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Guni F.S.,Tanzania Livestock Research Institute | Katule A.M.,Sokoine University of Agriculture | Mwakilembe P.A.A.,Tanzania Livestock Research Institute
Livestock Research for Rural Development | Year: 2013

A study was conducted in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania to describe the productive and morphometric characteristics of local chickens of the area. Three districts namely Chunya, Njombe and Songea were selected for data collection. A questionnaire was used to extract information from the farmers with respect to production attributes of their local chickens. Measurements on body weight, body length, circumference of the chest, shank length, thigh length, wing span, egg weight, egg length and egg breadth were taken on 693 mature chickens (538 females and 155 males). Egg measurements were taken from one hundred and fifty five freshly laid eggs. The results obtained indicate that there exists significant variation between districts with respect to some production attributes as well as body weight and other body measurements. The average age at sexual maturity, clutch size per hen, chicks hatched per clutch, chicks weaned per hatch and hatchability were 7.48 months, 13.7 eggs, 9.89, 6.89 and 88% respectively. Chunya district had the heaviest chickens (2021g) while Songea had the lightest birds (1622g). Overall, male chickens were higher than female birds with respects to all attributes studied. Body weight appeared to be highly positively correlated to all other body measurements considered in this study. For the purpose of implementation of selection for body size by farmers chest circumference and thigh length could be conveniently used in place of actual body weight which would be difficult to measure under village condition. Regarding external egg measurements it is apparent that chickens in Songea district had the smallest eggs. The observed variation in the present study suggests that there is a room for selection within and between the local chicken populations for both egg production and morphometric traits. There is a need to pay particular attention to the Chunya district chicken population for possible consideration for conservation.

Munisi W.G.,Tanzania Livestock Research Institute | Mbaga S.H.,Sokoine University of Agriculture | Katule A.M.,Sokoine University of Agriculture
Livestock Research for Rural Development | Year: 2015

This study was done in central Tanzania to evaluate growth performance of parental, F1, F2 and backcrosses of Broiler (BB) and Black Australorp (AA) stocks. The parental stocks (BB and AA) and the F1 which performed better in phase one of the study (i.e. Single cross between Black Australorp and broiler, AB and its reciprocal, BA) were used in the crossing to produce 11 genetic stocks totaling 396 birds. Birds were fed on nutritionally balanced diets to meet their requirements as per age and physiological stage. Body weights at day old, 4, 8, 12 weeks of age and body weight at sexual maturity (BWSM) as well as livability from day old to 12 weeks were evaluated. The data on growth traits were recorded on individual bird basis and analyzed using general linear models, while frequency was used for livability analysis. Genetic stocks differed in body weight at different weighing periods in both males and females. The broiler parental stocks (BB) were heavier than all other genetic stocks at all stages of growth and sex except at hatching in females. From fourth to 12 weeks of age, the genetic stocks with 75% broiler and 25% Black Australorp (¼A¾B) inheritance were heavier than the genetic stocks with 75% Black Australorp and 25% broiler (¾A¼B). The genetic stocks with 75% broiler and 25% Black Australorp (¼A¾B) inheritance were also heavier than other crosses in body weight at sexual maturity. There were no differences among genetic stocks with respect to livability in both sexes. It is concluded that the backcrosses of broiler performed better than the backcrosses of Black Australorp, F1 and F2 with regard to body weight at different stages of growth including body weight at sexual maturity as well as livability. © 2015, Fundacion CIPAV. All rights reserved.

Laisser E.L.K.,Ministry of Education and Vocational Training | Laisser E.L.K.,Sokoine University of Agriculture | Chenyambuga S.W.,Sokoine University of Agriculture | Msalya G.,Sokoine University of Agriculture | And 5 more authors.
Livestock Research for Rural Development | Year: 2015

This study was carried out to assess farmers’ knowledge and perceptions on tick species, tick-borne diseases (TBDs), tick control measures, production constraints and tolerance of Tarime and Sukuma zebu cattle to TBDs. The study involved 240 agro-pastoralists from Serengeti, Tarime, Maswa and Meatu districts in Tanzania. Data were collected through individual interview using a structured questionnaire. Livestock diseases were ranked as the first important problem affecting cattle production in Serengeti and Tarime districts while in Maswa and Meatu districts lack of livestock feeds during the dry season was ranked as the most important constraints, followed by livestock diseases. Among the diseases affecting cattle, the TBDs ranked first in Serengeti and Tarime while in Maswa and Meatu the TBDs, ranked fourth and sixth, respectively. Most of the livestock farmers interviewed (74%) knew well the signs of the TBDs. Circling/high stepping, red urine, hard dung and swollen lymph nodes were mentioned as clinical symptoms for heartwater, babesiosis, anaplasmosis and East Coast fever (ECF), respectively. The majority of the respondents in all districts knew that ECF is caused by ticks, but did not associate the other TBDs with ticks. The most prevalent ticks were bont ticks (Ambyomma spp), blue ticks (Boophilus spp) and brown ear ticks (Rhipicephalus appendiculatus). Most of the farmers interviewed were using acaricide to control ticks, and the most common method of application was hand spraying. All farmers used Oxytetracycline to treat TBDs; however, some farmers used local herbs. Although most farmers knew the signs of TBDs, they were not spraying/dipping their animals on regular basis because of economic reasons and the belief that their animals always carry ticks without being sick or dying and ECF affects only calves. About half of the farmers considered their breeds to be tolerant to ticks and ECF. In conclusion, the livestock farmers in the Lake zone have substantial knowledge on tick species and TBD symptoms and they have a perception that ECF is not the most important disease compared to the other TBDs. © 2015, Fundacion CIPAV. All rights reserved.

Njarui D.M.G.,Kenya Agricultural Research Institute | Itabari J.K.,Kenya Agricultural Research Institute | Kabirizi J.M.,National Livestock Resources Research Institute | Mwilawa A.J.,Tanzania Livestock Research Institute
Livestock Research for Rural Development | Year: 2014

The quality and provision of water is not optimal to maximize dairy cattle performance and health in the semi-arid ecosystems of Kenya. A survey targeting 56 smallholder dairy farmers was conducted around 15-km radius of peri-urban areas of Wote town in the eastern region of Kenya. The farmers were interviewed one-on-one using a simple structured questionnaire in May and June 2013. The quality of water from 12 sources was analysed. The objective of the study was to assess the sources and quality of water for dairy cattle and coping strategies among smallholder farmers in peri-urban areas of eastern Kenya. The study showed that to mitigate water scarcity, the farmers had diversified options of water sources with approximately 57% obtaining water from more than one source. The major sources of water for dairy cattle were shallow wells and valley bottoms. However, the water from shallow wells and valley bottoms had high levels of chlorides (mean 67.77 and 70.37 me/litre, respectively) and sulphates (99.33 and 25.63 me/litre, respectively) and was saline thus not suitable for dairy cattle. The pH was alkaline (pH >8.0) and above the preferred level for livestock. Good quality water was limited mainly to rainwater harvested from houses rooftop and in water pans. Nevertheless, the quantity stored from rooftops was normally low (<5000 litres per household) and was occasionally used for livestock in most farms. It was regarded as premium water due to its high quality and was mainly preserved for household use. Ox-carts were the most widely used (41%) means of transporting water while bicycles were the least used (5.4%). To supply adequate good quality water for dairy cattle, there is need to harvest more rainwater from rooftops by installing gutter systems and increasing storage capacity by acquiring larger tanks.

Jackson M.,Sokoine University of Agriculture | Chenyambuga S.W.,Sokoine University of Agriculture | Ndemanisho E.E.,Sokoine University of Agriculture | Komwihangilo D.M.,Tanzania Livestock Research Institute
Livestock Research for Rural Development | Year: 2014

A study was carried out in Babati and Kongwa districts which have sub-humid and semi-arid climatic conditions, respectively, to compare reproduction and lactation performances of Toggenburg dairy goats kept by small-scale farmers in the two agro-ecological zones. In each district four villages were purposely selected based on the presence of Toggenburg goats and 10 dairy goat farmers per village who have been keeping Toggenburg breed for at least five years were randomly selected. Age at first kidding of Toggenburg goats was higher in sub-humid areas than in semi-arid areas while kidding interval, litter size and kid mortality rate did not differ between the two locations. The goats kept in sub-humid areas had higher mean daily milk yield and lactation yield than those in semi-arid areas. Lactation length and dry period of does in sub-humid areas were not different from those of the does found in semi-arid areas. It is concluded that Toggernburg goats produced relatively more milk in sub-humid areas than in semi-arid areas while those in semi-arid environment had lower kid mortality compared to those in sub-humid environment.

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