Comparative performances of Holstein-Friesian cows under smallholder and large scale farmers' management in Central Rift Valley, Ethiopia
Kasetsart Journal - Natural Science
Adami Tulu Agricultural Research Center, P.O. Box 35, Ziway, Ethiopia; Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Kasetsart University, Bangkok 10900, Thailand; Departement of Agronomy, Faculty of Agriculture, Kasetsart University, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
A study was conducted in Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia to assess comparative productive and reproductive performances of graded Holstein Friesian cows under small and large scale farmers' management. A total of 28 animals from both small (14) and large scales farms (14) in different parity classes were used for data collection for a period of 28 weeks. Significant differences were observed in daily intakes of dry matter, crude protein and P (p<0.001) as well as metabolizable energy and Na (p<0.01) between the two farming scales. Daily milk yield and fat corrected (FC) milk yields were also significantly (p<0.001) different. The differences in the composition of milk and postpartum reproductive parameters measured were not statistically significant (p>0.05) between the farm scales. However, the longer days open (171) was observed for small scale farms than the large scale farms (148). Days from calving to the first sign of estrus (115d) and numbers of services per conception (2.1) were higher on large scale farms than on the small scale farms (96 and 1.6 respectively). Milk yield, milk composition and reproductive efficiencies did not significantly (p>0.05) differ between parity classes. Generally, the productive and reproductive performances of graded Holstein Friesian cows in this study were under their expected genetic potential, as compared to other parts of the tropics. This might be attributed mainly to poor nutritional qualities of the available feed resources, in terms of protein, energy and mineral balance which needed further investigation.
Animalia; Bos taurus; Friesia