Management and reproduction of the African savanna buffalo (Syncerus caffer caffer)

Hildebrandt, Walter Ralph (2014-04)

Thesis (MScAgric)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate the current managerial practices as used by African Savanna buffalo (Syncerus caffer caffer) farmers. Consequently, the best management practices would be combined to formulate a basic management plan to farm captive buffalo. The distribution of buffalo throughout South Africa was also investigated and each province was considered separately for different types of buffalo (Kruger also known as project; Addo and other) and different disease statuses (Foot and Mouth; TB; Corridor disease and disease-free or clean). The basic infrastructure of all farms studied was noted and evaluated to attain the most effective structures and layouts needed for basic captive buffalo farming. The reproductive capabilities of buffalo were assessed on different farms. These farms were divided into winter and summer rainfall areas to ascertain whether season or rainfall would have an effect on calving season. Additionally the reproduction data was analysed to set a benchmark for the reproductive performance of buffalo in herds as well as individually. This assisted in selection in captive breeding of buffalo. Buffalo are currently distributed throughout South Africa and occur in all nine provinces, with the highest quantity found in Limpopo with 1300 registered buffalo farms. Provinces that contain only disease-free buffalo include Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Freestate, North-West and Gauteng. Corridor infected buffalo are found in the Northern Cape, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu Natal. Foot and Mouth disease is found in Limpopo and Mpumalanga and TB infected buffalo are found in Mpumalanga and KwaZulu Natal. Factors to consider when managing captive buffalo herds are the herd dynamics and composition, feeding and nutrition and lastly parasite control. Management should be approached adaptively as different areas present different challenges. Infrastructure is divided into the farm and biomes thereof, feeding and parasite treatment. As with herd management these should be approached adaptively as the composition of each farm differs. Reproductive maturity of buffalo is reached between the ages of two and six years. Average intercalving period of captive buffalo was to be 443 days with optimal intercalving being below 400 days. Seasonal calving differences between summer and winter rainfall areas were found with calving peaks differing by two months between these areas.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van hierdie studie was om die bestuurstegnieke wat tans deur Afrika Savanna buffel (Syncerus caffer caffer) boere gebruik word te evalueer. Gevolglik sal die beste bestuurs praktyke gekombineer word om ‘n basiese bestuursplan the formuleer om omheinde buffels te boer. Die verspreiding van buffels in Suid-Afrika is ook ondersoek en elke provinsie is afsonderlik oorweeg vir die verskillende tipes buffels (Kruger ook bekend as projek; Addo en ander) en verskillende siektestatusse (Bek-en-Klou seer; TB; Corridor siekte en siekte-vrye of skoon). Die basiese infrastruktuur van al die plase in die studie is genoteer en geivalueer op die mees effektiewe strukture en uitlegte vas te stel wat benodig word vir die boer van omheinde buffels. Die reproduktiewe vaardighede van buffels is geassesseer op verskillende plase wat verdeel is in winter en somer reënval streke om vas te stel of seisoen of reënval ‘n invloed het op kalf seisoen. Die reproduksie data is ook geanaliseer om ‘n riglyn te stel vir die reprodutiewe prestasie van buffels in ‘n kudde asook individueel. Dit sal help met die seleksie van teel diere. Buffels is tans wyd versprei oor Suid-Afrika and kom in al nege provinsies voor met die hoogste hoeveelheid in Limpopo (1300 geregistreerde buffelplase). Die provinsies wat slegs siekte-vrye buffels bevat is Wes-Kaap; Oos-Kaap; Vrystaat; Noord-Wes en Gauteng. Corridor-besmette buffels kom voor in Noord-Kaap; Mpumalanga en KwaZulu Natal. Bek-en- Klou seer kom voor in Limpopo en Mpumalanga en TB kom voor in Mpumalanga en Kwa- Zulu Natal. Faktore wat oorweeg moet word met die bestuur van omheinde buffeltroppe is kudde dinamika en samestelling, voeding en laastens parasiet beheer. Buffelbestuur moet aanpasbaar wees aangesien verskillende areas verskillende uitdagings bied. Infrastruktuur kan opgedeel word in die plaas en sy biome, voeding en parasiet toediening. Soos met kudde bestuur moet infrastruktuur ook aanpasbaar wees, aangesien die samestelling van elke plaas verskil. Reproduktiewe volwassenheid van buffels word bereik tussen die ouderdomme van twee en ses jaar. Gemiddelde interkalf periode vir omheinde buffels was 443 dae met optimale interkalwing van minder as 400 dae. Seisoenale kalwingsverskille tussen somer en winter reënvalstreke is opgemerk met kalf pieke wat verskil met twee maande tussen die streke.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/86731
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