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Cattle versus cow, bulls in household datasets [message #8550] Thu, 12 November 2015 16:02 Go to next message
mkaur is currently offline  mkaur
Messages: 2
Registered: June 2015

I've been looking at the most recent household (HR) datasets and noticed there are two questions related to cows. One question hv246a asks about "cattle owned" and the second hv246b asks about "cows, bulls owned". Both variables have different numbers. I've seen this occur in at least 15 of the 30 countries I've looked at, like Benin, Burkina Faso, and Cameroon. Other countries only asked hv246b "cows, bulls owned".

I looked at the original questionnaires and recode manual/maps and cannot figure out the difference in the two questions. Is there any insight from DHS or other users as to why both questions are asked and what the difference might be?

Re: Cattle versus cow, bulls in household datasets [message #8585 is a reply to message #8550] Wed, 18 November 2015 11:57 Go to previous message
Messages: 1516
Registered: February 2013
Senior Member
Dear User,
Here is a response from Dr. Kia Reinis:
Dear mkaur,

The two variables you refer to have different numbers because the two variables are sourced from two different questions.

See HHQ118 in the DHS-7 Model Questionnaire. It has a category for:
a) Milk cows or bulls?
b) Other cattle?
(Followed by other animals.)

You did point to surveys in French speaking countries, but the issue pertains to all languages (not just French). In fact, the DHS Questionnaires are created in English, and native French speakers translate them to French. But I will reply relative to English since I will use the terms in a sentence.

The animal question may be adapted in country to be suitable for each country. DHS uses the variable to calculate the wealth index and the goal is to record all such large animals regardless of their use, whether for dairy, for meat, for work, etc. Some populations perceive, use, and refer to animals differently from other populations and may distinguish cows and bulls from other cattle; thus, the Model questionnaire presents both and each survey will collect what they deem appropriate. In English, some folks may refer to cows as the animal for milk and cattle as the animal for meat. Example of some other cattle: water buffalo. You can refer to the questionnaire at the back of every final report to see exactly what was asked in each country. You might even be interested in seeing that country official agricultural statistics may distinguish between terms as well.

We appreciate your use of DHS data.

[Updated on: Fri, 20 November 2015 16:30]

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