The breeding tract of Murrah breed is Rohtak, Hisar and Jind of Haryana state and Nabha and Patiala districts of Punjab state. The breed characteristics are massive body, neck and head comparatively long, horns short and tightly curved, udder well developed, hips broad, and fore – and hind-quarters drooping. The tail is long reaching up to the fetlocks. The colour is usually jet black with white markings on tail, face and extremities sometimes found. The bullocks are good draft animals though slow and powerful. The average milk yield per lactation is 1,500 to 2,500 kg, and the heritability of this trait is 0.2 to 0.3. The age at first calving is 45 to 50 months in villages but in good herds it is 36 to 40 months. The intercalving period is 450 to 500 days.
Physical Characters of Murrah
- Body : Sound built, heavy and wedge shaped.
- Head : Comparatively small.
- Face : Comparatively long.
- Neck : Comparatively long.
- Body colour : Jet-black.
- White markings on face and leg extremities may be there (2, 3), but are not generally preferred.
- Eyes : Should not be walled i.e. the cornea should not have whiteness.
- Tail : Long reaching upto fetlock joint (2, 3, and 6) with black or white switch upto (maximum) 8.0 inches (4).
- Horns : Different from other breeds of buffaloes; short, tight, turning backward and upward and finally spirally curving inward. The horns should be somewhat flattened. As the age advances the horns get loosened slightly but spiral curves increases.
- Limbs : Comparatively short but strong built.
- Skin : Soft, smooth with scanty hairs as compared to other buffaloes.
- Udder : Fully developed, drooping.
- Teats : Equally distributed over the udder but hind teats are longer than fore teats.
- Loin : Broader and sliding forward.
- Body weight : The average body weight of males, 550 Kg and the females, 450-Kg.
- Height : The average height at withers; male: 1.42 meter; female: 1.32 meter.
- Age at fist calving : 3 years but we have also the buffaloes, which calved at 3 years with good milk production.
- Inter-calving period : 400 to 500 days.
- Lactation period : 300 days. (with minimum of ~230 days recorded under top quality Murrah)
- Daily lactation in peak period : 14 to 15 litter but upto 31.5 Kg milk production had also been recorded. The elite Murrah buffalo produces above 18-litter milk per day. A peak milk yield of 31.5 kg in a day has been recorded from a champion Murrah buffalo in the All India Milk Yield Competition conducted by the Government of India.
- Dry period : About three months. But less than three may be there.
- Gestation period : 310 days (average)