Agricultural and food sciences
- Agricultural animal husbandry
- Agricultural animal nutrition
- Agricultural animal production not elsewhere classified
In dairy and beef production in Vietnam, Uganda and Ethiopia, crossbreeding of local and exotic breeds have been proposed as a strategy towards sustainable intensification. This strategy combines characteristics of indigenous cattle, which are best adapted to the local tropical environment, with the higher yields of the exotic breeds. However, without intelligent use of local feed resources, this genetic approach is doomed to fail. The early lactation period is particularly precarious in this respect, as inappropriate feeding during this period not only affects production (yields) but also reproductive performance. Developing improved feeding strategies for early lactating animals requires joint endeavours as a large animal cohort is needed which is difficult to reach by a single partner as cattle only calve every 12 to 18 months. Hence, for this project, partners with on-going (research) activities on beef and dairy have joined forces in order to maximally exploit opportunities for synergy and complementarity: In this way, at the end of the project, we aim to deliver monitoring tools and feeding strategies for early lactating cows which can be readily integrated in the routine programmes of extension services.