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In the Coastal Lowlands of Kenya, small-scale integrated crop-livestock production system is the dominant form of agricultural production. A cross-sectional survey was conducted on a stratified random sample of 415 small-scale farms to characterize dairy cattle production resources, herd structure and performance. The herd size ranged from 1-35 animals with a mean of 3.9, while 30.7% and 16.3% of the animals were lactating and dry cows kept by 80.5% and 41.9% of the total farms respectively. The mean milk yield/cow/day was 5.7 litres with 44% of farms producing < 5 litres. The annual milk yield per lactating cow ranged from 833 - 2,631 litres with a mean of 1,875 litres. Natural pastures were the main source of forage and occupied 52.2% of arable land and produced 55.2% of feed. Feed shortage was critical during the long dry period of January to March and experienced by 88.2% of households. The mean lactation period was high at 376.6 days with a range of 165-499 days. In conclusion, there was need to improve milk productivity through capacity building of extension agents and farmers, development of strong institutional linkages, support for commercial rearing of dairy breeding stock, and feeds diversification programmes.
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