In order to assess socio-economic characteristics of cattle breeders and their effect on farmers’ practices, a survey was carried out in Vina division within the Adamawa highlands of Cameroon, from November, 2009 to October, 2010. Data were collected from 159 farmers in 9 localities, using a structured questionnaire. Information on breeder’s ethnic group, age, marital status, education level, number of children, reasons for rearing cattle, labor distribution, herd size and composition, feeding and reproductive practices were obtained. Many (64.8%) cattle breeders were from the Peulh and Mbororo ethnic groups. More than 59% of the farmers were between 26 and 45 years old. The educational level was mostly primary and coranic. Wealth accumulation and social status were the main reasons for cattle breeding. The reasons for keeping cattle varied with ethnic group, age and educational level of farmers. Herd size ranged from 50 to 250 cattle. Health activities were carried out by herd owners. The Gudali zebu (48%) was the most common breed. More than 90% of cattle owners responded to practice feed supplementation with salt, cotton seed cake and cereal bran. Farmer’s education level had an effect on supplementation practices. There was no significant difference (Z = 0.29) between the ability to detect estrus or not of cattle breeders. Free mating was the common breeding practice. Udder and abdomen development were the main criteria for pregnancy diagnosis.
Key words: Socio-economic characteristics, breeding practices, cattle, Adamawa, Cameroon.
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