Thursday, January 27, 2011

The carabao (Filipino: kalabaw; Malay: kerbau) or bubalus bubalis carabanesis is a domesticated subspecies of the water buffalo (Bubalus bubalus) found in the Philippines, Guam, and various parts of Southeast Asia. Carabaos are highly associated with farmers, being the farm animal of choice for pulling the plow and the cart used to haul farm produce to the market.

Carabaos are indigenous to Southeast Asia; as waves of migration into the Philippines occurred, the carabao were captured and domesticated.

Carabaos are often used by farmers in the Philippines. It is one of the most important animals in the country specially in agriculture.

Adults weigh seven to eight hundred kilograms—almost 2,000 pounds—and have fairly long gray or black hair thinly covering their huge bodies. They have a tuft of hair on their forehead, and at the tip of their tail. Normally, they are silent, but they will give a trembling snort if they are surprised.

Both males and females have massive horns. Since carabao have no sweat glands, they cool themselves by lying in waterholes or mud during the heat of the day. Mud, caked on to their bodies also protects them from bothersome insects.

Carabao eat grass and other vegetation, feeding mainly in the cool of the mornings and evenings. In some places of the world carabao are used for milk just like a cow, or they may be slaughtered for their hide and their meat. They live to age 18 or 20 and have one calf each year.