N'Dama cattle underestimated
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CTA. 1987. N'Dama cattle underestimated. Spore 12. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/44764
Initial results from a study of N'Dama cattle in Gambia show that this trypanotolerant breed's potential as a milk producer has long been underestimated. The results indicate that they can produce over 265 kg of milk for domestic consumption as...
Initial results from a study of N'Dama cattle in Gambia show that this trypanotolerant breed's potential as a milk producer has long been underestimated. The results indicate that they can produce over 265 kg of milk for domestic consumption as well as rearing a calf. The study was carried out in two villages by the International Trypanotolerance Centre (which was officially opened in Gambia last March), in association with the International Livestock Centre for Africa (ILCA) and the International Laboratory for Research on Animal Diseases (ILRAD). Cows weighing about 210 kg were milked over an 8 month period and their calves, weighing about 55 kg at weaning, were estimated to have consumed about 350 kg of milk, just over half of the total production of about 600 kg. Another part of the study looked at the health of the cattle especially their tolerance to trypanosome infections. Although infestation rates varied with the location of the villages, it was apparent that young adult cattle (from 3 to 9 years) showed the highest incidence of trypanosome infection, while older animals had the lowest. Pre-weaners and post-weaners had even lower infection rates. Analysis of species-specific trypanosomal antibodies in 1,000 cattle from four study areas revealed high antibody levels in most older animals but very little signs of them in animals under 5 years old. Antibody levels varied from area to area and seasonal variations revealed that, at times, there were no antibodies present in the cattle. For more details, contact: International Laboratory for Research on Animal Diseases P.O. Box 30709 Nairobi Kenya