Increasing livestock production through artificial insemination (part II)

In the latest piece, we discussed on the importance of artificial insemination as a way of improving livestock production; thus increasing cattle production at family level. This time we are going to see benefits of the AI in fighting against venereal transmitted diseases and the interest of AI for Rwandan livestock.

The AI minimizes risks of spreading sexually transmitted diseases. Bulls can be asymptomatic carriers of venereal diseases and spread them to females during the natural mating.  The bulls must be regularly tested for those diseases and the positively-tested will be eliminates to the process of semen collection. One of those diseases is Brucellosis, caused by different species of bacteria, Brucella sp. It is a dangerous disease which attacks animals and human: it is a zoonosis. Diseases due to mycobacteria (Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia) can be spread by sexual contact, and so avoided by semen collection and AI. Other diseases are due to parasites (Trichomoniasis) or to viruses (Bovine viral diarrhea, Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis, Rinderpest,…). The semen collection process must allow for the screening of disease agents. The collected semen is also routinely checked for quality, to avoid problems associated with male infertility.

  •  The interest of Artificial Insemination for Rwandan livestock

The following image shows how milk production increase depending on the percentage and the kind of the exotic breed:

Milk production at first lactation for different breeds

Milk production at first lactation for different breeds

In fact, the Ankole (local breed) is neither good for meat nor for milk. It has a small size, and the milk production is very low. For local cows, the AI with the semen from exotic bulls helps to improve the genetic of the local breed towards an oriented production. The meat breeds (Sahiwal, Limousin…) are used to improve the size of the animal and the production of meat. The most used are the dairy breeds (Jersey, Friesian …) to improve milk production. At the first lactation, milk production can pass from 339 liters for Ankole breed to 1418 liters for the crosses Ankole * Friesian.

More details on the topic to come very soon…

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