Cattle breeding is one of the most important factors when it comes to cattle farming or cow farming. As we all know breeding is a crucial factor to have a next generation. As well the milk yield given after calving is also important for the effectiveness and efficiency of the farm. If we have better cows and calves giving higher yield, then we can have higher profitability. Normally the cow is giving birth to young calf each year. So, careful managing of breeding should monitor to have a calf each year. Through this article I am going to focus on the basic factors regarding cattle breeding.
Normally a cow is ready to breed when their body size is about 60-70% from the mature body weight. When the heifer or the cow is at this size, we can breed her to take a calf and milk.
There are mainly two methods of breeding. They are:
- Natural Breeding
- Artificial Breeding
This involves with the natural service. That means the farmer allow the cow to breed naturally using the natural service. But this method is somewhat uncommon in commercial farming. Because in here we have no guarantee whether the cow conceived or not. As well it will take more time than the artificial breeding method. The qualities of the calf may also not superior. This can be random or controlled process.
In here the superior and best quality semen obtained from a bull of superior qualities. Then these sperms will place in the reproductive tract of the cow. This process is also called artificial insemination. In short AI.
Sperms from the genetically superior bulls or the AI bulls are collecting with the use of mainly three methods. They are:
- Using an artificial vagina
- Rectal Massage
Of them using artificial vagina is the most common method. In here the rubber tube with a receptacle for semen is use. The inner layer of the tube is lined with a water holding jacket. Here you can use a dummy or a live cow with the artificial vagina inserted.
First you have to take the cow in to a chute or other holding device. Then you have a prepare your AI straws. This is called as thawing.
Thawing the straws is doing by dipping the straws in water at temperature for 30 – 60 sec. then dip it in ice water for 3 minutes.
Then you have to adjust your AI gun. Loading the AI gun is doing by cutting the end of the straw using a straw cutter. And next you have to place the straw at the end of the AI gun. Then place a protective sheath over the straw. After that lock the plunger.
Before carrying out the AI process first you have to clean the vulva of the cow well with paper towels. The skin around the vulva should clean properly. This avoids the contaminations while proceeding.
When carrying out the AI process first insert one hand into the cow’s rectum to locate the reproductive tract and cervix. Then insert the rod very carefully until it passes all three cervical rings. Next deposit the semen in the reproductive tract and remove the rod carefully. Massaging of the tract should do to make the semen to reach both the uterine horns. This also causes to release Oxytocin which helps in semen transportation. But this process must do by a skillful person. Otherwise, complications can occur.
Advantages of AI
No need to maintain stud bulls. From one sire can have around 100- 60000 services per year. Also, through this method we can have lot of superior quality calves from one stud. Avoid transmission of infectious genital diseases and reduce injuries to the cow. As well reduce the cost.
Disadvantages of AI
High initial cost is need and also skillful personals are need to carry out the process.