Chief EditorK.M.L. Pathak
Print ISSN 0367-6722
Online ISSN 0976-0555
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Management practices and constraints of beef cattle production in communal areas of Mpumalanga Province, South Africa
First Online 05-09-2016|
A survey study was conducted to determine the management practices and constraints faced by beef cattle producers in 200 households in communal areas of Chief Albert Luthuli Municipality in Mpumalanga province. In this context, the results indicated that while 91.5% of farmers practiced continuous breeding in heifers at younger than two years of age, a higher number approximately 68.5% of farmers relied upon neighbours for breeding bulls. Also, calving percentage was between 50% and 70% as reported by 43.5% of farmers whereas 54.5% of farmers reported 50% to 60% weaning percentage. However, 77.5% of the farmers weaned their calves at five to seven months. 100% of farmers freely grazed their beef cattle on the mountainside and over 93.5% of farmers used veld as a source of feed with 82% of farmers supplementing their beef cattle depending on the season. Overall, the main constraints reported by the respondents were disease (26%) and malnutrition (18%) during dry season. In conclusion, the study finds that regular and proper medication in addition to supplementing feeds can assist by reducing mortality rates and enhancing productivity.
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