Hari Raya Idul Adha

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Hari Raya Idul Adha, Hari Raya Haji atau Hari Raya Qurban

Dari Wikipedia bahasa Indonesia, ensiklopedia bebas
Idul Adha (di Republik Indonesia, Hari Raya Haji) adalah sebuah hari raya Islam. Pada hari ini diperingati peristiwa kurban, yaitu ketika nabi Ibrahim (Abraham), yang bersedia untuk mengorbankan putranya Ismail untuk Allah, akan mengorbankan putranya Ismail, kemudian digantikan oleh-Nya dengan domba.
Pada hari raya ini, umat Islam berkumpul pada pagi hari dan melakukan salat Ied bersama-sama di tanah lapang, seperti ketika merayakan Idul Fitri. Setelah salat, dilakukan penyembelihan hewan kurban, untuk memperingati perintah Allah kepada Nabi Ibrahim yang menyembelih domba sebagai pengganti putranya.
Hari Raya Idul Adha jatuh pada tanggal 10 bulan Dzulhijjah, hari ini jatuh persis 70 hari setelah perayaan Idul Fitri. Hari ini juga beserta hari-hari Tasyrik diharamkan puasa bagi umat Islam.


Dari Wikipedia bahasa Indonesia, ensiklopedia bebas
Qurban atau Kurban, atau disebut juga Udhhiyah atau Dhahiyyah secara harfiah berarti hewan sembelihan. Sedangkan ritual Qurban adalah salah satu ritual ibadah pemeluk agama Islam, dimana dilakukan penyembelihan binatang ternak untuk dipersembahkan kepada Allah. Ritual kurban dilakukan pada bulan Dzulhijjah pada penanggalan Islam, yakni pada tanggal 10 (hari nahar) dan 11,12 dan 13 (hari tasyrik) bertepatan dengan Hari Raya Idul Adha.

Hadits Zaid ibn Arqam, ia berkata atau mereka berkata: “Wahai Rasulullah SAW, apakah qurban itu?” Rasulullah menjawab: “Qurban adalah sunnahnya bapak kalian, Nabi Ibrahim.” Mereka menjawab: “Apa keutamaan yang kami akan peroleh dengan qurban itu?” Rasulullah menjawab: “Setiap satu helai rambutnya adalah satu kebaikan.” Mereka menjawab: “Kalau bulu-bulunya?” Rasulullah menjawab: “Setiap satu helai bulunya juga satu kebaikan.” HR. Ahmad dan ibn Majah

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Idul Adha 1431 H, Picture taken by Winry Marini, Tebet Barat, November 2010.

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Idul Adha 1431 H, Picture taken by Erry Safri, Tebet Barat, November 2010.

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Idul Adha 1431 H, Picture taken by Erry Safri, Tebet Barat, November 2010.

sapi qurban tb512 tebet barat
Idul Adha 1429 H, Picture taken by Safri Ishak, Tebet Barat, December 2008.

sapi qurban tb512 tebet barat
Idul Adha 1429 H, Picture taken by Safri Ishak, Tebet Barat, December 2008.
sapi qurban tb512 tebet barat
Idul Adha 1429 H, Picture taken by Safri Ishak, Tebet Barat, December 2008.

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Idul Adha 1429 H, Picture taken by Winry Marini, Tebet Barat, December 2008.

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Idul Adha 1427 H, Picture taken by Safri Ishak, Arlet Jl Supomo Tebet, December 2006.

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Idul Adha 1427 H, Picture taken by Safri Ishak, Arlet Jl Supomo Tebet, December 2006.

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Idul Adha 1427 H, Picture taken by Safri Ishak, Arlet Jl Supomo Tebet, December 2006.

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Courtesy of WIKIPEDIA

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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A supplicating pilgrim at Masjid al-Haram, the mosque which was built around the Kaaba ("cube"), (the building at center). In this image of the Hajj from 2003, thousands of pilgrims are walking around the Kaaba in a counter-clockwise direction (Tawaf).
The Hajj (Arabic: ??? ?ajj) is the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is currently the largest annual pilgrimage in the world,[1] and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so. The Hajj is a demonstration of the solidarity of the Muslim people, and their submission to God (Allah in the Arabic language).[2]
The pilgrimage occurs from the 8th to 12th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the 12th and last month of the Islamic calendar. Because the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, eleven days shorter than the Gregorian calendar used in the Western world, the Gregorian date of the Hajj changes from year to year. Ihram is the name given to the special state in which Muslims live while on the pilgrimage.
The Hajj is associated with the life of Islamic prophet Muhammad from the 7th century, but the ritual of pilgrimage to Mecca is considered by Muslims to stretch back thousands of years to the time of Abraham (Ibrahim). Pilgrims join processions of hundreds of thousands of people, who simultaneously converge on Mecca for the week of the Hajj, and perform a series of rituals: Each person walks counter-clockwise seven times around the Kaaba, the cube-shaped building which acts as the Muslim direction of prayer, runs back and forth between the hills of Al-Safa and Al-Marwah, drinks from the Zamzam Well, goes to the plains of Mount Arafat to stand in vigil, and throws stones in a ritual Stoning of the Devil. The pilgrims then shave their heads, perform a ritual of animal sacrifice, and celebrate the three day global festival of Eid al-Adha.

As of 2010, about five million pilgrims participate in this annual pilgrimage.Crowd-control techniques have become critical, and because of the large numbers of people, many of the rituals have become more stylized. It is not necessary to kiss the Black Stone, but merely to point at it on each circuit around the Kaaba. Throwing pebbles was done at large pillars, which for safety reasons in 2004 were changed to long walls with catch basins below to catch the stones. The slaughter of an animal can be done either personally, or by appointing someone else to do it, and so forth.[8] But even with the crowd control techniques, there are still many incidents during the Hajj, as pilgrims are trampled in a crush, or ramps collapse under the weight of the many visitors, causing hundreds of deaths. Pilgrims can also go to Mecca to perform the rituals at other times of the year. This is sometimes called the "lesser pilgrimage", or Umrah. However, even if one chooses to perform the Umrah, they are still obligated to perform the Hajj at some other point in their lifetime if they have the means to do so.

The Kaaba during Hajj
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The Hajj is based on a pilgrimage that was ancient even in the time of Muhammad in the 7th Century. According to Hadith, elements of the Hajj trace back to the time of Abraham (Ibrahim), around 2000 BCE. It is believed that the Abraham was ordered by God to leave his wife Hagar (Hajar) and his infant son Ishmael ('Isma?il) alone in the desert. While he was gone, the child became thirsty, and Hagar ran back and forth seven times searching for water for her son. The baby cried and hit the ground with his foot (some versions of the story say that the angel Gabriel (Jibral) scraped his foot or the tip of his wing along the ground), and water miraculously sprang forth. This source of water is today called the Well of Zamzam.
Prior to Muhammad's era, each year tribes from all around the Arabian Peninsula would converge on Mecca, as part of the pilgrimage. The exact faith of the tribes was not important at that time, and Christian Arabs were as likely to make the pilgrimage as the pagans. Muslim historians refer to the time before Muhammad as jahiliyyah, the "Days of Ignorance", during which the Kaaba contained hundreds of idols – totems of each of the tribes of the Arabian Peninsula, with idols of pagan gods such as Hubal, al-Lat, Al-‘Uzzá and Manat, and also some representing Jesus (Isa), and Mary (Maryam).
Muhammad was known to regularly perform the Umrah, even before he began receiving revelations.[3] Historically, Muslims would gather at various meeting points in other great cities, and then proceed en masse towards Mecca, in groups that could comprise tens of thousands of pilgrims. Two of the most famous meeting points were in Cairo and Damascus. In Cairo, the Sultan would stand atop a platform of the famous gate Bab Zuwayla, to officially watch the beginning of the annual pilgrimage.
In 631 CE, Muhammad led his followers from Medina to Mecca, it was the first Hajj to be performed by Muslims alone, and the only Hajj ever performed by Muhammad. He cleansed the Kaaba, destroyed all the idols, and re-ordained the building as the house of God. It was from this point that the Hajj became one of the Five Pillars of Islam.
Performing Hajj was a hazardous journey for early pilgrims; Ibn Jubayr noted the skeletons of pilgrims who had died of thirst during the journey. In the seventeenth century a group of Egyptian pilgrims lost over 1,500 people and 900 camels. In 1924 around one-fifth of a group of Syrian pilgrims died and two years later 12,000 are thought to have died during the journey.

Pilgrims generally travel to Hajj in groups, as an expression of unity. Some airlines have special packages for Muslims going to Mecca such as the Haj subsidy offered in India. Ships also take pilgrims to Mecca so they can perform Hajj.
During the Hajj, male pilgrims are required to dress only in the ihram, a garment consisting of two sheets of white unhemmed cloth, with the top draped over the torso and the bottom secured by a white sash; plus a pair of sandals. Women are simply required to maintain their hijab - normal modest dress, which does not cover the hands or face.[8]
The Ihram is meant to show equality of all pilgrims in the eyes of God: that there is no difference between a prince and a pauper. Ihram is also symbolic for holy virtue and pardon from all past sins. A place designated for changing into Ihram is called a miqat ( like Zu 'l-Hulafa, Juhfa, Qarnu 'l-Manazil, Yalamlam, Zat-i-'Irq, Ibrahim Mursia)
While wearing the Ihram, a pilgrim may not shave, clip their nails, wear perfume, swear or quarrel, have sexual relations, uproot or damage plants, cover the head [for men] or the face and hands [for women], marry, wear shoes over the ankles, perform any dishonest acts or carry weapons.

Upon arrival in Mecca the pilgrim, now known as a Hajji,[14] performs a series of ritual acts symbolic of the lives of Abraham and his wife Hagar. The acts also symbolize the solidarity of Muslims worldwide.
The greater Hajj (al-hajj al-akbar) begins on the eighth day of the lunar month of Dhu al-Hijjah. If they are not already wearing it upon their arrival, pilgrims put on ihram clothing and then leave Mecca for the nearby town of Mina where they spend the rest of the day. The Saudi government has put up thousands of large white tents at Mina to provide accommodations for all the pilgrims.[4]

On the first day of the Hajj (the 7th day of the 12th month in other words, Dhu al-Hijjah), the pilgrims perform their first Tawaf, which involves all of the pilgrims visiting the Kabah and walking seven times counter-clockwise around the Kaaba. They may also kiss the Black Stone (Al Hajar Al Aswad) on each circuit. If kissing the stone is not possible because of the crowds, they may simply point towards the Stone on each circuit with their right hand. In each complete circuit a pilgrim says "In the name of God, God is Great, God is Great, God is Great and praise be to God" (Bism Allah Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa lil Lahi Alhamd) with 7 circuits constituting a complete tawaf. The place where pilgrims walk is known as "Mutaaf". Only the first three shouts are compulsory, but almost all perform it seven times.
The tawaf is normally performed all at once. Eating is not permitted but the drinking of water is allowed because of the risk of dehydration. Men are encouraged to perform the first three circuits at a hurried pace, followed by four times, more closely, at a leisurely pace.[8]
After the completion of Tawaf, all the pilgrims have to offer two Rakaat prayers at the Place of Abraham (Muqaam Ibrahim), a site inside the mosque that is near the Kaaba. However, again because of large crowds during the days of Hajj, they may instead pray anywhere in the mosque.
Although the circuits around the Kaaba are traditionally done on the ground level, Tawaf is now also performed on the first floor and roof of the mosque because of the large crowd.
After Tawaf on the same day , the pilgrims perform sa`i, running or walking seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwah. This is a re-enactment of the frantic search for water for her son Ishmael by Abraham's wife Hagar. As she searched, the Zamzam Well was revealed to her by an angel, who hit the ground with his heel (or brushed the ground with the tip of his wing), upon which the water of the Zamzam started gushing from the ground.[15] The back and forth circuit of the pilgrims used to be in the open air, but is now entirely enclosed by the Masjid al-Haram mosque, and can be accessed via air-conditioned tunnels. Pilgrims are advised to walk the circuit, though two green pillars mark a short section of the path where they are allowed to run. There is also an internal "express lane" for the disabled. The safety procedures are in place because previous incidents in this ritual have resulted in stampedes which caused the deaths of hundreds of people.
As part of this ritual the pilgrims also drink water from the Zamzam Well, which is made available in coolers throughout the Mosque. After the visit to the mosque on this day of the Hajj, the pilgrims then return to their tents.

The next morning, on the eighth of Dhu al-Hijjah, the pilgrims proceed to Mina where they spend the night in prayer.
On the ninth day, they leave Mina for Mt. Arafat where they stand in contemplative vigil and pray and recite the Qur'an, near a hill from which Muhammad gave his last sermon, this hill is called Jabal Al Rahmah (The Hill of Forgiveness, Mount Arafat). This is known as Wuquf, considered the highlight of the Hajj. Pilgrims must spend the afternoon within a defined area on the plain of Arafat until after sunset. No specific rituals or prayers are required during the stay at Arafat, although many pilgrims spend time praying, and thinking about the course of their lives. A pilgrim's Hajj is considered invalid if they do not spend the afternoon on Arafat.[4]

As soon as the sun sets, the pilgrims leave Arafat for Muzdalifah, an area between Arafat and Mina, where they gather pebbles for the next day's ritual of the stoning of the Devil (Shaitan). Many pilgrims spend the night sleeping on the ground or back in their tents at Muzdalifah before returning to Mina.

Ramy al-Jamarat
Stoning of the Devil

At Mina the pilgrims perform Ramy al-Jamarat, throwing stones to signify their defiance of the Devil. This symbolizes the trials experienced by Abraham while he was going to sacrifice his son as demanded by Allah. The Devil challenged him three times, and three times Abraham refused. Each pillar marks the location of one of these refusals. On the first occasion when Ramy al-Jamarat is performed, pilgrims stone the largest pillar known as Jamrat'al'Aqabah.[16] Pilgrims climb ramps to the multi-levelled Jamaraat Bridge, from which they can throw their pebbles at the jamarat. On the second occasion, the other pillars are stoned. The stoning consists of throwing seven pebbles.[4] Because of the crowds, in 2004 the pillars were replaced by long walls, with catch basins below to collect the pebbles.

Eid al-Adha
After the Stoning of the Devil, the pilgrims perform animal sacrifices, to symbolize God having mercy on Abraham and replacing his son with a ram, which Abraham then sacrificed. Traditionally the pilgrims slaughtered the animal themselves, or oversaw the slaughtering. Today many pilgrims buy a sacrifice voucher in Mecca before the greater Hajj begins, which allows an animal to be slaughtered in their name on the 10th, without the pilgrim being physically present. Centralized butchers sacrifice a single sheep for each pilgrim, or a cow can represent the sacrifice of seven people. The meat is then packaged and given to charity and shipped to poor people around the world.[4] At the same time as the sacrifices occur at Mecca, Muslims worldwide perform similar sacrifices, in a four day global festival called Eid al-Adha.[17]


A farm is an area of land, including various structures, devoted primarily to the practice of producing and managing food (produce, grains, or livestock), fibers and, increasingly, fuel. It is the basic production facility in food production.[1] Farms may be owned and operated by a single individual, family, community, corporation or a company. A farm can be a holding of any size from a fraction of a hectare to several thousand hectares.
Farmland in the USA. The fields are round due to pivot irrigation. Photo taken from the window of an airliner

A business producing tree fruits or nuts is called orchard; a vineyard produces grapes. The stable is used for operations principally involved in the training of horses. Stud and commercial farms breed and produce other animals and livestock. A farm that is primarily used for the production of milk and dairy is a dairy farm. A market garden or truck farm is a farm that grows vegetables, but little or no grain. Additional specialty farms include fish farms, which raise fish in captivity as a food source, and tree farms, which grow trees for sale for transplant, lumber, or decorative use. A plantation is usually a large farm or estate, on which cotton, tobacco, coffee or sugar cane, are cultivated, usually by resident laborers.[citation needed]
Farm produce on display at an agricultural show, NSW.

The development of farming and farms was an important component in establishing towns. Once people have moved from hunting and/or gathering and from simple horticulture to active farming, social arrangements of roads, distribution, collection, and marketing can evolve. With the exception of plantations and colonial farms, farm sizes tend to be small in newly-settled lands and expand as transportation and markets become sophisticated.

Cattle (colloquially cows) are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, and are most commonly classified collectively as Bos primigenius. Cattle are raised as livestock for meat (beef and veal), as dairy animals for milk and other dairy products, and as draft animals (pulling carts, plows and the like). Other products include leather and dung for manure or fuel. In some countries, such as India, cattle are sacred. It is estimated that there are 1.3 billion cattle in the world today.[1] In 2009, cattle became the first livestock animal to have its genome mapped.[2]

Species of cattle

Cattle were originally identified by Carolus Linnaeus as three separate species. These were Bos taurus, the European or "taurine" cattle (including similar types from Africa and Asia); Bos indicus, the zebu; and the extinct Bos primigenius, the aurochs. The aurochs is ancestral to both zebu and taurine cattle. More recently these three have increasingly been grouped as one species, with Bos primigenius taurus, Bos primigenius indicus and Bos primigenius primigenius as the subspecies.[3]

Complicating the matter is the ability of cattle to interbreed with other closely related species. Hybrid individuals and even breeds exist, not only between taurine cattle and zebu but also between one or both of these and some other members of the genus Bos: yak (called a dzo or "yattle"[4]), banteng and gaur. Hybrids can also occur between taurine cattle and either species of bison, which some authors consider to be in the genus Bos as well.[5] The hybrid origin of some types may not be obvious – for example, genetic testing of the Dwarf Lulu breed, the only humpless taurine-type cattle in Nepal, found them to be a mix of taurine cattle, zebu and yak.[6] Cattle cannot successfully be hybridized with more distantly related bovines such as water buffalo or African buffalo.

The aurochs originally ranged throughout Europe, North Africa, and much of Asia. In historical times its range became restricted to Europe, and the last known individual died in Masovia, Poland, in about 1627.[7] Breeders have attempted to recreate cattle of similar appearance to aurochs by crossing traditional types of domesticated cattle, creating the Heck cattle breed. (See also aurochs and zebu articles.

Cattle genome
Further information: Bovine genome

In the April 24, 2009 edition of the journal Science it was reported that a team of researchers led by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have mapped the bovine genome.[8] The scientists found that cattle have approximately 22,000 genes, and 80 percent of their genes are shared with humans, and they have approximately 1,000 genes they share with dogs and rodents but are not found in humans. Using this bovine "HapMap", researchers can track the differences between the breeds that affect the quality of meat and milk yields.[9]

Search Wiktionary Look up cattle or cow in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
A Hereford bull

In general, the same words are used in different parts of the world but with minor differences in the definitions. The terminology described here contrasts the differences in definition between the United Kingdom and other British influenced parts of world such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and the United States.[10]

* An intact (i.e., not castrated) adult male is called a bull. A wild, young, unmarked bull is known as a micky in Australia.[11] An unbranded bovine of either sex is called a "maverick" in the USA and Canada.
* An adult female that has had a calf (or two, depending on regional usage) is a cow. A young female before she has had a calf of her own[12] and is under three years of age is called a heifer (pronounced /'h?f?r/, "heffer").[13] A young female that has had only one calf is occasionally called a first-calf heifer.
* Young cattle of both sexes are called calves until they are weaned, then weaners until they are a year old in some areas; in other areas, particularly with male beef cattle, they may be known as feeder-calves or simply feeders. After that, they are referred to as yearlings or stirks[14] if between one and two years of age. [15]
* A castrated male is called a steer in the United States, and older steers are often called bullocks in other parts of the world;[16] although in North America this term refers to a young bull. Piker bullocks are micky bulls that were caught, castrated and then later lost.[11] In Australia, the term "Japanese ox" is used for grain fed steers in the weight range of 500 to 650 kg that are destined for the Japanese meat trade.[17] In North America, draft cattle under four years old are called working steers. Improper or late castration on a bull results in it becoming a coarse steer known as a stag in Australia, Canada and New Zealand.[18] In some countries an incompletely castrated male is known also as a rig.
* A castrated male (occasionally a female or in some areas a bull) kept for draft purposes is called an ox (plural oxen); "ox" may also be used to refer to some carcase products from any adult cattle, such as ox-hide, ox-blood or ox-liver.[13] .
* In all cattle species, a female that is the twin of a bull usually becomes an infertile partial intersex, and is a freemartin.
* Neat (horned oxen, from which neatsfoot oil is derived), beef (young ox) and beefing (young animal fit for slaughtering) are obsolete terms, although poll, pollard or polled cattle are still terms in use for naturally hornless animals, or in some areas also for those that have been disbudded.
* Cattle raised for human consumption are called beef cattle. Within the beef cattle industry in parts of the United States, the older term beef (plural beeves) is still used to refer to an animal of either gender. Some Australian, Canadian, New Zealand and British people use the term beast, especially for single animals when the gender is unknown.[19]
* Cattle of certain breeds bred specifically for milk production are called milking or dairy cattle.[10]; a cow kept to provide milk for one family may be called a house cow.
* The adjective applying to cattle in general is usually bovine. The terms "bull", "cow" and "calf" are also used by extension to denote the gender or age of other large animals, including whales, hippopotamuses, camels, elk and elephants

See also: List of animal names
Singular terminology dilemma

Cattle can only be used in the plural and not in the singular: it is a plurale tantum. Thus one may refer to "three cattle" or "some cattle", but not "one cattle". There is no universally used singular form in modern English of "cattle", other than the sex- and age-specific terms such as cow, bull, steer and heifer. Historically, "ox" was a non-gender-specific term for adult cattle, but generally this is now used only for draft cattle, especially adult castrated males. The term is also incorporated into the names of other species such as the musk ox and "grunting ox" (yak), and is used in some areas to describe certain cattle products such as ox-hide and ox-tail.[20]
A Brahman calf

"Cow" has been in general use as a singular for the collective "cattle" in spite of the objections of those who say that it is a female-specific term, so that phrases such as "that cow is a bull" would be absurd from a lexicographic standpoint. However, it is easy to use when a singular is needed and the sex is not known or is irrelevant in the context of the conversation, as in "There is a cow in the road". Further, any herd of fully mature cattle in or near a pasture is statistically likely to consist mostly of cows, so the term is probably accurate even in the restrictive sense. Other than the few bulls needed for breeding, the vast majority of male cattle are castrated as calves and slaughtered for meat before the age of three years. Thus, in a pastured herd, any calves or herd bulls usually are clearly distinguishable from the cows due to distinctively different sizes and clear anatomical differences. The Oxford English Dictionary lists the use of "cows" as a synonym for "cattle" as an American usage.[21][Full citation needed] Merriam-Webster, a U.S. dictionary, recognizes the non-sex-specific use of "cow" as an alternate definition,[22] whereas Collins, a UK dictionary, does not.[23]

Colloquially, more general non-specific terms may denote cattle when a singular form is needed. Australian, New Zealand and British farmers use the term "beast" or "cattle beast". "Bovine" is also used in Britain. The term "critter" is common in the western United States and Canada, particularly when referring to young cattle.[24] In some areas of the American South (particularly the Appalachian region), where both dairy and beef cattle are present, an individual animal was once called a "beef critter", though that term is becoming archaic.
Other terminology

Cattle raised for human consumption are called "beef cattle". Within the beef cattle industry in parts of the United States, the term "beef" (plural "beeves") is still used in its archaic sense to refer to an animal of either gender. Cows of certain breeds that are kept for the milk they give are called "dairy cows" or "milking cows" (formerly "milch cows" – "milch" was pronounced as "milk"). Most young male offspring of dairy cows are sold for veal, and may be referred to as veal calves.

The term "dogies" is used to describe orphaned calves in the context of ranch work in the American west, as in "Keep them dogies moving,"[25]. In some places, a cow kept to provide milk for one family is called a "house cow". Other obsolete terms for cattle include "neat" (this use survives in "neatsfoot oil", extracted from the feet and legs of cattle), and "beefing" (young animal fit for slaughter).

An onomatopoeic term for one of the commonest sounds made by cattle is "moo", and this sound is also called lowing. There are a number of other sounds made by cattle, including calves bawling, and bulls bellowing. The bullroarer makes a sound similar to a territorial call made by bulls.[citation needed]
Word origin

Cattle did not originate as the term for bovine animals. It was borrowed from Old French catel, itself from Latin caput, head, and originally meant movable property, especially livestock of any kind.[26] The word is closely related to "chattel" (a unit of personal property) and "capital" in the economic sense.[27][28] The term replaced earlier Old English feoh "cattle, property" (cf. German Vieh, Gothic faihu).

The word cow came via Anglo-Saxon cu (plural c?), from Common Indo-European g?ous (genitive g?owes) = "a bovine animal", compare Latin bos, Greek ß???, Persian Gâv, Sanskrit go.[citation needed]

In older English sources such as the King James Version of the Bible, "cattle" refers to livestock, as opposed to "deer" which refers to wildlife. "Wild cattle" may refer to feral cattle or to undomesticated species of the genus Bos. Today, the modern meaning of "cattle", without any other qualifier, is usually restricted to domesticated bovines.[citation needed]

Cattle have one stomach with four compartments. They are the rumen, reticulum, omasum, and abomasum, the rumen being the largest compartment. Cattle sometimes consume metal objects which are deposited in the reticulum, the smallest compartment, and this is where hardware disease occurs. The reticulum is known as the "Honeycomb." The omasum's main function is to absorb water and nutrients from the digestible feed. The omasum is known as the "Many Plies." The abomasum is like the human stomach; this is why it is known as the "true stomach".
Dairy farming and the milking of cattle - once performed largely by hand, but now usually replaced by machine - exploits the cow's unique ruminant biology.

Cattle are ruminants, meaning that they have a digestive system that allows use of otherwise indigestible foods by repeatedly regurgitating and rechewing them as "cud". The cud is then reswallowed and further digested by specialised microorganisms in the rumen. These microbes are primarily responsible for decomposing cellulose and other carbohydrates into volatile fatty acids that cattle use as their primary metabolic fuel. The microbes inside of the rumen are also able to synthesize amino acids from non-protein nitrogenous sources such as urea and ammonia. As these microbes reproduce in the rumen, older generations die and their carcasses continue on through the digestive tract. These carcasses are then partially digested by the cattle, allowing it to gain a high quality protein source. These features allow cattle to thrive on grasses and other vegetation.

The gestation period for a cow is nine months. A newborn calf weighs 25 to 45 kilograms (55 to 99 lb). The world record for the heaviest bull was 1,740 kilograms (3,836 lb) a Chianina named Donetto, when he was exhibited at the Arezzo show in 1955.[29] The heaviest steer was eight year old ‘Old Ben’, a Shorthorn/Hereford cross weighing in at 2,140 kilograms (4,718 lb) in 1910.[30] Steers are generally killed before reaching 750 kilograms (1,653 lb). Breeding stock usually live to about 15 years (occasionally as much as 25 years).

A common misconception about cattle (particularly bulls) is that they are enraged by the color red (something provocative is often said to be "like a red flag to a bull"). This is incorrect, as cattle are red-green color-blind.[31][32] The myth arose from the use of red capes in the sport of bullfighting; in fact, two different capes are used. The capote is a large, flowing cape that is magenta and yellow. The more famous muleta is the smaller, red cape, used exclusively for the final, fatal segment of the fight. It is not the color of the cape that angers the bull, but rather the movement of the fabric that irritates the bull and incites it to charge.

Although cattle cannot distinguish red from green, they do have two kinds of color receptors in the cone cells in their retinas. Thus they are dichromatic, the same as most other mammals (including dogs, cats, horses and up to ten percent of male humans). They are able to distinguish some colors, particularly blue from yellow, in the same way as most other mammals.[33][34]
Domestication and husbandry
Texas Longhorns are an iconic U.S. breed

Cattle occupy a unique role in human history, domesticated since at least the early Neolithic. They are raised for meat (beef cattle), dairy products and hides. They are also used as draft animals and in certain sports. Some consider cattle the oldest form of wealth, and cattle raiding consequently one of the earliest forms of theft.
A hereford being inspected for ticks; cattle are often restrained or confined in Cattle crushes when given medical attention.

Cattle are often raised by allowing herds to graze on the grasses of large tracts of rangeland. Raising cattle in this manner allows the use of land that might be unsuitable for growing crops. The most common interactions with cattle involve daily feeding, cleaning and milking. Many routine husbandry practices involve ear tagging, dehorning, loading, medical operations, vaccinations and hoof care, as well as training for agricultural shows and preparations. There are also some cultural differences in working with cattle- the cattle husbandry of Fulani men rests on behavioural techniques, whereas in Europe cattle are controlled primarily by physical means like fences.[35] Breeders use cattle husbandry to reduce M. bovis infection susceptibility by selective breeding and maintaining herd health to avoid concurrent disease.[36]

Cattle are farmed for beef, veal, dairy, leather and they are less commonly used for conservation grazing, simply to maintain grassland for wildlife – for example, in Epping Forest, England. They are often used in some of the most wild places for livestock. Depending on the breed, cattle can survive on hill grazing, heaths, marshes, moors and semi desert. Modern cows are more commercial than older breeds and, having become more specialized, are less versatile. For this reason many smaller farmers still favor old breeds, like the dairy breed of cattle Jersey.

In Portugal, Spain, Southern France and some Latin American countries, bulls are used in the activity of bullfighting; a similar activity, Jallikattu, is seen in South India; in many other countries this is illegal. Other activities such as bull riding are seen as part of a rodeo, especially in North America. Bull-leaping, a central ritual in Bronze Age Minoan culture (see Bull (mythology)), still exists in southwestern France. In modern times, cattle are also entered into agricultural competitions. These competitions can involve live cattle or cattle carcasses.

In terms of food intake by humans, consumption of cattle is less efficient than of grain or vegetables with regard to land use, and hence cattle grazing consumes more area than such other agricultural production when raised on grains.[37] Nonetheless, cattle and other forms of domesticated animals can sometimes help to utilize plant resources in areas not easily amenable to other forms of agriculture.
Environmental impact
Cattle — especially when kept on enormous feedlots such as this one — have been named as a contributing factor in the rise in greenhouse gas emissions.

A 400-page United Nations report from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) states that cattle farming is "responsible for 18% of greenhouse gases."[38] The production of cattle to feed and clothe humans stresses ecosystems around the world,[37] and is assessed to be one of the top three environmental problems in the world on a local to global scale.[39]

The report, entitled Livestock's Long Shadow, also surveys the environmental damage from sheep, chickens, pigs and goats. But in almost every case, the world's 1.5 billion cattle are cited as the greatest adverse impact with respect to climate change as well as species extinction. The report concludes that, unless changes are made, the massive damage reckoned to be due to livestock may more than double by 2050, as demand for meat increases. One of the cited changes suggests that intensification of the livestock industry may be suggested, since intensification leads to less land for a given level of production.[39]

Some microbes respire in the cattle gut by an anaerobic process known as methanogenesis (producing the gas methane). Cattle emit a large volume of methane, 95% of it through eructation or burping, not flatulence.[40] As the carbon in the methane comes from the digestion of vegetation produced by photosynthesis, its release into the air by this process would normally be considered harmless, because there is no net increase in carbon in the atmosphere — it's removed as carbon dioxide from the air by photosynthesis and returned to it as methane. Methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, having a warming effect 23 to 50 times greater,[41][42] and according to Takahashi and Young "even a small increase in methane concentration in the atmosphere exerts a potentially significant contribution to global warming".[42] Further analysis of the methane gas produced by livestock as a contributor to the increase in greenhouse gases is provided by Weart.[43] Research is underway on methods of reducing this source of methane, by the use of dietary supplements, or treatments to reduce the proportion of methanogenetic microbes, perhaps by vaccination.[44][45]

Cattle are fed a concentrated high-corn diet which produces rapid weight gain, but this has side effects which include increased acidity in the digestive system. When improperly handled, manure and other byproducts of concentrated agriculture also have environmental consequences.[46]

Grazing by cattle at low intensities can create a favourable environment for native herbs and forbs; however, in most world regions cattle are reducing biodiversity due to overgrazing driven by food demands by an expanding human population.[47]
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Main article: Ox
Draft Zebus in Mumbai, India

Oxen (singular ox) are large and heavyset breeds of Bos taurus cattle trained as draft animals. Often they are adult, castrated males. Usually an ox is over four years old due to the need for training and to allow it to grow to full size. Oxen are used for plowing, transport, hauling cargo, grain-grinding by trampling or by powering machines, irrigation by powering pumps, and wagon drawing. Oxen were commonly used to skid logs in forests, and sometimes still are, in low-impact select-cut logging. Oxen are most often used in teams of two, paired, for light work such as carting. In the past, teams might have been larger, with some teams exceeding twenty animals when used for logging.

An ox is nothing more than a mature bovine with an "education." The education consists of the animal's learning to respond appropriately to the teamster's (ox driver's) signals. These signals are given by verbal commands or by noise (whip cracks) and many teamsters were known for their voices and language. In North America, the commands are (1) get up, (2) whoa, (3) back up, (4) gee (turn right) and (5) haw (turn left). Oxen must be painstakingly trained from a young age. Their teamster must provide as many as a dozen yokes of different sizes as the animals grow. A wooden yoke is fastened about the neck of each pair so that the force of draft is distributed across their shoulders. From calves, oxen are chosen with horns since the horns hold the yoke in place when the oxen lower their heads, back up, or slow down (particularly with a wheeled vehicle going downhill). Yoked oxen cannot slow a load like harnessed horses can; the load has to be controlled downhill by other means. The gait of the ox is often important to ox trainers, since the speed the animal walks should roughly match the gait of the ox driver who must work with it.

U.S. ox trainers favored larger breeds for their ability to do more work and for their intelligence. Because they are larger animals, the typical ox is the male of a breed, rather than the smaller female. Females are potentially more useful producing calves and milk.
Riding an ox in Hova, Sweden.

Oxen can pull harder and longer than horses, particularly on obstinate or almost un-movable loads. This is one of the reasons that teams drag logs from forests long after horses had taken over most other draft uses in Europe and North America. Though not as fast as horses, they are less prone to injury because they are more sure-footed and do not try to jerk the load.

An "ox" is not a unique breed of bovine, nor have any "blue" oxen lived outside the folk tales surrounding Paul Bunyan, the mythical American logger. A possible exception and antecedent to this legend is the Belgian Blue breed which is known primarily for its unusual musculature and at times exhibits unusual white/blue, blue roan, or blue coloration. The unusual musculature of the breed is believed to be due to a natural mutation of the gene that codes for the protein Myostatin, which is responsible for normal muscle atrophy.

Many oxen are used worldwide, especially in developing countries.

Ox is also used for various cattle products, irrespective of age, sex or training of the beast – for example, ox-blood, ox-liver, ox-kidney, ox-heart, ox-hide.
Religion, traditions and folklore
Main article: Cattle in religion
Legend of the founding of Durham Cathedral is that monks carrying the body of Saint Cuthbert were led to the location by a milk maid who had lost her dun cow, which was found resting on the spot.

* The Evangelist St. Luke is depicted as an ox in Christian art.
* In Judaism, as described in Numbers 19:2, the ashes of a sacrificed unblemished red heifer that has never been yoked can be used for ritual purification of people who came into contact with a corpse.
* The ox is one of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. See: Ox (Zodiac).
* The constellation Taurus represents a bull.
* An apocryphal story has it that a cow started the Great Chicago Fire by kicking over a kerosene lamp. Michael Ahern, the reporter who created the cow story, admitted in 1893 that he had fabricated it for more colorful copy.
* On February 18, 1930 Elm Farm Ollie became the first cow to fly in an airplane and also the first cow to be milked in an airplane.
* The first known law requiring branding in North America was enacted on February 5, 1644 by Connecticut. It said that all cattle and pigs have to have a registered brand or earmark by May 1, 1644.[48]
* The akabeko (????, red cow) is a traditional toy from the Aizu region of Japan that is thought to ward off illness.[49]
* The case of Sherwood v. Walker -- involving a supposedly barren heifer that was actually pregnant—first enunciated the concept of Mutual mistake as a means of destroying the Meeting of the minds in Contract law.[citation needed]
* The Maasai tribe of East Africa traditionally believe that all cows on earth are the God-given property of the Maasai

Hindu tradition
In Hinduism, the cow is a symbol of wealth, strength, abundance, selfless giving and a full Earthly life.

Cows are venerated within the Hindu religion of India. According to Vedic scripture they are to be treated with the same respect 'as one's mother' because of the milk they provide; "The cow is my mother. The bull is my sire."[50] They appear in numerous stories from the Puranas and Vedas. The deity Krishna is brought up in a family of cowherders, and given the name Govinda (protector of the cows). Also Shiva is traditionally said to ride on the back of a bull named Nandi. Bulls in particular are seen as a symbolic emblem of selfless duty and religion. In ancient rural India every household had a few cows which provided a constant supply of milk and a few bulls that helped as draft animals. Many Hindus feel that at least it was economically wise to keep cattle for their milk rather than consume their flesh for one single meal.

Gandhi explains his feelings about cow protection as follows:

"The cow to me means the entire sub-human world, extending man's sympathies beyond his own species. Man through the cow is enjoined to realize his identity with all that lives. Why the ancient rishis selected the cow for apotheosis is obvious to me. The cow in India was the best comparison; she was the giver of plenty. Not only did she give milk, but she also made agriculture possible. The cow is a poem of pity; one reads pity in the gentle animal. She is the second mother to millions of mankind. Protection of the cow means protection of the whole dumb creation of God. The appeal of the lower order of creation is all the more forceful because it is speechless."

The Banteng (Bos javanicus), also known as Tembadau, is a species of wild cattle found in Southeast Asia. Banteng have been domesticated in several places in Southeast Asia, and there are around 1.5 million domestic Banteng, which are called Bali cattle. These animals are used as working animals, and for their meat.[2] Bali cattle have also been introduced to Northern Australia, where they live wild.[3]

Distribution and subspecies

* Java Banteng (B. j. javanicus): Java; Males are black, females buff.
* Borneo Banteng (B. j. lowi): Borneo; Smaller than Java Banteng and the horns are steeper, bulls are chocolate-brown.
* Burma Banteng (B. j. birmanicus): Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam; Males and females are usually buff, but in Cambodia 20 % of the bulls are blackish, and on the Malayan Peninsula in Thailand most of the bulls are black. This subspecies is classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN.


The banteng is similar in size to domestic cattle, being 1.55 to 1.65 m (61 to 65 in) tall at the shoulder, and weighing 600 to 800 kg (1,300 to 1,800 lb).[4] It exhibits sexual dimorphism, allowing the sexes to be readily distinguished by colour and size. In mature males, the short-haired coat is blue-black or dark chestnut in colour, while in females and young it is chestnut, with a dark dorsal stripe. Both males and females have white stockings on their lower legs, a white rump, a white muzzle, and white spots above the eyes. The build is similar to that of domestic cattle, but with a rather slender neck and small head, and a ridge on the back above the shoulders. The horns of females are short and tightly curved, pointing inward at the tips, and those of males arc upwards, growing 60 to 75 cm (24 to 30 in) long, and being connected by a horn-like bald patch on the forehead.


Banteng live in sparse forest where they feed on grasses, bamboo, fruit, leaves and young branches. The Banteng is generally active both night and day but in places where humans are common they adopt a nocturnal schedule. Banteng tend to gather in herds of two to thirty members.


The Banteng is the second endangered species to be successfully cloned, and the first to survive for more than a week (the first was a Gaur that died two days after being born).[5][6] Scientists at Advanced Cell Technology in Worcester, MA, U.S. extracted DNA from Banteng cells kept in the San Diego Zoo's "Frozen Zoo" facility, and transferred it into eggs from domestic cattle, a process called somatic cell nuclear transfer. 30 embryos were created, sent to Trans Ova Genetics, which implanted the fertilized eggs in domestic cattle. Two were carried to term and delivered by caesarian section.[7] The first was born on April 1, 2003, and the second two days later. The second was euthanized[8], but the first survived and, as of September 2006, remains in good health at the San Diego Zoo.

Simmental are a versatile breed of cattle originating in the valleys of the Simme river, in the Bernese Oberland of western Switzerland.


Among the oldest and most widely distributed of all breeds of cattle in the world, and recorded since the Middle Ages, the Simmental breed has contributed to the creation of several other famous European breeds including the Montbeliarde (France), the Razzeta d'Oropa (Italy) and the Fleckvieh (Germany).


The Simmental has historically been used for dairy, beef and as draught animals. They particularly renowned for the rapid growth of their young, if given sufficient feed. The breeding of the American and British Simmentals have focused on beef production, while in Australia Simmental are a popular cross to improve milking.[citation needed]

The traditional colouration of the Simmental has been described variously as "red and white spotted" or "gold and white", although there is no specific standard colouration, and the dominant shade varies from a pale yellow-gold all the way to very dark red (the latter being particularly popular in the United States). The face is normally white, and this characteristic is usually passed to cross-bred calves. The white face is genetically distinct from the white head of the Hereford.

Water Buffalo
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Water Buffalo or domestic Asian water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) is a large bovine animal, frequently used as livestock in Asia, and also widely in South America, southern Europe, north Africa, and elsewhere.

In 2000, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimated that there were approximately 158 million water buffalo in the world and that 97% of them (approximately 153 million animals) were in Asia.[1] There are established feral populations in northern Australia but the dwindling true wild populations are thought to survive in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, and Thailand. All the domestic varieties and breeds descend from one common ancestor, the Wild Water Buffalo, which is now an endangered species.[citation needed]

Buffalo are used as draft, meat, and dairy animals. Their dung is used as a fertilizer and as a fuel when dried. In Chonburi, Thailand, and in South Malabar Region in Kerala, India, there are annual water buffalo races. A few have also found use as pack animals carrying loads even for special forces.[citation needed]

American bison are known as buffalo in parts of North America, but not normally in other usages; bison are more closely related to cattle, gaur, banteng, and yaks than to Asian buffalo. The water buffalo genus includes water buffalo, tamaraw and anoas—all Asian species. The ancestry of the African buffalo is unclear, but it is not believed to be closely related to the water buffalo.

Wild water buffalo
It is known as "Water Buffalo" because it is adapted to and enjoys being in water.

True wild water buffalo are thought to survive in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Thailand.[citation needed]

The IUCN Red List of threatened species classifies wild water buffalo (Bubalis arnee)[2] as an Endangered species. The total number of wild water buffalo left is thought to be less than 4,000, which suggests that the number of mature individuals will be less than 2,500, and an estimated continuing decline of at least 20% within 14 years (ca. 2 generations) and at least 50% within 21 years seems likely given the severity of the threats, especially hybridization with the abundant domestic Asian water buffalo leading to genetic pollution.[3][4]

Anatomy and morphology
Horn differences between Cape buffalo (above) and Asian water buffalo (below)

an albino water buffalo in Thailand

Adult Water Buffalo range in size from 400 to 900 kg (880 to 2,000 lb) for the domestic breeds, while the wild animals are nearly 3 m (9.8 ft) long and 2 m (6.6 ft) tall, weighing up to 1,200 kg (2,600 lb); females are about two-thirds this size.[5]

River buffalo are usually black and have long curled horns, whereas swamp buffalo can be black or white, or both, with gently curved horns.[1] The largest recorded horns are just under 2 metres long.[5]

There are differences between swamp buffalo and river buffalo. Swamp buffalo have swept back horns and are native to the eastern half of Asia from India to Taiwan. All are similar in general appearance. River buffalo generally have curved horns and are native to the western half of Asia.

The rumen (the first chamber of the digestive system of a ruminant) of the Water Buffalo has important differences to that of other ruminants. It consists of essential microorganisms; namely bacteria, protozoa and fungi which digest the food to produce fermentation end-products via anaerobic fermentation or Embden-Myerhof pathway.[6]

The Water Buffalo rumen has been found to contain a larger population of bacteria particularly the cellulolytic bacteria, lower protozoa and higher fungi zoospores. In addition, higher rumen ammonia nitrogen (NH3-N) and higher pH have been found as compared to those in cattle.[7]


The classification of the water buffalo is uncertain. Some authorities list a single species, Bubalus bubalis with three subspecies, the river buffalo (B. bubalis bubalis) of South Asia, the carabao or swamp buffalo (B. bubalis carabanesis) of the Philippines and Southeast Asia, and the arni, or wild water buffalo (B. bubalis arnee). Others regard these as closely-related but separate species.[8]

The swamp buffalo is primarily found in the eastern half of Asia and has 48 chromosomes. The river buffalo is mostly found in the western half of Asia (and in Europe and Africa), and has 50 chromosomes. The two types do not readily interbreed, but fertile offspring can occur. Buffalo-cattle hybrids have not been observed to occur, and the embryos of such hybrids do not reach maturity in laboratory experiments.[9]


Geologically speaking, the Bovidae is much recent group as compared to Cervidae because their members are untraceable in the layers of the earth. The fossil forms of the buffalo provide a definite link between the Indian type and their present extreme representatives and their extinct allies. All Asiatic buffaloes seem to form a closely allied group of species which represent more or less a passage from one variety to another.


Type Locality: "Habitat in Asia, cultus in Italia". Restricted by Thomas (1911a:154) to Italy, Rome, but Linnaeus' (1758) comment indicates Asia (India?).

Distribution: Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, India (survives in Assam and Orissa), Nepal, N Thailand, Vietnam, and possibly at least formerly in Laos; domesticated in N Africa, S Europe, and even England, east to Indonesia and in E South America; supposedly feral populations in Sri Lanka, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Philippines and other parts of SE Asia; feral populations resulting from introductions in New Britain and New Ireland (Bismarck Arch., Papua New Guinea), and Australia. Status: CITES – Appendix III (Nepal) as B. arnee (excludes domesticated forms - but see comments below; IUCN – Endangered

Average lifespan in captivity: up to 25 years


Water Buffalo ploughing rice fields in Java, Indonesia

Asia is the native home of the water buffalo, with 95% of the world population of water buffalo, with about half of the total in India. Many Asian countries depend on the water buffalo as its primary bovine species. It is valuable for its meat and milk as well as the labour it performs. As of 1992 the Asian population was estimated at 141 million. The fat content of buffalo milk is the highest amongst farm animals and the butterfat is a major source of ghee in some Asian countries. Its success in Asia is evident by its extensive range. Both variants occur in Asia. River buffalo are found in elevations of 2,800 m in Nepal, and swamp buffalo are found throughout the lowland tropics. Part of their success is due to their ability to thrive on poor foodstuffs and yet be valuable economically. Moreover they are much better suited to plough the muddy paddy fields as they are better adapted than common cattle (Bos taurus) to move in swamps. In India the meat of buffalo is sold as beef because it is regarded as different from a cow. Cow's beef in illegal in India.
Buffalo headcount in 2004

Carabao Cart


Swamp buffalo were introduced into the Northern Territory from Timor in the early in the 19th century as a food source and a beast of burden. They escaped, thrived and became feral, causing significant environmental damage. Buffalo are also found in Arnhem Land and the Top End. An estimated 350,000 buffalo were living on the floodplains of Arnhem Land and the Katherine region in the 1980s. As a result of this they were hunted in the Top End from 1885 until 1980. The commencement of the Brucellosis and Tuberculosis Campaign (BTEC) saw a huge culling program reduce buffalo herds to a fraction of the numbers that were reached in the 1980s. The BTEC was finished when the Northern Territory was declared free of the disease in 1997.[10]

During the 1950s buffalo were hunted for their skins, and meat which was exported and used in the local trade. In the late 1970s live exports were made to Cuba and continued later into other countries. Buffalo are now crossed with riverine buffalo in artificial breeding (AI) programs and may be found in many areas of Australia. Some of these crossbreds are used for milk production.[10]

Melville Island is a popular hunting location, where a steady population of up to 4,000 individuals exist. Safari outfits run out of Darwin to Melville Island and other locations in the Top End often with the use of bush pilots. The horns which can measure up to a record of 3.1 metres tip to tip are a prized hunting trophy.[10]

The buffalo have developed a different appearance from the Indonesian buffalo from which they descend.[citation needed] They live mainly in freshwater marshes and billabongs, and their territory range can be quite expansive during the wet season. Their only natural predator in Australia are large adult saltwater crocodiles, with whom they share the billabongs.

Europe and Middle East

Introduced into North Africa and the Near East by 600 AD, the water buffalo was brought to Europe with returning Crusaders in the Middle Ages,[citation needed] and herds can be found in Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania and Italy. As in Asia, buffalo of the Middle East and Europe live on coarse vegetation on the marginal land traditionally available to peasants. They are an economic asset by serving as a protein source, draft animal, and storage of family or household wealth. In some areas, they also provide occasional recreation at annual racing festivals. These buffalo are mostly river buffalo; due to genetic isolation, they have adopted a distinct appearance. Buffalo milk is used for the production of buffalo mozzarella in Campania and many other locations around the world.


Water buffalo are a traditional farm animal in Egypt, which has a large number of them. They are used as the main source of red meat in Egypt.[citation needed] Cows have been introduced in modern farms, yet water buffalo remain as the more widespread type of cattle in Egypt.[citation needed]

North America

Water buffalo heifers in Arkansas, USA

There are very limited commercial herds in North America, for yogurt and cheese products.[11]

South America

Water buffalo were introduced into the Amazon River basin in 1895. They are now extensively used there for beef and dairy production. In 2005, the buffalo herd in the Brazilian Amazon stood at approximately 1.5 million head, of which approximately 160,000 were located in the Lower Amazon floodplain.[12]

Importance to humans

There are many breeds of domestic water buffalo.

Water buffalo have been domesticated for 5,000 years and have become economically important animals. They provide more than 5% of the world’s milk supply and 20% to 30% of the farm power in Southeast Asia.[8] Milk from these animals is used by many human populations, and is the traditional raw material for mozzarella cheese and curd due to its higher fat content. In Africa and other locations, water buffalo milk is used for yogurt, as in Vermont, USA. The chief dairy breed of Buffalo is the Murrah breed. Buffalo meat, sometimes called "Carabeef", is often passed off as beef in certain regions and is also a major source of export revenue for India which has the largest population of buffalo in the world. However, in many Asian regions, buffalo meat is less preferred due to its toughness, however, recipes have evolved (Rendang for example) where the slow cooking process and spices not only make the meat palatable, but also preserves it; an important factor in hot climates where refrigeration is not always available. Water buffalo horns are used for the embouchure of musical instruments such as ney and kaval. Water buffalo hide provides a tough and useful leather often used for shoes and motorcycle helmets. The bones and horns are often made into jewelry, especially earrings.

The water buffalo has promise as a major source of meat, even the milking ones. The water buffalo also is the classic work animal in Asia, an integral part of that continent’s traditional village farming structure and also used for hauling cotton, pumping water in Pakistan and hauling logs in Turkey. The domesticated water buffalo is often referred to as “the living tractor of the East” as it is relied upon for plowing and transportation in many parts of Asia.