Frozen Semen for Cattle and Buffalo Improvement Programme
Gainful self-employment through the maintenance of dairy animals is one of the prime programmes among various development programmes operated by BAIF. Production of quality semen from exotic and indigenous cattle as well as buffalo breeds and its supply to the field Cattle Development Centres for improvement in milk has remained the core activity of BAIF since its inception. BAIF Semen Freezing Laboratory was established in 1975. The objective of the laboratory is to supply superior quality semen of cattle and buffalo for breeding the field animals. Earlier only purebred Holstein-Friesian and Jersey bulls’ semen was frozen. Later on, with realization of the need to freeze semen of crossbred bulls along with buffalo bulls of these species were added to the bull station in 1987. As Cattle Development Programme expanded in different indigenous breeding tracts, semen from indigenous cattle breeds like Gir, Sahiwal, Khillar, Amritmahal, Dangi, Hallikar, Tharparkar, Ongole, Krishna Valley, Gangatiri, Red Kandhari, Nimari, Red Sindhi, Rathi, Gaolao and buffalo breeds like Murrah, Surti, Jaffarabadi, Bhadavari, Banni, Pandharpuri, Nagpuri is being frozen for the breed conservation and improvement programme.
Since inception, this Semen freezing laboratory has had technical collaboration with various well recognized national and international laboratories. The Semen Freezing Laboratory is the first in the country to be certified as an ISO 9002:1994 in the year 2000 and upgraded to ISO- 9001:2000 in 2003 and ISO- 9001:2008 in 2010 and again in 2013 for its quality management system. In the year 2018, the ISO system was upgraded to 9001:2015. The laboratory has been ranked ‘A’ by the Central Monitoring Unit of the Government of India and recognized as a standard laboratory for testing Artificial Insemination equipment including cryo-vessels.
Through meticulous and perfect scientific work, BAIF’s Semen Freezing Laboratory has won the confidence of people at home and abroad and as a result, the semen production of this laboratory has been adopted in almost all the states in India by the Central Government, State Government, and non-government agencies including large milk co-operatives.
We have immense pleasure in releasing BAIF’s Sire Directory “KAMDHENU SIRES– 2023-24”.
Bull Mother Farm
Foundation Stock of Holstein-Friesian and Jersey heifers have been selected from Denmark and Canada. These animals were born out of excellent milk-producing cows and proven sires from the respective countries. The herd was closed down in the year 1975. All the cows are bred with imported frozen semen of superior quality and recently, Holstein Friesian semen from USA and France has been imported for breeding these cows. The present herd of bull-mothers is homebred stock, which is tested for adaptability to Indian situation. Emphasis is placed on high milk yield, desirable milk fat percentage, type characters and adaptability performance of bull dams. In addition to this, high-pedigreed genetic merit bull calves have been imported from Germany under National Dairy Plan-I, which is being operated through National Dairy Development Board, Anand.
The bull calves are selected from the top 15% cows. The Bull-Mother farm and Bull-Station are under continuous and rigid-disease-surveillance programme and maintain disease-free free status through Western Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (RDDL) based in Pune, Maharashtra State (viz. Free from T.B., J.D., Brucellosis, FMD, I.B.R., BVD).
Frozen Semen Technology
The semen doses produced at our Research Station are as per the Minimum Standard Protocol (MSP) laid by the Central Monitoring Unit (CMU) constituted by the Government of India, New Delhi. The Semen Freezing Laboratory is certified as an ISO-9001-2008 for its quality management system. Semen collection, dilution, packaging, freezing, storage, and handling procedures are improvised and standardized along with intensive in-house research. BAIF guarantees the highest standards for attaining the highest rate of conception in the cows and buffaloes bred. Laboratory space, equipment, raw semen, and frozen semen doses are monitored by a Quality Control Laboratory to achieve the production of frozen semen doses as per international standards. To improve and maintain the quality of frozen semen, suitable software has been developed and is being used in the Semen Freezing Laboratory.
To meet the growing demand for superior quality semen, BAIF has upgraded its semen freezing facility which has produced 112.66 lakh doses of frozen semen. The semen freezing and embryo transfer laboratory at Dharauli, Jind in Haryana produces semen of indigenous cattle breeds with Sahiwal, Gir, Red Sindhi, Tharparkar, Haryana, Rathi and Nagori bull.
BAIF’s programmes are benefitting more than 3.79 million families spread over 337 districts through 4334 Livestock Development Centre in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana and Uttarakhand. The semen doses are initially used in BAIF’s Cattle Development Programme and bulls are proven for satisfactory fertility prior to wider distribution. During the period 2022-23, 52,84,949 artificial inseminations were carried out with an average conception rate ranging from 45 to 50 percent at farmer’s doorstep. Semen is also exported to neighbouring countries as per the demand.
Delivery of semen doses ex-stocks round the year. The Bull-station houses bulls of exotic cattle breeds (Holstein-Friesian and Jersey), cross-bred (Holstein Friesian and Jersey crosses), indigenous breeds (Ongole, Amritmahal, Hallikar, Sahiwal, Gir, Dangi, Khillar, Tharparkar, Krishna Valley, Gangatiri, Red Kandhari, Nimari, Red Sindhi etc.) and buffalo breeds (Murrah, Surti, Jaffarabadi, Bhadavari, Banni, Pandharpuri, Nagpuri, Mehsana) which include almost all types of bulls required in the National Project for Cattle and Buffalo Breeding like National Dairy Plan-I being operated through National Dairy Development Board, Anand.
The frozen semen doses are available in French Mini (0.25 ml) straws. This ensures supply of frozen semen doses in versatile packing system and fulfills the demands of different customers at their convenience.
Goat (Buck) semen
In India, Artificial Insemination in goats is relatively less developed as compared to cattle and buffaloes. The main reason is the lack of realization of the economic importance of goats whose number is 135.17 million at present and growing at more than a million per year since independence as well availability of goat semen at the door step of farmers. The vast germplasm resource of the country consists of 34 well-defined breeds. BAIF initiated buck semen production in 2018 with the objective of improvement in goat breeds of small and marginal farmers to help them make quality germ plasm at their doorstep. Presently, semen doses from Barbari, Beetal, Berari, Black Bangal, Jamnapari, Osmanabadi, Sangamneri, Sirohi, African Boer are being produced at Wagholi Goat Semen Station.
Field Performance Recording
Regular monitoring at BAIF’s Centers has been immensely useful to track the records of bull’s and their daughters in various field operations. The progeny of some of BAIF’s bull has been acclaimed to be the best with a milk record of over 6500 liters in mature lactation in crossbred cattle and 18 liters peak yield in buffalo under village conditions and more than 7500 kg in HF crossbred cows under farm conditions. The average milk yield of HF crossbreds in BAIF’s operational areas of Maharashtra is around 3300-3400 kg. The progeny resulting from the use of crossbred bulls on crossbred (inter-se mating) has performed equally well.
Field Progeny Testing
BAIF’s programme of progeny testing of bulls is now 40 years old. BAIF declared the test evaluation on purebred Holstein-Friesian and Holstein X Zebu crossbred bulls with excellent results. The present programme aim at evaluating the crossbred bulls at farmer-level management. The contemporary comparison (C.C.) and relative breeding value (R.B.V.) for milk of the progeny-tested bulls are presented. During the period 2014-2019, another field progeny testing programme for HF crossbred bulls was implemented in Uttar Pradesh state under National Dairy Plan-I and post NDP period the programme is being implemented in 38 Cattle Development Centers. During the project period, semen doses of 85 bulls were used for test inseminations and progenies from the first bull batch completed their performance and other bulls’ progeny were under the milk recording stage.
* Indicates Limited Semen Doses
** Indicates Reserved Semen Doses
New Frontier- Sex sorted semen of cattle and buffalo breeds
The Indian dairy sector is growing at a rapid pace. There is both an opportunity and a need for Indian farmers to improve productivity and expand in scale to improve national production and increase the economic benefits they receive. Cattle husbandry among Indian farmers in the past was primarily to supply draft power for crop farming. Agricultural mechanization is reducing the utility of male cattle and buffalo for draft, and the primary objective of cattle keeping is turning towards dairying. The increase in AI coverage in turn is expected to produce several millions of male animals whose utility is reducing owing to the reasons of increasing agricultural mechanization and a socio-cultural ban on cattle slaughter. The male animals are lost from the system either through early calf mortality, due to neglect, or release into the village commons where they roam unattended. These released males become a hazards for a planned breeding intervention due to indiscriminate crossing while grazing, and transmission of venereal diseases, while also causing damage and loss to farmer crops besides competing for the scarce feed and fodder resources. They also create problems for general disease control, as they do not undergo regular vaccination programmes.
In the changing scenario, sex-sorted semen is the need of the hour which benefits the farmer community to hasten the production of replacement heifers, lesser dependency on purchase of heifers, less male calves, rapid increase in milk production, better use of constrained feed, fodder resources, climate change mitigation strategy and production of bulls and daughters for progeny testing.
The success observed with the use of sorted semen provided confidence in setting up a Sorted Semen Facility at BAIF Semen Station located at Urulikanchan, Pune in Maharashtra. Major emphasis is on the production of sex-sorted semen doses of Indigenous dairy breeds and buffaloes. Pure breed exotic and crossbred bulls semen is also being produced. All the selected bulls will be above the MSP of GOI in respect of genetic merit and meeting the health protocols. Apart from off-the shelf availability, Sex Sorted Semen for specific breeds can be custom-produced as the per requirement.
2.25 lakh cumulative inseminations were performed and 42.9 percent conception rate recorded. The female birth rate was noticed to be of 90 percent. The sorted semen doses of indigenous breeds of Sahiwal, Gir, Tharparkar, Rathi, Red Sindhi and buffalo breeds of Murrah, Jaffarabadi as well as purebred HF, Jersey and its crosses of 50% and 75% are available with BAIF, Urulikanchan.
AM - Amrit Mahal
BAF - BAIF
BUCK - Male Goat
CC - Contemporary Comparison
Dam - Bull’s Mother
Dtr. Av. - Daughter average
ET - Embryo Transfer
G - Gir
GEBV - Genomic Breeding Value
H - Hallikar
HF - Holstein Friesian
INAPH - Information Network for Animal Productivity and Health
J - Jersey
JND - Jind SFL
Kh - Khillar
M.Y. - Milk Yield
ND - Non Descript
NDP - National Dairy Plan
O - Ongole
R.B.V. - Relative Breeding Value
RK - Red Kandhari
RS - Red Sindhi
S - Sahiwal
Sire - Bull’s Father
Std - Standard
Th - Tharparkar
UID - Unique Identification