The biggest challenge confronted by cattle operators is breeding. Whether it is sheep, buffalo, cow, pig, goat, horse, etc. the breeding techniques vary from one region to another. There are many types of breeding practices in cattle, natural and artificial insemination.
Common Cattle Breeding practices
· Natural breeding is done under random circumstances during the heat period that most last for 12-24 hours and the average gestation period for a cow is 280 days.
· Artificial insemination involves insemination semen of a superior bull or indigenous breed into the cervix of the native cow through the vagina. The semen is deposited deep into the cervix or at the entrance of the uterus. The semen can be collected from a dull living in a distant place to ensure that certain genetic diseases are controlled. Artificial insemination was introduced at the Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh.
During the time of ovulation, one ovum is released from an ovary. But with the help of hormone injections, more ova can be produced from either ovaries. Post artificial insemination around 4 to 10 embryos are created simultaneously. Then each is transplanted into a surrogate cow. The fetuses can be preserved for days under frozen condition.
There are different cattle breeds and these include:
· Milch cow that produces good quality and quantity milk despite the poor quality of bullocks used
· Drought breed are working cattle and their cows are poor producers of milk
· General breed is a multipurpose breed where good milk is produced and the bullock are good workers. These are a variety inbetween milch and drought breeds.
Some of the new breeds include:
· Karan Swiss, created by the National Dairy Research Institure in Kamal, Haryana. This is evolved by breeding the Brown Swiss bull from the US and the Sahiwal cow.
· Sunandhini is a Kerala breed that is evolved by crossing non-descript cattle with either Jersy, Holestein-Friesian or Brown Swiss.
· Karan Fries was devised by the National Dairy research Institute in Kamal by breeding Tharparkar and the Holstein Friesian.
Types of Indian Buffaloes
There are different types of Indian buffaloes and the most popular among them include Jaffarabadi, Murrah, Bhadawari, Nili and Surti. The male buffalo in India is used as stud between the age of 3 to 3 ½ years and the female are not breed before the age of 2 ½ to 3 years. The first buffalo calf through artificial insemination was breed at the Allahabad Agricultural Institute in the year 1943.
Reproductive management in cattle starts with evaluation. The performance is evaluated by the body condition scores (BCS). Thin cows during the calving stage take longer time to start estrous cycle and therefore the ability to rebreed is delayed. It is also researched that the as the BCS reduces, the days between one calving and the next results in increased beef cows. BCS Management affects the rebreeding efficiency. The energy and protein requirements increased by 20 to 30% in beef cows once the calving is over.