PhD defence Ketema Worku Bedada (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine)



Nutritional status of free-ranging tropical zebu dairy cows


PhD candidate: Worku Bedada, Ketema

Supervisors: Prof. dr. Geert P.J. Janssens, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University - Prof. dr. Yisehak Kechero Kebede, College of Agriculture, Arba Minch University



In many tropical regions, seasonality forms a challenge for dairy cow holders because their animals are typically ranging and are dependent on the seasonal availability of forages. The general aim of this thesis was to develop a targeted nutritional intervention for ranging dairy cows after measuring their nutritional status in different seasons and agroecological regions. A large survey demonstrated that the feed resource availability and concomitant resilience of ranging dairy zebu cattle to the dry season differ between altitude-related agro-ecological zones. It indicates that government policies could benefit from including agro-ecological factors to improve dairy production in tropical regions. In this study, altitude of the Ethiopian Rift Valley determined the impact of the dry season on milk yield in ranging dairy cows. Assuming that altitude per se is not directly causal, further studies are needed to identify which agro-ecological factors are involved. A deeper understanding of these differences will enable targeted interventions to improve milk yield in each agro-ecological zone, especially during the dry season. By extension, any performance – in tropical ranging livestock – will also be improved.



Date: Thursday 16 December 2021, 17:00

Location: Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke


The public defence will take place on Thursday, December 16, 2021 at 17:00 PM, and can be followed by Zoom: