Cattle belongs to the group of animals known as Bovidae. They are ruminants, having hollow horns and hoofs with an even number of toes. Cattle are reared for their meat, milk, hide and skin, manure and as draught animals for work on the farm.

Breeds of Cattle

(i) Azawal (ii) Sokoto Gudali (iii)Wadara (Shuwa) (iv) White Fulani (v) Red Bororo (vi)Muturu (vii) N’dama (viii) Keteku (Borgu) (ix) Kuri (x) Brown Swiss (xi) Holstein (xii) Jersey.

The breeds of cattle can also be categorized into three groups. These groups are:

(a) Beef Cattle: These are the cattle which have the ability to produce meat. Examples are: (i) N’dama (ii) Red Bororo (iii) Sokoto Gudali (iv) Keteku (Borgu) (v) Kuri (vi) Brown Swiss (vii) Rahaji

(b) Dairy Cattle: These are cattle which are reared mainly to produce milk. Examples are: (i) White Fulani (ii) Jersey (iii) Red poll (iv) Kerry (v) Guernsey (vi) Dexter (vii) Holstein

(c) Dual Purpose Cattle: These are cattle capable of producing milk and meat. Examples are: (i) Azawal (ii) Muturu (iii) Biu

(iv) Wadara (shuwa).

Terminology Used in Cattle

Bull – An adult male cattle.

Cow – An adult female cattle.

Calf – A young or baby cattle.

Heifer – A growing female up to her first calving.

Bull Calf – A young male cattle.

Heifer Calf – A young female cattle.

Steer – A castrated male cattle.

Ox – A castrated adult male cattle.

Vealer – A castrated female cattle.

Serving – Act of mating in cattle.

Calving – Act of giving birth(parturition).

Beef – Meat of cattle

Dairy cattle – Cattle kept for milk production.

Beef Cattle – Cattle reared for meat production.

Herd – A group of cattle.

Polled – Cattle without horns.

Horned – Cattle with horns.

Humped – Cattle with hump.

Humpless – Cattle without hump.

Characteristics of West African Breed of Cattle (i) Very hardy (ii) Have greater tolerance to heat and humidity (iii) Tolerant to some diseases, e.g. trypanosomiasis (iv) Can withstand stress and travel long distances without water (v) Late maturing (vi) Have compact/blocky shaped body. (vii) Are mostly of dual purpose produce meat and milk) (viii) Generally long legged animals. (ix) Some are humped

Economic Importance of Cattle

(i) Cattle provide meat and milk for man.

(Ii) Some cattle help to pull ploughs and work as draught animals.

(iii) They provide hides and skins

(iv) They provide blood meal and bone meal for farm animals as feed.

(v) Fertilisers can be obtained from blood, bones and offals of cattle. Jood

(vi) Cattle dung (faeces) is a very good source of manure.

(vii) Cattle provide employment and income to people.

(viii) Cattle are also a source of revenue to some countries.

(ix) Cattle are also used for religious purposes as well as festivals in some places.

(x) Cattle are used for research work or educational purposes.


Goat is a hollow horned small ruminant also belonging to the family Bovidea of the genus capra. Goat is reared for its meat, milk and hide and skin,.e.g. Morocco leather from Sokoto Red. Goat milk is the richest of all the milk produced by animals including man. vites

Breeds of Goat

(i) Sokoto Red (ii)Bornu Red (iii)West African long-legged goat (iv)West African dwarf goat (v) Bantu (vi) Anglo-Nubian (vii) Alphine (viii) Saanen (ix) Kano Brown (x) Bauchi type (xiv) Anglo (xv)Nandi (xvi) East African Small Goat. (xvii) Angora. (xi) Togenburg (xii) Nubian (xiiCattle

Terminology Used in Goat

Buck (Billy) – An adult male goat.

Doe (Nanny) – An adult female goat.

Kid – A young or baby goat.

Wether – A castrated male goat.

Kidding – Act of giving birth (parturition) in goat.

Chevon – Meat of goat.

Reasons for Rearing Goats in West Africa Reasons for rearing goats in West Africa are: for meat (food) production, for skin production, for milk production, highly prolific; producing twins and triplets two times a year, hardy animals which are exceptionally healthy, easier to keep, high economic value/feeding cost is low, for festivals and sacrificial offerings, for prestige purposes, for income, for employment, for educational purposes, e.g. teaching and research.

General Characteristics of Goats

1. Goats are tough and hardy animals that can survive unfavorable environmental He conditions.

2. They are small-bodied animals.

3. They can produce kids twice in a year.

4. Goats are reared mainly for skin, meat, milk and fiber

5. Male goats are often bearded.

6. Both male and deme goats have horns.

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