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Milk yield and reproductive performance of dairy cattle under smallholder management system in North-eastern Amhara Region, Ethiopia


This study was conducted in South Wollo Zone of Amhara Regional State, Ethiopia, to assess the milk yield and reproductive performance of indigenous and crossbred cattle under smallholder management conditions. Questionnaire survey was used to collect retrospective data on the performance of dairy cattle in 186 households. Thirty two postpartum cows (16 indigenous and 16 crossbred) were selected purposively and monitored for five months and milk samples were collected twice per week from each cow to determine postpartum ovarian activity using ELISA techniques. Daily milk yields at all stages of lactation were significantly (P < 0.01) higher in crossbred than indigenous cows. Crossbred cows had significantly (P < 0.01) longer lactation length and shorter age at first calving, while calving interval was significantly shorter in cows that gave previous calves during the wet season than the dry season. Only six cows (18.8%) showed heat signs on an average of 136 days postpartum of which one was a crossbred and five were indigenous. While, 11 cows (34.3%) resumed ovarian activity until 150th day postpartum among which three were crossbred and eight were indigenous.

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Correspondence to Fikre Lobago.

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Abraha, S., Belihu, K., Bekana, M. et al. Milk yield and reproductive performance of dairy cattle under smallholder management system in North-eastern Amhara Region, Ethiopia. Trop Anim Health Prod 41, 1597 (2009).

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  • Dairy cattle
  • Ethiopia
  • Milk yield
  • Reproductive performance
  • Smallholder