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List of Acronyms


Cattle are the most widely domesticated animals in Uganda. They are reared mainly for meat (beef) and milk as well as its products like skin for the leather industry, dung for fuel, manure and urine for pesticide and fertilizer.

Local Names

Food Value

The food value levels highly depend on animal feeds provided. The following are food values for a well fed animal?? To NARO

Milk: 100 grams of milk contain 87.99 water, 61 energy, protein 3.29, fats 3.34, minerals 0.72 and carbohydrates.

Beef: I is a source of vitamin A ,protein, calories, Vitamin E.


In Uganda they are 2 major types local and exotic. The indigenous types include; Ankole long horned (Sanga), The East African Short Horn (Zebu), Karamojong, Nkediand the nganda types.

The exotic breeds are mainly dairy breeds like Friesians, Jerseys and redpoll. They are also divided into diary and cattle for beef.

Site Location

A suitable place for rearing cattle should have the following in place;

Big area with well drained soils, having Short grass for grazing near a water source. Its location should permit access to veterinary services and allow morning and evening rays reach for sun bathing.

It should be an area free from tsetse flies, national parks which may have animals that share the same diseases with cattle.

The diary types of cattle are mainly reared in highland areas. This is because they require lower temperatures whereas the beef cattle require higher temperatures and thus are reared in areas of lower altitude where temperatures are slightly higher.


Zero grazing: Under this system cows are confined in a shade or yard. Though the system is productive, it requires a lot of labour especially to look for cattle feeds and water. Cows are not allowed to move about.

Tethering: Cows are tied on pegs using ropes 6 metres long. They graze in one area per time and then shifted to other grazing places.

Paddocking: Cows are placed in grazing areas separated into different apartments where supplements and water are supplied to each animal within the fenced area.

It is advisable to construct a fence using live fence e.g. Finger Euphorbia (locally referred to as rukoni) together with barbed wire and make a shade using poles inside with a separate apartment for the young. The unit must include a milking place.

Incase of a house, construct using poles, bricks or mud, make a 3/4 way finished house to allow enough fresh air in the house. Leave separate sections for the calf pens, adults, milking, feeding and forage store area.

It should have a leak proof roof with a strong raised slanting floor. It is important to construct an outlet to the trench surrounding the house in order to allow drainage of waste materials and easy cleaning. The collected wastes can be fermented to make fertilizers.


Selection is done in order to choose good quality bulls and cows as parents of the next generation. The objective is to improve the performance of animals especially in terms of fertility, growth rate and carcass quality. Keep breeding and production records in order to identify the most productive animals. When selecting cattle for breeding, keep heifer calves that have large pelvises. In case of bulls, the mother cow should also have a large pelvis.

Check bulls for STDs, scrotum circumference and general physical health before breeding. Use bulls that are known to have quality calves according to their records. Keep your cows and heifers in good condition. This can be done with the help of an extension worker.

An overfed or underfed cow will not only have less chance of conceiving, but it also increases the risks to the calf's health at birth. Record breeding dates accurately show that you will be able to notice the pregnancy signs and determine if a cow has conceived as soon as possible.


Signs Of Maturity

Cows are on heat for about 6 to 8 hours in a day and stand for a few minutes to be mounted, making it important to the farmer to be observant. If it fails to get a bull during that period, it will take 7 days to be on heat again and after that, it takes 3 weeks.

Cows are on heat around mid day during cold seasons whereas its better watching them morning and evening in case it's a hot season. This is because this is the time when they experience maximum heat. This gives them higher chances of fertilization.

Signs Of Heat


Provide new born calves, with colostrum (The first milk secreted after delivery)( within 24 hours after birth to improve its resistance to diseases. Leave the newly born calf with its mother for the first 3 days to suckle. After which it is important to place the calf in a dry clean place. Give it 5 liters of milk per day.

At 8 weeks, allow the calf to access clean fresh pasture during good weather. Supplement feeds with minerals. Provide at least 5 litres of water per day. Graze the calf in a fenced paddock to avoid worm infection.

To feed milking cows, provide them with 2 - 4 kg per 100 kgs of roughage such as grass, fodder, silage, hay per day to gain normal -weight and 1 kg of concentrates for every 2 - 5 liters of milk produced. Give water to adult animals all the time.

To feed adult cattle, provide them with variety of feeds such as legumes, natural and artificial grasses e.g. hay, maize bran, food peelings of bananas, potatoes and food remains.

Also give animals supplements such as mineral leak and lots of clean water for drinking.

Ensure that feeds are provided in clean feeding troughs to avoid pests and disease attacks and de-worm animals at 3 months interval.

General Care

Common Diseases: Prevention & Management

Disease 1: Foot And Mouth Disease (FMD)

Foot and mouth disease also known as hoof and mouth disease is a highly contagious, acute disease in cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and humans.




Disease 2: East Coast Fever (ECF)

East coast fever is a protozoan parasite which is transmitted brown ear ticks. Animals grazing in bushes + thick grass are at high risk.


Protozoa, carried by brown ear ticks.


Disease 3: Helminthiasis

Helminthiasis is infestation with one or more intestinal parasitic worms e.g. roundworms, tape worm or hookworms.


Get a hand full of asthma weed, add 1 litre of water and boil for 30 minute. Let it cool and give 1 cup two times a day, morning and evening for 3 days to adult animals.

Disease 4: Anaplasmosis

Infectious disease caused by protozoa and transmitted by ticks. Mainly transmitted by the blue tick.


Protozoan parasites


Disease 5: Anthrax

It's an acute bacterial disease which is dangerous to cattle and human. It's usually contracted by animals grazing in contaminated areas.




Disease 6: Mastitis

Mastitis is a bacterial disease in milk producing animals. It can occur in acute or chronicle form depending on the bacteria type.


Disease 7: Footrot

Foot rot is a disease that attacks animals staying or grazing in wet or muddy areas causing damage to the hooves


Stagnant mud and water in grazing and sleeping areas.


Disease 8: Rinder Pest

An infectious viral disease of cattle. It had disappeared from Uganda due to compulsory vaccinations for many years.




All animals above one year need to be vaccinated. one vaccination is enough for the animal's life time.


Disease 9: Pneumonia

It's an infection of lungs which may be caused by bacteria or virus within dust particles. Stress like poor sanitation, overcrowding and build-up of irritating gases, dust or numerous other un hygienic conditions and microorganisms which cause lung tissue damage.


Bacteria or virus


To prevent, eradicate the causes by:


Disease 10: Cowdiosis

Cowdiosis (heart water) is a bacterial disease common in cattle and goats spread by ticks.


Protozoa parasite transmitted by ticks


Cut the ears in the middle so that the excess blood can ooze out.

Disease 11: Bloat

Bloat is a live stock stomach disorder resulting from poor eating habits such as feeding on grass with a lot of dew that leads to excess air in the rumen. It is also common during dry periods when animals are fed on young fresh grass which has too much protein without enough roughage. This also leads to too much gas in the rumen.


Excess air in the rumen.


Disease 12: Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is a contagious disease caused by bacteria and spread through sharing of feeds and communal grazing of the infected, healthy animals.




Disease 13: Mad Cow

Mad cow disease may be spread where animals are fed on other animals.


Dead animals must not be eaten.

Common Pests: Prevention & Management

Pest 1: Ticks

A ticks is a small, round, parasitic pest that stick to an area of the host, insert its head under the skin sucking out blood. They are of different types e.g. The blue tick, brown ear tick,ambylomma,red legged tick.

Prevention & Control

Crush 500 grams of young, dried tephrosia leaves in 10 litres of water and, mix in 200g bar soap to make a spray against them. These help to break the life cycle of the ticks there by preventing more spread.

Dip or spray the animals at least once a week.

Pest 2: Lice

Lice are small, insect like soft bodied parasites that live mainly on the skin or hair of animals and humans sucking out blood. They may be black or white.

Prevention & Control

Keep the grazing areas clean all the time.


Pest 3: Helmithiasis

These include all internal parasites like lung and hook worms.

Prevention & Control

Get a handful of fresh moringa leaves and mix with other animal feeds to deworm the animals.

Pest 4: Tse- Tse Flies

A tsetse fly is a wild big fly that feeds on the blood of animals. They cause nagana in animals and sleeping sickness in humans. They are mainly found in bushes and humid areas. They are more active during morning and evening hours.


Very painful fly bites which causes jumping or running of the animal.

Prevention & Control

General Control Of Diseases


Diary cattle are ready for sale at the 7th calving. For beef producers, the animals are sold or slaughtered at 30 months.

Incase of milking cows, ensure proper milking hours. Milking should be done in the morning and evening hours. Wash hands and udder with warm water before milking.

For consumption: Boil milk in a clean source pan and take while still hot and undiluted or mix it with hot water and tea leaves to make tea. Serve while still hot or mix it with porridge and boil while stirring until it mixes evenly before serving.



To make yogurt, heat 4 cups of fresh milk gradually on a stove over low medium heat but don't let it boil. Add 1/3 cup of powdered milk, for more thickness. Remove from heat and let it cool. If you are using existing yogurt as a starter, mix 1/2 cup of organic yogurt to act as a starter and to ease break up of the particles making mixing with the rest of the milk easier. Place on a warm stove for 8hrs and then cool.


This is a pure butter fat made out of milk and looks like liquid gold in color used to add flavor to all food types. It is said to have antiviral and anticancer properties, helps in digestion of nutrients. It's a vitamins supplement and a main source of energy.

To make it, Leave milk for about a day until its sour, stir the milk until the fat coagulates and separates into solid ghee and liquid. Collect the ghee and wash it before packing. The ghee can be heated to evaporate any remaining water or left to mature for about 2 -3 days. Add a little salt before storing ghee into a container and cover when it cools.

The whey (water which remains after removing butter, ghee or cheese) can be used to feed animals like pigs.


Hides are flayed / skinned off the animals when mature. They are cleaned and dried before sale to traders for cultural purposes, crafts making and to the leather factories.

Flaying: This is the removal of the skin. It is best done with a sharp knife and immediately after slaughter of the animal. Where possible the hide should be pulled off instead of cutting off. To avoid contamination, remove the intestines and stomach after flaying.

Care of hides: Wash well in order to remove blood, dung and any other contaminations.

Fleshing is the removal of the remaining fats and meat from the hide. Spread the skin/hide on a clean surface and flesh by scrapping with a sharp curved knife.

Trimming is done to remove rough edges and un wanted parts e.g. the udder and tail borne.


Pests: These include; mice, rats and beetles which mainly cause damage to hide and skins in store.

Control: set traps in the store

Use of organic pesticides e.g. neem dry leaves to repel them out. These are scattered in the store.


These are fed to dogs and used for making plates, cups which are breakable

Legs (Emolokony) consumed for medicinal purposes e.g. hardening ligaments.

How to make products from cattle bones

Get raw bones of dead /slaughtered animals, cut into pieces of desired size and immerse in water for 12 hours. This helps to soften the bones. Leave to cool then get the pieces, scrap and clean.

Then these are soft enough, shape to a desired object on a lathe. Get a file drill and curve to the desired shape.


Get the solid part of a horn and soak it in water. If shaping is needed, then heat the carved piece for about 5-10 minutes in hot but un boiling water. This softens the horn. Smoothen with the help of a rough, flat or half round file and a sharp stainless steel blade. After drill bores, light cuts and channels in the required places on the body of the horn work. Polished with the help of rough leaves or sand paper till it becomes smooth and shiny.

Clean with water and dry in open air. After drying polish with ash made from cow dung or charcoal ash and then assemble as desired. To make it look more beautiful, smear with oil or vanish.

From these you can make table lamps, buttons, and walking sticks, ladles depending on the desired products.

Examine the horn from several angles and decide how much of the rough surface you need to remove and cut off the rough sections as you shape into desired items with the help of a drill.

How to make ladles and spoons out of horns
Urine and Dung

Cow dung can be used for floor and wall covering. Get mud; mix with cow dung and water to plaster houses.

To make mud bricks, mix soil with an equal amount of mud.

Get 2 cups of Cattle urine, is mix with a handful of crushed neem tree leaves and spray on crops to repel pests.

To keep away pests like mosquitoes, get cow dung, dry and place it on a hot charcoal stove. The smoke repels mosquitoes.

To protect seeds from pest attack, get the seeds and sock them in a paste made out of a mixture of cow dung and water for a day or two before planting.


Appendix 1


Picture 1: Bloat Picture 2: Foot rot

Picture 3: Hook warm
[[Image:]] [[Image:]]
Picture 4: Mastitis Picture 5: Round warm
Picture 6: Nagana

Picture 8: Tick Picture 9: Tsetse fly
Picture 10:
Picture 11: lice Picture 12:
Picture 13:

Appendix 2


Sources Of Pictures Used In Booklet


On behalf of Farmafripedia, i would like to express sincere thanks to:

BROSDI staff and the CELAC Farmers District Networks of:

It is through the energy, volunteer spirit, and zeal that we have been able to produce these booklets.

Special thanks to National Agricultural Research Laboratories - Kawanda, and especially Dr Geofrey Arinaitwe and Dr David Talengera who edited the material embedded within

And last but not least, Hivos that has sponsored the activities within the CELAC Project.

To all of you mentioned above, without your help, this booklet would not be existent.

Thank you very much


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