African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6858

Full Length Research Paper

Comparative evaluation of milk yield and reproductive performances of dairy cows under smallholders’ and large–scale management in Central Ethiopia

Nega Tolla
Adama Science and Technology University, School of Agriculture, P. O. Box 193, Asella, Ethiopia. 
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 04 December 2013
  •  Published: 19 December 2013


Comparative mik production and postpartum reproductive performances of Holstein Friesian cows under smallholder and large scale farmers’ management was monitored in central Rift Valley of Oromia, Ethiopia. This study was conducted in three purposively selected districts of Arsi Negelle, Ziway, and Lume in Eastern Shoa Zone. Three large scale peri-urban farms having 170 to 195 and 21 small scale urban farms having 1 to 10 heads of dairy animals were identified during the initial exploratory survey. Based on the willingness of the farm owners, the presence of dairy cows of graded Holstein Friesian genotype, known parity and stage of pregnancy of the three large scale farms as a whole and 12 randomly selected small scale farms were considered for monitoring and data collection. A total of 59 animals from large scale (45 animals with average ± standard body weight 427±42 kg) and small scale (14 animals with average ± standard body weight 363±16 kg) were used for 28 weeks of data collection. Significantly (p<0.001) higher milk yield was recorded on large scale farms than on the small scale farms. The reproductive parameters measured were not statistically differed between farm scales. Although, the estimated amounts of crude protein and metabolizable energy consumed by animals were above requirements for the observed level of milk output, the productivity of animals in both farm scales were below their genetic potential particularly that of small scale farms were critically low even than other developing coutries with similar environment elsewhere. The quality of dietary nutrients in terms of the proportion of rumen degradable to undegradable protein sources, structural and non structural carbohydrate and sources of essential minerals needs further assessment for both farm scales.


Key words: Farm size, comparative, nutrients, intake, milk yield, reproduction.