Economic Traits of Milch Animals at Goa state

P.Murali (Ag.Economics), V. Jayakumar (Plant Pathology) and C.Karpagam (Ag. Extension) Sugarcane Breeding Institute, Coimbatore-7

The overall performance of cattle is judged by the production performance and reproduction efficiency which serve as the economic indicators in the evaluation of milch animals. A study of these economic traits is important in the economic appraisal of crossbred and buffalo animal keeping. The traits studied were age at first calving, dry period, inter calving period and lactation yield. Other ancillary parameters which add to the profitability are proportion of animals in milk, distribution of animals in different orders of lactation, productive life of animal and etc. Age at which the first calf is born to a cow or buffalo has great economic significance for dairy cattle keepers. The earlier the animal attains maturity and calves, the earlier it starts entering the productive steam. The early attainment of age at first calving depends upon a number of non-economic parameters like required nutrition from feeds and fodder for growth and maturity, health care and disease control measures, timely insemination for successful conception of the animals etc. Table 1 permits a comparison of age at first calving among different herd size category of cattle keepers. Table 1. Production traits of animals in sample households
Size of the herd S. No 1 2 3 4 5 6 Particulars Small Age at first calving (months) Lactation length (days) Dry period (days) Calving interval (days) Herd average (k g/day) Estimated lactation yield (Kg) 36 300 100 400 6.1 1830 Crossbred cow Medium 34 300 90 390 6.7 2010 Large 32 295 75 370 7.5 2310 Overall 34 297 89 387 6.6 2000 Small 47 310 140 450 4.6 1426 Buffalo Large 45 300 130 430 4.4 1320 Overall 46 305 135 440 4.5 1373

The overall average age at first calving was 34 months for crossbred cows and this differed significantly among herd size. The lowest age at first calving was observed in large herd size (32 months) followed by medium and small had (34 and 36 months

respectively). The age at first calving of crossbred cattle in Goa is by and large quite comparable to reports available at organised conditions. In contrast, due to the presence of local indigenous breeds in buffalo herd, the overall age at first calving was 46 months there is not much difference among small and large herd- average was 47 months in small herd and 45 in large herd. For an economic cattle keeping, it has been suggested that an animal should calve regularly, preferably once in every year, with dry period of about 60 days.

Longer dry period would mean conception rate is lower and hence, prolonged inter calving period this will obstruct the smooth cash inflow in the dairy business. The average lactation length was 300, 300 and 295 days and inter calving period 400, 390 and 370 days for small, medium and large herd size respectively. The comparison of these parameters among the herd size categories revealed that lactation length was more or less similar in the three categories, while dry period and inter calving period were considerably longer in small herd size category. Interestingly, the dry period was observed to be the shortest for the large herd size category of cattle keepers. The large cattle keepers did succeed in maintaining both these parameters at lower level. The cattle keepers in Goa being commercial milk producers are conscious of the economic aspects of milk production and could contain these parameters well near the suggested levels. The ideal lactation length as 300 to 330 days, dry period as 45 to 60 days and inter calving period as 365 to 400 days. The average lactation length was 310 and 305 days for small and large buffalo herd which is slightly higher than crossbred cow but the dry period and inter calving period were considerably longer. The dry period was 140 and 130 days and inter calving period was 450 and 430 days for small and large herd size. Source P.Murali and Vijayalakshmi. S. (2007). Economic analysis of Milk production in Goastate. Unpub. Ph.D Thesis, NDRI, Karnal.

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