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Dairy cattle performance in agro-pastoral production systems of Uganda

Reproduction is a key parameter determining the level of production and profitability in a dairy herd. Low fertility leads to productivity losses which can be directly translated into economic loss of great magnitude, and it is also the major reason for involuntary culling of dairy cows.

The project focuses on cows in the period around calving, a time associated with health disturbances that are decisive for the economy of dairy producers. Metritis, inflammation of the uterus, is common after calving with consequences for the cow’s future fertility and milk production level.

The main cause is lacking management and nutrition in this critical time period. Better knowledge of risk factors for metritis and their economic consequences is necessary for the motivation of farmers to adopt preventive measures.

Farms will be visited for gathering of information about management routines around calving. Newly calved cows will be examined for diagnosis of metritis. Practical recommendations will be suggested, adapted to prevailing circumstances. The aim is to keep the cows healthy through the calving process, during the transition from non-lactating to lactating state, for future successful breeding, optimized milk production and longevity.

Capacity-building activities like teaching of university staff (veterinarians) in diagnostic tools like gynecological ultrasonography for diagnosis of reproductive disorders will be performed. A course will be run for farmers on connection between nutrition and reproduction and management of the cow around calving.