Three major breeds of diary cattle reared in Trinidad and Tobago are:
Holstein- the Holstein breed of cattle was originated in Europe. Holsteins are most quickly recognised by their distinctive colour markings (black and white or red and white) and milk production. A mature Holstein cattle weighs roughly 1500lbs and stands roughly at 58″ at the shoulder. However, Holstein breeds compared to other breeds are not as resistant to heat and diseases when in agro-ecological areas. Top producing Holstein cattle have been known to produced 67, 914lbs of milk in 365 days.
Jersey- as there is no definite origin of the Jersey cattle, most research agrees the Jersey probably originated from the coast of France. The Jersey breed is the second largest breed of cattle in the world up to today. Jerseys are known for their high-quality milk. Its particularly rich in protein, minerals and trace elements. Their milk is also rich in colour, which a natural product from carotene, an extract from grasses.
The Jersey breed also has the ability to adapt to all types of climates, environments and management practices. They weigh approximately 400-450kgs (880-990lbs).
Jamaica Hope- the Jamaica hope breed of cattle is a diary breed originating from Hope farm in Jamaica. This breed the very heat tolerant and has a high resistance to ticks and tick-borne diseases. Jamaica hope cattle can produce high volumes of milk even in poor pasture land, which is typical to tropical climates. This breed of cattle consists of 80% Jersey, 15% Zebu and 5% Holstein.
The average weight of the cows weighs approximately 500kgs, while the bulls are roughly 700-800kgs. The average lactation period of this breed is around 305 day, producing 2500kgs of milk per lactation period.
Three major beef breeds of cattle reared in Trinidad and Tobago are:
Jamaica Red: the Jamaica Red also known as the Red Poll cattle. This breed of cattle has a deep red colour with good eye and udder pigmentations, which naturally prevents sunburn. They are medium size with strong legs and good walking quality. The beef of these cows is fined grained and has won many competitions for the most tasty and tender beef. They are very easy to handle and tend to adapt very well to both intensive as well extensive production systems.
Zebu- this breed of cattle originated in southwest Asia. They evolved from three breeds of Indian cattle known as the Guzerat, Nelore and the Gir. They are usually red or grey in colour, have horn, large ears and have a hump above their shoulder. They are produced largely for beef and on a smaller scale for milk. They are very heat tolerant also parasite and disease resistant. They usually weigh around 390kg.
Buffalypso -the buffalypso is a new breed of cattle developed by doctor Stephen Bennett from Trinidad and Tobago. This new breed scored its name from buffalo and calypso, the indigenous music of Trinidad and Tobago. They were considered to be superior to the buffalo which were prone to tuberculosis. This was so because of their thick skin and the ability to keep parasites off. The meat quality of the buffalypso became a prized breed and was later introduced into other countries.
Major sheep breeds reared in the Caribbean and their characteristics are:
Barbados Black Belly Average weight- ewes (40-60kg), ram (60-90kg)
Annual lambing rate usually above 150%
High percentage of multiple births.
Usually used for both meat and milk
Virgin Island White Cross of Wilthshire and Native CrollioResistant to internal parasites
Average weight-ewes (32- 43kg), ram (50-60kg)
Usually used for meat
Black Head Persian Average weight-ewes (35-40kg), ram (68kg)
Breed at any time but lack of proficiency
Low twinning rate
Usually for meat but poor mutton
KatadhinAverage weight-ewes (54-73kgs), ram (82-144kgs)
Can breed out of season
Superior growth performance
Recently being used for meet, previously used for wool
Saint Elizabeth Average weight- ewes (45-64kgs), ram (65-91kgs)
Wide breeding season (May-October)
Early maturing with single lambs
Used for meat and milk, mostly meat
Major goat breeds reared in the Caribbean and their characteristics are:
Saanen Average weight-does (50kg), bucks (75kg)
Produce 500-900kgs of milk in 200-300 milking days.
Has a white short hair coat and short, pointed ears
Used for milk
British Alpine They are tall, rangy and graceful
Best suited to temperate climates and perform poorly in regions with high humidity
Good milk producers with a 4% fat yield
Used for milk
French Alpine Average weight-does(60kg), bucks (75kg)
Adapt and thrive in any climate
They can maintain good health and have exceptional production qualities in any environment and conditions.
Used for milk
Anglo NubienAverage weight-does (60kg), bucks (80kg)
Developed from crossing British does with African and Indian bucks
They have long pendulous ears close to their head
Used for both milk and meat
ToggenburgAverage weight- does (55kg), buck (68-91kg)
Excellent udder development and milk production
The difference between Jamaican hope breed of cattle and Jamaican red cattle is that Jamaican hope is a dairy breed whilst Jamaican red is a beef breed. Jamaican hope cows are mainly used for milk production while Jamaican red cattle are mainly used for beef. Jamaican hope cattle have highly developed mammary glands for quality milk production while Jamaican red cattle have strong legs and strong, well built and developed muscles for quality beef production. Jamaica poll produces high quality grainy beef while Jamaican red produces milk of good quality.
In the 1960’s, a veterinarian by the name of Dr. Stephen Bennett developed a diseased resistant breed of water buffalo, called the buffalypso. The buffalypso was bred and created using riverine breed of buffalo from the sub-Indian continent. The buffalo breeds used to create the buffalypso are: Murrah, Jafarabadi, Nili-ravi, Surti and the Nagpuri breed of buffalos.
The Murrah breed of buffalo- the Murrah breed of buffalo is a breed of buffalo which was originated in India. This breed is a dairy breed and kept mainly for milk production. The average mature height of a mature bulls is average 142 cm at withers and around 132cm for the females. The average weight of a mature buffalo bull is around 750kg and 650 kg for cows. Their average milk production is roughly 2200 litres of milk per lactation period, 310 days. The daily production is 14-15 kg
The Jafarabadi breed of buffalo- the Jafarabadi is a riverine breed of buffalo, originated in Gujarat, India. This animal is reared for meat and also has a very poor semen quality. The height of the males is average 142 cm at withers and 140cm for the females, the males weigh roughly 600-1500kg, while the females weigh 550- 750 kgs.
The Nili-ravi breed of buffalo- the Nili-ravi is a domestic breed of water buffalo. This breed is reared mainly for diary use and diary production. The average milk yield is approximately 6535 kgs in the lactation period which is roughly 378 days. The height of the bulls is 135cm at withers and the cows are 125cm at withers.
The Surti breed of buffalo- the Surti buffalo is found in the Charottar tract, Gujarat, India. The average height of a mature bull is approximately 130cm and 125cm for females. Mature bulls weigh around 500kgs and mature cows, 400kgs.
The Nagpuri breed of buffalo- the Nagpuri buffalo is a riverine buffalo, which combines a better proportion of milk and drought qualities in adverse climatic conditions. The average body height for the males re 142cm and the females stand at 135cm. A mature bull weighs around 525kgs and a cow weigh around 425kg. They are very strong and hardy animals which are most used for milk production.
The following are classes of drugs of veterinary importance:
Antibiotics- antibiotics are drugs used in the veterinary field to arrest the growth of or kill any bacterial agents. An example of an antibiotic used by veterinarians are Amoxycillin. Amoxycillin can be used specifically for infections of the respiratory, urogenital and gastrointestinal systems. Also, for secondary bacterial complications of viral diseases, and generalised septicaemia. The withdrawal period for meat is 15-17 days for cattle, and 42 days for pigs, and for milk its 72 hours.
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