Ludhiana, April 26, 2017: The crossbreeding of indigenous with exotic breeds of cattle was initiated to enhance milk production in the country. However, the crossbred cattle are more prone to mastitis, metabolic disorders, lameness and other diseases which render their productive life shorter. Such cows are disowned by the farmers, which ultimately come to the roads. However, GADVASU scientists have proved that, if reproductive system of such cows is normal, these cows can be used as surrogate mothers for production of Sahiwal calves through embryo transfer technology. In such an effort, three pure Sahiwal calves of high genetic value are produced from culled crossbred Holstein Friesians (HF) cow at the dairy farm of GADVASU.
Dr P S Brar Dean College of Veterinary Sciences told that embryos were collected thrice from an elite Sahiwal cow following superovulation and insemination by frozen semen from high pedigree bull. The collected embryos were transferred to eight culled crossbred cows used as surrogates, out of which four got pregnant. Three pregnant surrogate HF crossbred cows have calved and gave birth to two male calves and one female calf. The calves was delivered normally and are in good health. Such technologies will boost the objective of the Government of India who has launched the National Gokul mission to conserve and propagate indigenous breeds, which are better adapted to harsh climatic conditions of tropics.
Dr B Bansal Director Livestock farms told that there is a large gap between the requirement & availability of number of pedigreed Sahiwal bulls of high genetic merit for the Semen banks at state and national level. Therefore, systematic application of embryo transfer for breeding purpose could help in faster propagation of superior germplasm of Sahiwal breed. He further informed that the elite male calves born is of immense importance as it could be used as breeding bull for faster dissemination of superior germplasm over wider population through artificial insemination.
Dr H K Verma, Director Extension Education, GADVASU informed that the GADVASU scientists have already standardized superovulatory protocols with reduced doses of medicines which could help in reducing the cost of embryo transfer work in Sahiwal cows. Such services could also be extended to other dairy farmers having elite Sahiwal and crossbred cows.
Dr AS Nanda, Vice chancellor, GADVASU congratulated the ETT team comprising of Drs P S Brar, Narinder Singh, Sumit Singhal and VS Malik for their achievement.