AyubaDauda1,*,Bassey Okon2,AffiongJoseph Henry2, andJibrinDauda Nggada 3
1Department of Animal Production and Health Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences Federal University Wukari, Nigeria
2Department of Animal Science, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria.
3Department of BiologicalScience Borno State University, Nigeria
Introduction: The reproductiveperformance and management of three cattle breeds under extensive management studywas investigateddue to a lack of baseline data for animal husbandry practices and planning breeding programs in the study area. This study evaluatedthe productive and reproductive performance, feed resources, feed management,and major constraints of three breeds of cattle (White Fulani, Sokoto Gudali, and Red Bororo) production under an extensive system in Northern Nigeria.Materials and methods: A structured questionnaire survey and group discussion were used forcollectingdata. 60 farmerswith 30 years of experience in cattle farming were selected to administer the questionnaire. Each breed (White Fulani, Sokoto Gudali, and Red Bororo) was grown by 20 farmers.Results:The results indicated that 70% of the farmers agreed withthe first service at the age of2.3-3 years in the three breeds. The first calvingatthe age of3.3-4 years was40% for White Fulani farmers,while 80% for Sokoto Gudali and Red Bororo farmers respectively. Thecalving intervalin the range of 1-2 yearswasadequately observed inall three breeds. Theage of 13-15 yearswas reported asthe female reproductive periodin this study. The total number of calves produced per cow’s lifetimein the presentstudy was estimated at8-11 for White Fulani and Sokoto Gudali, and4-7for Red Bororo. Feed resources and management of three breeds of cattle under extensive managementindicated that natural pasture was the most common source of feed for cattle in the rainy season. Besides,natural pasture, tree leaves,and shrubs were used as cattlefeed in the dry season. The main cattle production constraints reported by the farmers included feed and waterin the study area. However, the breeds could survive and produceunderthesemajor constraints.Conclusion:Alleviating these constraints could improve the productivity of White Fulani, Sokoto Gudali,and Red Bororo in their natural environment.
In emerging nations, livestock production plays a significantrole in agricultural activity1. Animals are kept for variouspurposesdue totheir droughttolerance and cultural functions,as well as milk, meat, and eggproduction. Moreover, several farming activities, including manure to maintain soil fertility, and draught power for cultivation, transport, and food,are performedby animals2,3.These agricultural activities, especially crop production,dependheavily on livestock since they potentially reduce risksin different management conditions, farm diversity, andintensification4. Therefore, much more has to be done to increase the dairy business in Nigeria and achieve self-sufficiency in dairy products. It is crucial to comprehend the productive and reproductive capabilities of the dairy breeds and their crossbredto fully utilize the genetic potential of the available dairy animal resources5.