WARAPORN BOONMEE1, SOMPONG SRUAMSIRI1, AMPHON WARITTHITHAM2, HANS-JUERGEN LANGHOLZ3, MICHAEL WICKE3, MATTHIAS GAULY3
1Maejo University, Department of Animal Technology, Thailand
2Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Institute of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Germany
In the past years, demand for beef had been grown up because of the increase in domestic population and the number of tourists in Thailand. Chiang Mai is one of the most important tourist areas in Thailand. Therefore the demand of quality beef is above average. Meanwhile, some of the beef farmers involved in beef enterprises are producing high quality beef for this market.
The main purpose of this study was to investigate the situation of the farms that are fattening cattle in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Thirty-seven farmers were interviewed at their farms during August 2006 to January 2007 by using questionnaires to get information of cattle and farm management.
The results showed that all the farm managers were males with an average age of 54 years. Fifty-seven percent of the farmers raised fattening cattle as their secondary occupation. Each farm was run by a family member. The main genotypes of cattle on the farms were Brahman crossbreed and/or Charolais crossbreed. Half of the farms had an average herd size of 4-6 cattle. In the rainy season, 60% of farmers used forage from their own pasture while the remaining 40% gained forage outside of their farms. The main forages in the dry season were corn silage and rice straw. Most of the farmers used commercial feed supplied by a private company based on a credit system. Therefore, the farmers had to sell the animals to this company. The price was pretended by the company. The basic price for finishing cattle, during the study period, was 55 and 52 Bath per kg live weight for Charolais and Brahman crossbreed cattle, respectively (48.39 Bath = 1 Euro). The prices were related to dressing percentage and amount of marbling of the carcass.
Keywords: Cattle farm, farm management, fattening cattle, Thailand