The low weight of Bali cattle for sale was a major issue related to smallholder farmer poverty and an impediment to the development of a cattle industry in eastern Indonesia. An ACIAR-funded research team established that the low weight was due to poor management, particularly nutrition, which led to low reproductive efficiency, and poor survival and growth of the calf. The research team worked with villagers to introduce a simple management system aimed at increasing pregnancy rates in lactating cows, reducing calf mortality, reducing the bull cost per calf, and increasing average post-weaning growth rates and survival. These strategies aimed to minimise costs, increase turn-off rates, reduce average turn-off age and increase net financial returns. This case study outlines the approach taken to develop an integrated management system for Bali cattle, with emphasis on both successes and failures.

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