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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Yuvraj, the murrah buffalo that is worth Rs.7 crore

Some references to it are derogatory – the animals are often remarked to be slow and non-caring;’ non-responsive whether it hot Sun or raining heavily  – they also say ‘it does not wander from the marsh where it was born’ … in olden days, when students were faring poorly, the parents would derisively say ‘fit only for rearing them’ !! – easy, it is buffalo. 

At Triplicane and some other parts of Chennai,  it is a common scene – cattle freely roaming in the narrow streets – cows are more aggressive – while buffaloes docile.  The water buffalo or domestic Asian water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) is a large buffalo. It is stated that water buffaloes were domesticated in India about 5000 years ago, and in China about 4000 years ago. Two types are recognized, based on morphological and behavioural criteria.  Water buffaloes are especially suitable for tilling rice fields, and their milk is richer in fat and protein than that of the dairy cow.  An online selling site shows Murra buffaloes costing from 26000 to 40000 depending on the yield from 6 litres to 14 litres per day.

Surprisingly there are beauty pageants for them too….. and this not about any animal that fetched high price in auction, but more of an animal that its Owner refused to sell, even when offered an astronomical Rs. 7 crore as headlines scream. 
Yuvraj photo courtesy :

The person is stated to be Mr Karamveer Singh, who runs a farmn in Kurukshetra,. Haryana.  His prized possession stands five feet nine inches tall from hoof to shoulder, stretches 14 feet from his mouth to tail, and weighs a whopping 3100 pounds.  Named  Yuvraj [translates to Young Prince], the Murrah Buffalo is among the most expensive bovines on the planet. Yuvraj is perhaps superseded only by Miss Missy, a white Holstein Cow which was sold for, believe it or not, $1.2 million!

The Murrah, a basic native of the Indian states of Punjab and Haryana and Punjab state of Pakistan, is a Water buffalo breed (Bubalus bubalis) and is considered as the foremost milking buffalo.  For improving the milk productivity of dairy buffaloes, Murrah bulls are widely used in countries like Bulgaria, Italy and Egypt. Its website claims that Karamveer Dairy Farms has long been practicing Murrah Buffalo and Bull Breeding with the intent of improving Murrah breed’s genetic potential. The Murrah has Jet black colour, with occasional white markings on legs and/or face, and have closely curled horns. In general, Murrah bulls weigh around 550 kg.

Karamveer Dairy Farm has the best dairy type Murrah bulls and buffaloes in the world; with buffaloes capable of yielding milk as high as 25 kg a day. The Murrah buffalo breed is considered as the “Asian tractor”. Yuvraj was in news in Feb 2014 when some Press reports speculated on its value to be more than 2 crores.  Recently, this giant  1400kg Murrah bull was crowned champion at Meerut's All India Cattle Show by a 10-member jury, startled as much by the animal's size as by his owner's refusal to sell it for a mind-boggling Rs 7 crore.

It reportedly is capable of earning from selling semen of bull  over Rs. 40 lakh per annum as there is a great demand for semen of this special bull  in several states including Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.  The murra buffaloes are capable of giving 4,000 litres of milk per lactation as against the 2,000-2,200 litres of milk given by a mixed breed buffaloes,” dairy expert say and hence the demand.  Its owner Karamvir Singh, is quoted as saying that  "everything in life is not about money." – and he does not really need money by selling it.
The animal is being treated toyally – as the animal that stretches to 14 feet in length and a couple of notches over 5 feet 9 inches in height, drinks 20 litres of milk a day, gobbles 5kg of apples and 15kg of very fine quality cattle feed.  It is taken for a 4km walk daily and the owner spends more than Rs25000/- daily.   According to a Senior scientist at Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Agriculture University where the competition for India's top bull was held, "Yuvraj is a perfect specimen of the Murrah breed."

"He has earned the Best Animal trophy and there's a reason for that," quips the Head of  Animal Husbandry department at Meerut.  The jury reportedly  had scrutinized 30 characteristics that include morphological trait, semen quality, genetic history and even the quantity of milk that its mother used to yield. On all parameters, Yuvraj had shown excellence."   Besides the Murrah there were other breeds that participated in the national-level cattle show, like the Tharparker, Brown Swiss, Gir and Jersey varieties. Yuvraj, of course,  was the winner of them all

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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