Livestock Research for Rural Development 26 (8) 2014 Guide for preparation of papers LRRD Newsletter

Citation of this paper

Milk production performances of Holstein Friesian x Arsi and Holstein Friesian x Boran cross-bred cattle at Agarfa Agricultural Technical Vocational and Educational Training (ATVET) College, Oromia, Ethiopia

Teketay Wassie, Getinet Mekuriaw1 and Zeleke Mekuriaw2

Department of Animal science, Assosa University, P.O.Box 18, Asosa, Ethiopia
teketay2003@gmail.com
1 International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), P.O.Box 5689. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
2 International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), P.O.Box 1867, LIVES Project, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

Abstract

The study was carried out at Agarfa ATVET College dairy farm to evaluate the milk production performances of Holstein Friesian x Arsi and Holstein Friesian x Boran cross cattle breeds. For the study, records compiled from 1983 to 2012 at the Agarfa dairy farm were used as original data. Effects of breed, blood level, season and parity on milk yield traits were evaluated. The data were analyzed using the general linear model of the Statistical Analysis System (SAS) version 9.1.

 

The overall means for daily milk yield were 6.38 and 7.02 kg and for lactation milk yield 1925 and 2136 kg for Friesian x Arsi and Friesian x Boran cross, respectively.   Generally the productive performance of cows reported in this study was lower than the performance reported in many tropical regions. Therefore, due consideration should be given to calf and heifer management, heat detection, feeding and health care. Furthermore, in this study Friesian x Boran cross were better than Friesian x Arsi in performance therefore attention should be given to keep this cross in the farm.

Key words: blood level, daily milk yield, lactation milk yield, lactation length


Introduction

Ethiopia has the largest livestock inventories in Africa with livestock ownership supporting and sustaining the livelihood of an estimated 80 % of the rural poor (FAO 2004). The majority of them are indigenous breed which are well adapted to the environment in the tropics. This is from the fact that they possess a high degree of heat tolerance and resistance to most of endemic diseases. Most reports on dairy cattle production in the tropical and subtropical areas recommend crossing indigenous with temperate breeds. Arsi and Boran cattle breeds are the most common indigenous breeds used for crossbreeding with exotic dairy animals for milk production in Arsi and Bale area. Arsi breed is the local dominant type found in Arsi Region of Ethiopia; they are small in size 200-250 kg (Kiwuwa et al 1983). The Boran cattle breed is a zebu type that originated in the southern lowlands of Ethiopia. It is widely used for milk, meat, draft power and manure production (Albero and Mekonnen 1982).

 

Although there are some researches conducted to evaluate the performance of Friesian crosses in Ethiopia, yet no research has been conducted to see the comparative performance of Friesian x Arsi and Friesian x Boran under the same management conditions. Agarfa dairy farm is one of the oldest state farms in Ethiopia where Friesian Arsi x and Friesian x Boran cattle have been kept. Even though the farm has kept Friesian cross of Arsi and Boran with different blood levels in the same management conditions, productivity of these exotic blood level groups has not been yet well researched. Furthermore, the performances of these cross-bredsin line with various influential non-genetic factors have not yet been evaluated. Therefore, this study was aimed at the evaluation of milk production performance of Friesian x Arsi and Friesian x Boran crosses kept at Agarfa College dairy farm.


Materials and methods

Description of the study area

 

The study was conducted at Agarfa Agricultural Technical and Vocational Education Training College (ATVET), in Agarfa district in Bale zone of Oromia Regional State, South East Ethiopia. The study area is located at 458 km South East of Addis Ababa.

 

The geographical coordinate of the area is 40º43' E and 60º67' N while the altitude is 2350 meter above sea level. The mean annual rainfall and maximum and minimum temperature are about 836.1 mm and 22 and 8.6ºC respectively (NMSA 2010). Based on agro climatic condition the area has three distinct seasons. A short rainy season which extends from March to June a long rainy season, which extends from July to October and a dry season that extends from November to February (NMSA 2010). 

 

Farm description and animal management

 

Agarfa dairy farm was established in 1983 with 127 foundation stock. These foundation stocks were F1 crosses of Friesian x Boran and Friesian x Arsi purchased from Abernosa farm and Assela research center, respectively. The objectives of the farm were to serve as a demonstration site for farmers, to give extension service such as artificial insemination and veterinary services for neighboring peasant associations, and to be a source of income for the college.

 

 Both lactating and non lactating cows were left to grazing land during the day and lactating cows were supplemented with wheat bran and silage when they were milked ;  non lactating cows were supplemented with hay. Culling of animals was done only by looking their phenotypic performances rather than genetic performance. Animals were annually vaccinated against anthrax, blackleg, pasterulosis, foot and mouth disease and lumpy skin disease. In addition to these, animals were sprayed against external parasite weekly and dewormed against internal parasite in three month interval.

 

Data collection

 

Data collected from 1983 to 2012 were used for the study and compiled from records kept on each individual animal recording books and cards. Records had  details on date of entry, identification number, sex of animal, date and reason of exit, service date, calving date, calf ID, dam and sire number, daily milk yield and drying date. The compiled record cards were checked for its completeness and unclear and incomplete data were cleared out.

 

Fixed effect of breed on the dam line, blood level, season, and parity on milk production parameters were observed. Volumes of exotic blood (Friesian) in Arsi and Boran cattle were kept at 50%, 75% and 87.5%. In order to see the effects of season of calving. Months of the year were classified into three seasons based on rain fall distribution; long rains (July - October), short rains (March-June), and dry season (November- February). The maximum parity in the original data was 7 (lactation 1 to7). However, when 7 lactations were considered in the model, cows that had lactation 6 and above were too small and also the estimated least square means for lactation numbers 5 and greater than 5 were almost similar. Therefore, all parities above 5 were pooled together in parity 5.

 

Data analysis

 

The data were analyzed using general linear model (GLM) procedures of SAS version 9.1. The model used includes fixed effects of breed, blood level, season and parity. The following model was used to analyze the data:

 

Daily milk yields (DMY), lactation milk yield (LMY) and lactation length (LL) were analyzed with the following model.

 

Yijkl = μ + Bi + Zj + S + Pl + eijkl

 

Where: Yijkl= observation on DMY, LMY and LL

μ = overall mean 

Bi = fixed effect of ith breed group (Friesian x Arsi, Friesian x Boran );

Zj= fixed effect of jth blood level (50%, 75%, 87.5% Friesian);

Sk = fixed effect of kth season of calving (l, 2 ,3);    

Pl  = fixed effect of lth parity of dam (1…5)                                                     

eijkl=  random error


Results and discussions

Daily milk yield

 

The overall least squares mean of daily milk yield of cows in the present study was 6.38; 0.09  and 7.02; 0.11 kg for Friesian x Arsi and Friesian x Boran cross, respectively (Table 1) which is comparable with 5.7 and 6.3 kg per day for Arsi and Zebu half-breeds with Friesian and 6.0 and 6.2 kg for three-quarter Friesian-Arsi and Friesian-Zebu crosses reported by Kiwuwa et al 1983. However, it was lower than the finding of Demeke et al 2000 who reported that the average daily milk yield of 9.8; 0.2 for Boran and Frisian cross in Holeta research center.

 

The least square means of DMY in Table 1 showed that breed, blood level and parity had significant effect (p< 0.01) whereas season of calving had no significant effect (p> 0.05) on DMY. Friesian x Boran produced significantly higher DMY than Friesian x Arsi crosses. This difference is due to difference in milk production ability due to difference in genetic material. In general, as the Friesian blood level increased from to 7/8 DMY also increased but the increment was not significant above . The possible reason for the increment of DMY when the exotic blood level increased might be due to the reason that the milk production potential of exotic breed is better than local breeds.

 

The value of DMY was increased up to parity four and showed decline trend then after. The age related difference in DMY might be due to the immature udder size and higher nutrient requirement for their growth in younger cows and the ability of secretary cell decreased in older cows.

 

Table 1. Least squares mean (LSM ; SE) of daily milk yield and lactation milk yield over breed, blood level, season of calving and parity.

 

Variable

 

N

Daily milk yield

Lactation milk yield

LSM (SE) Kg

p

LSM (SE)  Kg

p

Over all

567

6.70 ; 0.07

 

2030 ; 30.2

 

Breed

 

 

0.001

 

0.002

Friesian x Arsi

317

6.38;  0.09b

 

1925; 30.2b

 

Friesian x Boran

250

7.02;  0.11a

 

2136;  42.2a

 

Blood level

 

 

0.001

 

0.004

Friesian

259

6.11 ; 0.08c

 

1859 ; 36.6b

 

Friesian

241

7.21;  0.17a

 

2172;  69.9a

 

7/8 Friesian

67

6.77 ;0.09b

 

2060;  38.9a

 

 

Season of  calving

 

 

0.67

 

 

0.052

Main rainy season

180

6.62; 0.11           

 

1955 ; 46.1

 

Short rainy season

183

6.73; 0.11

 

2069;  44.6

 

Dry season

204

6.74; 0.11

 

2076 ; 45.0

 

Parity

 

 

0.001

 

0.001

1

149

5.95; 0.12c

 

1830 ; 42.4c

 

2

143

6.50;  0.12b

 

1991 ; 47.3b

 

3

107

6.89;  0.14a

 

2119; 56.0a

 

4

89

7.09 ; 0.16a

 

2223 ; 81.3a

 

5

79

7.05 ; 0.2a

 

2180 ; 64.6a

 

N = number of observations       

Means separated by different superscript letters under the same variable in one column are significantly different (P< 0.05)

Lactation milk yield

 

The value of LMY obtained in this study were 1925 and 2136  for Friesian x Arsi and Friesian x Boran cross, respectively (Table 1).

It was higher than 1381liters reported by Chenyambuga and Mseleko 2009 for Boran and Ayrshire crosses in Tanzania. The higher LMY was obtained from Friesian x Boran cross than Friesian x Arsi cross. This is due to difference in milk production potential of Born and Arsi breed. LMY appeared to be increased when the Friesian blood level increased from F1 to 7/8 even if insignificant increment was recorded from 3/4 to 7/8 Friesian. This agreed with the finding of Gebeyehu (2005), Kefena et al (2006), Ahmed et al (2007) in Sudan and Aynalem et al (2011). Breed, blood level and parity had effect on LMY whereas season of calving had no effect on LMY.

 

Lactation milk yield was increased up to parity four and showed a decline trend then after. This is in agreement with Kefena et al (2011).

 

Lactation length

 

The overall lactation length of cows in the present study were found to be 307 days  for both Friesian x Arsi and Friesian x Boran cross (Table2). This was comparable with the ideal lactation length of 305 days. This result coincides with Rege (1998) who found that LL of 309 for F1 crosses between B. taurus and B. indicus and Belay (2012), who reported the LL of 302 days for cross-beed cows in Jimma town.  However, tin his study it was higher than the  183 days  reported by Mulindwa et al (2006 )for F1 (Boran x Teso) in Uganda, 288 days (Chenyambuga and Mselek 2009) for Ayrshire and Boran cross in Tanzania and 292 days (Addisu et al 2010 )for Fogera breed. The LL in the present study was lower than 336 days reported by Demeke et al (2000 )for F1 crosses of Boran and Friesian breed in Holetta research center.

 

The longest LL (312) was found for cows calved in short rainy season, while the shortest LL (297 days) was obtained from cows calved in main rainy season. The shortest LL for cows calved in main rainy season obtained in this study might be due to the reason that cows that calved in the wet season and milked in the subsequent long dry season could have dried off earlier. Similarly Addisu et al (2010) found significant effect of season of calving on LL. On  the contrary, insignificant effect of season of calving on LL was reported by Million and Tadelle (2003) in Ethiopia and Mulindwa et al (2006) in Uganda.

 

Table 2. Least square mean (LSM; SE) of lactation length over breed, blood level, season of calving and parity.

 

Variable

 

N

Lactation length

 

LSM ( SE) in days

p

Over all

567

307.21 ; 3.04

 

Breed

 

 

0.93

Friesian x Arsi

317

306.94 ; 3.58

 

Friesian x Boran

250

307.47 ; 3.92

 

Blood level

 

 

0.81

Friesian

259

307.42 ; 3.68

 

Friesian

241

306.71 ; 3.92

 

7/8 Friesian

  67

307.48 ; 7.02

 

Season of  calving

 

 

0.016

Main rainy season

180

297.16 ; 4.7b

 

Short rainy season

183

312.34 ; 4.50a

 

Dry season

204

312.12 ; 4.53a

 

Parity

 

 

0.89

1

149

308.96 ; 4.27

 

2

143

305.75 ; 4.77

 

3

107

304.87 ; 5.64

 

4

89

309.23 ; 6.51

 

5

79

307.24 ; 8.69

 

N = number of observations       

Means separated by different superscript letters under the same variable in one column are significantly different (P< 0.05).


Conclusions


Acknowledgment

The authors would like to acknowledge Agarfa ATVET College for their willingness to providing the data.


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Received 6 July 2014; Accepted 25 July 2014; Published 1 August 2014

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