Journal of Agriculture & Life Sciences

ISSN 2375-4214 (Print), 2375-4222 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jals

Associated Causes of Low Productivity of Indigenous Beef Cattle Farming under the Pastoral Systems of the North West Region of Cameroon
P. Y. Lawan; G. A. Musongong; H. M. Ndofor-Foleng; M. H. N. Atanga

Management practices play a big role in animal productivity reflected either in financial returns or food sufficiency. A cross sectional study was undertaken to determine the factors associated with low productivity of indigenous beef cattle farming under the pastoral systems in seven administrative divisions of the North West Region of Cameroon. A total of 150 questionnaires were administered to pastoralists, butchers and animal service providers. At the Municipal Abattoir body condition scores of cows and the number of cows to be slaughtered were taken. All foetuses from slaughtered cows were recovered and identified according to age and sex. Results were entered into SPSS software version 20.0 and analyzed by using the Chi square Test. Out of the 494 cows slaughtered during the period of study 73 (14.8%) were pregnant and had poor body condition scores (1-2). Forty two (57.5%) of 2-3 months old foetuses recovered were female and 31 (42.5%) were male. Thus there was 14.8% potential calf wastage. The predominant associated causes of low productivity of pastoral farms frequently observed by the pastoralists were poor growth of the cattle (34.0%), loss of foetuses through abortions/pregnant cow slaughter (21.3%), delayed estrus (20.0%) and lastly increased calving intervals (14.7%). Abattoir recoveries revealed that loss of 2-3 months old foetuses was higher (p < 0.003) than loss of 4-6 months olds. There was also loss of at least 10 adult cattle a year reported by 69.0% pastoralists as a result of suspected bovine trypanosomiasis among other unknown causes. It was concluded that management practices namely transhumance, stocking density, sale and slaughter of cows, poor feed, lack of veterinary attention contributing to poor growth, poor health, abortions, calf wastage and adult mortality are serious associated causes of low productivity of pastoral farms of the North West Region of Cameroon. The rate of potential cow loss through foetal wastage is alarming especially as the majority of foetuses were female.

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