September 27, 2023

How to avoid repeat breeding in dairy animals?

What is repeat breeding?

Repeat breeding is the problem in which animal shows normal heat but not conceives for more than three successive inseminations. Today farmers all over the world are facing this problem in their dairy farm. This problem majority occurs in crossbreeding animals. But nowadays this problem also occurs during the same breeding animals. Dairy animals give signal related to their health and well-being by changing behavior, postures, and other physical traits. Dairy farmers need to detect these symptoms for successful breeding. The cow comes to heat every 21 days. Usually, cow stays in the heat for 3 hours to 24 hours.

Major repeat breeding causes:

Repeat breeding happens mainly because of the following three reasons:

  • The inability of farmers to not detects the heat at the right time.
  • Sometimes even delay happening in AI programme after animal comes to heat.

According to our study, various dairy farmers started their AI programme either before animals come to heat or after heat because they do not detect the symptoms of heat at the correct time. Most of the times when animals begin to heat, cow show symptoms by eating less, entirely reddish vulva, wet and hot vulva, animal try to mount on other animals near him and its milk production for that day decreases. For insemination, we make the 12-hour gap between injecting semen and time of heat. For better conception, we asked to put 2nd semen after the difference of 12 hours from the first semen. It is because a successful AI programme completes in five minutes. If our AI expert takes more than 5 minutes, then it means something wrong happens. So as a precaution measure, we insert 2nd semen after a gap of 12 hours from the time of injection of first semen.

Heat detection while milking:

Farmers are interested in the milking of the cow for at least 9 to 10 months after delivery. They usually ignore whether cow comes to heat after 2 to 3 months of giving birth to the calf or not. If a cow does not come to heat after 2 to 3 months of delivery, then we need to consult with a veterinarian. According to experts, whenever cow comes to heat after 2 to 3 months of giving birth to a calf, we need to make a cow pregnant immediately. If we leave heat after heat for taking more milk,  it impacts to cow’s uterus, and there is more probability of a cow to repeat. Hence, we need to make a cow pregnant as early as possible.  If we leave cow empty for a more extended period, there are high chances of endometritis, metritis, mucometra, and pyometra in the uterus. Also. It impacts the cow breeding ability. These diseases affect the cow during its pregnancy period and even to its conception ability.

Other causes:

There are many different causes which we can detect while others are difficult to detect without tests. For this, we need to consult with our veterinarian. Deals with these diseases before doing your AI  programme. Sometimes, Ayurvedic herb Rasuant is beneficial to the cow if given after AI. Its dry form should be provided 125 gram in powder form.

  • Sometimes diseases like brucellosis cause repeat breeding problem
  • The early death of embryo (the embryo develops from the zygote)
  • follicular cyst: These are fluid-fills cysts like stone develops on/in the ovary
  • Improper management of cow at the time of pregnancy: Pregnancy is the period at which animals need most nutrition for the development of it’s various sexual and asexual organs. If we cannot manage the nutritional need of the pregnant cows, then it may lead to less development of ovary and uterus. It results in less conception rate of the cows.
  • Lack of knowledge of Inseminator

These all factors can lead to repeat breeding problem or low conception rate. So we need to detect it early and get proper treatment for any pathological change.

Points to remember:

  • When calf shows heat for the first time after its birth, his behaviors and other physical traits change little. That’s why the first heat is known as silent heat.
  • After passaging age on lateral heat, cow shows symptoms of estrus by its behaviors. We can then recognize the change of expression of the cow.
  • Don’t put semen in calf on his first heat.
  • Continuous use of oxytocin badly impacts the cow breeding ability.

How to manage the AI program?

AI is a process in which we take semen of top breeding bull which is not readily available in the market. Level of success in the AI programme determines the farmer benefits and costs. But most of the farmers do not seem to get its proper benefits due to lack of awareness of good breeding semen. Most farmers use heifer for AI program because we believe heifer to be minimum under stress. Also, heifer has a high submission rate.

Points to remember during, before and after the AI program:

  • Minimum weight of animal for AI programme must be in the range of 250 kg to 350 kg. It varies by country and breeding. It can be assured by providing proper nutrition and vitamin supply to the animal.
  • Make a record of cow early histories like a disease faced in the last lactation and pregnancy.
  • Some diseases affect animals pregnancy every time. Hence, proper vaccination should be carried out as early as possible. It protects the animal from various infectious diseases.
  • Buffalo fly is a small insect just like lice which sucks blood from the animal. It impacts are more severe at the time of pregnancy and during AI programme than any other time because it causes infection on animals skin by making sores and interrupts feeding. It increases the stress level of animals which affect the AI programme. Hence, we need to detect it early and do proper treatment for it.
  • There is so much company which claims to have the highest quality semen, but in reality, they have not. Hence, we have to make sure that sperm meets all the international standards. Also, arrange excellent breeding semen for more milk yield.
  • The level of AI program depends upon the handling of a cow. It should be relaxed and stress-free.
  • Always maintain the temperature of semen 35-degree Celsius or as per instruction of semen providing company. Also, keep hot water during the AI process.
  • Many cows repeat because inseminator doesn’t know where to place semen. Hence, maintain good inseminator well before the AI program.

Hence, we need to plan and manage an AI program well before its implementation. You may like to read about prolapse causes and prevention methods.