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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Each male is content with 25 females; Do Asian Buffalo Get it Right?

Costa Rica: Where the buffalo roam?

Posted: Friday, February 10, 2012 - By Mitzi Stark TICO TIMES
AROUND COSTA RICA: Some 30 farms in Costa Rica raise water buffalo as a more sustainable alternative to cattle, and dairy products made with buffalo milk are making their way into supermarkets.
Buffalo Products
Joan Bougie
Asian water buffalo.
Buffalo cheese? Or to be completely correct, búfala cheese, as only the females give milk, and in Spanish words distinguish gender. The beasts to which we refer here are Asian water buffalo, and they are, literally, gaining ground in Costa Rica and other Latin countries. Twenty-two farms have buffalo herds here and produce dairy products made from buffalo milk.
Farmers find these buffalo more manageable than regular cattle because they are more docile, need less pastureland, don’t trample up the land as cows do, produce high-quality milk, meat and leather, reproduce more rapidly than cows, and are resistant to parasites that attack cattle.
You can ride them like horses – there were a few in San José’s tope in December – and, for hauling loads, one water buffalo can pull as much as a team of oxen. 
In Asia, especially in India, Pakistan and China, these animals have been the backbone of agriculture for centuries. In the West, buffalo production is just getting started. Big beef producer Argentina is one country that has been developing buffalo herds and is already exporting buffalo products. Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil are also developing herds.
At the University of Costa Rica’s technical campus in the western Central Valley town of Atenas, formerly the Central American Cattle-Breeding School, Eduardo Barrantes heads a department that includes an hato of buffalo, one male and 25 females. Here, farmers and agriculture students learn about management of the animals and can test their skills at developing new products.  
Buffalo Products 2
Buffalo mozzarella made in Costa Rica.
Joan Bougie
“Buffalo survive under more difficult conditions,” Barrantes explains, surrounded by the hefty, shaggy animals. “They don’t need human food like corn and soy beans, and in tropical countries where there is a lot of rain they can find grass all year-round. In wetlands, they eat the grass and weeds that choke up the water.” 
Each male is content with 25 females, so large herds are broken down into smaller groups, he adds.
Buffalo live longer and produce milk even during gestation, Barrantes says. They produce milk until they are 25 years old. In buffalo meat, the fat is concentrated on the outside so the center part has less fat and cholesterol. Argentina exports buffalo meat for hospitals in Europe because it is healthier.
Buffalo were first brought to Costa Rica from Guatemala in the 1970s by then President José “Pepe” Figueres for use in the banana and palm fields because they can take the hot, tropical climate, Barrantes says. In more recent years, farmers have begun to see the advantages of raising buffalo; there are now about 3,000 in Costa Rica and the number is growing. An association of water buffalo producers lists 30 farms that raise buffalo.
El Porvenir, an hacienda near Guatuso in the Northern Zone, has a herd of 1,000 animals in scattered pastures. The Venezuelan owners began here in 2007 with 300 buffalo, eight males and the rest females. The herd has multiplied, and El Porvenir now sells mozzarella and other types of cheese, yogurt and other lactic products under the brand name Italacteos, with the red, white and green colors of Italy on the label.  
Hacienda Santa Rita in Río Cuarto de Grecia, northwest of the capital, began operation in 2009 and now has 180 buffalo. The farm produces a soft, white, Turrialba-style cheese, caramel creamy dulce de leche and yogurt under the brand name Calicanto. Both brands are sold at Auto Mercado, Walmart and other stores around the country. 
Other herds are found in the northwest Guanacaste province and the Southern Zone, Barrantes says.

    31 comments:

    1. We all have to tighten our belts somewhere.

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    2. Yeah, but only 25 Females?

      What next, give up Bud Light?

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    3. If those horns grow any more they are going right into his skull.

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    4. .

      And they taste like chicken.

      .

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    5. I am a vegetarian/on-off vegan who enjoys the taste of meat, but can't, with good conscience, consume something that is raised and slaughtered in such morally reprehensible ways. I appreciate that the water buffalo is an environmental improvement but I look into that animal’s eyes and see an intelligent being. I choose to overlook the 25 females.

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    6. That face has PhD written all over it.

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    7. Show me your face and I can make a comparison. Maybe we could take an opinion poll:

      Bull or bob?

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    8. Coffee nose snort ;-)

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    9. The zebra got its stripes, not for camouflage, but to keep the flies away. Dark is the worst color for flies, white is better, striped is best.

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    10. One of our doctors here went to Africa and got a buffalo horn up his ass. Rescued by some blacks, he is no longer the proto-racist he once was.


      Did I hear that buffalo snort or was that jenny again?

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    11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    12. .

      Speaking of bull,


      The saga of the Great Council will be going up Today.

      (Probably on the last stream, although this one may be more appropriate.)

      .

      .

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    13. Speaking of bulls, conservative group The Million Moms, an army put together by traditional valuespeople to protect themselves if The Million Lesbians ever attack, want JCPenney to drop Ellen as a spokesperson.

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    14. Rufus: Yeah, but only 25 Females?

      What next, give up Bud Light?


      My doctor said I had to give up wine, women, and song.

      I'll miss song!

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    15. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    16. Quirk, try putting it into a post. It will be much easier to read than if it were in the comment section.

      It's easy to do. I promise.

      You can email it to me and I will post it for you, cause I'm nice that way.

      I just gotta figure out that email I created over a year ago, which I never use. Hm....

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    17. For the past week, Santorum has been using his campaign to take aim at an issue he feels to be the single most dangerous force in America today: Satanism in heavy metal. “If you listen to the radio today, many of these brand new, so-called heavy metal music bands like Black Sabbath, Venom, The WASP and Iron Maiden use satanic imagery to corrupt the minds of young people,” announced Santorum at a 10,000 dollar a plate sock-hop in Valdosta, Georgia on Thursday.


      Uh...okay.

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    18. Okay, I found it. If you want it let me know. I'm leaving for a few hours but I'll check in.

      Maybe Deuce can do it, I'm sure he has nothing else better to do. ( :

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    19. Deuce: At Gettysburg there were 50,000 American casualties in three days in July. Imagine a bus with 50 people onboard going off the road in Gettysburg today. The local hospitals would be overwhelmed. What do you do with 50,000 casualties in the heat, in the fields with horses, the shit, the flies, the hopeless agony and the waste. No bandages, no antiseptic, no transfusions, no hope. It was a nightmare and to celebrate a speech by the man who could have prevented it?

      The name "Abraham" appears in the Koran. Maybe Lincoln was a secret Muslim just like Obama. Faux Noise would be all over that.

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    20. Maybe Deuce can do it, I'm sure he has nothing else better to do. ( :

      If a text appears in my mailbox at badinage1@netzero.net I will parse it out to the group without redaction.

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    21. Jihadists are moving from Iraq to Syria, as are weapons being sent to opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, Iraq’s deputy interior minister told AFP on Saturday.

      It seems all the action is over there.

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    22. When the Lord made that buffalo he put the ears too low.

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    23. At Yellowstone the buffalo males think they own the road.

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    24. ...he was black, in his late 20s or early 30s, 5 feet 7… Guess what he was doing?

      According to the latest annual report on murder by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, most inter-racial murders involve black assailants and white victims, with blacks murdering whites at 18 times the rate that whites murder blacks...In 2002:

      * 93.2% of all prisoners were male.
      * 10.4% of the black males in the United States between the ages of 25 and 29 were sentenced and in prison by year end, as were 2.4% of Hispanic males and 1.2% of white males.

      --------------

      Out of the nation's 10 largest cities, Philadelphia's homicide rate is the worst. Last year ended with 324 homicides, up from 306 in 2010.
      And just one month into this year, there has been on average more than one homicide each day in Philadelphia, with many of the 34 deaths unfolding like episodes on "Law & Order.”


      Care to speculate on the demographics of the killers.

      Hint: None were Jews.

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    25. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    26. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    27. .

      CRITICAL NOTICE.

      IMPORTANT.

      NOTE.


      Twenty lost pages from the Elder Scrolls containing the saga of The Great Council have been discovered deposited within the blog stream Peace and Harmony in the EU (last blog stream back).


      They begin at

      Sat Feb 11, 02:01:00 PM EST



      Unfortunately, it appears the runes to Pat Benetar's Heartbreaker have proved indecipherable (at Sat Feb 11, 02:07:00 PM EST). Apologies from the runemaster.

      Thanks to those offering to help with the translation; however, since I didn't have the e-mail address, I thought I would just go ahead and put it up. It is continuous and doesn't read too badly.


      .


      Pat Benatar

      Heartbreaker

      .

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    28. Quirk's story is reprinted at www.cleanposts.com Where it is easier to read and find.

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    29. So excited to see the half term governor of Alaska Sarah Palin take the stage at CPAC.

      ReplyDelete