The objective of this study was to determine the best genotype between F1 (Jersey × Nguni and Jersey × Tuli) and F2 (Jersey × Jersey × Nguni and Jersey × Jersey × Tuli) cows for semi arid smallholder farming areas. Effects of genotype, silage supplementation and month on milk yield of F1 and F2 dairy cows three months post calving were evaluated. Records from 24 cows at Matopos Research Station were used. Each of the four genotype groups had six cows. In each genotype three cows were randomly selected and were either supplemented or non-supplemented. The supplemented cows were given 10 kg mixed crop silage produced from a mixture of 70% sorghum and 30% Dolichos beans (Lablab purpureus) daily. There were significant variations in the monthly milk yield due to breed, treatment and month. Milk yield was higher in supplemented (133 ± 12.7 kg) cows than in non-supplemented ones (113 ± 8.33 kg). The Jersey × Tuli F2 cows had the highest milk yield (156 ± 16.4 kg) while the Jersey × Nguni F2 cows had the lowest yield (102 + 8.66). This indicates that smallholder milk production can be improved by using Jersey × Tuli F2 cows.
Milk yield of Jersey × Nguni and Jersey × Tuli F1 and F2 cows reared under smallholder farming conditions
Author: V. Muchenje, R. Chimedza-Graham, J.L.N. Sikhosana, N. Assan, K. Dzama and M. Chimonyo
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