The study was carried out between 2006 and 2009 to determine the critical period for cattle farming in Cameroon. Data were collected on-farm using diachronic observations of cattle herds and pastures for 24 months. These data analysed with descriptive and Duncan multiple range test statistics, permitted to show that the period from December to April was critical. This period was characterized by poor forage quality in the pastures: 33.3 g crude protein/kg DM (dry matter), 72.8 g minerals/kg DM and 364.9 g crude cellulose/kg DM against 61.3, 93.1 and 326.7 g/kg, respectively found in the rainy season (considered as a better cattle farming period); continuously decreased animals performances: An average monthly weight loss of 13.25 kg against an average weight gain of 14.45 kg in the rainy season and an average monthly calving rate of 2.31% against 5.21% in the rainy season. It was found that this drop in animal’s performances was equivalent to an economic loss of 247,682,998,000 FCFA (378,141,982 euros) per year. These results could serve as decision making tools for livestock sector improvement in Cameroon and other African countries.
Key words: Critical period, diachronic observation, poor forage quality, decreasing performance, economic loss.
Copyright © 2018 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0