Breed Conservation

Banni buffalo is a unique germplasm maintained under locally adapted extensive production system.  The Maldharis have developed and conserved one of the best bloodlines of buffalo in Banni. The genetic makeup of these buffalos is such that they are able to graze in the night freely and avoid harsh temperatures of the day; handle the temperature differences and drought conditions and yet, produce twice the amount of milk compared to any other indigenous animal in the country.

Banni buffalos have got adapted to the local conditions of Kachchh and got the name Banni which do not have any similarity to any other Indian buffalo breeds.

Natural breeding practice is followed in this area mostly. The Maldharis practice selective breeding. Male buffalos are selected for breeding purposes based on their true breed characteristics, dam’s milk production and body confirmation from their own Vathan. Breeding males are exchanged between nearby villages after 3 – 4 years regularly, to avoid inbreeding. Some of the criteria they keep in mind while selecting a bull are:-

  • The health and strength of the animal
  • The horns are equal in shape and size,
  • Information on the pedigree of the animal,
  • Whether its ancestors have ever fallen ill or died due to disease,
  • Beauty of the bull is well defined amongst the breeders and plays an equally important role in the selection of an animal.
  • The behavioral aspects of the animal are also considered, such as complacency, good mothering instincts, ability to be a part of a large herd, etc.
  • Ability to walk long distances.