Reproductive and productive performance of crossbred dairy cows kept in different production systems in Morogoro Municipality, Tanzania
Crossbred cows are the main type of cattle used for milk production on smallholder and medium farms in urban and peri-urban areas of Morogoro Municipality. A study was undertaken on four medium-scale and forty five smallholder farms to investigate the reproductive and productive performance of crossbred maintained under farmer’s management. Retrospective data on age at first calving (AFC), calving interval (CI), days open (DO), number of service per conception (NSC), lactation length (LL) and total lactation milk yield (TLMY) obtained from 311 cows for lactations (1-6) during seven years (2009-2015) were analyzed. Overall mean of AFC, CI, NSC, DO, LL and TLMY were 30.9 ± 0.8 months, 405±15.4 days, 2.5 ± 0.6 numbers, 119 ± 15.9 days, 333 ± 26.7 days and 4026 ± 1158 liters, respectively. The results of all traits showed variation between the two production systems (medium-scale versus smallholder farms). However, AFC, CI and TLMY parameters only differed among the medium-scale farms. It is concluded that reproductive and productive performance of crossbred cows in the present study were low to moderate so, it is required to improve management practices atall the farms under the study for better reproductive and productive performance.
Keywords: calving interval, days open, lactation length, milk yield, services per conception