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The aim of the current study was to characterise and evaluate production system of smallholder dairy farmers using an index based on combined score of animal welfare and milk quality. Farms were grouped into three categories, tier 1, tier 2 and tier 3. To test the robustness of the characterisation, milk yield (MY), calving interval (CI) and body condition scores (BCS) were used. In the study area, the majority (66.3%) of smallholder dairy farmers practiced cut-and-carry as compared to 15.3% who grazed their cows. The rest combined cut-and-carry and grazing. Cows of farmers in tier 1 had the lowest mean MY (5.4 kg/day, SE = 0.4), lowest mean BCS (2.1 kg/day, SE = 0.09) and longest mean CI (603 days, SE = 27) than farmers in tier 3, mean MY (10.8 kg/day, SE = 0.6), mean BCS (2.6, SE = 0.06) and mean CI (404 days, SE = 17). The study demonstrated that a simple and yet novel method based on farm level indicators can be developed and could assist to timely identify specific problems on the farm.
Animal Science Department, Bunda College of Agriculture, University of Malawi, P.O. Box 219, Lilongwe, Malawi.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Tropical animal health and production
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Institutional committees established to protect the welfare of animals used in research and education. The 1971 NIH Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals introduced the policy that institutions using warm-blooded animals in projects supported by NIH grants either be accredited by a recognized professional laboratory animal accrediting body or establish its own committee to evaluate animal care; the Public Health Service adopted a policy in 1979 requiring such committees; and the 1985 amendments to the Animal Welfare Act mandate review and approval of federally funded research with animals by a formally designated Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).
Domesticated bovine animals of the genus Bos, usually kept on a farm or ranch and used for the production of meat or dairy products or for heavy labor.
The protection of animals in laboratories or other specific environments by promoting their health through better nutrition, housing, and care.
A non-pathogenic species of LACTOCOCCUS found in DAIRY PRODUCTS and responsible for the souring of MILK and the production of LACTIC ACID.
A genus of gram-negative, aerobic bacteria that causes BRUCELLOSIS. Its cells are nonmotile coccobacilli and are animal parasites and pathogens. The bacterium is transmissible to humans through contact with infected dairy products or tissue.