Centre international de recherche-développement sur l’élevage en zone subhumide (Cirdes), 01 BP 454, Bobo-Dioulasso 01, Burkina Faso, Faculté d’agronomie, BP 10960, Niamey, Niger
- Key words: Livestock farming
- Page(s) : 291-6
- Published in: 2005
The lactation of 16 Gudhali heifers was monitored daily in an intensive periurban farm from parturition (1 week after parturition) to drying. The duration of the lactation and the quantity of milk produced were determined. The duration of lactation (99 to 262 days in most cases) is low considering what is generally recommended (10 months) and by comparison with what is observed in traditional milk production systems. Furthermore, the individual lactation curves of these females point out to two categories of heifers whose average lactation curves are represented. Such variations between individuals should be taken into account by first selecting the most productive individuals before launching any genetic improvement scheme. Furthermore, the growth of 10 pure Gudhali calves, 10 Gudhali X Monbeliard (G x M) crosses and 8 Gudhali X Holstein (G x H) crosses was followed from birth to the age of 12 months. The birth weights of the G x M (32.3 ± 4.7 kg) and G x H (28.7 ± 3 kg) crosses were apparently higher than those of the pure Gudhalis (25 ± 4 kg). The weights according to age groups were higher in the crossbred than in the pure bred. Likewise, the weights of Montbeliard crosses were higher than those of the Holstein crosses. If in the three groups, the Mean Daily Gain (MDQ) increased from 0 to 9 months, it was nevertheless higher in the G x M crossbred. The MDQs confirm the increase in the growth rate observed in the three groups. In view of these results, a higher carcass weight can be anticipated in the crossbred. Such an increase could be of great interest to the livestock farmer seeking an expression of meat production in the males or looking for a general increase in body size. It therefore appears necessary to go on monitoring the young of this mixed breed throughout their reproductive career, which would mean acquiring data on their reproduction parameters (age at first calving, calving intervals, postpartum anoestrus...) and production parameters (fertility rate, mortality rate...) on the one hand, and assessing their adaptability to sub-humid areas where they are increasingly appreciated by livestock farmers, on the other hand.