THE PROJECT

THE PROJECT

The initial project was designed to obtain buffaloes at 12 months weighting 400 kg in a exclusive regime of dam´s milks and pasture only.Initiated in 1996, the program was successful for the first time on 2000, when the calf X-Búfalo of SI reached 403 kg at 10 months and 23 days old. Today, we have reached that objective with several animals.We moved on to a second project: obtain calves weighting 400 kg at 240 days. We believe this goal will be easier to reach that the first one, because of the knowledge we have on water buffalo and also because of the work on genetic improvement fulfilled in our herd

HISTORY

The first project "Production of buffalo at 12 months of age to 400 kg average weight using feeding regime of only dam's milk and pasture" started as a challenge to obtain a production record, because we believed that water buffalo, that has not been studied in its potential, could give, in s short period, excellent results. Every time we presented our goals, we received nothing but disbelief smiles, that always served as incentives to show we were in the right way.All of that was possible thanks to the control we have from our cattle, due mostly to the monthly weighting of all animals. The constant concern with genetic improvement, reached through artificial insemination and cows selection, also were decisive factors to the project success.

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Heifer Number 85
Pregnancy at 14 moths aged

The development of this project also allowed us to select really precocious females, which have had calves at 24 months old. One of then has stood out for the feat of having its fourth calf at 60 months old. The female named TESOURO DA SI (earring 085), born on July 24th 1996, gave birth for the first time on Aug/08th/98, then on Aug/25th/1999, on Aug/21st/2000 and on Jul/30th/2001. In 2002, it won’t give birth because of the embryo collect and In Vitro Fertilization project, which TESOURO is included in, having already produced embryos on the two collects that participated.

 

PARTNERSHIPS

We have looked for consultant with several technicians and public institutions, such as Embrapa, Agriculture Secretary and also with more experienced breeders. We have also visited farms, to get in contact with all the knowledge already acquired in the water buffalo breeding. We have counted with CEBRAN - Biotechnology and Animal Reproduction Center, science and technology unity of Pará's Federal University - for technical support on the projects, especially on the Embryo transfer and In Vitro Fertilization, which we are trying to improve

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The veterinarians doctors: Ohashi and Souza
of the CEBRAN in the farm working in IVF project

Internet has provided us great partners, with information exchange, consults and also clearing our doubts. Finally, through the world wide web, we have found solutions for several questions in the answers of experienced breeders, researchers, technicians, and lovers of buffalo breeding on Latin America and specially in Brazil.

The Farm is associated to APCB -Buffalo Breeders Association of Pará, that signed on 2000 a partnership with Embrapa. From that partnership, the associates that already had implanted AI programs were contemplated with semen doses from MEMO and MEMOAR.

Santa Isabel Farm received some of those doses.We are participating on a internet discussion list about water buffalo, were we realize the interchange of experience between the most renowned breeders and researchers from Brazil and Latin America, who lend us their knowledge, that we try to use in our breeding.

 

METHOD & PROCEDURES

On its first day the calf and the cow are weighted and it's applied one ml of anti-parasite medicine (Ivermectin) on the newborn
On the 15th of each month, all animals return for controlling: cow and calf are weighted. Also on this day is performed the milk production control on the most productive animals in lactation. We don't do daily milking, so the entire production of the cow is turned to the development of its baby.

Since 1999 we also measure the scrotum circumference of the calves.On the year of 1996, we apply anti-parasite medicine every month until the calf reach eight months, but we interrupted that work in 97, 98 and 99 to return in 2000. That returns was due to the fact we compared the weights and noticed a significant weight difference in the moment of separation from their mothers. The additional cost is fully compensated.

We consider of vital importance the weight control to confirm the animal's precocity and allow a better selection.In 1997 we introduced AI for genetic improvement. We are always increasing the number of cows fertilized with this method, because the results are always encouraging.

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Doctor Márcio Ferraz technician of VITROGEN in the farm working in IVF project

In this partnership we got to bring Dr MÁRCIO LEÃO FERRAZ, technician of Vitrogen, nationally recognized as one of the best technician in getting embryo He sprouts knowledge and cleared many doubts, injecting a new hope in our IVF on buffalo project

 

RESULTS

On the year of 1998, we got three animals that weighted 370kg at 13 months, which we considered a great advance.
But the first encouraging results were reached from 1999 on, with the birth in December of an animal that weighted 403kg at 10 months and 23 days.That animal is X-Búfalo of SI, born on Dec/22nd/1999, registered with the number RP 7047.
That calf is son of the cow ROXINHA RD 8432 and trough AI from the bull VULCÃO RD 1735, that is son of MEMO RD 282 (semen imported from Bulgaria)


X-Buffalo of SI at 10 months and 23 days – 403 kg
Click here to get more  information about X-Buffalo

Artificial Insemination showed heavier animals, with growth rates better than the ones of the herd that came from our reproducer.We are using this method in a more aggressive way in our farm. In 2000 we used almost exclusively the semen of the bull MORENO VR, which has the record on longevity, since it had its semen collected until the age of 28, beside being the reproducer that most produced champions on the Murrah breed in Brazil.Moreno's calves have as characteristics the dark skin, excellent sexual and weight gain precocity In 1999 all females born in 1996 and also three from 1997 had already gave birth. In 2000 all females from 1997 and also six from 98 gave birth.

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Calf at 150 days - 215 kg

Another encouraging result was the precocity observed in two females born in 1996, which were fertilized in natural copulate regime, with a little more than one year.Female number 085 gave birth on Aug/14th/98 (two years and twenty days old). A male weighting 33kg while the mother was weighting 540 after the birth.Female number 088 gave birth on Aug/29th/98 (less than two years old). A female weighting 28kg while the mother was weighting 517 after the birth.

ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION

The Genetic improvement has been a constant concern in our farm. With that goal in mind, we decided to contact CEBRAN - Animal Reproduction Biotechnology Center - Science and Technology Unity of Pará's Federal University - to develop technical works in cooperation.

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The first products obtained from AI

From that meeting came the first of the technicians visits to the farm, to become aware to the feeding, handling and sanity conditions, besides the quality of the cattle we had by that time.

Our project was to inseminate the females with excellent quality semen, having in view the genetic improvement of the herd. We initiated the works with the selection of females that could participate of the project and at the same time, we sent our technician to CEBRAN training center, in Castanhal - Pará, with the objective of allowing him to the inseminator job.

Due to the short time to initiate the work and because we didn't have an old enough male, we concluded it would be better to use a female. We had a heifer with defective reproduction organ, so we began giving it male hormone. The answer was quick, and we began to work with this animal to mark the females on heat. Now we are convinced to use females, because the cost to produce it is small and the results are very good, without any risk of copulation.

Today, we are convinced about using female for this work, because the cost to produce then is small and the results are very good, including no risk of crossing, no fight with the artificially sterilized animals used as riding.

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Animals used on Artificial Insemination

With the AI initiated, the farm had the victorious opportunity of testing, for the time in the world, the buffalo semen frozen with diluter based on coconut water, the CEBRAN-1 dilutor, in females with heat induced by prostaglandin, collaborating in this way with the research developed in CEBRAN, that proved the coconut water efficiency as a diluter.

We are looking for imported semen with progeny tests, but the difficulties to get this kind of material are enormous, in a way we keep using national semen, but looking for animals that may give us precocity, even sexual as in weight gain. The insemination work, for a matter of safety, is only performed in adult cows. That's why in2000 we acquired a reproducer from a different family tree than our animals, to try to identify as soon as possible the sexual precocity of the heifers.

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Students from Castanhal of the Federal
Agriculture School, visiting the farm

The work realized in our farm has served as a practical laboratory. With the intention of spreading knowledge, we have received professionals from several places, Hi-school level students and college students. We have even collaborated with statistics for technical papers and Master thesis. That makes us very proud, because we are giving our contribution to the formation of new and more prepared professionals.

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INDEX / THE FARM / THE WATER BUFFALO / THE PROJECT /
X-BUFALO OF SI / EXCLUSIVE FEMALES
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