A doorstep survey was conducted to collect information on dairy husbandry practices followed and productive-reproductive performance and problems faced by the dairy farmers in arid and semi-arid areas of Kutch and North Gujarat. The information on land holding, agriculture and occupational practices of 1189 livestock farmers and reproductive and productive parameters of 7611 animals were obtained. The percentages of landless, small, medium and large landholder dairy farmers in arid area were 10.55, 55.86, 19.69 and 13.90, and in semi-arid area 3.64, 59.22, 31.80 and 5.34, respectively. The irrigation facility for agriculture was up to 41.18 and 95.15 % in arid and semi-arid areas, whereas the corresponding primary occupation of agriculture with animal keeping was up to 78.25 and 97.57 %. Among 2350, 1131 and 4130 zebu cattle, crossbreds and buffaloes surveyed, 32.47, 16.71 and 41.82 % animals had different reproductive problems. The average age at first calving was higher and the mean calving interval and postpartum estrus interval were longer in animals of arid area than semi-arid area. The problem of silent heat was more in buffaloes including heifers of arid area. The percentages of anoestrus and repeat breeding were comparatively higher in buffaloes of arid area as compared to semi-arid area. The average milk yield/day was higher and the mean lactation length was longer in crossbred cows and buffaloes than the zebu cows, and both were also higher in animals of semi-arid area. Around 85 to 90 % of dairy animals were bred through AI in both arid and semi-arid areas. Feeding practices of green fodder and concentrate were higher in semi-arid area, while that of dry fodder were higher in arid area. The higher percentages of cows (37 vs 12%) and buffaloes (66 vs 10%) in semi-arid area were supplemented with mineral mixture, and concerned farmers had a greater tendency to provide drinking water ad lib or 3 times a day. The percentage of animals kept in open animal houses was comparatively more in arid area than semi-arid area. The findings show the difference in facilities of farmers of two areas in dairy husbandry practices and thereby productive-reproductive performance and infertility problems in their animals, that can be resolved by scientific interventions.
Dairy Husbandry;Productive Performance;Reproductive Problems;Arid & Semi-arid areas;North Gujarat