Constraints to Dairy Heifer Calf Rearing in Small Holder Farms in Murang\'a District Kenya

Factors associated with growth and weight gains were examined in a prospective observational study that was conducted in 5 cohorts of female calves. A total of 225 calves on 1888 smallholder dairy farms were observed a period of one and a half years. The calves were distributed in 5 agro-ecological zones (AEZ) –grazing strata namely: Upper Midlands (UM)1, zerograzing, UM1 open-grazing, UM2, UM4 zero grazing and UM 4 open grazing. The calves were recruited within the first year of study that was conducted between March 1995 and August 1996.

Effect of feeding urea-molasses blocks with incorporated fenbendazole on grazing dairy heifers naturally infected with gastrointestinal nematodes

Between June 1999 and August 2000, the effects of feeding medicated urea-molasses supplement blocks on the growth of dairy heifers in a marginal area of central Kenya were assessed by comparing the live-weight gain of supplemented and unsupplemented heifers grazing the same pasture.

Effect of feeding napier grass, lucerne and sweet potato vines as sole diets to dairy heifers on nutrient intake, weight gain and rumen degradation

Two experiments were conducted to assess the nutrient intake, weight gain (ADG) and rumen degradation of napier grass (NG), lucerne (L) and sweet potato vines (SPV) fed to growing dairy heifers. In the first experiment, 33 Friesian heifers were randomly allocated to the three treatments namely; napier grass, lucerne and sweet potato vines which were fed for 104 days. In the second experiment, degradability of the three diets was estimated using nylon bags incubated in two rumen fistulated steers.

Luteolytic effect of prostaglandin F2α in Boran and Boran × Friesian cross-bred heifers

The luteolytic effect of prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) during the confirmed luteal phase of the oestrous cycle was evaluated in ten Boran and ten Boran × Friesian cross-bred heifers. Following injection with 25 mg Lutalyse, animals were bled every 6 h for 96 h and plasma progesterone (P4) determined by the ELISA technique. Borans had significantly (P < 0·05) smaller corpora lutea (12·01±0·72 ν. 17·03±2·10 mm) and responded faster to PGF2α injection (65·57±1·40 ν. 78·27±2·18 h) than the cross-bred heifers.

Survival of Holstein-Friesian heifers on commercial dairy farms in Kenya.

Herd health and adaptability are of concern in dairy herds in the tropics because of persistent exposure to multiple stresses of low quality and quantity feeding, heat stress, high disease and parasitic incidences, poor husbandry and breeding practices. The combined effect of mortality and culling is estimated to cause losses of 40 to 60% of dairy heifers conceived or born in the tropics. This study applies survival analysis techniques to evaluate important factors influencing survival to first calving in Holstein-Friesian cattle raised on large-scale farms in Kenya.

The effect of Trypanosoma vivax infection on late pregnancy and postpartum return to cyclicity in Boran cattle.

A study was designed to examine the effect of infection with Trypanosoma vivax KETRI 2501 on the maintenance of pregnancy and postpartum return to reproductive function in susceptible Galana (n = 6) and trypano-tolerant Orma Boran (n = 6) heifers during the third trimester of pregnancy. Of the 12 study animals, 3 Galana and 3 Orma Boran heifers served as controls. One of 3 Galana heifers calved prematurely with subsequent perinatal loss. Of the 2 heifers that produced live calves, 1 calf died shortly after birth, while the other survived.

Generalised demodicosis in a Friesian heifer from a zero-grazing unit

A Friesian heifer with generalised skin lesions was slaughtered after unsuccessful treatment. It had thickened skin with lumps and nodules, with the severely affected parts thrown into folds over the eyelids, ears, most of the head, neck, legs and perineal area. The affected skin was soft and squamous in appearance. On postmortem examination, all the skin layers were affected and were 10–22 mm thick. There was also lymphadenopathy. Histological examination showed the presence of dermatitis characterised by follicular inflammation.


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African Dryland Institute for Sustainability , University of Nairobi