Comparative Feeding of Male Dairy, Beef Cattle and Swamp Buffalo I. Economics of Beef Production

  • Skunmun, P. (Kasetsart University) ;
  • Chantalakhana, C. (Kasetsart University) ;
  • Pungchai, R. (Kasetsart University) ;
  • Poondusit, T. (Kasetsart University) ;
  • Prucsasri, P. (Kasetsart University)
  • Received : 2001.07.24
  • Accepted : 2001.12.10
  • Published : 2002.06.01


Due to rising trend of beef demand in Asia in the next two decades it is necessary to find additional sources of beef supply. In most Southeast Asian countries, male dairy and swamp buffalo have not yet been raised for a primary purpose of quality beef production. This study was aimed to compare growth and feeding performances as well as economic returns from feeding male dairy, beef cattle and swamp buffalo for quality beef. Thirty-six animals, 12 of each breed group, were used in feeding trial to compare the cost of beef production. Two levels of concentrate feeding, 1.75% of body weight (BW) and 1.00% of BW, were used for each breed group in order to compare feeding methods i.e. high and low levels. Within each breed group two animals of similar initial BW were randomly assigned to the two levels of feeding. The animals were fed from about 150 kg BW until reaching the final weight of about 400 kg. The results from this study showed that under the prevailing economic conditions in Thailand the cost of beef production from buffalo was lowest due to very low cost of feeder stocks, followed by dairy and beef. However, the cost of feeding per kg of BW gain was lowest in beef and highest in buffalo i.e. when disregarding the differences in cost of feeder stocks. Beef calves grew faster than dairy and buffalo, with better feed efficiencies. The results indicated that beef cattle could be more suitable for beef production for high-quality beef market, while buffalo could be more suitable for small farms where high roughage feeding is common. Male dairy calves appeared to require higher level of concentrate feeding than 1% BW in order to maintain good body conditions.


Cost of Beef Production;Male Dairy;Swamp Buffalo;Growth;Carcass Traits


Supported by : Thailand Research Fund (TRF)


  1. Delago, C., M. Rosegrant, H. Steinfeld, S. Ehui and C. Courbois. 1999. Livestock to 2000 : The next food revolution. IFPRI/FAO/ILRI. Food, Agriculture, and the Environment Discussion Paper 28. p. 72.
  2. Kaewkong, T. 1983. Body weight gain, feed efficiency and carcass quality of male dairy crossbreds of Holstein-Friesian, Brown Swiss and Red Dane. M.S. Thesis, Kasetsart University Library. Bangkok, Thailand.
  3. Kanthapanit, C. 1984. Production of quality beef from dairy. Beef and Buffalo Journal 7(2):5-10. Kasetsart University, Bangkok.
  4. Thubcharoen, S. 1986. Growth, puberty and semen quality of Holstein-Friesian crossbreds. M.S. Thesis, Kasetsart University Library. Bangkok, Thailand.
  5. Pao-in, T. 1995. Comparison of beef performance and economic return between swamp buffalo and Brahman crossbred. M.S. Thesis, Kasetsart University Library. Bangkok, Thailand.
  6. Chantalakhana, C. 2001. Contribution of water buffaloes in rural development. In Proceedings of FAO (APHCA)/JLTA/DLD Regional Workshop on 'Water Buffalo Development : Water Buffalo for Food Security and Sustainable Rural Development'. FAO, Bangkok. p. 9.
  7. Kanthapanit, C., U. Pisone and F. Pinkerton. 1972. Study on roughage to concentrate ratio in cattle and buffalo fattening. Annual Report, The Northeast Agricultural Center, Khon Kaen, Thailand. pp. 15-29.
  8. Nijthavorn, C. 1995. Effects of feeding cotton seedmeal to male dairy calves on growth, carcass quality and cost of production. Kasetsart University Library. Bangkok, Thailand.
  9. Wanapat, M. and C. Wachirapakorn. 1990. Utilization of roughage and concentrate by feedlot swamp buffalo. Asian-Aus. J. Anim. Sci. 3:195.
  10. Ruaengsiri, T. 1991. Use of wastes from baby-corn production for fattening of Holstein-Friesian male crossbreds. M.S. Thesis, Kasetsart University Library. Bangkok, Thailand.

Cited by

  1. Comparative Growth Performance of Calves of Different Cattle Breeds Under a Feedlot Fattening System vol.55, pp.6, 2013,
  2. Assessment of Profitability and Break‑Even Points in Suckler Cow Herds vol.66, pp.3, 2018,