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The Ri chicken breed and livelihoods in North Vietnam: characterization and prospects

 

 

 

The Ri chicken breed and livelihoods in North Vietnam: characterization and prospects
 
Nassim Moula, Do Duc Luc, Pham Kim Dang, Frédéric Farnir, Vu Dinh Ton, Dang Vu Binh, Pascal Leroy, Nicolas Antoine-Moussiaux

Abstract

 
For the last twenty years, the consumption of poultry meat has boomed in Vietnam as in the rest of the developing world. Capital-intensive production has grown rapidly to satisfy this demand. Based on a few numbers of genetically uniform strains, these systems threaten biodiversity. In Vietnam, both rural and urban households still keep indigenous chickens as part of a diversified livelihood portfolio. In line with the national in situ conservation strategy, this study approached the context of local poultry keeping in two rural and one suburban districts of Northern Vietnam. It aimed at understanding households’ willingness, constraints and opportunities for practice improvement, including breeds’ management. As the Ri chicken constitutes the large majority of backyard flocks, two particular objectives of this study are the morpho-biometric characterisation of phenotypic diversity among individuals classified as Ri by farmers and an assessment of their productive potential. Chicken was found to hold a different place in livelihoods of the three districts with consequences on the management of genetic resources. The most favourable conditions for improvement of the Ri breed was found in the rural district of Luong-Son, due to market integration. In the more remote district of Ky-Son, living standards were lower and much would be gained from Ri conservation. Ri breed was the most threatened in the suburban Gia-Lam district, where poultry was a minor side-activity, lacking incentive for genetic management. From motives and constraints, tracks about breeding goals are suggested. Further considerations about conservation, improvement, market integration and livelihoods are proposed.

Keywords


socio-economics ; biodiversity; chicken ; Ri ; Vietnam ; production

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Effects of early weaning on postpartum resumption of reproduction in mother buffaloes and growth of their calves

Effects of early weaning on postpartum resumption of reproduction in mother buffaloes and growth of their calves

Cu Thi Thien Thu and Nguyen Xuan Trach

Faculty of Animal Science and Aquaculture.
Hanoi University of Agriculture. Vietnam
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Abstract

An experiment to determine the effects of early weaning on postpartum resumption of reproduction in mother buffaloes and growth of their calves was carried out concurrently in 2 localities in North Vietnam, viz. Ha Nam and Phu Tho, with different grazing conditions. In each locality, 12 buffalo-calves pairs were equally allocated into 2 groups of 6 pairs each; in one group calves were allowed to suck their mothers as long as they could according to the traditional practice (control group) and in the other group (early weaning) calves were weaned at 120 days post calving (experimental group).

Results showed that early weaning improved postpartum reproduction in the mother buffaloes, shortening the periods from calving to first estrus and to conception. Postpartum resumption of reproduction came earlier in the locality with better nutritional conditions. It was also shown that although early weaning suppressed calf growth to some extent right after weaning, the early weaned calves spent more time grazing and thus grew faster later on compared to those in the control group. 

Key words: Buffalo, calves, early weaning, growth, reproduction

Introduction

In Vietnam, almost all buffaloes belong to small-holders. After birth, the calf is allowed to follow its mother, with suckling continuing until 1-2 years old because the farmer has no way to wean the calves. That may be one of the reasons for long calving intervals in buffaloes as it has been proven that suckling causes delayed postpartum resumption of ovarian activity (Lamb et al 1997) and removal of the nursing calve results in hormonal changes in the buffalo that stimulate estrus (Short et al 1990, Lamb et al 1999). Beside hormonal changes, buffaloes must have energy to support all body activities, but some functions have a higher priority for energy use than others. Buffaloes can only direct energy toward resuming the estrous cycle after calving if energy intake exceeds the combined requirements for maintenance, growth and lactation (Rae et al 1993). This is why body condition is strongly related to the length of the postpartum anestrous period in beef cattle (Laster 1973, Houghton et al 1990). Since body condition influences reproductive performance, early weaning or restricted suckling can be utilized to improve the chance that a buffalo is in a proper body condition and thus reproduction post calving.

As far as the calf is concerned, the quantity of mother's milk in late lactation is very low and thus energy supply is not enough for calf growth. In addition, the suckling reflex inhibits the feeling of hungrer and this will lead to the result that the calves will be very thin and emaciated. At the same time, if the calf is weaned late, the rumen should develop very slowly because the main feed is mother’s milk. When the calf begins to eat dry feed, the rumen begins to supply nutrients produced by fermentation and the population of rumen bacteria begins to grow. The rumen bacteria themselves also provide an important source of protein as they are washed out of the rumen, digested, and absorbed in the small intestine. Microbial protein is highly digestible and contains a favorable profile of amino acids relative to the needs of the growing calves. This is the reason why the sooner dry feed is digested by the calves, the sooner rumen development occurs and early weaning improves cow-calf performance (Randel 1981; Peterson et al 1987).

However, the above mentioned effects of early weaning have been so far shown from studies on cattle. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to test the hypothesis that early weaning of the calves could also shorten the postpartum interval in the mother buffalo and enhance growth of the calves due to better grass intake and digestion.


Materials and methods

The study was carried out from February to August 2010 concurrently in 2 localities in North Vietnam, viz. Ha Nam and Phu Tho, with different grazing conditions. In Ha Nam natural green grass was abundantly available; whereas, in Phu Tho buffaloes were suffering from harsh grazing conditions. In each of the two localities, 12 buffalo-calf pairs were selected and equally allocated into 2 groups of 6 pairs each: Group 1 (control): Calves were allowed to suck their mothers as long as they could and follow the traditional practice.

Group 2 (early weaning): Calves were weaned at 120 days post calving, using a plastic anti-suckling device (Photo 1), and being allowed to follow their mothers to graze.

 
Photo 1. Anti-suckling device

In both groups, the mother buffaloes were allowed to graze natural grass along road sides and common lands together with their calves as traditionally practiced. The mother buffaloes were observed for standing oestrus twice daily since the weaning of the calves in group 2 until 210 days postpartum. Pregnancy was detected by rectal palpation at 65 to 110 days after breeding. The calves were weighed at the time of weaning (120 days of age) and every 15 days thereafter till 210 days of age.

Data were subjected to analyses of variance (ANOVA) for a 2x2 factorial model with interactions using the General Linear Model (GLM) of Minitab 16. Pair-wise comparisons of means were done using the Tukey test.


Results and discussion

Early weaning had a strong effect on the time from calving to first estrus, reducing it by 24.8 days in Phu Tho and 48.2 days in Ha Nam. Similarly, the time from calving to conception was shortened by 32.8 and 46.7 days, respectively, in the two localities as a result of early weaning.. There was an interaction between early weaning and locality, indicating that the effects of early weaning on postpartum resumption of reproduction in buffaloes would depend on the locality or, in other words, the feeding condition.

Table 1. Effects of early weaning (EW) on postpartum resumption of reproduction in mother buffaloes and growth of their calves in two different localities

 

Phu Tho

Ha Nam

SEM

Significance

 EW

Control

EW

Control

Weaning

Locality

Interaction

Days from calving to:

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1st estrus

173b

198a

151c

199a

4.8

***

*

*

  Conception

177b

210 a

156c

203a

10.4

**

*

*

Calves live weight, kg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  At weaning

81.9a

79.2a

92.7a

93.0a

1.4

NS

***

NS

  At 195 days of age

118b

117b

147a

146a

2.2

NS

***

NS

  Gain 120-195 days

35.8b

38.1b

54.2a

52.9a

1.4

NS

***

NS

Means in the same row that do not share a letter are significantly different. *** P<0.001; ** P<0.01; *: P<0.05; NS: non-significant.

Live weight gain of the calves was strongly affected by locality, indicating the importance of grazing conditions. However, early weaning did not affect the weight gain of the calves when calculated for a long time (75 days after weaning).  Nevertheless, a closer observation on the growth pattern of the calves after weaning (Table 2) shows that early weaning influenced the growth pattern of the calves. Right after weaning average daily gain of the calves was dramatically reduced compared to those not weaned, but later on the growth rate of the early weaning calves gradually increased and reached a level higher than that of the control calves, after a certain time (one month) of weaning. This can be explained that after weaning the calves received no nutrients from the mother’s milk with a nutritionally stressful period during which they had to rely on grazing for living, resulting in retarded growth. However, when the calves overcame this stressful period, they became adapted to the new weaning living condition and resumed weight gain.  The early weaning calves grew very fast then, even faster than the control group, and as a result, they became heavier later on (Figure 1).

Table 2. Effects of early weaning (at 120 days of age) on the average daily gain (ADG) of calves at two different localities (g/head/day)

 

Age, days

Phu Tho

Ha Nam

SEM

Significance

EW

Control

EW

Control

Weaning

Locality

Interaction

120-135

294c

517b

494b

772a

13.6

***

***

NS

135-150

394d

472c

606b

689a

18.2

***

***

NS

150-165

483c   

450c   

739a   

639b

32.9

NS

***

NS

165-180

572c    

500d   

850.a   

672b   

27.4

***

***

NS

180-195

639c   

606c

928a   

756b   

24.7

***

***

*

Means in the same row that do not share a letter are significantly different. ***: P<0.001; **: P<0.01; *: P<0.05; NS: non-significant.

 

 
Figure 1: Growth pattern of buffalo calves with and without early weaning in Ha Nam


 
Figure 2: Daily grazing time spent by buffalo calves with and without early weaning

 

Figure 2 shows the changes in the calves’ grazing behaviour after weaning that can help explain the earlier mentioned changes in growth rate.  The most critical time was the time right after weaning as the calves must overcome the stress of weaning. In the first weeks of weaning, the early weaning calves spent less time grazing than the control calves. That was probably because at the beginning of weaning, the early weaning calves had to wear the anti-suckling device on their nose, which was not comfortable for the calves to graze. However, when the early weaning calves forgot suckling and the device was removed, they spent more and more time grazing to meet their nutritional demands, and from 4 weeks of weaning onwards the early weaning calves spent longer time grazing than the control calves, indicating that when relying on the mother’s milk the control calves did not feel so hungry to graze as much as the early weaning group. Since the early weaning calves consumed more grass and utilized it better their growth rate was higher than that of the control calves in the long run.


Conclusions

  • Early weaning (at 120 days after calving) was an effective way to shorten postpartum resumption of reproduction in mother buffaloes and enhance growth of their calves after a short period of nutritional stress.


Acknowledgements

The authors are very grateful to the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Department for Research Cooperation (Sida-SAREC), through the regional MEKARN Project, for the financial support of this study.  


References

Houghton P L, Lcmenager R P, Horstman L A, Hendrix K S and Moss G E 1990. Effects of body condition, pre- and postpartum energy level and early weaning on reproductive performance of beef cows and prearly weaningeaning calves gain. Journal of Animal Science  68:1438.

Lamb G C, Miller B L, Lynch J M, Thompson K E, Heldt J S, Loest C A, Grieger D M  and Stevenson J S 1999. Twice daily suckling but not milking with calves presence prolongs postpartum anovulation. Journal of Animal Science 77:2207.

Lamb G C,  Lynch J M, Grieger D M, Minton J E and Stevenson J S 1997. Ad libitum suckling by unrelated calves in the presence or absence of a cow's own calves prolongs postpartum anovulation. Journal of Animal Science 75:2762.


Laster, D. B, Glimp H A and Gregory K E 1973.
Effects of early weaning on postpartum reproduction of cows. Journal of Animal Science 36:734.


Peterson G A, Turner T B, Irvin K M, Davis M E, Nealand H W and Harvey W R 1987
. Cow and calves performance and economic considerations of early weaning of fallborn beef calves. Journal of Animal Science 65:15.


Rae D O, Kunkle W E, Chenoweth P J, Sand R S and Tran T 1993
. Relationship of parity and body condition score to pregnancy rates in Florida beef cattle. Theriogenology 39:1143.


Randel R D 1981
. Effect of once-daily suckling on postpartum interval and cow-calves performance of first-calves Brahman × Hereford heifers. Journal of Animal Science 53:755.


Short R E, Bellows R A, Staigmiller R B, Berardinelli J G and Custer E E 1990
. Physiological mechanisms controlling anestrus and infertility in postpartum beef cattle. Journal of Animal Science 68:799.

 

Received 7 December 2011; Accepted 30 December 2011; Published 4 January 2012

Agricutural Modernization in conjuntion with rual development in Vietnam

 

To    meet    a    rapid    growth    of    demand    for    agricultural    products,    modernization    of    agriculture    in    Vietnam        is    indispensable.    That    is    because    there    are    now    important    socio-economic    constraints    to    increasing    agricultural    production     in     the     traditional    mixed     smallholder     systems,     although     they     have     been     reasonably     productive    and    inherently    sustainable.    However,    introduction    of    modern    technologies    in    agricultural    production    operates    for    higher     productivity    may,     on     the     other     hand,     result     in     consequences     that     are     not     in     line    with     sustainable    development     targets     such     as     alleviation     of     poverty,     creation     of     jobs,    more     equitable     life     styles,     protection of     the     environment,     and     conservation     of     biodiversity.    This    warrants     search     for     appropriate    ways     of     agricultural modernization    coupled    with    sustainable    rural    development.    The    present    paper    aims    to    formulate    with    a    conceptual    framework    for    development    of    management,    technical    and    policy    approaches    toward    appropriate    modernization    of    agriculture    without     the    dilemma    between    nsustainable    high    productivity    and     low-productive    sustainability    to    achieve    both    economic    growth    and    rural    development    targets.   
Keywords :    Agriculture,    modernization,    rural    development,    Vietnam

Agricutural Modernization in conjuntion with rual development in Vietnam

 

 

 

Manure management practices on biogas and non-biogas pig farms in developing countries – using livestock farms in Vietnam as an example

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Manure management practices on biogas and non-biogas pig farms in developing countries – using livestock farms in Vietnam as an example

  • Cu Thi Thien Thua, ,
  • Pham Hung Cuongb, ,
  • Le Thuy Hangb,
  • Nguyen Van Chaoc, ,
  • Le Xuan Anhd, ,
  • Nguyen Xuan Tracha,
  • Sven G. Sommere, ,
  • a Hanoi University of Agriculture, Faculty of Animal Science and Aquaculture, Vietnam
  • b Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, National Institute of Animal Sciences, Thuy Phuong, Tu Liem, Hanoi, Vietnam
  • c Hue University of Agriculture and Forestry, Faculty of Animal Science, 102 Phung Hung Street, Hue City, Vietnam
  • d Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Soils and Fertilizers Institute, Dong Ngac Commune – Tu Liem District, Ha-Noi City, Vietnam
  • e University of Southern Denmark (SDU), Department of Chemical Engineering, Biotechnology and Environmental Technology, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark
  • Received 6 June 2011. Revised 1 January 2012. Accepted 2 January 2012. Available online 10 January 2012.

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Abstract

This survey was carried out to study animal manure management on livestock farms with biogas technology (biogas farms) and without (non-biogas farms) in the areas surrounding the Vietnamese cities Hanoi and Hue. The objective of the study was to assess the contribution of biogas production to a better environment as well as to recognize the problems with livestock manure management on small-scale farms. On all the farms included in the study more than one manure management technology was used, i.e. composting, separation of manure, biogas production and discharge of liquid manure to recipients such as public sewers or ponds. On biogas farms, most of the manure collected was used for bio-digestion. The farmers used the fermented manure (digestate) as a source of nutrients for crops, but on more than 50% of the interviewed biogas farms digestate was discharged to the environment. On non-biogas farms, manure was in the form of slurry or it was separated into a liquid and a dry-matter-rich solid fraction. The solid fraction from separation was used for composting and the liquid fraction usually discharged to the environment. The survey revealed that there is a need to improve methods for transporting the manure to the field, as transportation is the main barrier to recycling the liquid manure fraction. Farmers in developing countries need financial and technical support to install biogas digesters and to overcome the problems involved in utilizing the manure. Information about how to pre-treat manure before adding it to the digester is urgently needed. At present too much water is used, and the high volume of slurry reduces the retention time and is a disincentive for transporting and applying the digestate to fields. The users need to be informed about the risk of loss of methane to the environment, how to prevent cooker corrosion and the discharge to recipients. In addition, the study reveals that in developing countries manure management legislation needs to be tightened to control environmental pollution.

Keywords

  • Biogas;
  • Pig production;
  • Manure management;
  • Developing countries

Manure management practices on biogas and non-biogas pig farms in developing countries – using livestock farms in Vietnam as an example

 

Determination of growth functions of indigenous and crossbred goats in Laos

 

 

 

 

Abstract:
[Objective]The present study was aimed at estimating of growth curves of the indigenous goat(Lat)and the Fl crossbred(Bach Thao×Lat)goat in Laos.[Method]Two surveys were carried out during the period 2009-2010 to conect data on live weight (W)as a function of age of the goats.Data on live weight of goats were first subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA)to determine the significance of effects of genotype,sex and age on live weight.Both linear and nonlinear(Gompertz)growth models were used for each type of goats.[Result]As initial analyses of variance of the data showed that genotype and sex had highly significant influences on live weight,subsets of data were then used for drawing growth curves separately for female and male goats of each genotype.It was shown that for goats under 1 year of age,determination coefficients(R2)of the two regression models were very high (>9%)and almost similar to each other.However,with data for longer periods of age,Gompertz growth models were better fitted(higher R2)than the linear models(lower R2).The developed Gompertz growth models showed the mature weights of the female and the male to be 23.93 and 29.93 kg for Lat goats,32.66 and 37.69 kg for the F1 crossbred goats,respectively.[Conclusion]It is concluded that nonlinear Gompertz growth models are suitable to estimate live weight as a function of age for both the indigenous and the F1 crossbred goats in Laos.
Nguyen Xuan Trach Buonmy Phiovankham
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