News and updates on research on livestock value chains by the International Livestock Research Institute and partners

Monday, November 08, 2010

Tool for management of Ankole cattle presented at meeting of international livestock experts

A body condition scoring system developed for Uganda's native Ankole cattle was presented during the 5th All Africa Conference on Animal Agriculture held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 25-28 October 2010.

The standardized body condition scoring system was featured in a poster by Dr Ellen Dierenfeld, Senior Manager, Africa R&D and Manager, Sustainability Programs Research at Novus International, and  Dr Ben Lukuyu, an animal feed scientist with ILRI's Market Opportunities Theme.

Novus International, a global developer of animal health and nutrition programs, is partnering with ILRI and others in the East Africa Dairy Development project being undertaken in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.

Body condition of dairy cattle affects their feeding efficiency, milk production and reproductive performance. For this reason, the scoring of body condition is an important management tool that can greatly assist livestock farmers to better manage their herds, especially at critical life stages such as early lactation and calving.

The body scoring system for Ankole cattle was developed based on information obtained from farmer interviews, literature reviews and body condition charts developed for other breeds. Based on feedback and inputs from farmers, the system will be refined in future, if needed.

Dierenfeld ES and Lukuyu B. 2010. Development of a standardized body condition score for native cattle in Uganda. Poster presented at the 5th All Africa Conference on Animal Agriculture and the 18th Annual Meeting of the Ethiopian Society of Animal Production (ESAP), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 25-28 October 2010.


  1. Please adopt experiences of Kenyan dairy development to Ethiopia! I don't see why not? if there is good reason, please let me know our weakness?

    That is sufficient!

  2. Dear Zemedul

    Thanks for your comment. Discussions are underway with various potential partners to identify appropriate interventions to promote dairy development in Ethiopia, but models that have succeeded in Kenya may not directly apply due to different dairy demand patterns in Ethiopia, e.g. lower consumption and dominance of non-liquid milk products. This is not a weakness as such, but implies that different strategies may be needed.