Factors influencing tick infestation in Cattle in the small scale dairy farms of Kieni East District, Kenya
Kimondo, Peter K
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The high prevalence of tick borne diseases in Kieni East District has continued to reduce the household incomes in terms of, treatment of these diseases, reduced milk yield and sometimes from death of their dairy cattle. The purpose of this study was to explore the factors that influence tick infestation in cattle in small scale dairy farms of Kieni East District. The Objectives of the study were to establish the extent to which knowledge among farmers on tickborne diseases influences tick infestation in cattle in the small scale dairy farms of Kieni East District, to explore how methods used in external parasite control influence tick infestation in cattle in the small scale dairy farms of Kieni East District, to investigate the extent to which the existing laws governing external parasites control influence tick infestation in cattle in the small scale dairy farms of Kieni East District and to establish how the sources of acaricides influence tick infestation in cattle in the small scale dairy farms of Kieni East District. The study adopted descriptive survey method to collect data by administering questionnaires to respondents. In this study the target population was finite and was made up of all the 7415 small scale dairy farmers of Kieni East District who keep cattle through various management practices and are registered with the Ministry of Livestock Development. Stratified sampling was used to obtain the sample. The researcher distributed 284 questionnaires, which were used as the research instrument to the respondents through simple random sampling from each location which formed the strata. 219 out of the 284 respondents filled-in and returned the questionnaires making a response rate of 77.1%. Data collected was computerized and analyzed using SPSS. From the study, it was observed that cattle had been infested by ticks. Tick borne diseases experienced on the farms were East Coast Fever, Anaplasmosis, Heart water and Red water. The farmers prevented ticks from infesting their cattle through spraying. Majority of the farmers applied acaricides on their cattle weekly. The study concludes that farmers were not aware that there were laws governing tick control in cattle. No one had ever been arrested for failure to control ticks on their cattle. The study reveals that acaricides were readily available and that most farmers got them from agrovets. The study recommends that the government should train farmers on prevention of tick infestation. This will help to prevent tick borne diseases. Farmers should prevent ticks from infesting their cattle by spraying acaricides weekly. Further, the study recommends the Government to inform farmers on laws governing tick control in cattle and implement them. The Government should ensure that acaricides are readily available. Further study has been suggested to establish the effective methods of preventing tick infestation in cattle and other domestic animals during different seasons of the year. Moreover the same study should be carried out in other districts to both small scale and large scale farmers to find out if the same results will be obtained. According to the regression analysis done in this study, the independent variables that were studied accounted for 69.6% of the factors that influence tick infestation in cattle in Kieni East District.A further research should be conducted to investigate the other factors (30.4%) of the factors.