Genetic and economic efficiency of integrating reproductive technologies in cattle breeding programme in Kenya
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We hypothesised that use of reproductive technologies (RTs) would result in increases in economic and genetic gains of a dairy cattle breeding programme. A deterministic approach was used to compare RTs that can be utilised to increase dairy cattle productivity and profitability in Kenya. These were artificial insemination (AI), embryo transfer (ET) using old (ETOB) and young (ETYB) bulls and in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Natural mating (NAm) was assumed to be the standard reproduction practice in Kenya against which the genetic and economic efficiencies of the RTs were compared. A three tiers open nucleus system was assumed to describe the dairy cattle breeding programme in Kenya. It was open to use of imported semen in the nucleus. The nucleus was assumed to be closed to upward movement of live animals. This is the common practice in Kenya where large farms act as the nucleus from which the multipliers (medium-sized farms) buy replacement stock and subsequently sell replacement animals to the commercial sector (smallholder farms). The increase in monetary gain ranged between 11% when AI was used and 184% when utilising either juvenile ET or IVF. The ETYB and IVF resulted in similar economic and genetic responses for all comparison criteria. The generation interval reduced by between 0.8% in AI and 47% in ETYB and IVF technologies. The respective milk yield (MY) and daily weight gain (dWG) responses were between 25 to 150% and 0 to 110% for the AI and ETYB and IVF.
KeywordsBreeding plan Dairy cattle Genetic efficiency Kenya Reproductive technologies
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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