Characterization of the factors associated with the growth phase of dairy cattle in family farming

Rodrigo de Andrade Ferrazza, Gilvando Fabio Uliana de Moura, Marcos Aurélio Lopes

Abstract


The aim of this study was to characterize the factors associated with the growth phase of dairy cattle used in family farming. We investigated 20 family-run milk production systems located in the Conceição de Ipanema municipality, MG, Brazil. Farmers were interviewed using a semi-structured survey form containing 152 questions. The questions were aimed at characterizing the farmer, herd, and husbandry system at pre- and post-weaning phases. Data were processed by using Sphinx® software, and descriptive analyses were performed in MS Excel® software. The results showed strengths, including navel healing (100%), location of the calf housing above (45%) or next to the pen (35%), and existence of a sanitary calendar (90%). However, several limitations in the management of calves and heifers were identified, such as lack of zootechnical bookkeeping (55%), manual milking with calf at the foot (65%), absence of herd sizing (100%), no routine weighing of calves (95%), incorrect colostrum management (80%), non-supply of transition milk to calves (85%), and likely failure to diagnose diseases by a fraction of the farmers. Thus, training regarding adequate management practices by extension technicians is imperative, along with the formulation of public policies that comply with the aspirations of family farmers, while promoting their economic and social sustainability.

Keywords


Calf; Dairy farming; Family farming; Heifer; Rural extension; Survey.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5433/1679-0359.2018v39n4p1653

Semina: Ciênc. Agrár.
Londrina - PR
E-ISSN 1679-0359
DOI: 10.5433 / 1679-0359
E-mail:  semina.agrarias@uel.br
Este obra está licenciado com uma Licença  Creative Commons Atribuição-NãoComercial 4.0 Internacional