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First edition: 1996Second edition: 2004Authors: Puck Bonnier, Arno Maas, Jolianne RijksEditor: Peter HofsIllustrator: Dorothée BecuDesign: Janneke ReijndersTranslation: Sara van OtterlooPrinted by: Digigrafi, Wageningen, the NetherlandsISBN: 90-77073-66-3NUGI: 835
Dairy cattle are kept all over the world. Keeping a dairy cow can bevery lucrative, especially close to urban areas. The dairy cow is, how-ever, a very valuable animal and owning one entails a number of risks.The biggest risk is losing the animal. Low productivity due to badmanagement will also lead to losses.If farmers have no experience of livestock keeping we advise them tostart with other sorts of animal, such as goats or sheep. These are eas-ier to feed, and the economic risks are less (a goat or sheep is not asexpensive as a cow).This booklet is aimed at farmers who have experience with goats andsheep or with cattle and who want to start or improve their cattle keep-ing. It is especially meant for smallholders who are confronted withchanging surroundings, whether ecological (such as in semi-arid ar-eas) or economic (such as increasing demand for milk). These farmersmay be wondering whether improvements or intensification in their cattle keeping will help them to improve the profitability of their farm.This booklet should help them to make decisions.This booklet is not aimed in the first place at those traditionally in-volved in livestock keeping, such as pastoralists in arid areas of Af-rica.You can order booklets on related topics through Agromisa/CTA.These include "Small-scale preparation of dairy products" and "Goatkeeping in the tropics".