In today’s article am going to take the farmer on three methods of service in livestock when an animal when the animal is on heat. Every farmer wants to see the products his sweat by having more milk and the young ones from his livestock but wonder which are the best way to determine whether an animal is on heat or not.
From cows, rabbits, sheep and goats each of this have different days and signs of heat. Well cattle come on heat after every 21 days, this period is called (oestrus) and the duration between one heat period to the other is called the oestrus cycle.
Sows in pigs will stay in heat for 2 to 3 days; this is the idle time the farmer should practice the mating service either by mixing male and female pigs (sows) for the mating purpose. In rabbits the best time for mating is seven months of age after birth.
These are some of the general signs of heat in all the livestock in the farm. I did not specify to individual animals but they both touch each animal.
- In some animals there will be a slight change in general body temperature.
- Frequent urination especially this occurs in rabbits (does).
- The vulva of the animals swells and becomes reddish in color.
- A sign of restless where the animal moves from place to another without necessarily doing anything.
- There is an appearance of a colorless slimy mucus from the genitals.
- Frequently mounting other animals.
- Milk quantity drops slightly in lactating mothers.
- Making strange noises and mooing frequently.
- The doe will start scrubbing her body on walls in the cage.
- Some animals will respond well to the riding tests.
When these animals show these signs of heat, the farmer should at least be able to detect them take the appropriate actions. Either taking the female animals to a male counterpart or any other form of servicing.
Methods of service in livestock
These are some the methods the farmer should use to service the animals when they show any signs of heat.
- Natural mating
This is a traditional method where the male animal is made to mount and service the female animal in the farm. This method is mainly practiced on animals as goats, sheep, cows, horses and many others since this is the most accurate method as the male animal is the one that will easily detect if the female animal is on heat.
The only disadvantages with this form of service in animals is that there will be chances of inbreeding between mother and some or brother and sister animal which can’t be easily controlled. Also large male animals can injure small females, this process can also encourage transmission of possible breeding diseases and pests like brucellosis and ticks.
- Artificial insemination (A.I)
This is artificially introducing into the female reproductive system of a female animal probably by the use of hand from a qualified vet nary doctor. This process is carried out by the use of a syringe and some special tubes.
First, the semen to be used should be collected from a male cattle (bull) using a teaser cow and an artificial vagina. The collected semen should be stored in a frozen state; the best way to do this is to put the semen in liquid nitrogen which should be above negative hundred fifty centigrade. The semen collected should be diluted so as to be used in many cows.
Special plastic straws called payets are used to store enough semen for insemination. The payets are differentiated by colors so as the farmer can easily identify the breed and number of the bulls.
Collect of semen from the bull for insemination
- Restrict the teaser cow in a crush or someone it can’t move.
- Bring the bull to the teaser cow.
- When the bull mounts the cow and directs it’s genitals to the female vulva a person should be there to direct the bull’s genitals to the artificial vagina.
- The artificial vagina has warm water around it walls and acts as an actual vagina to the bull, the bull should ejaculate and the semen collected from there.
The advantage of this method is that it reduces the expenses of rearing bulls on pasture and other medication and pest control expenses and a disadvantage a farmer should always be aware of is that in the case of collection semen from harmful characteristics, the harmful will be spread by the donor bull to the offspring and it this process is costly and requires qualified skilled labor.
- Embryo transplants
Is a technological process where the ova is collected from high productive animals which is the donor then externally fertilized and the embryo implanted to another animal known as the recipient.
The donor is administered with some hormones for the reason of producing more ova for fertilization.
The advantage with embryo transplant it is easy and possible to transplant an embryo from a sick animal that cannot carry the embryo to another one. It is also possible to implant an embryo from a high quality female to a less productive animal and improve their offspring rearing performance and the disadvantage is that the technology is much expensive.