Buffalo require different handling to beef cattle because of their unique temperament.
Their handling can affect milk and meat tenderness and quality. Riverine breeds are noted as the best breed of Buffalo for Australian conditions.
Mediterranean Italian Buffalo
The Mediterranean Italian breed was officially recognised in 2000. In the past, the buffalo was widely used as a draught animal; however, they are now raised and selectively bred principally for the production of milk. Lactation lasts on average 277 days, and usually yields 1600–1800kg.
Northern Australian Buffalo
Water buffalo were imported into the Northern Territory in the 19th century to provide working animals and meat for the remote northern settlements; however today the northern Australian buffalo is exported to Asian destinations, primarily for meat and milk.
Compared with cattle, buffalo are efficient converters of lesser grade pastures and are capable of producing meat and milk adequately from grass alone without the need for a large concentrate component in the diet.