EVALUATION OF PRODUCTION LOSSES OF DAIRY CATTLE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI VETERINARY FARM.

ABSTRACT

Production of milk in developing countries has not been improving despite the changing trend in the developed countries. Moreover, efforts that have been made to improve the situation of low milk production in these countries have not seen any improvement so far. Dairy cattle are the leading source of milk production, while dairy goats, sheep and camels contribute a smaller percentage of milk consumed in the world. Despite their contribution to food security through milk production for dairy products in Kenya, little is done for their nutrition and health for their well being to encourage more milk production.

This study was conducted to investigate how management factors like nutrition, hygiene, disease control and other management factors affect milk production in dairy cattle and then recommendations were made on how to improve on milk production.

This was a cross-sectional study carried out by administering semi structured questionnaires to herders and technicians. The researcher also made observations on nutritional management of the dairy herd and managerial factors that may influence their performance.

Despite the significance of the dairy industry in Kenya, the dairy animals at the University of Nairobi Veterinary Farm were seen to be poorly fed and given poor healthcare which was seen as the main contributor to reproduction and production losses.Record keeping for estrous cycle management, most probable date of parturition, and drying was very poor thus hindering efficiency of dairy management .Some of the health challenges facing the dairy animals at the farm were keratoconjuctivitis, mastitis, pneumonia, anaplasmosis, Babesiosis and helminthosis.

Therefore with respect to nutrition, dairy animals in addition to hay need to be supplemented with silage, concentrates and mineral licks in respect to their production capacity and given water at all times. They should also be provided with clean sleeping areas and slurry drained away.

 

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