Training Pakistan Pvt. Ltd. recently completed a round of AMD-funded programs for livestock / feedlot farmers in Karachi, Sindh. There are many challenges facing livestock farmers and lack of focus has resulted in losing out in both the meat value chains as well as dairy products. Critically, lack of economic incentive has forced farmers discard valuable local breeds as they find them deficient and an too expensive to maintain.
In this scenario, a recent practice was observed during the training in Karachi where buffalo calves were being fed cow milk. It should be kept in mind that for a long time now, calves, particularly the male buffalo calves, were discarded immediately after birth as farmers considered them an unwanted expense. Calves need mothers milk to increase their ability to survive. However, farmers felt that feeding calves the expensive buffalo milk would further diminish their returns. Therefore, it had become practice to discard the male buffalo calves.
The new practice, as witnessed in the picture, shows buffalo calves feeding on the less valuable cow milk. The raw cow milk has the ingredients and anti-bacterial properties to allow calves the ability to resist diseases and overcome unfavorable conditions. The interchange of milk provides a win-win situation for the farmer and ensures the survival of breed.