Demographic dynamics and off-take of cattle herds in southern Mali

Trop Anim Health Prod. 2011 Aug;43(6):1101-9. doi: 10.1007/s11250-011-9808-2. Epub 2011 Mar 3.


The herds of 95 families were monitored for 1 year in eight villages in the cotton-growing region of southern Mali. In 2006-2007, reproduction performances were average, with 0.54 calvings/year per cow, and mortality was low. Herd numerical productivity is not very high, less than 0.13/year, because of the high proportion of males kept for animal draught. Depending on the herd size, the behaviour of the families differs, in terms of off-take and in-take of animals. Families that only have one or two draught animals seek to increase their animal draught capacity, with a negative net off-take (-0.13/year). Families with two to three cows have a very low net off-take (0.02/year), with culling of adult animals compensated by purchase. They therefore capitalised this year, with an annual herd growth of 8%. Families with a very large herd (20 to 50 cows) take off more of their stock, with a net off-take of 0.08/year (very few animal purchases) and make a stock growth of 5%. And finally, families with an average-sized herd (6 to 19 cows) take off the whole of the year's production, with a net off-take of 0.11/year and a nil stock growth rate. The use of a demographic model made it possible to measure the sensitivity of the productivity rate to the different demographic parameters.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Husbandry*
  • Animals
  • Cattle / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mali
  • Population Dynamics
  • Reproduction*
  • Socioeconomic Factors