Socio-cultural, Herd Structure and Reproductive Practices of Pastoral Cattle Producers in Adamawa State, Nigeria

Socio-cultural, Herd Structure and Reproductive Practices of Pastoral Cattle Producers in Adamawa State, Nigeria

I.  H.  KUBKOMAWA1, M. S. ADAMU1,  M.  A.  OGUNDU2 , I.  C. OKOLI2 and  A. B. I.  UDEDIBIE2

1. Department of Animal Production and Health, Federal Polytechnic, Pmb 35, Mubi, Adamawa State, Nigeria
2. Department of Animal Science and Technology, Federal University of Technology Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria

International Journal of Animal ResearchThe objectives of the study were to investigate the socio-cultural, herd structure and reproductive practices of pastoralist cattle producers in Nigeria. The study was carried out with the aid questionnaires, oral interview and field observations on 300 respondents spread across the three study LGAs. Pastoral cattle production in Adamawa state was predominated by highly experienced (80 – 85%), married (75 – 88%), male (75 – 90%) Fulani (95 – 65%) Muslims (75 – 80%) aged mostly 31 – 40 years (48 – 55%) and having limited western education. White Fulani (50.00%) was the most common breed in Gombi LGA, while Red Bororo (53.00%) and Adamawa Gudali (50.00%) were the most predominant breeds in Mubi North and Jada LGAs respectively. Most of the pastoralist (40 – 50%) maintained herd size of 41 to 50 heads and reared cattle for multiple purposes such as breeding, milk, meat and traction. Farmers practiced uncontrolled breeding, with bull to cow ratio of 1:10 (75.00% at Mubi north LGA). First mating (50 – 60%) was done between 4 and 5 years, while age at first calving (73 -75%) was mostly 5 – 7 years indicating serious reproductive life wastage. Most pastoralists (55 – 65%) use ethno-veterinary practices to enhance cattle reproductive performance. Calving rates (75 – 85%) were more during late rainy season (LRS), while (90.00%) depended on natural pastures for feeding their cattle. Cattle graze 21 different species of grasses and 19 legumes during the wet periods, while 12 crop residues, 7 by-products and 10 browse plants were offered during dry periods as supplements. Most of the pastoralists (70.00 – 90.00%) depended solely on natural flowing streams and rivers for the supply of water to their cattle. The major production constraints (43.33%) identified was diminishing natural resources characterized by shrinking land and vegetal resources. The methods used for reducing poor morphometric effects of lean feed resources were forage conservation as hay, supplementation with tree fodder, migration and splitting of herds. The northern guinea savannah zones, therefore, remains the major environment for cattle production in Nigeria since cattle are highly valued livestock in these zones, where it contributes to the local economy and food security.

Keywords: Pastoral, Group, Management, Characteristics, Guinea, Savannah, Zone, Nigeria

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