An Introduction to Buffaloes

TheCluckyClucker

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I like the thread that @River Buffaloes started. I think they are a neat animal. BUT, you need to consider the whole part and parcel. There is little or no market for them as far as taking the bull/steer calves to the local stockyard/sale barn. You need to have a specific market for them or you will not have a way to recoup any cost. It seems to me that they make a better animal for milking for certain markets.

Why not do really good fencing and raise some sheep or even goats? They require much better fencing than some cattle, the turn around time is much faster and it is a very good stable market for a good part of the year. I honestly think you are going to find that the horses are going to require alot more than the 3 acres you think they need. That will not begin to take care of their grazing requirements.
Just thinking that you can have a few animals, let them breed, sell the bull calves and keep the heifers and then cull a few head is just not practical. You will not make any money at it on a regular basis. Yes on occasion you will have a good year, but you will not have the numbers to make it even a break even proposition. Sheep and goats can be run about 3-5 head per what one cow will eat... and have a 5 month pregnancy so can be bred to have babies in the spring and sell them in the fall. There is alot of other things to learn about them. They are not something you can just turn out and sit back and watch them multiply any more than you can do it with cattle. But the return is decent with less money input in feed costs.
Thank you for this info. Just two horse, we know how google lies, but it said 2 acres for first horse and an additional acre for each additional horse. I have a terrible fear of goats though. I was around a baby goat one day and decided maybe they aren't so bad. Yes, laugh at me all you want.
 

River Buffaloes

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I like the thread that @River Buffaloes started. I think they are a neat animal. BUT, you need to consider the whole part and parcel. There is little or no market for them as far as taking the bull/steer calves to the local stockyard/sale barn. You need to have a specific market for them or you will not have a way to recoup any cost. It seems to me that they make a better animal for milking for certain markets.

Why not do really good fencing and raise some sheep or even goats? They require much better fencing than some cattle, the turn around time is much faster and it is a very good stable market for a good part of the year. I honestly think you are going to find that the horses are going to require alot more than the 3 acres you think they need. That will not begin to take care of their grazing requirements.
Just thinking that you can have a few animals, let them breed, sell the bull calves and keep the heifers and then cull a few head is just not practical. You will not make any money at it on a regular basis. Yes on occasion you will have a good year, but you will not have the numbers to make it even a break even proposition. Sheep and goats can be run about 3-5 head per what one cow will eat... and have a 5 month pregnancy so can be bred to have babies in the spring and sell them in the fall. There is alot of other things to learn about them. They are not something you can just turn out and sit back and watch them multiply any more than you can do it with cattle. But the return is decent with less money input in feed costs.

I am not 100% sure, but I read somewhere that mozzarella has become the number one consumed cheese in the United States. If that's anything to go by buffaloes are a better option than cows. Paneer, bocconcini, feta, brie and many other cheeses are made using buffalo milk. Paneer, ghee, buttermilk, yoghurt and gelato are very popular among South Asian communities. As far as male calves go I have seen, buffalo calves getting sold much faster than cattle calves and at a higher price.

Another plus point is that a buffalo will never kick you in the gut, cows will both literally and figuratively.
 

Bruce

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As far as male calves go I have seen, buffalo calves getting sold much faster than cattle calves and at a higher price.
But that is in India, right? Where cattle aren't eaten, as they are here, by pretty much the entire population? Seems reasonable that the more desirable/edible species would sell better. I think it is hard get a market started for a new product, no matter how popular it might be elsewhere in the world.
 

River Buffaloes

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But that is in India, right? Where cattle aren't eaten, as they are here, by pretty much the entire population? Seems reasonable that the more desirable/edible species would sell better. I think it is hard get a market started for a new product, no matter how popular it might be elsewhere in the world.
It's true for India too, but I was talking about USA really. Btw cattle are eaten in India, majority of them are killed and eaten illegally and India is second largest beef exporter. It's just that people who don't eat cattle, eat carabeef and it tastes good and is much healthier.
 

farmerjan

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The market for cheeses and such is good and I am all for the usage of the milk from the river buffalo.... I was not trying to be negative... I just wanted @TheCluckyClucker to realize that there would not be an "easy" sale barn recouping of selling the buffalo at the local sale barn. If the meat is good to eat, then that would be a good way to recoup investment with the private sale of the meat....but that is going to require someone to also plan for raising and slaughter of the bull/steer calves and such at a certain age and to market the meat.... But as you well know @River Buffaloes , milking and making products from the milk is a time consuming project and that the buffalo cows need to be milked regular and all that. They require a certain amount of dedication and commitment. Just the same as milking a family cow..... you can't do it when it suits you or whenever you feel like it. Even with sharing the milk with the calf, as I do with my nurse cows, there is still something to be said for a commitment to the animal.
I think it would be neat to have a couple.... just for comparison reasons.....
 

TheCluckyClucker

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OK
:gig :lol:
:)

Land carrying capacity depends a LOT on the land! I think I would check with an extension agent on how much YOUR land can carry.

Kid goats are very cute! What makes you fear goats?
Me, being a small child, did not feed a goat right and it bit my finger. This summer I went to a horse camp and we did a 'pet parade' and I chose a baby goat. I got to brush him and lead him and now I am not nearly as scared by them. The petting zoo goats are pretty scary. They would just eat you alive for the cup of food in your hand. I just need a little pygmy goat or something so I can overcome my fear completely. Chickens, all day. Cows, all day. Horses, all day. Goats, I have to think about It. I want to be a vet. Farm vet specifically. Gotta knock this out of the way.
 

Bruce

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Yes you do! And now, being somewhat older, you know why the goat bit you, not to be mean but to get FOOD!!
I'm sure those petting zoo animals are pretty aggressive fighting for first shot at the next kid with a cup. But your OWN goats can be trained to be decent, civil members of the farm.

And good for you wanting to be a farm vet, I'm sure they are in short supply in many places.
 

River Buffaloes

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Yes you do! And now, being somewhat older, you know why the goat bit you, not to be mean but to get FOOD!!
I'm sure those petting zoo animals are pretty aggressive fighting for first shot at the next kid with a cup. But your OWN goats can be trained to be decent, civil members of the farm.

And good for you wanting to be a farm vet, I'm sure they are in short supply in many places.
You can always eat the unruly members of the farm. In my opinion the worst behaving animals taste best. I have eaten a lot of mean roosters. Cock au vin is hell of a recipe and the best French contribution to the art of cooking.

Farm vets are indeed in short supply.
 
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