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close this bookEnvironmentally Sound Technologies for Women in Agriculture (IIRR, 1996, 213 p.)
close this folderAnimal husbandry and dairying
View the documentSelection and breeding of cattle buffaloes
View the documentSelection and breeding of goats and sheep
View the documentSelection and breeding of swine
View the documentCommunity pasture management
View the documentCattle feeding
View the documentMake hay to preserve fodder
View the documentMake silage to preserve green fodder
View the documentImprove dry fodder by adding urea
View the documentUrea-molasses liquid mixture
View the documentUrea-molasses-mineral lick
View the documentClean milk production
View the documentLivestock diseases
View the documentCommon maladies in cattle
View the documentProtect your cattle from poisoning
View the documentAdaptation of livestock

Selection and breeding of cattle buffaloes

Animal management in rural areas is generally the job of farm women. Their opinion. therefore is important when selecting and breeding livestock. When you select an animal for purchase, consider the following points.

General health

The animal is in good health if:

- it is taking its feed and water well with normal rumination.

- it passes normal dune and urine.

- its eyes are bright, it appears alert, and its muzzle is moist.

- its skin is smooth, its coat glistens, and the animal twitches its skin and swings its tail around to drive off lies..

- the animal walks normally with no signs of lameness.


Count the animal's teeth to determine its age.


Approximate age

8 milk teeth

birth to 2 years

1st pair of permanent teeth

2-3 years

2nd pair of permanent teeth

3-4 years

3rd pair of permanent teeth

4-5 years

4th pair of permanent teeth

5 or more years


If you are considering purchasing a milch cow, milk the animal two consecutive times in order to determine its daily milk production.

Milch animals

For milch animals, look for the following:

- Udder should be large and well developed with a prominent milk vein leading from the udder to the abdomen.

- Four teats, well separated, without cracks or blockages.

- Normal milk flow from all four teats.

- Hind legs should be parallel and spaced well apart, allowing enough room for the udder.

- Angular body, high and wide in the back and sloping slightly downward to the neck.

- Deep chest, well supported.


Here are some questions which will help you choose a good animal.

- How many times has it calved? Preferably, buy an animal which has calved once or twice. Buy freshly calved animals.

- Is it pregnant? If the animal is pregnant, try to determine the stage of its pregnancy.

- What was the time gap between previous carvings? Avoid animals which have aborted.

- How often does it come into heat? Cows (cattle and buffaloes) should come into estrus 45-60 days after calving. A cow should come into heat regularly, every 3 weeks, until conception.

When to breed

If you notice signs of estrus in the morning, mate the animal (or have it artificially inseminated) in the afternoon. If signs of estrus are noticed in the evening, mate the animal early the next morning, 10-12 hours after the onset of estrus.

Have a veterinarian examine your animal 2-3 months after breeding to make certain that the animal is pregnant.

Signs of estrus

- Bellowing Animal becomes restless
- Animal's vagina becomes swollen and discharges mucus Animal mounts other animals
- Animal stands still when mounted
- Frequent urination