The aim of the review is to report on some of the factors affecting fertility in buffalo and the techniques that allow an improvement of the reproductive performance.
In Italy and in Latin America in farms in which mating is natural and bulls are always present in the herd the intercalving interval is approximately 400 days and the culling rate is lower than 15%.
This species shows a reproductive activity tendentially seasonal, that is favoured by the decrease of daily light hours, but the ovarian activity stops if conception does not occur within 3-5 ovarian cycles. Hence it is important an appropriate management of the transitional period, particularly concerning the hygienic conditions of uterus.
In tropical Countries located North of the equator feed deficiencies and heat stress are considered the main factors of summer hypo fertility. In Pakistan, for example, the increasing body condition score during the autumn was associated with the commencement of breeding season in buffaloes. However, anoestrus is observed also in Italy where the average daily temperature in the same period is 23.5-13.5°C and feeding is constant throughout the year.
The only common element between the two areas is the progressive increase of daily light hours between April and June and the daily length higher than 12 h up to September.
In Italy in herds where out of season breeding strategy is applied an improvement of fertility, as percentage of corpora lutea corresponding to subsequent pregnancy, is observed when water pools are present in the farm, demonstrating that the improvement of environmental conditions reduces the incidence of embryonic mortality and/or abnormal cycles. To summarize, in the absence of serious nutritional problems, the improvement of the environmental conditions increases fertility.