Breeds of Carabao in the Philippines

carabao with young
Image: @thenegrosmuseum

The Philippine Carabao is a swamp-type water buffalo. This animal has been the ideal ally of farmers in their farm works.

In the Philippines, Carabao is primarily used as a source of meat, as a source of milk, and as a source of draft.

The Philippine Carabao as a breed, is recognized as a draft animal and has a potential for meat production, but has a low genetic potential for milk production. The genetic potential for growth and milk production can be improved through the introduction of dairy (riverine breed)
buffalo germplasm, which has long been demonstrated as possible.

With the advent of farm mechanization, the carabao’s role has been diminished and it is now underutilized, especially with the presence of an increasing number of its cousin, the riverine or dairy-type carabaos.(pcc)

The following are the Breeds of Carabao in the Philippines.(Buffalo Breeds)

  • Murrah
  • Nili Ravi
  • Philippine Carabao


The Murrah breed of water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) is kept for dairy production. It is originally from Punjab and Haryana states of India

The Murrah buffalo is jet black in colour, sometimes with white markings on the face or legs. Bulls weigh around 550 kg and cows around 450 kg. They typically have short and tightly curved horns. Average milk production is 2200 litres in a lactation period of 310 days. [2][6] Eyes are black, active and prominent in females but slightly shrunken in males and should not be walled i.e. cornea should not have whiteness. Neck is long and thin in females and thick and massive in males. Ears are short, thin and alert.(source)


The Nili-Ravi buffalo is a breed of domestic buffalo which is similar to the Murrah buffalo. It is mainly a dairy buffalo breed and used principally for milk production.

The Nili-Ravi buffalo breed has a wedge-shaped body with massive frame. These animals are mostly black in color, but often have white markings on the forehead, face, muzzle and lower parts of the legs (due to which it is also called ‘Panj Kalyan‘). Their horns are small and curly and have wall eyes. The females have a larger and strong udder.

Average body height of the mature males is around 135 cm for males, and around 125 cm for females. Average live body weight of the mature Nili-Ravi buffalo is around 700 kg for males and around 600 kg for females.(source)

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