Buffalo are of high economic importance for farmers in several developing countries but reproductive performance is poor. A large proportion of heifers attain puberty at 35 years of age. A good quality diet supplemented with extra nutrients reduces the age of puberty whereas the effects of administration of exogenous GnRH or equine chorionic gonadotrophin (eCG) are equivocal. The incidence of anoestrus in buffalo ranges from 20 to 80% depending on season. Most buffalo cease ovarian cyclicity during hot summers probably due to the combined effects of nutrition, environment and management. Keeping buffalo cool by wallowing, water sprinklers or shade improves fertility. Supplementary feeding with Urea Molasses Multi-nutrient Blocks (UMMB) for 60 days before calving enhances the early onset of postpartum oestrus. Regular UMMB supplementation also improves pregnancy rates in anoestrous non-pregnant buffalo. Prepartum vaginal prolapse is hereditary and eradication can be achieved by genetic selective breeding programmes. Treatment with calcium, phosphorus and progesterone gives only transient relief to clinical cases. Uterine torsion is the most common cause of dystocia (70%). Deployment of Sharma's detorsion method and anti-stress measures increase survival rates in cases presented within 36 h. In conclusion, greater understanding about the effects of better year-round nutrition, improved management and markers for logical breeding programmes are essential to curtail the incidence of the reproductive disorders that reduce buffalo fertility.
© 2003 Society for Reproduction and Fertility