Impacts of tsetse challenge on herd composition and mortality, lactation and reproductive performance of cattle in Dawuro Zone of Southern Region, Ethiopia
Revue de Medecine Veterinaire
Dawuro Zone Agricultural Department, Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regional State, Ethiopia; National Livestock Consultant, FAO-Ethiopia-DRRU, Awash Field Office, P.O.Box: 5536, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Department of Pathology and Parasitology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Addis Ababa University, P.O.Box. 34, Debre Zeit, Ethiopia
The study was conducted in southern Ethiopia to compare herd composition, mortality, milk yield and reproductive performance of cattle in tsetse-challenged and tsetse-free areas. Questionnaire surveys were made with 156 households, and 30 pre-partum cows were selected for a follow-up study on milk yield and occurrence of the first postpartum heat. Accordingly, whereas the herd size was not significantly modified, the proportions of female calves and lactating or dry pregnant cows were significantly higher and those of dry non pregnant cows significantly lowered in the tsetse free areas than in the challenged ones. Cows in the tsetse affected areas exhibited significantly lower average milk yield and lactation length as well as significantly reduced reproductive performance (increases in the age at first calving, in the calving interval and in the number of services for conception). Additionally, the mortality rates for the whole herd and for each production type were dramatically increased in the tsetse challenged areas. It can be concluded that tsetse-challenge and associated trypanosomiasis seriously affect herd composition and performances of cattle in the Dawuro Zone.