Population structure and reproduction aspects in a traditional farming system in Mpumalanga Province, RSA
MetadataShow full item record
This study investigated the population distribution in the Mnisi area, a rural area in the Mpumalanga Province in The Republic of South Africa. Also the bull health and fertility of the herd was evaluated. During the field study a questionnaire was carried out with the owners, bull were clinically observed the birth figures of the cattle register were analyzed. The Mnisi study area (= 15 dip tanks) has 1,097 owners and they all together have 12,005 head of cattle. An average herd consists of 17 head of cattle, divided into 2 bulls, 1 ox, 8 cows, 3 heifers and 3 calves. 52% of the farmers have a small herd, 22% of the farmers have a medium herd and 26% of the farmers have a large herd. The average percentage of bulls, oxen, cows, heifers and calves at a certain dip tank are respectively 11%, 6%, 46%, 19%, 18%. In the area the breed Bos indicus is particularly present. 40% of the owners in the Mnisi study area use a specific bull for breeding. 72% of the owners do think that the bulls are good enough for breeding in their herd. The bulls in the area have an estimated average age of three years and eight months. The bulls in the area seem to be healthy. The calving rate is with a 17,1% quite low. A cow gets a calve every two years and nine months. A major part of the calves is born in the first three months of the year (January-March). There is a relationship between calves born and the rainfall nine months previously (p < 0,05).