Weber Agricultural Research & Management


October 2016, Vol. 2 (2), ISSN:2449-1640

© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research Article

Evaluation of Artificial Insemination Services Performance in a Smallholder Dairy Herd Under Extensive Management: A Case Study of KALRO- Lanet Herd, Kenya.

Kinyua J.

Department of Animal Sciences,
Chuka University,
Kenya.

Accepted 14th Octomber, 2016; Available Online 24th Octomber, 2016.


Abstract:

In dairy cattle fertility management, the rule of the thumb is one calf per cow per year. In a smallholder dairy herd managed by Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO)-Lanet under extensive production system, the rule has not been applicable. The cause of the problem mainly is poor reproductive fertility in the herd. The effects due to the problem are low calf crop, milk production and income. A study was conducted in (KALRO)- Lanet to evaluate performance of AI services, in herd of about 100 heads of cattle where use of AI service had been introduced. The objective of the study was to evaluate the performance of AI and recommend ways of improving and up scaling of the service. A herd of 72 cows comprising of various breeds; Friesian, Sahiwal and Crosses (Friesian/ Boran) were investigated for 16 months. The cows were in different ages and parities. The cows were artificially inseminated after exhibiting heat signs. The cows were served by either one of two AI technicians contracted. After the service AI set was duly completed. Data was extracted from AI set and analyzed using Genstat Discovery Third Edition computer package. Cows were divided into groups according to the number AI service(s) before a successful delivery. Average AI services per delivery were 1.9. There was significant difference (P<0.05) in the number of cows allocated to each group, calves delivered, and calving percentages. In group R0, calving was 39%. On the other hand, there was no significant difference (P>0.05) in time of insemination within the four groups. The quality of semen, breed of the donor bull and the kind of technicians were not significant (P>0.05), neither. The performance AI breeding program however, was evaluated according to calving percentages. From the evaluation, it was recommended bulling cows and heifers to be flushed. It was also recommended that estrus of the cows to be synchronized, so as to harmonize herd fertility management. Besides that, other forms of diagnosing pregnancy should be used, a part from non-repeat. Further to that, cows that are non-repeaters and conceptors should be culled while repeaters should be treated before being taken to the breeding program. Also operating AI services by the Organization can be one way to reduce the cost of AI services.

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