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How can we compare multispecies livestock rearing households? – an analysis of the impact of health and production parameters on multispecies livestock rearing outcomes

Win, T.T.Z., Campbell, A., Soares Magalhães, R.J., Oo, K.N. and Henning, J. (2022) How can we compare multispecies livestock rearing households? – an analysis of the impact of health and production parameters on multispecies livestock rearing outcomes. BMC Veterinary Research, 18 (1). Art. 158.

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The Central Dry Zone (CDZ) of Myanmar is a critical region of livestock production. This region supports 10 million people whose livelihoods depend on small-scale, dry-land agriculture, but it is also one of the poorest regions of Myanmar. Little is known about the constraints to animal health in multi-species livestock farms in this region or the relationships between husbandry practices and measures of the success of livestock rearing such as income, and successful health management.


In this study, we describe associations between husbandry practices and animal health problems affecting different body systems. We also develop a biosecurity and livestock disease prevention index by taking account of different activities (i.e. treatment, vaccination, reducing disease transmission practice, sanitation) that can be compared between livestock species, estimate the income generated from livestock production, and identify factors influencing these parameters. Cross-sectional study was used to collect data on livestock production and health from cattle (N = 382), sheep, goat (N = 303) and village chicken (N = 327) farmers in 40 villages of the CDZ. Survey-design based techniques and F-statistics, ordinal, and binomial regression were used for data analysis. Our results indicate that a significant proportion of farmers’ income in the CDZ comes from crop production (43.2%) and livestock production (23.1%) and the rest of the farmers’ income is derived from trading, supported by other relatives and employment. Our results indicate that animal health management practices, herd/flock size, and experience of farmers contributed significantly to the presence of animal health problems, in particular related to the physical, respiratory and digestive systems. Animal health management was usually conducted in traditional ways. Among different livestock species farms, cattle farms (cattle median BDPI: 45; IQR: 35–55) practised better biosecurity than other livestock species farms (i.e. small ruminant and village chicken farms) (small ruminant and village chicken BDPI: 10; IQR: 0–20). Interestingly, the ownership groups (i.e. rearing singly or multispecies) did not show any impact on biosecurity and disease prevention index of the farms.


This study identified good practice households and these findings will be useful for designing intervention trials to improve the production and health outcomes evaluated in this study.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Veterinary Medicine
Publisher: BioMed Central
Copyright: © 2022 The Authors.
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