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American Journal of Applied Sciences
Year: 2010  |  Volume: 7  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 466 - 472

Dairy Heifer Rearing in Hot Arid Zone: An Economic Assessment

M. A. Razzaque, S. A. Mohammed and T. Al-Mutawa    

Abstract: Problem statement: Economic losses due to high mortality in young calves born in hot arid zone including Kuwait and a high cost of rearing are the main constraints to this region. Therefore, dairy producers have to depend on importation of pregnant heifers for herd replacement. Research data on cost of heifer rearing from their weaning to first lactation were lacking. The objectives of the present investigation were to compare the costs/benefits of raising heifers born in Kuwait without and with intervention measures and project the future financial benefits. Approach: Present study methods involved using cost-benefit model where without and with intervention scenarios were compared using a total of 58 herd parameters. These variables included in the spreadsheets in the model could be varied during each year of projection period. Production turnoff of 3 herds each of 245 cows in three scenarios namely baseline, improved and future were evaluated. Input costs of imported heifers (baseline), locally raised heifers with interventions (improved) and projected 10 year (future) and the income generated from these scenarios were analyzed. Results: Total income generated from baseline, improved and the future projection were KD 268,715/-, 281,246/-and 342,251/-respectively (1 KD Kuwaiti Dinar = US $3.45); total operating costs of these scenarios were KD 249,372/-, 242,276/-and 205,929/-respectively. Financial analyses showed that benefits were double when interventions were applied KD 19,343/-Vs KD 38,970/-in baseline and improved operation respectively. Conclusion: Fifty percent of the total heifers needed for herd replacement could be sourced locally showing an increased net income as an outcome of intervention measures. Locally born adapted heifers could be used for dairying in this hot arid zone with a phase-wise increase in their herd size reducing dependence on imported dairy cattle.

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