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Estimation of milk production from smallholder dairy cattle in the coastal lowlands of Kenya

By G. R. Muraguri, A. McLeod and N. Taylor


A study was carried out on 92 smallholder farms in Kwale district in Coast Province of Kenya to estimate the milk yield. The effect of concentrate feed supplementation on milk yield was also evaluated. Data were collected during a one-year observational longitudinal study. Analysis was done for 371 observations following 63 calving events. The mean annual milk offtake was estimated at 2021 kg/cow. Forty-nine (77.8%) of the lactating cows were supplemented with concentrate feeds at varying rates of 0.5-3.0 kg/cow per day. Supplementary feeding of lactating cows led to a significantly higher mean daily milk yield compared to non-supplemented cows throughout the year (p<0.05). The mean annual milk offtake from supplemented cows (2195 kg/cow) was 18.6% more than offtake from non-supplemented cows, a difference that was statistically significant (p<0.05). Therefore, supplementary feeding of commercial feed concentrates was a rational management practice. It was also concluded that milk production from smallholder dairy cows in the coastal lowlands of Kenya was comparable to that from similar production systems but lower than national targets

Year: 2004
DOI identifier: 10.1023/b:trop.0000042850.73205.93
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