||Age of first calving is 38-42 months, producing an average of 1 calf per year; calving interval of the female is 456 days approx.|
|Lactation Duration||252-285 days|
|Lifespan/Expectancy||15 to 18 years|
|Weight||Male: Average 650-680 kg;|
Female: Average 530-560 kg
|Height (size)||Male: 140-142 cm;|
Female: 131-133 cm
|Food/Diet||General buffalo diet including straw, grass, coarse feed and corn products, roughage etc.|
|Country of Origin||Romania|
In the buffalo population in Romania, 3 distinct breeds of buffalo are found, viz. the Danubian buffalo, the Carpathian type of buffalo, and the other one is the breed that was improved through the Indian Murrah buffalo stock.
However, the Carpathian type of buffalo, having a valuable genetic resource, making them adaptable to the cold climate of the country, is the most populous out of the three breeds of buffalos in Romania.
The Romania Buffalo was developed from the Mediterranean type of water buffalo. It is since 1960 that the introgression of this breed began from the Indian Murrah buffalo stock from Bulgaria. In 1987, the first herd book for the Romanian Buffalo was established.
Day by day, these buffalo are catching attention of the local families that are interested in manufacturing dairy products, especially feta and mozzarella cheese. The rich milk of the Romanian Buffalo contains a big quantity of protein and butterfat, apt for the production of cheese. The milk of this breed is very low in cholesterol. In 2003, a female buffalo that was recorded in the herd book, yielded 1831 kg milk, having 7.48% fat and 3.93% of protein.
The meat of this buffalo has a nice, sweet flavor, and is low in cholesterol. The age of slaughter for young buffalo is 22-24 months, when they can produce 350-400 kg of meat. Buffalo that are even younger, (3-4 months) can also be slaughtered though. Such younger buffalo would produce 60-100 kg of meat. Adult females are also slaughtered mostly after their first lactation period, and can produce about 500-600 kg of meat.
- Romanian buffalos are strong swimmers.
- The breed is being monitored by two government bodies: Ministry of Agriculture, Forests and Rural Development and Conservation of rare livestock breeds in Carpathians.