Comparison of the management systems for buffaloes and cattle in a MININT livestock farm in the San Andrés area

Comparison of the management systems for buffaloes and cattle in a MININT livestock farm in the San Andrés area

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

For several

The productive and reproductive behavior of a buffalo and cattle herd belonging to the MININT agricultural farm located in San Andrés, La Palma municipality, Pinar del Río province, was assessed. The system in general, is irrepressible in the first year, but pays all the expenses and leaves profits in the third year of operation.


The productive and reproductive behavior of a herd of buffaloes and cattle belonging to the MININT agricultural farm located in San Andrés, La Palma municipality, Pinar del Río province, exploited under low-input conditions, with direct breeding and continues throughout the year. The study period covered the years 2007, 2008 and 2009. The effects of time of birth, type of delivery, breastfeeding of the mother and sex of the newborns were analyzed as the main productive and reproductive indicators of the herd. The evaluated offspring came from the first and third lactation of the mothers. Weaning was carried out at 210 days of age. The mean live weight at birth was 20 kg and at weaning 80 kg. The birth weight was influenced (P <0.001) by the sex of the Buffalo born and by the mother's lactation, (P <0.05) by the time of birth, the type of delivery influenced (P <0.01). Regarding the weight at weaning, the males surpassed the females (P <0.001). There was no effect of the season in the live weights at weaning and final. The average daily global weight gain per animal was 255 g and none of the effects studied showed a statistical difference. The mean prolificacy of the herd was 1.01 calves per parturition. The number of pregnancies was significantly higher in the months with the highest accumulated rainfall, with 73% of the total percentage. The mortality rate was higher in the months of January, February and March, where 87% of the animals born in those months died before weaning. The birth rate in the herd behaved for 87%. In general, the system is irrepressible in the first year, but it pays all expenses and leaves profits in the third year of operation.


At the triumph of the Revolution, after 400 years of Spanish colonization and half a century of North American neocolony, the country had an agrarian structure with deformations: High presence of foreign capital, large estates, single-producer and single-exporter economy. All this was coupled with deficient professional training and scarce research in the agricultural sector. All these factors led to the necessary Agrarian Reform, which was already embodied in the Political Program of the Revolution, even many years before its triumph (Castro, 1965).

For more than three decades a strong material technical base was created in the agricultural activity, however in the final years of the 80's the productive forces were stopped, manifesting itself through the low productive results, decrease of the productivity of the work and continued deterioration of economic efficiency.

In today's world, agriculture has to be created that conforms to the diversity of nature and humanity, rather than bending and twisting nature and humanity to conform to industrial architecture. But first, the human being has to move beyond thinking about organic as a means of food production, to see organic as a philosophy to sustain human life on earth and a philosophy for quality of life.

One way to increase food production in Cuba is the development of sustainable livestock production systems that depend on local resources that are available at the right time. In this sense, it has been shown that trees are the most efficient living organisms in the use of solar energy and its conversion into biomass, in which Cuba as a tropical country has great advantages, having abundant sun and also having a important germplasm of forage tree species.

The buffalo species is native to India and inhabits lowlands, swamps, banks and freshwater lakes. It is found mainly in South and Southeast Asia and means for the agriculture of those countries, high productions of milk, meat and draft or load power (FAO, 2001). This shows the possibility of developing the species in this habitat, taking advantage of other areas destined for the production of food for man, hence the FAO recommends its insertion and progress in third world countries (Boyazoglu, 1996).

Buffaloes were introduced in the San Andrés area in 1992, in areas of a farm managed by the MININT and the State Reserve Institute, these animals came from the herd of the South Havana Cattle Company, while the exploitation of the Beef cattle dates from the first half of the seventeenth century.

Therefore, it is intended to solve the following Problem: There is no comparison in the study area (Farm of the MININT San Andrés) regarding the management of Buffaloes and Cattle.

Purpose: Buffalo and Cattle Management in areas of the MININT San Andrés Farm.

Course objective: Compare the management of buffaloes and cattle in areas of the MININT San Andrés Farm.

Specific objectives

1. Analyze the main productive and reproductive indicators of the traditional management systems used in the area, for buffalo and cattle

2. Evaluate both management systems for their economic efficiency.

3. Select between the two management systems the most feasible or appropriate for the study area.

Hypothesis: Comparing traditional Buffalo and Cattle management systems, in terms of adaptability, growth, docility, longevity, (birth-mortality), production, health, reproduction, nutrition, meat and milk in a MININT farm in the area of San Andrés, a correct selection will be made of the most appropriate management system for this farm, which presents special mountain conditions.

Materials and methods

The study was developed in the Buffalo and Cattle breeding unit, belonging to the MININT farm, San Andrés.

Characterization of the study area

Geographic location and limits of the study area

According to the current administrative political division of the country, the study area is located in the municipality of La Palma (Figure 2.1).

This area belongs to the western region and is located in a contact zone where several geographical sub-regions affect: Sierra de los Órganos, Alturas de Pizarras, Karstic Valleys, and Sierra de Guacamaya, reason for its extraordinary variety of fauna and flora and landscaping (Núñez, 1982). Cartographically, the area is located between the rectangular plane coordinates 313,150 - 335,150 mt and 326,000 - 268,400 mt, from the cartographic sheets at 1:25 000 scale, issued by the Cuban Institute of Geodesy and Cartography (ICGC) in 1982.

The MININT farm is located northwest of the San Andrés valley, La Palma municipality, Pinar del Río province and has the following limits:

• North: Sierra de Guacamaya, part waters until La Varía.

• East: Pico Chico, Pizarras Heights and Caracoles.

• South: La Palma Coffee Company.

• West: Zona Escondido and Sierra de Guacamaya.

Physical-geographical characteristics

The physical-geographical characteristics of the San Andrés valley stand out for the complexity caused by the processes that have acted during its formation (Núñez, 1982).

Geology: Geologically, the area is located within the Guaniguanico facial tectonic zone, where the complexes of units known as: Sierra de los Órganos and Sierra de Guacamaya coincide (Gutiérrez and Rivero, 1995).

Relief: According to the hypsometric value, four types of relief are distinguished: plains (Canalete Valley); depressions (Abra de Caiguanabo); heights (Pizarras del Sur) and mountains (Pico Chico and Pico Grande), this gives the area a very varied topography (Pimentel, 2003).

Climate: The climatic characterization is based on the mean values ​​of the La Palma meteorological stations and the Amistad hydrological station, taken in the period 2000-2005 (Annex 1).

As a summary, it can be expressed that the study area has a warm and humid climate, with two well-defined seasons: one warm and rainy and the other cool and not very rainy, with average values ​​higher than the rest of the province of Pinar del Río.

Hydrography: From the hydrographic point of view, the area is of extraordinary importance, since it is contained in the hydrological basin of the San Diego and Caiguanabo rivers, this basin has its own sub-basins, formed by rivers, streams and streams as tributaries (Pimentel, 2003).

As a consequence of the high rainfall that occurs in the area and the predominance of clayey and clay-sandy rocks, which occupy 70% of the territory, the existence of high surface runoff has been favored, giving rise to rivers, streams and streams. surface runoff being interrupted by the presence of calcareous areas, which give rise to endorheic basins, which allow the outcropping of waters (Ares, 1999).

The altitude is 170.43 m above sea level, on a ferralitic soil, in a hilly relief.

Unit Description

The total area for the management of Buffaloes and Cattle has an area of ​​1570.14 ha, for a total mass of 944 animals (275 Buffalo and 669 Cattle), which is equivalent to 1.66 ha / ugm, categorized as follows way (table 2.1):

Table 2.1- Category in which the animals can be found in the different stages of development.

The unit has 8 facilities for animals, which include: the milking parlors, feed stores and shade houses, it also has a house for the milkman. The study was developed during the years 2007, 2008 until April 2009.

The grazing area is divided into 16 paddocks, of them 9 for the production of buffalo milk and 7 for the production of cow's milk, these differ in terms of their size, in them the herds are rotated depending on availability of pastures.

Diagnosing drive problems

The unit's problems were determined through participatory diagnosis and interviews with workers, using the standardized and exploratory "face-to-face" interview method in the surveys (Ibarra et al., 2002), following the following steps :

• Presentation.

• Explanation of the purposes and objectives of the interview.

• Explanation of the method of selecting the respondents.

• Presentation of the managing entity of the interview

• Explain that anonymity was guaranteed.

The results were used to develop the SWOT matrix (weaknesses, threats, strengths and opportunities), according to the procedure described by Boisier (2000). The information obtained was used as a basis for comparing the management of the two species (buffalo and cattle).

Animals, treatments and design

Cows and Buffaloes from the 1st, 2nd and 3rd calving of both herds were used, with weight averages of 230-300 kg, 280-350 kg and 350-420 kg of live weight respectively. Weights from birth to 10 months of age were analyzed in Calves and Buceros. The seasons were framed as little rainy (November – April) and rainy (May – October), it is necessary to point out that all deliveries were simple.

Experimental procedure

The animals were weighed at birth, but since the unit did not have a weight for large animals, and in the same way, due to the urgent need to have the weighings at different ages, it was decided to use the following formula:

Weight = [(Chest circumference) ² * (Cross tail length)] * 92.46.

This formula has been used in innumerable investigations, Eissa (1996) used it in investigations to obtain concentrations of steroids and biochemical constituents in Buffalo.

Six butorets of 260.8 kg and the same number of bulls of 200.6 kg of live weight were selected for the analysis of productive behavior and feeding behavior, according to a completely randomized design, to evaluate the productive behavior and behavior under grazing conditions during hours day and night. The animals were located in a pasture with a predominance of star grass and also composed of natural pastures and caguas, with an average yield during the experiment of 7 t / ha / year of DM. They received as food, in addition to grass, mineral salts and water at will.

All the animals were weighed monthly in the morning, after consuming part of the feed, to calculate the average daily gain rate.

The experiment was for 287 days. In the middle of the evaluation of the productive behavior, the number of animals dedicated to ingestion of pasture, water consumption, rumination, in addition to those dedicated to walking and other activities was measured on three alternate days, every ten minutes and for 24 hours. .

The results of eating behavior were analyzed by analysis of variance, adjusting the indicators studied to the initial live weight, as there were differences between treatments. The time dedicated to the different activities, during the day and night hours, was represented in graphs.

Results and Discussion

Analysis of the SWOT matrix of the diagnosis results.

The SWOT matrix, a technique that according to Boisier (2000) is used in the field of strategic planning and that consists of identifying the factors that can operate as weaknesses, threats, strengths, opportunities, and for the development of the production unit. Which allows us to have the necessary information to make a comparison. The results of the analysis appear below.


• Incorrect use of the land resource.

• Base grasses of low nutritional value.

• There were no legumes in the system.

• Poor quality and unstable supplementation.

• Zootechnical handling in some incorrect aspects.

• Low level of technical preparation for the management of species, facilities and other resources.

• There is no link between the worker and the productive results.

• There are no comparisons on the management of both species.


• High probability of accidents due to the hilly relief.

• Soil with a high degree of erodibility.


• The buffalo and cattle breeds that are managed in the Unit have high productive and reproductive performance.

• Existence of three micro-dams with water throughout the year.

• Located in areas of a MININT farm.

• Good condition of the access roads.

• The workers live near the unit.

• It has an infrastructure adapted for breeding.

• The workers of the unit feel committed to the results of their work.


• The farm is located near the EFI La Palma forest nursery.

Comparison of the most important indicators of both herds.

When comparing the indicators that are presented below in table 3.1, it is shown how the management for both species behave in said Unit.

Table 3.1- Comparative indicators for both herds


Buffaloes and Cattle: They can be raised in any region or climate, between 0 ° C to 45 ° C. (Fundora et al, a. (2001), in the study area these animals have adapted to conditions where there are two good seasons defined, a little rainy between the months of: (November – April) and a rainy one between the months (May – October), with an average annual temperature of 24.3 ºC, with a hilly relief with points of high slopes that oscillate between 165 m to 280 m asl


It is in this particularity that the Buffalo has a huge advantage over the Beef, since it reaches the fullness of its development in a short time, which translates into more meat, in less time and at a lower cost. The muscular development is superior to the Beef especially in the hindquarters, head, legs and hide. This brings a great advantage: the cost factor in relation to the maturation period influences the redemption, both in national and international trade. (2001),

Table 3.2. Comparison of the weight of both species at different ages in the study area.

Table 3.2 clearly presents the difference in weight between the two species, with Buffaloes being higher in all weighings than Bovines, demonstrating what was stated by Fundora regarding the growth of both species.

1. Docility

The Buffalo is much more docile than the Beef. With the experience obtained, the Buffalo tames faster when milking than the Beef; There are cases in which first calving buffalo are milked without any problems, they adapt to automatic milking more quickly than cattle. Rarely does a newly calved buffalo attack humans, and the one that does, the aggressiveness quickly wears off. This contradicts another of the myths about the Buffalo due to the confusion that is had with the American Buffalo, which is not a Buffalo but a bison, and the African Buffalo that is not domesticable. (2001). Practice in this livestock holding unit has shown that the buffaloes of the first calving are easy to tame for milking, as well as the handling of calves in their presence, on occasions they have decayed in the grazing paddocks without being aggressive with the milkman, as is the case with Jersey heifers.

2. Longevity

The longevity of the Buffalo is three or four times greater than the Beef; it can last between 20 or 30 years on average with a reproductive life between 18 and 20 years, when the cattle rarely reach 12 years and their productivity remains between 6 and 10 years (Fundora et al, a. In the study area buffalo herds have a duration of 22 years with a useful life of 17 years, while cattle range around 15 years and a useful life of 12 years.

Table 3.3. Comparison of growth, duration by Jersey-Buffalo herd, under the same diet, habitat and climatic conditions, in the study area itself.

3. Birth / mortality

Birth and Mortality: The Buffalo has a birth rate between 82% and 90%, when the Cattle does not reach 60%, in results obtained from case studies in the Havana-Matanzas plain by (Fundora et al, a. In the An area located in the Guaniguanico mountain range, the birth rate is 84.7% in the case of Buffaloes and 71% for Cattle. Regarding mortality, the Buffalo is much more resistant to diseases than the Cattle, its constitution general physics and thicker and more resistant type of leather protects it more than cattle, its mortality rate is very low, from 12% to 8%.

4. Productive behavior

Live weight gain was greater in Buffalo (table 3.4). In the evaluated period, the Buffaloes were superior in 215 g of daily live weight gain, approximately. In other words, the former had a growth rate of 1.6 times higher. Similar results were reported by Rodas et al. (2001a) when comparing the productive behavior of Buffalos and Cattle, under the same conditions of handling and feeding.

Table 3.4. Comparison of the productive behavior of Buffalo and Cattle.

5. Health

Buffaloes consume very little medication compared to Beef. The preventive health plan is similar to that of cattle. Buffaloes do not get ticks, that is why toilets are not used to control this parasite. For this reason, the Buffalo does not contract the diseases transmitted by this parasite. Lice baths are recommended.

Buffaloes are characterized by easy and fast calving and they recover very easily, thus reducing the drugs normally used in cattle in the pre and post calving stages.

6. Reproduction

The Buffalo has a reputation for being a poor breeder. The problem is that the average Buffalo is so poorly fed that its reproductive capacity is not manifested as it should. Without proper nutrition, animals cannot reach puberty as early as their physiological capacity would allow. With a good diet, Buffaloes can reach puberty in 18 months. In this herd under study, almost all 20-24 month old buvillas are pregnant.

7. Nutrition

The Buffalo is an animal that adapts to all types of terrain, from floodplains to areas with the best pastures. The Buffalo consume any variety of pasture and browse more than the Beef. They can even eat underwater. Silva, J. (2008).

Animals in production are suggested to supplement the diet in a strategic way appropriate to the area where it is being produced. It is important to provide them with a mineral supplement, according to information provided by the entity's veterinarian.

Under intensive fattening conditions, the growth rate of Buffalo is likely not as high as that of the best breeds of Cattle.

In the buffaloes of the study, weight increases of 1 kg / day have been registered, on the other hand, some outstanding cattle are able to practically double the daily weight in gain.

8. Meat

It is generally known that these animals reach the fullness of their development in a short time and produce very good quality meat vs Bovine. Among its most important characteristics is precocity, which is an advantage compared to tropical beef cattle, this means more meat, in less time and at a lower cost.

The taste of Buffalo, Creole or Cebu mestizo meat is the same or very difficult to distinguish from each other. In terms of appearance, Buffalo meat is lean and somewhat darker: the fat is very white, contrasting with the yellow color of the Beef. If the slaughter is not carried out at the appropriate age, which is between one and a half years and two and a half years after the animal was born (18 to 30 months), the quality of the meat decreases in an evident way.

It has been shown that Buffalo meat can be kept soft until a very old age compared to Cattle, since the diameter of the muscle fibers and the tendons of Buffalo grow more slowly than those of Beef cattle (Charles and Johnson, 1972 ).

These results indicate that, in view of the productivity of the Buffalo and its precocity, the males reach maturity at 2 years with a weight of 500 kg and the cattle at 3 years (one more year); and that the females have the first parturition at 30 months (Cattle at 36 months) with an average production of 1,100 grams. weight gain per day in paddock; superior to beef in nutrition and palatability, they are also superior and also has:

• 40% less cholesterol

• 55% fewer calories

• 11% more protein

• 10% more minerals

• It is an ideal food for diets

9. Milk

The Buffalo like the Bovine is a producer of milk, meat and is used for traction. If we compare it with Bovine milk, we see that although it produces less milk in average quantity / day, the duration of lactation is longer and the quality of Buffalo milk is much higher (more than 86%). Furthermore, buffalo milk has a much higher commercial value than cow's milk.

The milk is white without yellow tinges, contains 7% to 12% fat, has a good average of liters of milk per day, all kinds of products can be made with excellent palatability and has a better chemical composition than Beef. (2001)

The average liters of milk per day for Buffaloes and Cows in the study area was 3.2 L to 4.7 L respectively for both species, while the Buffaloes maintained milk production up to 10 months and the cows up to 7 months. Buffalo milk is recognized worldwide for its high nutrient content and although its usefulness as a food source is reported in underdeveloped countries, its exploitation is being considered very beneficial and economical in industrialized countries. This is highly appreciated for its organoleptic and bromatological characteristics (Ranjhan, 2001), since it has a high fat content, it has a high energy value, the protein contains more casein and slightly more albumins and globulins than Cow.

The references of Capdevilla et al., 2000; Companioni, et al and Fundora et al, a. (2001) report similar results. In addition, in works carried out at the Institute of Animal Science of Cuba (ICA) by Fundora et al (b) (2001). It was demonstrated that in conditions of high temperatures (28 ºC) and humidity such as those in Cuba, favorable for contamination by pathogens, the milk of Bufala is much more stable than that of Vaca, since while in the latter the changes in the Reductase activity began six hours after milking, in the first no changes were detected until after ten hours, which could be related to the high lecithin content and the presence of a glycoprotein that inhibits the development of undesirable bacteria that require iron .

10. Eating behavior

Table 3.6 shows the results of the comparison of the feeding behavior of Buffaloes and Cattle for the study area. There were no differences for the evaluated indicators, except for pasture consumption, to which the Buffaloes spent less time. This indicator could be related to the anatomical and physiological characteristics of these animals, which allow them to consume a greater amount of food per unit of time, as indicated by Carrero (1998). Like the lactating buffalo (Fundora et al. 2002), the buffalo and cattle spent most of their time eating, rumination and resting.

Table 3.6. Comparison of the feeding behavior of Buffaloes and Cattle (% of the total time)

The less time spent consuming pastures, despite the better productive behavior of Buffaloes, could be due to a more efficient chewing, possibly associated with a higher rhythm, due to certain characteristics of the dentition that facilitate easier reduction particle size and with it the swallowing of food. It could also be due to other characteristics of the digestive system that facilitate the digestion process and contribute to the better use of foods high in fiber (Youssef et al. 1997).

The rest of the activities were similar between species, and in both cases, the daytime habit was mainly observed.

Figure 3.4. Distribution of rest in the day and night hours.

The Buffalos and Cattle preferred to rest at night. That is, between 6 pm and 12 pm, and they used 58 and 67% of that time respectively (figure 3.4).

Fundora, et al (2002) observed similar distribution of rumination and rest in lactating buffalo, although in these the intensity of rumination was higher, probably due to the need to use more food per unit of time, with respect to the animals growing.


• The productive and reproductive indicators (birth weight, weaning weight, mortality, among others), of the Buffalo herd are considered superior to those of the Beef herd for the conditions studied.

• The productions of meat, milk and dairy productions are greater and more efficient for buffalo cattle than for cattle in these mountain conditions.

• Buffalos in growth - fattening, showed a feeding behavior similar to cattle of similar age and live weight, although they invested less time in consumption and proportionally more in rumination and rest.

• Buffaloes had higher live weight gains than cattle in feeding systems based only on grass and mineral salts. This could be associated with a greater efficiency in the use of fibers, due to a better fitness in the digestive system compared to Beef.


Engineer Tania Sánchez Pérez. Assistant Prof. Faculty of Mountain Agronomy. University of Pinar del Río. Cuba

Dr.C. Ivan Paneque Torres. Assistant.

Ing. Magaly Nieto Quiñones.

Ing. Darién Sánchez Sosa


1. Alonso J. (2002). Characteristics of the estrous cycle and ovarian and endocrine response to different hormonal treatments in Buffalo (B. Bubalis). Rev. Salid Anim., Vol 24: 143.

2. Ares, E. (1999). Dasometric tables, category proposals and assessment of management alternatives for the natural pine forests of the EFI La Palma. Optional thesis to the degree of Doctor of Forest Sciences. UPR. 177pp.

3. Arias, F., García, A. L. Vega, A. (1977). Aptitude for fattening in Manchego and crossed buffalo. Arch. Zootec. 99: 77-87.

4. Avedaño, A .; Surly, C. and Campos O. (2004). Low input management of a buffalo herd in Argentina. J. Tropical Zootechnics. No 23. 12-17.

5. Baruselli, P. Ovarian activity and reproductive behavior in the postpartum period in Buffaloes (B. bubalis). Univ. De Sao Paulo, (thesis). 100 p.

6. Baruselli, P.S. Basic requirements for development programs of Artificial Insemination and embryo transfer in buffaloes. II Intern. training course on biotechnology of reproduction in buffaloes, jun. 27-30, p: 158.

7. Boisier, L. (2000). Técnicas exploratorias socio económicas. Ed. FAO. Roma. 55 pp.

8. Boyazoglu, J. (1996). Growing interest in the water buffalo: a short bibliographic update. Boletin de Información sobre Recursos Genéticos Animales (FAO/PNUMA) no 19, p. 7.

9. Boytel, F. (1992). Geografía eólica. La Habana. Inst. del Libro. 251 p.

10. Calzadilla, E. Los Sistemas agroforestales en la República de Cuba. CIDA. 29 p.

11. Cano. M., Fonseca, R., Fonseca, N y Miranda, O. Caracterización de los sistemas de crianza de Búfalos en Granma.

Video: Great Billu Gujjar Interview. Shoq ho to aisa (May 2022).


  1. Jaeden

    Even so

  2. Abdul-Sabur

    thanks for the article ... added to the reader

  3. Peregrine

    Your idea will come in handy

  4. Strang

    This rather valuable message

Write a message