An observational case study was designed to highlight issues associated with a possible expansion of dairy buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) farming outside the traditional coastal plains of southern Italy. Twenty pregnant buffaloes were transferred to a hilly inland farm. After calving, production and reproduction data were collected monthly throughout lactation. From 4 to 6 months of lactation, buffaloes were enrolled in a feeding trial to evaluate the effects of locally grown forages (maize silage vs. hay) on milk production and in vivo digestibility. Sensory properties of mozzarella cheese produced at a local dairy were also evaluated. No obvious effects of diet were found. Compared to the data recorded in the previous lactation completed in the farm of origin, milk yield was reduced by 37.2%, and milk protein by 6.1%, whereas milk fat improved (+4.5%). A lower pregnancy rate (−13.3%), increased days open (+122%), and a prolonged intercalving period (+26.9%) were also observed. Lactation length was shorter than the standard value of 270 d. The results showed that peculiar reproductive characteristics, lower environmental temperatures, and the specificity of the mozzarella production process are the main problems to be addressed in an expansion of buffalo farming outside traditional areas

Moving Buffalo Farming beyond Traditional Areas: Performances of Animals, and Quality of Mozzarella and Forages

Serrapica, Francesco
Primo
;
Masucci, Felicia
Secondo
;
De Rosa, Giuseppe;Braghieri, Ada
;
Grasso, Fernando
Penultimo
;
Di Francia, Antonio
Ultimo
2022

Abstract

An observational case study was designed to highlight issues associated with a possible expansion of dairy buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) farming outside the traditional coastal plains of southern Italy. Twenty pregnant buffaloes were transferred to a hilly inland farm. After calving, production and reproduction data were collected monthly throughout lactation. From 4 to 6 months of lactation, buffaloes were enrolled in a feeding trial to evaluate the effects of locally grown forages (maize silage vs. hay) on milk production and in vivo digestibility. Sensory properties of mozzarella cheese produced at a local dairy were also evaluated. No obvious effects of diet were found. Compared to the data recorded in the previous lactation completed in the farm of origin, milk yield was reduced by 37.2%, and milk protein by 6.1%, whereas milk fat improved (+4.5%). A lower pregnancy rate (−13.3%), increased days open (+122%), and a prolonged intercalving period (+26.9%) were also observed. Lactation length was shorter than the standard value of 270 d. The results showed that peculiar reproductive characteristics, lower environmental temperatures, and the specificity of the mozzarella production process are the main problems to be addressed in an expansion of buffalo farming outside traditional areas
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/896838
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