Original Research

Optimal feeding systems for small-scale dairy herds in the North West Province, South Africa

N. Patience Manzana, Cheryl M.E. McCrindle, P. Julius Sebei, Leon Prozesky
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 85, No 1 | a914 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v85i1.914 | © 2014 N. Patience Manzana, Cheryl M.E. McCrindle, P. Julius Sebei, Leon Prozesky | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 July 2012 | Published: 09 July 2014

About the author(s)

N. Patience Manzana, Department of Paraclinical Sciences, Veterinary Public Health Section, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Cheryl M.E. McCrindle, Department of Paraclinical Sciences, Veterinary Public Health Section, University of Pretoria, South Africa
P. Julius Sebei, Department of Paraclinical Sciences, Veterinary Public Health Section, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Leon Prozesky, Department of Paraclinical Sciences, Veterinary Public Health Section, University of Pretoria, South Africa


Share this article

Bookmark and Share

Abstract

Land redistribution was legislated in 1994; it was designed to resolve historical imbalances inland ownership in South Africa. Between 2002 and 2006, a longitudinal observational studywas conducted with 15 purposively selected small-scale dairy farmers in a land redistributionproject in Central North West Province. Four farmers left the project over the period. For thepurposes of this study, a small-scale dairy farm was defined as a farm that produces less than500 L of milk a day, irrespective of the number of cows or size of the farm. The study wasconducted in three phases. In the first phase, situational analysis using participatory ruralappraisal (PRA) and observation was used to outline the extent of the constraints and designappropriate interventions. Feeds that were used were tested and evaluated. In the secondphase, three different feeding systems were designed from the data obtained from PRA. Thesewere: (1) A semi-intensive farm-based ration using available crops, pastures and crop residueswith minimal rations purchased. (2) An intensive, zero-grazing dairy system using a totalmixed ration. (3) A traditional, extensive or dual-purpose system, where the calf drank fromthe cow until weaning and milking was done only once a day. In the third phase, adoptionwas monitored. By July 2006, all remaining farmers had changed to commercially formulatedrations or licks and the body condition score of the cows had improved. It was concluded thatveterinary extension based on PRA and a holistic systems approach was a good option forsuch complex problems. Mentoring by commercial dairy farmers, veterinary and extensionservices appeared to be viable. Further research should be done to optimise the traditionalmodel of dairy farming, as this was relatively profitable, had a lower risk and was less labourintensive.


Keywords

Small-scale dairy farming, Holistic systems approach, Veterinary Extension, Dairy cow nutrition, Animal health and welfare, South Africa

Metrics

Total abstract views: 2109
Total article views: 8518

 

Crossref Citations

1. Enfoques y Prácticas de Extensión Rural Públicas en el Noreste Argentino ,
Fernando Pablo Landini
Revista de Economia e Sociologia Rural  vol: 54  issue: 1  first page: 167  year: 2016  
doi: 10.1590/1234-56781806-9479005401009