The objective of this study was to evaluate the practices of small-holder cattle breeders in South Africa and investigate differences among the breeds they keep. Cattle of non-descript genetic provenance had significantly lower calving rates and greater mortality than other breeds (P<0.05). Although not different from the Bonsmara, exotic breed had significantly lower pre-wean mortality rates than the rest of the breeds (P<0.05). Women owned exotic as well as non-descript breeds (P<0.05). Men own larger herds of cattle, are highly dependent livestock income, and affiliate and hold office in community associations (P<0.05). Ownership of indigenous breeds correlated with experience, number of persons attending school, dependence on livestock income, as well as affiliation and office bearing in community associations (P<0.05). Results suggest that there is acumen for rearing indigenous cattle and that the demographic attributes should be considered in design of in situ conservation programs

Daniel M Motiang, Edward C Webb

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Genetic Improvement Programs: Selection for harsh environments and management of animal genetic resources (Posters), , 447, 2014
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