Indigenous Knowledge in Dairy Calf Nutrition and Feeding Management among Dairy Farmers in Namayumba Sub County, Wakiso District
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Calf (early-life) nutrition and feeding management receives less attention as compared to immediate income generating cows and bulls, for many smallholder dairy farmers in the tropics. Therefore, this project identified and characterized the indigenous knowledge practices in dairy calf nutrition and feeding management among smallholder dairy farmers in Namayumba sub-county, wakiso district. A total of 50 respondents (74 males and 26 females) were interviewed using a standard questionnaire. Data collected were analysed using SPSS (statistical package for social scientists) and the analysis included descriptive statistics and chi-square tests of association to establish relationships between the use of indigenous knowledge practices and socio-demographic as well as farm/herd characteristics. Chi-square test of association indicated that the use of indigenous knowledge practices was not significantly associated (P ˃ 0.05) with respondent and farm characteristics, apart from gender (P= 0.04) and females (61.5%) were more likely to use indigenous knowledge practices than males (29.7%). However, the results from this study indicated that 40 percent of dairy farmers in Namayumba sub-county rely on indigenous knowledge for dairy calf nutrition and feeding. As a recommendation, detailed documentation of indigenous knowledge practices in dairy calf nutrition and feeding management should be done to avoid the extinction of this unique knowledge for future generations. And finally, further research to validate indigenous knowledge practices for dairy calf nutrition and feeding, hence the dissemination and promising practices among smallholder dairy farmers who cannot afford to purchase conventional feeds used in calf nutrition and feeding management.