Studies on the economics of ticks in Zambia
Two herds of experimental Sanga cattle were maintained under traditional savanna grazing management for three years in the Central Province of Zambia. One herd was kept free of ticks by regular acaricide treatment, while the other was given no tick control. Milk production, growth rate, fertility and mortality were monitored throughout the trial. The tick-free herd performed significantly better than the tick-infested herd, but the value of the additional production was much less than the cost of the acaricide used. it is concluded that there is no economic justification for intensive tick control under these conditions. However, strategic tick control would be justified if the quantity of acaricide used could be reduced by 50% without any major reduction in benefits. The results indicate that treating calves below 45 days of age reduces their performance, as does treating cows during periods of very low tick challenge. Therefore, it seems likely that economically beneficial strategic tick control policies could be developed.
KeywordsGrowth Rate Milk Production Control Policy Additional Production Major Reduction
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