The Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) - Production and Research

Influence of Seasonality on Buffalo Production

Author(s): Luigi Zicarelli

Pp: 196-224 (29)

DOI: 10.2174/9781681084176117010011

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


This review aims at elucidating some of the factors that affect seasonality in the buffalo species, together with the possibility to enhance reproductive performance in buffaloes through the adoption of newly developed technologies. It is known that reproduction in buffaloes is influenced by the season, and an improvement in reproductive performances is reported in the period of the year when the length of the day decreases. If conception is not established in buffaloes in the course of few ovarian cycle, ovarian function is interrupted and a period of ovarian quiescence (anestrus) begins. The transitional period in the buffalo is an important one for reproductive functions, and throughout this period a proper management of the animals has to be taken into consideration, especially in order to properly maintain the hygienic status of the uterus. Buffaloes reared in tropical countries north of the equator may be characterized by a reduced fertility in the summer when hit mainly by restricted feeding and heat stress. In some countries like Pakistan, the breeding season starts in a period of the year characterized by decreasing daylight (autumn), together with an increase in body condition score. Differently, despite a constant feed availability in the course of the year and a moderate daily temperature ranging from 13 to 23 °C, anestrus can be witnessed also in Italy. These two countries are similarly characterized by an increase in daylight from April to June and reaching more than 12 hours of light hours at summer peak. In order to improve fertility in Italian buffalo herds, an increasing number of farms adopt the Out of Breeding Mating Strategy (OBMS) together with the availability of water pools. This is a clear evidence that reproductive performance as a whole can be improved, together with a reduction in the incidence of embryonic mortality and ovarian inactivity, when environmental conditions are also improved.

Keywords: Buffalo, Reproduction, Reproductive technologies

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