Milk production performance of Jersey cows at Wolaita Sodo State Dairy Farm, Southern Ethiopia
This study was conducted in Wolaita Sodo State Dairy Farm to determine the milk yield, lactation length and productive herd life of Jersey cattle, and also the potential factors affecting these parameters. The Jersey cattle in the study farm were mainly kept on pastureland and with some supplementary feeds. The result of this study revealed that the overall mean values of milk yield, lactation length and lifetime milk yield were 1691.59 kg, 318.42 days and 5565.19 kg respectively. Milk yield, lactation and lactation length were significantly affected by year of calving and cattle source (p< 0.001). But lifetime milk yield was only affected by the year of calving (p< 0.01). Imported cattle had better lactation milk yield and length than those reared on farm. In addition, lactation length was significantly decreasing with parity number (p< 0.001). The overall mean values for total herd life, productive herd life and effective productive herd life were 2983.74 days, 2310.11 days and 1663.15 days, respectively. Year of birth affected the total and effective productive herd life (p< 0.01). Imported cattle had longer total (p< 0.01) and productive herd life (p< 0.05) than on-farm reared cattle. From this study it can be concluded that Jersey cattle kept in the study farm had low milk yield, but the total herd life, productive herd life and effective productive herd life in general were satisfactory.