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Introduction: The reproductive performance and management of three cattle breeds under extensive management study was investigated due to a lack of baseline data for animal husbandry practices and planning breeding programs in the study area. This study evaluated the productive and reproductive performance, feed resources, feed management, and major constraints of three breeds of cattle (White Fulani, Sokoto Gudali, and Red Bororo) production under an extensive system in Northern Nigeria.
Materials and methods: A structured questionnaire survey and group discussion were used for collecting data. 60 farmers with 30 years of experience in cattle farming were selected to administer the questionnaire. Each breed (White Fulani, Sokoto Gudali, and Red Bororo) was grown by 20 farmers.
Results: The results indicated that 70% of the farmers agreed with the first service at the age of 2.3-3 years in the three breeds. The first calving at the age of 3.3-4 years was 40% for White Fulani farmers, while 80% for Sokoto Gudali and Red Bororo farmers respectively. The calving interval in the range of 1-2 years was adequately observed in all three breeds. The age of 13-15 years was reported as the female reproductive period in this study. The total number of calves produced per cow's lifetime in the present study was estimated at 8-11 for White Fulani and Sokoto Gudali, and 4-7 for Red Bororo. Feed resources and management of three breeds of cattle under extensive management indicated that natural pasture was the most common source of feed for cattle in the rainy season. Besides, natural pasture, tree leaves, and shrubs were used as cattle feed in the dry season. The main cattle production constraints reported by the farmers included feed and water in the study area. However, the breeds could survive and produce under these major constraints.
Conclusion: Alleviating these constraints could improve the productivity of White Fulani, Sokoto Gudali, and Red Bororo in their natural environment.
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