Effects of Altitude and Soil Condition on Animal Production

Altitude refers to height of a place over relative to the sea levels which is usually measured in meters. Three plateaux in Nigeria exhibit micro-climatic conditions that differ slightly from the general tropical environment in terms of relatively lower ambient temperature, temperate vegetation and sometimes precipitation.

This distinct condition confers on the Obudu Hill, Jos and Mambilla Plateau temperate like micro- environment on these places located within the tropical Nigeria climate.

As such, production of cattle ( dairy cow or beef cattle ) and other livestock may take the semblance of the temperate system of animal production.

Some of the environmental stress conditions earlier enumerated may be unnoticed or moderated in the elevated places.

Physiological responses of animals supported by favorable micro-climatic condition tend to stimulate improved animal performance in terms of intake and metabolism of nutrients, growth and reproductive activities.

Read Also: Indirect Effects of Climate on Animal Production

Federal and state governments, organizations and wealthy individual scramble to establish livestock farms on Obudu Hill, Jos and Mambilla Plateau as well as other unique environments in Nigeria to take special advantage of the modified climate in such places for improved animal production and tourism.

The emerging growth in diary production in Kenya is partly attributed to high productivity of diary cattle located on high altitudes and highlands of the country.

Agriculture

The geographical principle of ”the higher the altitude of given place, the cooler it becomes” is characteristics of the micro-climatics phenomenon experienced in most tropical highlands, which has led to improved animal productivity.

The effect of soil condition on animal production is more or less indirect. The nutrient composition in food and forage, and possibly water depends on the soil content of micro and macro-nutrients.

Related: Direct Effects of Climate on Animal Production

Relative balance of the required nutrients available for growth, production and reproductive performance in the body system of farm animal derive primarily from soil fertility and retention of nutrients in crop and forage which the animal consume.

Palatability of certain forage feeds has been ascribed to the fertility of the soil. Forage and crop residua upon which tropical livestock survive are known to deteriorate rapidly in nitrogen and biomass contents, and lack in P, Ca and Na, partly as a result of soil fertility factors, and these impact seriously on tropical livestock productivity.

A few soil borne bacterial diseases such as anthrax and blackleg in contaminated sites may constitute a major problem on animal health.

Read Also: Brief History and Roles of Animal Production in Nigeria

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