Mathew Thomas, a scholar, started a buffalo farm during the lockdown
Mathew Thomas, pursuing his post-graduation, runs a farm with Murrah buffaloes at Kothamangalam in Ernakulam district
At 23, Mathew Thomas is the proud proprietor of a farm. At Oonukal close to Kothamangalam in Ernakulam district, Mathew runs Malayil Murrah Farm, the place he rears Murrah buffaloes. A postgraduate scholar in Biotechnology at Mar Athanasius College, Kothamangalam, Mathew stumble on the concept during the pandemic.
“When classes went online last year, I had a lot of free time on my hands. I was getting restless and wanted to do something to keep myself occupied,” he says over the telephone. That was when his father’s good friend steered a buffalo farm. “I decided to give it a try. I watched several videos and collected as much information as I could, especially about Murrah buffaloes,” he says.
Murrah buffaloes, thought-about one in all the highest milk-yielding Indian buffalo breeds, comes largely from the states of Punjab and Haryana. “They grow faster when compared to breeds found in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. For example, if other breeds reach 200-220 kilograms in a year, the Murrah gains double the weight in the same period. The feed is the same as that we give other buffaloes,” says Mathew.
Although his preliminary plan was to purchase one, he determined to make it a larger affair as soon as his father additionally evinced curiosity. “So, we bought 32 buffaloes, all of them male calves, from Haryana a few months ago when lockdown restrictions were eased. We planned it on a big scale since we had enough land for that,” says Mathew. The farm stands on three acres and on one other 2.5 acres they develop the grass (Super Napier selection) to feed the animals. He has additionally purchased a machine to chop the grass.
The household already has a poultry farm, the place they’ve 20,000 hens. “We grow pineapple and parts of the plant are also sliced and fed to the buffaloes,” says Mathew.
The farm now has 20 calves, all of them lower than a yr previous, weighing 120 to 150 kilograms. The plan is to promote them.
He factors out that it took him practically two weeks to get accustomed to operating the farm. “Since we had 32, it was not easy. But now I have a schedule. I spend nearly four hours on the farm in the morning, cleaning the shed, bathing the buffaloes, feeding them and taking care of other things. I take care of the calves for an hour in the evening,” he says.
He has put in a fogger system in the shed to sprinkle water on the buffaloes when it’s sizzling. A pond has additionally been constructed for the animals to chill off. The dung-urine slurry is used as fertilizer for the grass.
Mathew says that he hopes to run the farm alongside pursuing his research.