Assessing resource utilisation in beef cattle feedlot system in Adamawa State, Nigeria

M.R. Ja’afar-Furo1*, M.Y. Hamid1, A.Y. Thlaffa1, A. Sulaiman2

1Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, Faculty of Agriculture, Adamawa State University, PMB 25, Mubi, Nigeria
2Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Nigeria

(Manuscript received 20 July 2020; accepted for publication 24 March 2021)

Abstract. This study assessed resource utilisation in beef cattle fattening units in Adamawa State, Nigeria, with the intent of highlighting some crucial areas that may require policy intervention for improvement. Purposive, multistage and random sampling methods were employed in selection of 270 beef cattle fatteners in the area studied. Structured questionnaire and group discussion were used in sourcing for data. The latter were analysed through descriptive statistics and efficiency methods of Data Enveloping Analysis (DEA). Results indicated that Sokoto gudali (72.60%) and Rahaji (20.00%) were the major cattle breeds adopted for fattening. While a total of 70.70% of fatteners fed bulls for a period of 4-6 months and in the open without shade (77.80%), the use of combination of crop residues and conventional feeds was the most popular (74.81%) in feeding stock in the State. Further, the most important resources were initial cost of bulls and cost of feeds with N169,056.00 and N10,559.00 per bull, respectively. Resources were found to be efficiently utilised within the beef cattle feedlot farms with Constant Return to Scale (CRS), Non-Increasing Return to Scale (NIRTS), Variable Return to Scale (VRS), Scale Efficiency (SE) and Return to Scale RTS) models mean scores of 84.44%, 84.44%, 91.48%, 84.74%, and 100%, respectively. Conclusively, it could be stated that indigenous breeds of Sokoto gudali and Rahaji were the main bulls used for fattening in the State, and a mixture of crop residues and conventional feeds was the popular plane of feeding stock, with most farms utilising resources efficiently. Stemming from the findings, soft credit facilities to accord fatteners afford initial off-setting cost of bulls and frequent extension services to same, for modernisation of beef cattle feedlot system are highly recommended.

Economic values of productive and functional traits in sheep of Bulgarian dairy synthetic population

S. Slavova*, S. Laleva

Agricultural Institute, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

(Manuscript received 4 September 2020; accepted for publication 8 March 2021)

Abstract: The subject of the current research was to calculate profitability and economic values of production and functional traits in sheep of Bulgarian dairy synthetic population, reared at the Agricultural Institute – Stara Zagora. The study period was 7 years (2010-2016) and the average annual number of ewes in the flock was 188. The semi-intensive production system practised involved winter indoor lambing and summer grazing on pasture. Data were processed using the Program for calculating economic weights for sheep EWSH2. Profit and profitability in the flock had negative values – (-52.70 BGN) and -19.3%. Marginal economic values of the most important traits in dairy sheep – milk production and number of lambs born per ewe were estimated to 0.707 BGN per liter and 65.40 BGN per lamb, respectively. Litter size, milk yield, conception rate of ewes and ewe lambs and productive lifetime of ewes showed the highest economic importance. A very low economic weight was calculated for the wool production due to the market prices of wool. Conception rate of female animals and productive lifetime of ewes need to be more thoroughly investigated, as they are not currently an object of selection in dairy sheep breeding. Achieving competitive and economically sustainable productive systems in sheep farming is associated with a constant desire to increase the economic value of animals.

Influence of the age of first insemination and first calving in Holstein – Friesian heifers on farm economic efficiency

K. Stankov*

Department of Management, Faculty of Economics, Trakia University, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

(Manuscript received 15 June 2019; accepted for publication 23 September 2020)

Abstract. The present study aims to assess the influence of the age of first insemination and first calving in Holstein-Friesian heifers on the cost of breeding and the cost of their marketing as breeding animals. For this purpose, a study was conducted on 7 farms (A, B, C, D, E, F, G) situated in Central and Southern Bulgaria in which Holstein-Friesian cattle are bred. The results of the study indicated that the age of first insemination in the controlled farms was 17.2 months on average, and the age of first calving (AFC) was 26.6 months, which was within the established norms for the Holstein-Frisian breed raised in the country. The heifers from farm A, which entered breeding age the earliest (at 16 months), as well as the age of first calving (25.3 months) had the longest utilisation period – 4.9 lactations. However, they did not develop the highest milk yield either and the economic performance from their raising was low. The heifers on farm F, with age of first insemination of 17.3 months, and first calving age of 26.8 months, and the ones from farm G, with ages 17.4 and 26.6 months, respectively, developed maximum milk yield per lactation. The expenses for raising a heifer of the Holstein-Frisian breed varied from BGN 1922 up to BGN 2389, with an average sum of cost for the studied farms amounting to BGN 2123. This indicated that the raising of heifers from a high-yield breed was an expensive undertaking, but when taking the necessary care for their breeding at a younger age during the period of use they developed higher milk productivity.

Economic efficiency of Bulgarian dairy synthetic population and Assaf sheep breeds

K. Stankov*
Department of Management, Faculty of Economics, Trakia University, 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria (Manuscript received 1 December 2019; accepted for publication 28 February 2020)

Abstract. The economic efficiency of ewes from the Bulgarian dairy synthetic population (BDSP) and Assaf sheep breeds, reared in three production systems, e.g. grazing on pasture, stall-pasture rearing and stall rearing was studied. The results from the study showed that BDSP ewes in the stall-pasture rearing system had a relatively low milk yield for a specialised dairy sheep breed – 80L for the lactation period. In this system, without the subsidy, the profit and cost efficiency were negative, while with subsidy, minimum positive results were achieved. For BDSP ewes reared in a stall-pasture rearing system with stall feeding during the grazing period and grazing on improved pastures, the obtained milk yield was by 33% higher. The subsidy resulted in satisfactory profit and cost efficiency, while without the subsidy, the farm ended in loss. BDSP and Assaf ewes reared in stalls, demonstrated substantially higher milk yield and productivity. They realised a profit and good cost efficiency. The milk yield of BSDP sheep reared in stalls was 200L per lactation, and fertility – 140%. The Assaf breed in which a high level of selection and regulated reproduction cycle was achieved, had 250L milk per lactation and 140% fertility. The profit with subsidy was 128.85 BGN (1Lev=0.975€) and without the subsidy: 48.85 BGN, with relatively high cost efficiency. An introduction of traits for higher milk yield, polyestrus and fertility from Assaf into BSDP sheep is necessary.