African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6863

Full Length Research Paper

Herd mortality and cattle off-take rates among small-holder producers in the North West Province of South Africa

D. M. Motiang
  • D. M. Motiang
  • ARC-Animal Production Institute, Private Bag X2, Irene, 0062, South Africa
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E. C. Webb
  • E. C. Webb
  • Department of Animal and Wildlife Sciences University of Pretoria, Pretoria, 0002, South Africa
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 09 November 2014
  •  Accepted: 10 February 2016
  •  Published: 17 March 2016


This study was done to determine the influence of herd mortality on off-take rates through face to face interviews of 308 smallholder cattle producers from Dr RSM District Municipality, North West. Most deaths were caused by diseases (50%) and drought (34%). Producer’s gender had no influence on herd performance and off-take even though extension ward with higher proportion of women had higher mortality and lower off-take rates. The sale of steers decreased significantly (P<0.05) as the death of adult animals as well as that of the overall herd increased. Herd off-take also declined as mortality of suckling calves as well as that for overall herd, increased. Herd mortality logically reduces stock and therefore suppresses sales. It is recommended that herd mortality should be monitored through animal recording to improve the competitiveness of small-holder production systems.


Key words: Adult mortality rates, causes of death, cattle producers.