ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 68 Number 3
Effect of groundnut cake supplementation during the dry season on productivity characteristics of N’Dama cows under village husbandry conditions in The Gambia
Groups of lactating N'Dama cows maintained under village conditions in The Gambia were supplemented at rates of 0, 425 or 850 g groundnut cake head-1 day-1 for the last three or five months of the dry season. Provision of supplement produced significant increases in quantities of milk offtake for human consumption and in rates of growth of the suckling calves, and significantly decreased losses of maternal liveweight during these feeding periods. Post-partum resumption of reproductive activity was significantly improved only in the groups fed for five months. Preliminary cost-benefit analysis of the results indicate that such interventions are likely to be economically attractive, and the responses provide a promising basis for improvement of village husbandry systems in the Sudano-Sahelian zone of sub-Saharan Africa.
Keywords: ’Dama cows; Lactation; Supplementation; The Gambia