All Title Author
Keywords Abstract

Publish in OALib Journal
ISSN: 2333-9721
APC: Only $99


Relative Articles


Assessing Animal Disease Prevalence and Mortality in Smallholder Dairy Farms under Contrasting Management Practices and Stressful Environments in Tanzania

DOI: 10.4236/ojvm.2022.1211011, PP. 117-134

Keywords: Dairy Cattle, Disease Infections, Case-Fatality Rate, Animal Mortality Density, Positive Deviants, Tropics

Full-Text   Cite this paper   Add to My Lib


In dairy farming, deploying effective animal husbandry practices minimise disease infections and animal mortality. This improves animal health and welfare status, which is important in tropical smallholder dairy farming, where animals are persistently exposed to multiple environmental stresses. The hypothesis of this study was that animals managed in positive deviants and typical farms suffer different levels of disease infections and mortality, whether under low- or high-stress environments. The study adopted a two-factor nested design with farms contrasting in the level of animal husbandry (positive deviants and typical farms) nested within environments contrasting in the level of environmental stresses (low- and high-stress). A total of 1,999 animals were observed over 42 month period in the coastal lowlands and highlands of Tanzania. The disease prevalence was lower (p < 0.05) in positive deviant farms than in typical farms under low-stress (10.13 vs. 33.61 per 100 animal-years at risk) and high-stress (9.56 vs. 57.30 per 100 animal-years at risk). Cumulative disease incidence rate was also lower (p < 0.05) in positive deviant farms than in typical farms under low-stress (2.74% vs. 8.44%) and high-stress (2.58% vs. 14.34%). The probability of death for a disease infected dairy cattle was relatively lower in positive deviant farms compared to typical farms under low-stress (0.57% vs. 8.33%) and high-stress (0.60% vs. 6.99%). Per 100 animal-years at risk, the mortality density of cattle was lower (p < 0.05) in positive deviant farms compared to typical farms, 15.10 lower in low-stress and 2.60 lower in high-stress. These results show that compared to typical farms, positive deviant farms consistently attained (p < 0.05) lower animal disease infections and subsequent deaths, regardless of the level of environmental stress that the animals were exposed to. This implies that positive deviant farms deployed animal husbandry practices that more effectively minimised animal disease infections and deaths and therefore could maintain their animals in better health and welfare status.


[1]  Haagen, I.W., Hardie, L.C., Heins, B.J. and Dechow, C.D. (2021) Genetic Parameters of Calf Morbidity and Stay Ability for US Organic Holstein Calves. Journal of Dairy Science, 104, 11770-11778.
[2]  Ries, J., Jensen, K.C., Müller, K.E., Thöne-Reineke, C. and Merle, R. (2022) Impact of Veterinary Herd Health Management on German Dairy Farms: Effect of Participation on Farm Performance. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 9, Article ID: 841405.
[3]  van der Linden, A., Oosting, S.J., van de Ven, G.W.J., de Boer, I.J.M. and van Ittersum, M.K. (2015) A Framework for Quantitative Analysis of Livestock Systems Using Theoretical Concepts of Production Ecology. Agricultural Systems, 139, 100-109.
[4]  Van Leeuwen, J.A., Mellish, T., Walton, C., Kaniaru, A., Gitau, R., Mellish, K., Maina, B. and Wichtel, J. (2012) Management, Productivity and Livelihood Effects on Kenyan Smallholder Dairy Farms from Interventions Addressing Animal Health and Nutrition and Milk Quality. Tropical Animal Health and Production, 44, 231-238.
[5]  Hernández-Castellano, L.E., Nally, J.E., Lindahl, J., Wanapat, M., Alhidary, I.A., Fangueiro, D., Grace, D., Ratto, M., Bambou, J.C. and de Almeida, A.M. (2019) Dairy Science and Health in the Tropics: Challenges and Opportunities for the Next Decades. Tropical Animal Health and Production, 51, 1009-1017.
[6]  Heinrichs, A.J. and Heinrichs, B.S. (2011) A Prospective Study of Calf Factors Affecting First-Lactation and Lifetime Milk Production and Age of Cows When Removed from the Herd. Journal of Dairy Science, 94, 336-341.
[7]  Waltner-Toews, D., Martin, S.W. and Meek, A.H. (1986) The Effect of Early Calfhood Health Status on Survivorship and Age at First Calving. Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research, 50, 314-317.
[8]  Compton, C.W.R., Heuer, C., Thomsen, P.T., Carpenter, T.E., Phyn, C.V.C. and McDougall, S. (2017) Invited Review: A Systematic Literature Review and Meta-Analysis of Mortality and Culling in Dairy Cattle. Journal of Dairy Science, 100, 1-16.
[9]  Dagne, K., Kassa, T. and Kebede, N. (2018) Occurrences of Dairy Calf Mortality and Morbidity and the Associated Risk Factors in Sululta and Its Environs, Central Ethiopia. Journal of Veterinary Science & Animal Husbandry, 6, Article No. 503.
[10]  Swai, E.S., Karimuribo, E.D., Kambarage, D.M. and Moshy, W.E. (2009) A Longitudinal Study on Morbidity and Mortality in Young Stock Smallholder Dairy Cattle with Special Reference to Tick Borne Infections in Tanga Region, Tanzania. Veterinary Parasitology, 160, 34-42.
[11]  Kerario, I.I., Simuunza, M.C., Chenyambuga, S.W., Koski, M., Hwang, S.-G. and Muleya, W. (2017) Prevalence and Risk Factors Associated with Theileria parva Infection in Cattle in Three Regions of Tanzania. Tropical Animal Health and Production, 49, 1613-1621.
[12]  Kasaija, P.D., Estrada-Peña, A., Contreras, M., Kirunda, H. and de la Fuente, J. (2021) Cattle Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases: A Review of Uganda’s Situation. Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases, 12, Article ID: 101756.
[13]  Wong, J.T., Vance, C. and Peters, A. (2021) Refining Livestock Mortality Indicators: A Systematic Review. Gates Open Research, 5, Article No. 75.
[14]  Ries, J., Jensen, K.C., Müller, K.-E., Thöne-Reineke, C. and Merle, R. (2022) Benefits of Veterinary Herd Health Management on German Dairy Farms: Status Quo and Farmers’ Perspective. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 8, Article ID: 773779.
[15]  Shija, D.S., Mwai, O.A., Migwi, P.K., Mrode, R. and Bebe, B.O. (2022) Characterizing Management Practices in High- and Average-Performing Smallholder Dairy Farms under Contrasting Environmental Stresses in Tanzania. World, 3, 821-839.
[16]  Schumacher, C. (2020) Veterinary Services: Improving Accessibility for Smallholder Farmers. GALVmed.
[17]  ILRI (2019) African Dairy Genetic Gains: Building the Business Case. International Livestock Research Institute, Nairobi.
[18]  Shija, D.S., Mwai, O.A., Migwi, P.K., Komwihangilo, D.M. and Bebe, B.O. (2022) Identifying Positive Deviant Farms Using Pareto-Optimality Ranking Technique to Assess Productivity and Livelihood Benefits in Smallholder Dairy Farming under Contrasting Stressful Environments in Tanzania. World, 3, 639-656.
[19]  Zimbelman, R.B., Rhoads, R.P., Rhoads, M.L., Duff, G.C., Baumguard, L.H. and Collier, R.J. (2009) A Re-Evaluation of the Impact of Temperature Humidity Index (THI) and Black Globe Temperature Humidity Index (BGHI) on Milk Production in High Producing Dairy Cows. The University of Arizona, Tucson, 158-168.
[20]  Wenz, J.R. and Giebel, S.K. (2012) Retrospective Evaluation of Health Event Data Recording on 50 Dairies Using Dairy Comp 305. Journal of Dairy Science, 95, 4699-4706.
[21]  Magona, J.W., Walubengo, J., Olaho-Mukani, W., Jonsson, N.N., Welburn, S.C. and Eisler, M.C. (2008) Clinical Features Associated with Seroconversion to Anaplasma marginale, Babesia bigemina and Theileria parva Infections in African Cattle under Natural Tick Challenge. Veterinary Parasitology, 155, 273-280.
[22]  Thrusfield, M. (2007) Veterinary Epidemiology. 3rd Edition, Blackwell Science Ltd., Oxford.
[23]  Fukushima, Y., Kino, E., Furutani, A., Minamino, T., Mikurino, Y., Horii, Y., Honkawa, K. and Sasaki, Y. (2020) Epidemiological Study to Investigate the Incidence and Prevalence of Clinical Mastitis, Peracute Mastitis, Metabolic Disorders and Peripartum Disorders, on a Dairy farm in a Temperate Zone in Japan. BMC Veterinary Research, 16, Article No. 389.
[24]  SAS Institute Inc. (2013) SAS/ACCESS® 9.4 Interface to ADABAS: Reference. SAS Institute Inc., Cary.
[25]  Singh, J., Singh, B.B., Tiwari, H.K., Josan, H.S., Jaswal, N., Kaur, M., Kostoulas, P., Khatkar, M.S., Aulakh, R.S., Gill, J.P.S. and Dhand, N.K. (2020) Using Dairy Value Chains to Identify Production Constraints and Biosecurity Risks. Animals, 10, Article No. 12.
[26]  Proch, V., Singh, B.B., Schemann, K., Gill, J.P.S., Ward, M.P. and Dhand, N.K. (2018) Risk Factors for Occupational Brucella Infection in Veterinary Personnel in India. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, 65, 791-798.
[27]  Ogden, N.H., Swai, E., Beauchamp, G., Karimuribo, E., Fitzpatrick, J.L., Bryant, M.J., Kambarage, D. and French, N.P. (2005) Risk Factors for Tick Attachment to Smallholder Dairy Cattle in Tanzania. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 67, 157-170.
[28]  Muvhuringi, P.B., Murisa, R., Sylvester, D., Chigede, N. and Mafunga, K. (2022) Factors Worsening Tick Borne Diseases Occurrence in Rural Communities. A Case of Bindura District, Zimbabwe. Cogent Food & Agriculture, 8, Article ID: 2082058.
[29]  Cadilhon, J.-J., Pham, N.D. and Maass, B.L. (2016) The Tanga Dairy Platform: Fostering Innovations for More Efficient Dairy Chain Coordination in Tanzania. International Journal on Food System Dynamics, 7, 81-91.
[30]  Solidaridad (2019) Focus on Farmers Essential to Grow the Tanzanian Dairy Sector. Solidaridad Network.
[31]  Notenbaert, A., Groot, J.C.J., Herrero, M., Birnholz, C., Paul, B.K., Pfeifer, C., Fraval, S., Lannerstad, M., McFadzean, J.N., Dungait, J.A.J., Morris, J., Ran, Y., Barron, J. and Tittonell, P. (2020) Towards Environmentally Sound Intensification Pathways for Dairy Development in the Tanga Region of Tanzania. Regional Environmental Change, 20, Article No. 138.
[32]  Kilelu, C.W., Klerkx, L. and Leeuwis, C. (2017) Supporting Smallholder Commercialisation by Enhancing Integrated Coordination in Agrifood Value Chains: Experiences with Dairy Hubs in Kenya. Experimental Agriculture, 53, 269-287.
[33]  Alvåsen, K., Jansson Mörk, M., Hallén Sandgren, C., Thomsen, P.T. and Emanuelson, U. (2012) Herd-Level Risk Factors Associated with Cow Mortality in Swedish Dairy Herds. Journal of Dairy Science, 95, 4352-4362.
[34]  Derks, M., van Werven, T., Hogeveen, H. and Kremer, W.D.J. (2014) Associations between Farmer Participation in Veterinary Herd Health Management Programs and Farm Performance. Journal of Dairy Science, 97, 1336-1347.
[35]  Katjiuongua, H. and Nelgen, S. (2014) Tanzania Smallholder Dairy Value Chain Development: Situation Analysis and Trends. ILRI Project Report, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Nairobi.
[36]  FAO (2020) FAO Ensures Efficient Epidemio-Surveillance System for Animal Diseases. FAO in Tanzania. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome.
[37]  Mbuthia, J.M., Mayer, M. and Reinsch, N. (2021) Modeling Heat Stress Effects on Dairy Cattle Milk Production in a Tropical Environment Using Test-Day Records and Random Regression Models. Animal, 15, Article ID: 100222.
[38]  Bang, N.N., Gaughan, J.B., Hayes, B.J., Lyons, R.E., Chanh, N.V., Trach, N.X., Khang, D.N. and McNeill, D.M. (2021) Characteristics of Cowsheds in Vietnamese Smallholder Dairy Farms and Their Associations with Microclimate—A Preliminary Study. Animals, 11, Article No. 351.
[39]  Fathoni, A., Boonkum, W., Chankitisakul, V. and Duangjinda, M. (2022) An Appropriate Genetic Approach for Improving Reproductive Traits in Crossbred Thai-Holstein Cattle under Heat Stress Conditions. Veterinary Sciences, 9, Article No. 163.
[40]  de Vries, M. (2019) Vulnerability and Adaptation Strategies of Dairy Farming Systems to Extreme Climate Events in Southwest Uganda: Results of CSA-PRA Workshops. Report 1141, Wageningen Livestock Research, Wageningen.
[41]  Lihou, K., Rose Vineer, H. and Wall, R. (2020) Distribution and Prevalence of Ticks and Tick-Borne Disease on Sheep and Cattle Farms in Great Britain. Parasites & Vectors, 13, Article No. 406.
[42]  Duguma, B. (2020) A Survey of Management Practices and Major Diseases of Dairy Cattle in Smallholdings in Selected Towns of Jimma Zone, South-Western Ethiopia. Animal Production Science, 60, 1838-1849.
[43]  Swai, E.S. and Karimuribo, E.D. (2011) Smallholder Dairy Farming in Tanzania: Current Profiles and Prospects for Development. Outlook on Agriculture, 40, 21-27.
[44]  Campbell, Z., Coleman, P., Guest, A., Kushwaha, P., Ramuthivheli, T., Osebe, T., Perry, B. and Salt, J. (2021) Prioritizing Smallholder Animal Health Needs in East Africa, West Africa, and South Asia Using Three Approaches: Literature Review, Expert Workshops, and Practitioner Surveys. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 189, Article ID: 105279.


comments powered by Disqus

Contact Us


WhatsApp +8615387084133

WeChat 1538708413