Romanian Buffalo: Characteristics, Uses & Best 13 Tips

The Romanian buffalo is a multipurpose breed of water buffalo. As the name suggests it is from Romania, and the breed is also known as Bivol românesc.

The breed was actually developed from the Mediterranean type of water buffalo. Introgression has been made since 1960 from Murrah buffalo stock from Bulgaria.

A herdbook for the breed was established in 1987. The Romanian population consists of 3 different buffalo types: Carpathian type, Danubian buffalo and the one improved through the Indian Murrah buffalo. And the most numerous Romanian buffaloes are the Carpathian type.

Total number of the Romanian buffalo is slightly decreasing. The number of breeding animals used for AI was 11800 (1,628 in herdbook)/5 bulls in 1994. However, read some more information about this buffalo breed below.

Romanian Buffalo Characteristics

The Romanian buffalo is unicolored in black and the skin color is also black. The back line is sinuous, i.e. loin and tail point come lower than wither and crump height.

Both males and females are horned, and their horns are directed to the back and each measuring about 50-70 cm.

Average body height of the mature males is between 140 and 142 cm at the wither, and between 131 and 133 for the females.

Average live body weight of the mature females is between 530 and 560 kg, and between 650 and 680 for males. Photo and info from Wikipedia.

Physical Characteristics

Here we are trying to list the physical characteristics of these animals.

Size and Build

Romanian Buffaloes are typically large and muscular animals, with males (bulls) being larger than females (cows).

On average, bulls stand around 150-160 centimeters (4.9-5.2 feet) tall at the shoulder and can weigh between 700 to 1000 kilograms (1,543 to 2,204 pounds), while cows are slightly smaller, both in height and weight.

Coat and Color

Their fur is dense and usually dark brown to black in coloration, which provides them with protection from the harsh weather conditions of the Carpathian region.

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The thick coat helps keep them warm during the cold winters and provides some defense against insect bites during the warmer months.

Horns

One of the most distinctive features of the Romanian Buffalo is it’s impressive horns. Both males and females have horns, although those of the males tend to be larger and more curved.

These horns are used for various purposes, including defending against predators and engaging in social interactions with other buffaloes.

Hooves

The hooves of these buffaloes are adapted to traversing wet and marshy terrain, which is common in their natural habitat.

Their cloven hooves are broad and concave, allowing them to distribute their weight and prevent sinking into soft ground. This adaptation makes them excellent swimmers and well-suited to the muddy wetlands of Romania.

Temperament and Behavior

Despite their imposing size and strength, these Romanian buffaloes are known for their docile and gentle temperament. They are generally easy to handle, and this feature makes them valuable assets in agricultural activities such as plowing fields and pulling carts.

These buffaloes are also highly social creatures and prefer to live in groups. Within their herds, they form strong bonds and engage in social grooming, which helps build and maintain relationships among members.

While they are sociable animals, Romanian buffaloes can also exhibit territorial behaviors when defending their herd or grazing areas. They may use their formidable horns to ward off potential threats to their group or resources, displaying a protective side when necessary.

Uses

The Romanian buffaloes are multi-purpose animals. They are used for both milk and meat production. And also good for draught purpose.

Tips for Raising Romanian Buffaloes

Raising Romanian buffaloes is relatively easy and simple. These remarkable creatures are known for their strength, milk production, and cultural significance in Romania. Here we are trying to share some tips for raising these buffaloes.

1. Learn Practically

Learning practically about raising these beautiful animals is very important. Because, practical knowledge play a very important role in raising these animals. So, try to learn practically and then plan for raising these animals.

2. Understand the Breed

Actually, it’s very important to have a comprehensive understanding of this buffalo breed. Research their physical characteristics, temperament, and specific needs. Knowing the breed well will help you provide appropriate care and make informed decisions.

3. Ensure Enough Grazing Land

These buffaloes are excellent grazers and they require ample grazing land with access to fresh water. Ensure that your pastures are well-maintained, free from toxic plants, and provide sufficient nutrition to support their grazing needs.

4. Provide Them Enough Shelter and Shade

Provide shelter and shade to protect your buffaloes from extreme weather conditions. A well-constructed barn or shelter will keep them comfortable during hot summers and harsh winters.

5. Ensure Good Fencing

Strong and secure fencing is essential for keeping your buffaloes safe and preventing them from wandering off your property. Buffaloes are strong animals and can challenge weaker fences.

6. Ensure Proper Nutrition

Like many other breeds, these buffaloes have specific dietary requirements. Ensure they have access to quality forage, grasses, and hay. Consult with a livestock nutritionist to develop a balanced feeding program that meets their nutritional needs.

7. Provide Enough Drinking Water

Along with good and nutritious food, these buffaloes also require lots of clean and fresh drinking water. Romanian buffaloes are large animals and they require a lot of water daily.

8. Provide Mineral Supplements

Buffaloes may require mineral supplements to ensure they receive essential vitamins and minerals. Consult with a veterinarian or livestock nutritionist to determine the specific mineral supplementation needed for your herd.

9. Perform Regular Veterinary Care

Performing regular vet care is very important for keeping your animals healthy and active. Keep good relationship with a veterinarian who is experienced in buffalo care.

10. Breeding

If you plan to breed buffaloes, understand the breeding cycle and the specific requirements for successful reproduction. Work with an experienced breeder or veterinarian to manage the breeding process effectively.

Proper calving management is also important to ensure the health of both the mother and the calf. Provide a clean and safe calving area, and be prepared to assist with difficult births if necessary.

11. Milk Production

If you intend to utilize your buffaloes for milk production, establish a milking routine that includes proper sanitation practices. Ensure the milk is handled and stored correctly to maintain its quality.

12. Disease Prevention

Stay informed about common buffalo diseases and implement disease prevention strategies, including vaccination, biosecurity measures, and regular health checks. Doing this is very important for keeping your animals healthy and disease free.

13. Keep Farm Records

Maintain accurate records of your buffalo herd, including health records, breeding records, and production data. Good record-keeping will help you make informed decisions and track the progress of your herd.

Also try to include all costs and income from your buffalo farm. And doing this is very important for running and maintaining a profitable farm.

Special Notes

Most numerous Romanian buffaloes are the Carpathian type, with valuable gene resource and they are well adapted to the cold climate for buffalo.

These animals are very well adapted to their local environment. The type of management is stationary, housing is over 6-8 months/year and feeding is mixes.

The buffaloes are maintained in closed barns in winter in most smallholders. But a combination between stable housing with grazing is practiced in the warm seasons.

They are powerful swimmers. The young animals are kept for grazing on pasture. Both cattle and buffaloes coexist satisfactorily when pastured together.

The Romanian buffaloes are mainly used for milk, meat and draught power. Milk production of the animals vary in accordance to the season of calving, lactation numbers, level of feeding and length of lactation.

Average milk production is between 958 and 1455 kg per lactation. And the lactation period is between 252 and 285 days.

First calving of these animals generally occur within their 38 to 42 months of age. Along with milk production, these animals are also very good for producing meat.

The young are slaughtered at their 22-24 months of age when they reach about 350-400 kg body weight. Milk and meat are of good quality.

Milk generally contain around 7.48 percent fat, and around 3.93 percent protein. However, review full breed profile of the Romanian buffalo in the following table.

Breed NameRomanian
Other NameBivol românesc
Breed PurposeMilk, meat, draught
Special NotesVery strong and hardy animals, well adapted to the cold climate, very well adapted to the local environment, maintained in closed barns in winter in the smallholders, these animals are powerful swimmers, the young animals are kept for grazing on pasture, first calving generally occur within their 38-42 months of age, good for both meat and milk production, milk is of good quality containing around 7.48 percent fat and around 3.93 percent protein
Breed SizeMedium
BullsBetween 650 and 680 kg
CowsBetween 530 and 560 kg
Climate ToleranceNative climates
ColorBlack
RarityCommon
Country/Place of OriginRomania

Related Queries & FAQs

There are lots of questions and queries related to Romanian buffalo. Here we are trying to list the common questions and queries about this buffalo breed. Hope you will find answers of your questions or queries. Don’t hesitate to ask us if you have more questions.

What is actually a Romanian buffalo?

A Romanian buffalo is a domesticated subspecies of the wild water buffalo, and it is also known as a Carpathian buffalo. It is native to Romania and is primarily raised for it’s milk and meat production, and also for labor.

What are the physical characteristics of Romanian buffaloes?

Romanian buffaloes are large and muscular animals with a dark brown to black coat, distinctive curved horns, and broad cloven hooves. Males are larger than females and can weigh between 700 to 1000 kilograms.

What is the temperament of Romanian buffaloes?

Romanian buffaloes are known for their docile and gentle temperament. They are generally easy to work with and are social animals, forming strong bonds within their herds.

What are some traditional uses of Romanian buffaloes?

Romanian buffaloes have been used for plowing fields, transporting goods, and providing milk and meat for sustenance in traditional Romanian agriculture. They are also featured in folklore and cultural traditions.

What is the milk production capacity of Romanian buffaloes?

Romanian buffaloes are valued for their high milk production. A healthy buffalo can produce anywhere from 1,500 to 2,500 liters of milk per lactation cycle.

What are some popular dairy products made from buffalo milk in Romania?

Buffalo milk is used to make a variety of dairy products in Romania, including Telemea de Bivolita (buffalo cheese), Burduf Cheese, and buffalo milk yogurt.

How are Romanian buffaloes cared for during extreme weather conditions?

Romanian buffaloes are provided with shelter and shade to protect them from harsh weather conditions. Well-constructed barns or shelters help them stay comfortable during both hot summers and cold winters.

What are some common health issues in Romanian buffaloes, and how are they managed?

Common health issues can include diseases like foot rot and brucellosis. Regular veterinary care, vaccinations, and health monitoring are essential to detect and prevent these issues.

Are there conservation efforts in place to protect Romanian buffaloes?

Yes, there are conservation programs and breeding initiatives aimed at preserving and protecting the Romanian buffalo breed, as population decline due to changes in agriculture and urbanization poses a threat.

What is the cultural significance of Romanian buffaloes in Romania?

Romanian buffaloes hold cultural significance and are often featured in Romanian folklore and traditions, symbolizing strength, fertility, and prosperity. Some regions still practice buffalo-related customs and rituals.

Can Romanian buffaloes be used for meat production?

Yes, Romanian buffalo meat is highly prized for its tenderness and flavor. It is used in various traditional Romanian dishes such as sarmale and grilled buffalo meat dishes.

What is the lifespan of a Romanian buffalo?

Depends on numerous factors. But the average lifespan of a Romanian buffalo is around 15 to 20 years, but it can vary depending on factors such as care, health, and environmental conditions.

Are Romanian buffaloes endangered?

While the population of Romanian buffaloes has faced challenges, they are not considered critically endangered. Conservation efforts are in place to ensure their survival and sustainable use.

How do I start raising Romanian buffaloes?

Starting a buffalo farming venture involves numerous tasks such as securing suitable grazing land, providing proper shelter, understanding their nutritional needs, and establishing a relationship with a veterinarian experienced in buffalo care.

How do you care for the hooves of Romanian buffaloes?

Proper hoof care for Romanian buffaloes involves regular trimming and maintenance. Ensuring that hooves are clean and free from debris can prevent issues such as foot rot.

What are the differences between Romanian buffalo and other buffalo breeds?

Romanian buffalo has unique physical characteristics and adaptations suited to the Carpathian Mountains. These differences can include size, horn shape, and coat color.

Can Romanian buffaloes swim?

Yes, Romanian buffaloes are strong swimmers and are known to navigate through wetlands and rivers. Their broad hooves make them well-suited to such environments.

What is the typical breeding season for Romanian buffaloes?

The breeding season for Romanian buffaloes often occurs during the late summer and early autumn, with calving typically taking place in the spring.

How do you manage buffalo herds during the calving season?

During the calving season, it’s essential to monitor pregnant buffaloes closely, provide a clean and safe calving area, and be prepared to assist with deliveries if needed.

What is the market demand for buffalo products in Romania and beyond?

The market demand for buffalo products in Romania has been steadily increasing, driven by the popularity of buffalo cheese, meat, and dairy products. There is also a growing international market for these products.

Can Romanian buffaloes be crossbred with other buffalo breeds?

Crossbreeding Romanian buffaloes with other buffalo breeds is possible, but it should be done with careful consideration of the desired traits and genetic compatibility.

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