Factors effecting reproductive performance in Rwandan cattle

Bishop, H K and Pfeiffer, D U (2008) Factors effecting reproductive performance in Rwandan cattle. TROPICAL ANIMAL HEALTH AND PRODUCTION, 40 (3). pp. 181-184.

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Abstract

The objective of this study was to assess the reproductive performance of Rwandan cattle and determine the effects of husbandry practices on reproduction. One hundred and fifty Ankole and Crossbreed cattle from 87 farms, were body condition scored (BCS) on a scale of 1(lean) to 5 (fat), and examined rectally for pregnancy and ovary size and structures present. Questionnaires were completed by the farmers to obtain information on husbandry and management practices. The mean age of onset of puberty was 27.7+/-10.4 months, the interval from parturition to first oestrus was 8.7+/-7.8 months, calving index was 16.8+/-5.2 months and 44% (95% CL 0.36-0.52) of cows examined rectally were anoestrus. Crossbred cattle reached puberty younger than Ankole cattle, 23.4+/-10.4 and 28.4+/-9.6 months respectively (p<0.05; t = 1.944; df = 121). Cows in poor BCS (< 2.5) are 1.67 times as likely to be in anoestrus as those with higher BCS (>= 2.5) (chi(2) = 9.476; df = 2; p<0.01). Increased weaning age resulted in increased calving index (p<0.001; t = -3.60; df = 38). Reproductive performance of Rwandan cattle is poor. Many of the problems can be attributed to husbandry practices and lack of experience and training in raising cattle.