ISSN: 0041-3216

ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 90 Number 2
Research Papers
The performance and heat tolerance of water buffaloes (Buffalypso) at Aripo Livestock Station, Trinidad. (97)
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A study was undertaken to analyse the reproductive performance, and thermal tolerance of the buffalypso at Aripo Livestock Station. Retrospective data were collected from records at the Aripo station from approximately 35 female buffaloes, 4 sires and 35 calves for the period 2009 to 2011, where there was a complete data set. The performance data was analysed by the GLM for unbalanced design, and skin temperatures and rectal temperatures were subjected to repeated measure ANOVA, using Genstat discovery edition 4. There was no significant difference between birth weight for sex (p=0.724), parity (p=0.251) and sire (p=0.091). However birth weight differed between years (p=0.012). Similarly, weaning weights showed a similar trend for sex (p=0.472), parity (p=0.347), sire (p=0.515) and year (p=0.044). The average daily gain and yearling weights followed a similar trend year of birth differed (p=0.034) with no differences between parity (p=0.327), sex (p=0.743) and sire (p=0.465). Calving interval showed a significant difference for parity (p=0.034) while differences between dams within the herd just approached significance (p=0.053). Calving distribution showed that 62.4% of the calves were born in the dry season while 37.6% were born in the wet season. The mean calving interval found was 711.86(±64.87) days. The mean rectal temperature for lactating buffalo cows at the Aripo Livestock station housed in open sided house was 38 (±0.12) ºC. Lactating dairy cattle had higher skin temperatures than lactating buffalypso (P<0.05). The mean of the lactating dairy cattle side and back skin temperatures were 35.06 (±0.0.39) ºC and 35.06 (±0.23) ºC. Similarly, the mean buffalypso side and back skin temperatures were 34.50 (±0.23) ºC and 34.64 (±0.19) ºC, respectively. With normal skin and rectal temperatures, it was concluded that housing and environmental management at the Aripo Station had kept the buffaloes thermostable. However, high calving interval and calf mortality need to be addressed by management. The buffalypso, is a valuable national resource and has the potential to help in enhancing the food and protein security in Trinidad and Tobago
Keywords: Buffalypso, Trinidad, heat tolerance, reproductive performance