Livestock Research for Rural Development

Volume 13 Number 3, 2001

Abstracts of papers in LRRD, Volume 13,
Number 3

Reproductive performances of Creole goats in Guadeloupe (French West Indies)
1. Station- based data

  G Alexandre, G Matheron*, P Chemineau** , J Fleury 
and A Xandé

  Unité de Recherches Zootechniques, INRA Antilles-Guyane, Domaine Duclos, Prise d'Eau  97170 Petit-Bourg, Guadeloupe, French West Indies
Telephone: 0590255933; Fax: 0590255936; 
* Président du Centre CIRAD (Centre International de Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement) de Montpellier,  Avenue Agropolis 34398  Montpellier
** Directeur de l’UMR (Unité Mixte de Recherche) INRA-CNRS-Université de Tours Physiologie de la reproduction et des comportements 37380 Nouzilly 

Reproductive performances of the Creole goat, the meat breed of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean, are described from a database generated for 15 years (1973 to 1988) at an experimental farm of the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA, Guadeloupe, French West Indies). The data contain information on 599 females, 2259 attempted matings, 2135 achieved matings and 1904 kiddings. Animals were reared under semi-intensive management conditions (on the basis of feeding system, health and culling policy). Main sources of variation were analysed: mating type (buck in permanence or buck effect), mating season (dry, intermediate and humid season) and rank of kidding. The Creole goat is a continuous breeder. On average 94.5 percent of exposed females were mated (defined as mating rate) and 90.5 percent of exposed females achieved a kidding (fertility rate). Their prolificacy reached 1.98 kids/kidding, with only 3.9 percent of kids born dead. These reproductive parameters varied essentially with rank of kidding but very poorly with the mating season. Productivity of these females was regularly high during their whole lifetime production. From the results obtained, it is concluded that  Creole goats have very high reproductive performances, provided that animal husbandry and nutrition are adequate.

Keywords : Creole goat, fertility rate, litter size, neonatal mortality, buck effect, humid tropics, Guadeloupe


Effects of the inclusion of direct-maternal genetic covariance in the analysis of  growth traits in Nellore cattle

Cabrera M E, Garnero A del V*, Lôbo R B* y Gunski R J *

Dpto. de Genética. FCEQyN, UNaM. Félix de Azara 1552, Posadas, Mnes, Argentina CP3300.

* Departamento de Genética, Bloco C, FMRP, USP, Av. Bandeirantes 3900, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil CEP 14049-900. :

Genetic parameters for growth at 120, 240 and 365 days of age (P120, P240 and P365) were estimated in Nellore beef cattle from the Nellore Genetic Breeding Program database by taking into account, or not, the covariance between direct and maternal genetic effects. The estimation was carried out by one trait Animal Model using MTDFREML software, considering contemporary groups (herd, birth season, year, sex and feeding management) and age at calving (<36, 37-47, 48-59, 60-71, 72-119 y >120 months) as fixed effects, and direct genetic, maternal genetic and permanent environment as random effects. Medium to high observed direct heritability values (h2a = 0.23-0.33) were obtained from both analyses. The lower maternal heritability values (0.05-0.08) increased after the covariance was considered in the model (up to 0.10). All the correlation values were negative, from low to medium scale (-0.199 to –0.430). In view of this, a study of the rank correlations of genetic values to verify their influence in classification of animals is suggested.

Key words: genetic parameters, direct-maternal genetic covariance, growth traits, Nellore.


Some aspects of the nutritive value of leaf meals of Trichanthera gigantea  and Morus alba for Mong Cai pigs

J Ly, Chhay Ty, Chiev Phiny and T R Preston

 University of Tropical Agriculture Foundation
Royal University of Agriculture
Chamcan Daung, Dangkor District, PO Box 2423
Phnom Penh 3, Cambodia

The nutritive value for pigs of sun-dried leaves from trichanthera (Trichanthera gigantea) and mulberry (Morus alba) was assessed in two experiments. In experiment 1, digestibility indices and N balance were determined in eight Mong Cai castrated male pigs (mean liveweight 14.5 kg) fed 30% of sun-dried trichanthera or mulberry leaves according to a balanced change over design. In experiment 2, the in vitro (pepsin/pancreatin) N digestibility of both sets of leaf meals was compared. The substitution of 30% of the basal diet implied that both trichanthera and mulberry provided on average 29.3% of the total N in the diet.

In vivo organic matter and N total digestibility as estimated by difference were higher (P<0.01) in mulberry  than in trichanthera leaf meal (trichanthera, 71.5  and 66.2; mulberry 84.6 and 81.1%, respectively). The diet containing 30% of mulberry leaf meal exhibited a higher N retention (P<0.05) than that containing trichanthera leaf meal.

In vitro organic matter and N solubility, simulating ileal digestion in pigs, were higher (P<0.001) for mulberry as compared to trichanthera leaf meal (trichanthera 35.9 and 37.5; mulberry 56.7 and 47.7%,  respectively).

Further studies concerning factors affecting N utilization of trichanthera by pigs are recommended. The high nutritive value of the mulberry leaves employed in the present experiments indicates its potential as a protein source in pig feeding.

Key words: Trichanthera gigantea, Morus alba, Mong Cai pigs, nutritive value


Participatory action research experiences in smallholder dairy farming in Zimbabwe  

J Francis and S Sibanda* 

Zimbabwe Open University, Harare Region,
PO Box MP1119, Mount Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe
*Department of Animal Science, University of Zimbabwe, 
PO Box MP167, Mount Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe 

Poor reproductive performance; low productivity due to inadequate availability and poor quality of feed; high cost of commercially available feeds; high incidence of tick-borne diseases; excessive calf mortalities; and inadequate knowledge on appropriate management of cattle were identified as the major problems facing smallholder dairy farming in integrated crop-livestock systems in Nharira-Lancashire, Zimbabwe.  In order to ensure sustainable dairy farming, potentially effective technologies and management strategies were promoted through participatory action research (PAR) involving farmers, researchers and extension workers.  A farmer research committee coordinated a jointly initiated and managed technological demonstration programme.  Emphasis was placed on farmer-led, farmer-to-farmer extension, with volunteer farmers serving as resource persons.  Participating farmers chose and tried on their farms those interventions they felt could assist them in producing optimal farm management systems.  This study highlighted the attributes of stakeholder participation in research and development (R and D).  It was concluded that farmer participation should be an integral component of agricultural R and D programmes. 

Key words: Livestock systems, problems, technological demonstrations, participatory action research, farmer-to-farmer extension


The importance of farmers’ income security for enhancing regional development: evidence from Southern Peru

Thomas Bernet, Willy Pradel* and Thomas S Walker

International Potato Center (CIP), Lima, Peru

* National Agrarian University La Molina (UNALM), Lima, Peru

This study examines agricultural development of the coastal irrigation zones in Southern Peru. A historical review gives evidence that the establishment of a dairy enterprise and its extension activities have shaped the agricultural and regional development in the past. The fast expansion of milk production is strongly related to farmers’ propensity for income security — independent of farm size. In order to expand the cultivation of agricultural crops, to boost regional development through the generation of additional job opportunities and income, market-oriented policy interventions are necessary that reduce price fluctuations for agricultural crops.

Key words: Milk, crops, production systems, Peru, income, land use


Agroforestry as a strategy for restructuring livestock production in Latin America

 Enrique Murgueitio y Muhammad Ibrahim*

Fundación CIPAV, Cali, Colombia
* Área de Agroforestería, CATIE, Costa Rica 

Ponencia presentada en el XVII  Congreso Panamericano de Ciencias Veterinarias, Panamá, septiembre del 2000

During the last years a significant portion of Latin American forests has been converted into extensive cattle ranching. Pastures cover 46% of the land area in Central America (18.4 million hectares), making this the most important land use category. Between 1960 and 1995, natural forests and other land use classes in Colombia decreased from 94.6 to 72.4 million hectares, while livestock ranching increased from 16.6 to 35.5 million hectares. Both, the area covered by pastures and ruminant production have increased in Latin America over the last years, but livestock ranching is practiced on inadequate lands thereby promoting environmental degradation. This was the case in the Amazon region, where 35% of the pastures were abandoned following soil-productivity loss and economic collapse. 

The social and environmental re-conversion of livestock production is therefore a regional priority. The intensification of this activity could significantly increase its social, economic, and alimentary contributions. Livestock agroforestry is a substantial part of this transition. This article describes 9 types of agroforestry systems related to animal production and present in Latin America: 1. Silvopastoral systems with managed succession, 2. Livestock grazing in forest plantations, 3. Live fences, 4. Trees in pastures, 5. Alley cropping, 6. Wind shields, 7. High tree-density silvopastoral systems, 8. Cut-and-carry systems (protein banks, either pure or multi-strata policultures) and 9. Energy banks.

 Key words: Agroforestry, livestock, systems, Latinamerica


Farm size effect on economic indicators in extensive sheep farms

M Escribano, A Rodríguez de Ledesma, F J Mesías y F Pulido

Escuela de Ingenierías Agrarias. Universidad de Extremadura
Ctra. de Cáceres, s/n – 06071 Badajoz, España;

This paper deals with the effect of farm size on the main economic indicators in extensive sheep farms in Extremadura. The data for the present study were collected from a survey performed on 96 sheep farms in the year 2000. The effect of farm size (n = four) on a series of economic indicators was determined by analysis of variance using the GLM procedure. It was observed that the average value of the land represented  71.4% of the total farm capital. This ratio decreased as the farm size became smaller. It was found that the smaller the farm size, the higher the fixed capital values; and the larger the farm the lower the gross production per hectare. 

Key words: Grazing, sheep, stocking rate, productive management, economic indicators, farm size


Relationship between the farm size and the stocking rate in extensive sheep systems

M Escribano, F J Mesías, A Rodríguez de Ledesma y F Pulido

Escuela de Ingenierías Agrarias. Universidad de Extremadura.
Ctra. de Cáceres, s/n; 06071- Badajoz  (España)

This paper reports an análisis of 94 sheep farms in semi-arid grazing areas in the southwest of Spain. The data for the present study were collected by survey in the year 2000 from 96 sheep farms in Extremadura, by carrying out a random sampling design for a confidence level of 95%. As the most significant factor of the analysis, the farm size effects were analysed according to the stocking rate values. An ANOVA analysis was made following the general linear model procedure. The result was an average stocking rate of 0.40±0.16 UGM (large animal units) /ha of SAU. A significant difference was observed between the larger and the smaller farm sizes, showing a higher production as the UFS increased. There was a high correlation between the UGM of the sheep and the UGM of the pig population  (r=0.70; p<0.01). The livestock pressure on the grazing (CGt) was negatively correlated with the area suitable for grazing by livestock (r= -0.29; p <0.01).

Key words: Farm size, stocking rate, productivity, extensive sheep management


Status of broilers produced in Swat, Pakistan

Zahir-ud-Din, M Farooq, F R Durrani, N Chand and J Ahmed*

Department of Poultry Science, NWFP Agricultural University,
Peshawar, Pakistan.

* Veterinary Hospital, Charsadda, Pakistan. 

A research study on the status of broiler production was conducted on 62 broiler farms in Swat, Pakistan, with examination and comparison of records maintained during the year 1998. 

Marketing of broilers was not practiced on live weight, and average flock size was lower (1627±125#) than the available shed capacity (1768±171). Flock size (b=0.002±0.001), age at marketing (b=-0.88±0.12), and percent mortality (b=-0.378±0.091) were significantly (P<0.01) associated with net profitability. Sheds were located at a distance of 317±50 m from the main road. Duration between two batches was 17.2±0.92 days and the number of batches per year was 4.51±0.29. Bedding material used was 0.60±0.02 kg/broiler. Age and weight at marketing were 39.0±0.82 days and 1.23±0.03 kg, respectively.  Higher (p<0.05) weight at marketing was found in broilers at a given space of 0.09m2/broiler (1.34±0.11 kg) than in those given less than 0.09m² floor space/broiler (1.17±0.38 kg). 


Similarly, higher (p<0.05) weight/broiler was found under good hygienic conditions (1.35±0.77 kg) and with a standard immunization schedule (1.37±0.11 kg) than that found under poor hygienic conditions (1.13±1.2 kg) and partial immunization schedule (1.15±0.96 kg)


Overall mortality was 13.1±1.16%, representing 7.59±0.46% from day 1 to 14 and 18.5±0.95% from day 15 till marketing of the broilers. Mortality was significantly affected by immunization schedule, hygienic condition of the farm and floor space given/broiler. Interaction of the aforementioned variables also indicated a significant effect on mortality in broilers. Mean feed consumption/broiler was 3.81±3.38 kg. Total feed represented 1.56±0.14 kg starter and 2.26±0.26 kg finisher ration consumed/broiler. Average variable cost of production, returns and net profit/broiler were Rs.53.0±0.90, Rs. 54.9±1.07 and Rs.1.97±1.09, respectively. 

Substantially improved performance in Swat was found to be related to better utilization of available floor space (0.09 m²/broiler), with a reduction in mortality, good hygiene, adhering to an approved scheduled immunization and the marketing of broilers on live-weight basis.

Key words:   Cost, FCR, feed, flock size, marketing, mortality, profit 


The intake and digestibility of stale bread by the domestic rabbit 

R Ramchurn and Y Dullull 

University of Mauritius, Reduit, Mauritius

Thirty-two crossbred rabbits were randomly allocated to four groups each with eight animals, and kept individually in separate cages. The four dietary treatments were (control) ad libitum commercial rabbit pellets, 75% pellets and stale bread ad libitum, 50% pellets and stale bread ad libitum and only ad libitum stale bread.  No obvious health problem was encountered during the experiment. The parameters measured were feed intake and digestibility (dry matter, organic matter, crude protein, crude fibre and energy).

Average feed intake was the highest with 100% commercial pelleted diet (128 ± 2.04 g DM/day) and lowest on 100% stale bread (58.5 ± 2.45 g DM/day), reflecting a 54% decrease in dry matter intake. The dry matter, organic matter and protein digestibility were higher on stale bread than on commercial pellets. 

Keywords: Rabbits, stale bread, intake, digestibility, energy 


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