On Farm Production Systems Characterization of Indigenous Cattle in Bako Tibe and Gobu Sayo Districts of Oromia Region, Ethiopia

Dereje Bekeled


The study was conducted in Bako Tibe and Gobu Sayo districts of Oromia Regional State, Ethiopia, from October 2014 to January 2015 with the objective to undertake on-farm production system characterization of indigenous cattle breed (Horro) in the study area. Field studies and collection of data were carried out through semi-structured questionnaire, focus group discussions, key informants and secondary data collection from different sources. A total of 120 households (60 from each district) were randomly selected for semi structured questionnaire interview. SAS and SPSS software were used to analyze the data. The study result revealed that overall cattle herd size was 9.67±3.34 heads per household and was not significantly different (p<0.05) between districts. The main purposes of keeping Horro cattle in both locations were draught power, milk production, income, manure and threshing of crop. The age at first service (AFS) of male Horro cattle was 3.47±0.39 years. The age at first mating (AFM) and age at first calving (AFC) of female cattle were 3.73±0.51 and 4.98±0.68 years respectively. The calving interval (CI) of Horro cow was estimated to be 1.88±0.49 years and showed no significant difference between locations. The mean productive life time and number of calves born per female productive lifespan were found to be 11.95±2.10 years and 5.92±1.42 calves, respectively. The daily milk yield of Horro cow was estimated to be 1.42±0.55 liters and the cows were milked for a mean lactation length of 9.25±2.93 months. The lactation milk yield was estimated to be 394.05 liters. Natural and uncontrolled mating is the main breeding system in the two districts. The main sources of breeding bull were community land, owned bulls and neighboring herd. The effective population size and inbreeding coefficient were estimated to be 3.26 and 15.30% and 147.04 and 0.034% for household herd and combined population respectively for Bako Tibe while in Gobu Sayo district it were 3.06 and 16.30% and 159.8 and 0.030% for household herd and combined population, respectively. The main trait of Horro cattle breed preferred by the community were its milk yield, coat color and survival on low quality feed. The main cattle feed resource in all seasons is natural pasture obtained from community and owned grazing land in both Bako Tibe (63.3%) and Gobu Sayo (71.6%) districts. The major cattle production constraints were feed shortage, diseases, lack of improved breeds, improved forage, market access, shortage of water and labor in that order. The reported main cattle diseases in the area were trypanosomiasis, pasteurellosis, lumpy skin disease, contagious bovine pleuro pneumonia, parasites, blackleg and anthrax. The current study result indicated that Horro cattle production and reproductive performance in the current environmental condition are comparable with other indigenous breeds and have potential for improvement. Feed shortage got the highest rank by cattle owners to be the most limiting factor for productivity of their cattle followed by disease. This implies that the importance of improving feed (production of improved forage and grasses) and disease management (disease prevention control vaccination and treatment) are the critical steps toward improvement of the breed.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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