ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 51 Number 4
Comparative performance of different grades of European-Zebu crossbred cattle at Ghurashi Dairy Farm, Sudan
Over a period of years, four European dairy breeds (Shorthorn, Friesian, Ayrshire and Guernsey) were crossed with Sudanese indigenous Zebu cattle in Ghurashi Dairy Farm located in Khartoum North, Sudan. Thirty six years' records on various reproductive (age at first calving, calving intervals and conception rates) and milk production traits were analysed. The reproductive performance of crossbred cattle was satisfactory though inferior to that of indigenous contemporaries. The total lifetime milk yield and duration of milking of indigenous and crossbred cows were 2906 ± 159 litres in 110 ± 5 weeks and 15949 ± 327 litres in 276 ± 5 weeks respectively. Total lifetime milk yield increased with percentage of European blood to a maximum at 75 per cent. High grade cows also had high milk yield per year of productive life, but a shorter total productive life and higher death rates and infertility problems. It is suggested that European cattle are suitable for use in the Sudan so long as they are provided with suitable management and environmental conditions.