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Tropentag 2023, September 20 - 22, Berlin, Germany

"Competing pathways for equitable food systems transformation: trade-offs and synergies."

Comparing milk production and quality by White Fulani and Gudali cows during the dry season in a semi-arid zone of Benin

Yorou N’gobi Douarou, Bossima Ivan Koura, Boya André Aboh

Université Nationale d’Agriculture (UNA), École de Gestion et d’Exploitation des Systèmes d’Élevage, Benin


In sub-Saharan Africa, climate change affects pasture availability and forage nutritional value. During the dry season, animal productivity in terms of milk production is negatively affected. White Fulani and Gudali cows are two dairy breeds introduced in Benin to improve milk production. However, little is known about the performances of these breeds during the dry season, when forage is poor quality. This study aims to compare feed intake and milk production by the two breeds grazing in the same range during the dry season, to identify the breed more likely to sustain milk production in a climate change context. The study was conducted in the semi-arid area of Benin (Kétou region) during the early (S1) and late dry seasons (S2). The hand-plucking method was used to estimate cows' feed intake. Ten cows that gave birth at the beginning of the experiment were monitored, and the milk offtakes were quantified every two weeks. The chemical composition of the milk was analysed using a milkotester (Milkotester Ltd. 49. Hristo Botev St., 4470 Belovo, BULGARIA). Feed intakes was higher (14.92 kg/day) in White Fulani than Gudali (13.23 kg/day). There was a significant difference (p<0.001) in the amount of milk produced by the two breeds. At the beginning and the late dry season, Gudali cows produce more milk (1.72 L/day) than White fulani (1.22 L/day). Milk from Gudali contained more fat (5.57 %) than White Fulani (5.1 %). However, milk protein content was higher (3.29 %) in White fulani compared to Gudali (3.11 %). The study showed that the Gudali cows ingested less forage but had higher milk production. However, milk from White Fulani is richer in protein and lactose content. Further studies could investigate the effect of supplementation on dairy performances in the two breeds.

Keywords: Climate change, fat, milk offtakes, protein, sub-Saharan Africa

Contact Address: Yorou N’gobi Douarou, Université Nationale d’Agriculture (UNA), École de Gestion et d’Exploitation des Systèmes d’Élevage, Bénin Ketou, Ketou, Benin, e-mail: ydouarou1@gmail.com

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