5. Microlivestock little-known small animals with a promising economic future.
Publ. of the Board on Science and Technology for International Development (BOSTID), Nat. Research Council; Nat. Academy Press, Washington, D.C., ISBN 0-309-04437-5; 1991, 370 p. + annexes
The purpose of this report is to raise awareness of the potential of small livestock species and to stimulate their introduction into animal research and economic development programs. It is geared particularly towards benefiting developing countries.
'Microlivestock' is a term suggested for species that are inherently small, such as rabbits and poultry, as well as for breeds of cattle, sheep, goats and pigs that are less than about half the size of the most common breeds. These miniature animals seem to have a promising future.
The book was prepared after an intensive survey of more than 300 animal scientists in 80 countries. They suggested more than 150 species for inclusion. The staff then drafted chapters on about 40 species and these drafts were reviewed by more than 400 researchers worldwide.
This study covers many species, but it by no means exhausts all the microlivestock possibilities.
As well as dwarf breeds of cattle, sheep and goats, the book covers more unusual species that can be farmed profitably including deer, the giant rat, coypu and guinea pig are dealt with.
Each potentially useful breed is analyzed and useful information set out under headings, including appearance, husbandry, behaviour and uses.
The muscovy duck, for example, is shown to have several advantages over the domestic duck, in that it is a good forager, is not so susceptible to disease and produces a lean carcass.
Not much space was allocated to the inclusion of aquatic food sources or edible insects, snails, worms, turtles, birds or bats, highly regarded food sources in some regions.
A warning was issued about the introduction of certain species, especially rodents, into regions where they do not exist. Such schemes can, obviously, have dramatic negative consequences.
This report is addressed to government administrators, technical-assistance personnel, and researchers in agriculture, nutrition, and related disciplines who are concerned with helping developing countries achieve a more efficient and balanced exploitation of their biological resources.
The book is easy to read, and with little technical language, the book will be particularly useful in those areas where good grazing is in short supply.
This is an extremely interesting book and is highly recommended for all those engaged in livestock production.
The Board on Science and Technology for International Development (BOSTID) of the Office of International Affairs addresses a range of issues arising from the ways in which science and technology in developing countries can stimulate and complement the complex processes of social and economic development. It oversees a broad program of bilateral workshops with scientific organizations in developing countries and conducts special studies.
This report was prepared by an ad hoc advisory panel of the Advisory Committee on Technology Innovation, Board on Science and Technology for International Development.
1074 92 - 3/124
Review, book, Africa, subhumid zone, arid zone, Nigeria, Sudan, Kenya,
Botswana, livestock production, projects, multilateral agencies, NGO's, animal health, range management, livestock feed, restocking systems, ODI
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