India ranks first in the world in milk production, of which buffaloes contribute 56% to the nation’s milk production, in addition to meeting the demand for meat in domestic and international market. With the shrinkage of agricultural land holding, livestock sector especially buffaloes are emerging as a potential source for employment generation for the rural people. Buffalo husbandry is playing a pivotal role in augmenting income and uplifting livelihood of disadvantageous section of society.
Farmers irrespective of their economic background have started rearing the elite germplasm of buffalo. The name “Black Gold” has emerged as a synonym for the one of very popular breed of buffaloes i.e. Murrah, which serve as a capital reserve or cash crop to the rural folk by providing economic stability, livelihood security and social status.
Farmers are facing numerous challenges for rearing the healthy elite buffalo germplasm due to inadequate knowledge and information on buffalo health and nutritional management. Neonates of buffaloes were considered more susceptible to infectious diseases as compared to cattle neonates. Calf mortality is responsible for loss of valuable future germplasm thereby increases future herd replacement cost whereas overall herd mortality is an Index of health status and animal welfare of any herd. Scientists of CIRB cracked the myth of high mortality rate in Murrah buffaloes, by understanding the pathogenesis of the buffalo diseases and their management.