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Frozen Semen Management PDF Print E-mail

 

Frozen Semen Management

The State has evolved a three-tier Artificial Insemination (A.I.) management system to provide the inputs for cattle breeding namely:

Bull Stations
Regional Semen Banks (RSB)
Artificial Insemination Centres

Bull Stations

A sperm station was set up in the mid 1960s at Mattupatti to supply for the A.I. programme to the Project area in high ranges. With the extension of A.I. programmes to the southern districts, the demand for frozen semen grew steadily and thus a second station was established at Kulathupuzha (Kollam district). The Dhoni bull station was started by the Dairy Development Department in 1972 to keep pure Jersey bulls for the production of Coconut Milk Extended semen (CME), a new technology developed to overcome the constraint of maintaining a cold chain in tropical environment.

Regional Semen Banks (RSB)

The frozen semen doses produced at the bull stations of Mattupatti, Kulathupuzha and Dhoni are used at the AI centres scattered throughout the State. The Board is the sole agency responsible for the distribution of frozen semen and Liquid Nitrogen to all the AI centres of the state, thereby, acting as an agency regulating the breeding policy of the State. The Board has established 7 RSBs in different parts of the State for this purpose.

 

RSB

Year of Establishment

Districts covered

No of AI centres

Mavelikara

1970

Alappuzha,

Pathanamthitta and parts of Kollam

426

Kulathupuzha

1974

Thiruvananthapuram and parts of Kollam

441

Muvattupuzha

1981

Parts of Kottayam, Ernakulam and Idukki

492

Kannur

1983

Kannur and Kasargode

368

Chalakudy

1985

Parts of Thrissur, Ernakulam, Idukki and Kottayam

421

Puthupady

1985

Kozhikode, Wayanad and parts of Malappuram

412

Dhoni

1992

Palakkad, parts of Thrissur and Malappuram

411

 

Major functions of RSB


a)  Distribution of AI consumables like frozen semen, LN & AI Sheath to the AI Centres at regular intervals.

b)  Production/ Purchase of liquid nitrogen

c)  Implementation of the breeding programme in accordance with the breeding policy of the state

d)  Implementation of bull rotation programme to ensure uniform distribution of genetic material across the various regions of the state and to minimise inbreeding

e)  Feed back of information related to the AI services (performance of bulls & AI consumables)

f)  Sale of frozen semen to non-governmental and private agencies

g)  Testing of cryogenic equipments

h)  Customer relations etc.

 

AI Centres


Artificial Insemination (AI) is being carried out in the State mainly by the Animal Husbandry Department and the Milk Unions. Dairy Development Department and private agencies are also involved, though to a lesser extent. On an average, an AI centre covers the recommended number of 750 breedable females (report of the breeding committee). The number of AI centres in the state has been steadily increasing through the years resulting in an efficient coverage of the breedable population. However, the increase in the overall consumption has been marginal.

 

Growth of AI centres over the years

 

Year

AHD

DDD

APCOS

OTHERS

TOTAL

1994-95

1769

82

173

98

2122

1995-96

1859

81

183

124

2247

1997-98

1978

12

194

130

2314

1998-99

2287

12

180

153

2632

1999-00

2336

12

192

146

2686

2000-01

2441

12

185

150

2788

2001-02

2489

14

184

148

2835

2002-03

2492

12

185

167

2856

2003-04

2496

12

223

240

2971

 

Semen storage at AI Centre / Semen Bank

 

Ten litre capacity LN refrigerators were initially being used for storing frozen semen at the AI centres. (LR-10 of Union Carbide) Later, the Board realised that depending on imported containers alone would not be advisable. Among the few companies who came forward with indigenous containers, the IBP Co. was the most promising. The earliest introduction was the BA-11 (11 lit. container) which had a longer refilling interval, i.e., 21 days under field conditions. The next generation container, BA-7 (7 lit. container) when introduced, had several problems like higher evaporation, higher damage rate etc. However, over the years, it has been refined. At present, almost all the field refrigerators are of BA - 7 type. BA-7 is the preferred one because of its compactness, thermodynamic efficiency and a comparatively lesser weight. More important is the fact that the refilling interval is 21 days (similar to that of the BA-11) with a lesser LN requirement for refilling (an average of 5 lit/container). Recently M/s.Inox India Ltd. has also come forward with IR7 container which equates with the BA-7 in every respect.

In order to increase the coverage of AI and to improve the reproductive efficiency a mobile AI programme is being promoted so as to provide breeding services at the abode of the cows. As a first step, the programme was started in selected centres in each district. A twin container system using BA-35/IX-35 and BA-7/IR-7 is being followed for the programme. A total of 36 centres in the State are provided with the mobile AI cryocans. Efforts are also being made at the conversion of stationery AI centres into mobile centre by providing transport crates suitable to hold BA-7 refrigerators and to be fitted to motorbikes. This programme is being supported under the NPCBB. 107 centres were operational by the end of 2003-04.

Liquid Nitrogen Management

LN Production


The introduction of frozen semen (FS) for AI has made the dissemination of genetic material faster, easier and efficient. Timely availability of LN is one of the pre-requisites for the success of an AI programme and its availability at a reasonable price must be ensured. Almost all the AI programmes in India started with their own LN plants to meet the demand. An alternative would be to depend on industrial sources like fertilizer and gas manufacturing companies. Both the systems have their own merits and demerits. Considering the periodic hike in electricity charges and the cost of spares/services, the Board has fixed up annual contracts with industrial sources in the neigbouring adjoining states for the supply of the material. Only the PCI90 plant at Muvattupuzha and PLN430 at RSB Pudupady are retained by the Board. As on 31.03.2004 only the LN plant at Pudupady was under routine operation.

LN Storage and Transport


The Board started off with small LN storage transport containers - LD 25 from M/s Union Carbide. Later, the TA 26 series containers from IBP Co. were used for LN transport. The major problems with these containers are that they are very heavy when filled with LN and cannot be handled by a person on his own. Their failure and evaporation rates are also high and space occupied is more when compared with that of horizontal tankers. These containers are also not suited for multi-day supply schedules wherein more than 500 lts. of LN have to be carried at a time. Upon switching over from the single day schedule, to the 3 day circular supply schedule, it was noted that the horizontal tankers with a capacity of 500 lt. were very useful. Although several makes and models were tried, initially the HL series of MVE (HL 100G) gave the best results. Later HLP series tankers were introduced and were being used continuously ever since, with satisfactory results. The damages sustained by tankers to HLP500 on transit being very high and considering the cost of replacement involved, the Board introduced TA55 container with automatic LN dispensers for transport of LN to field units as a trial to study the economics and operational convenience in comparison with the distribution system using tankers. This system has now proved to be more efficient and with lesser damages. The refilling of LN in all the AI centres run by the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development, Milk Co-operative etc. is being carried out by the Board. LN is supplied at the door step of the AI centres using mini trucks, hired through an annual contract. The supply schedule for each calendar year is prepared well in advance and communicated to each AI centres so that the transactions could be smooth.

Semen sale


The RSBs collect the semen doses from the bull stations as per requirements from time to time. The bulls used for the AI programme in the state are grouped into 3 families. Related bulls are kept under the same group and when new bulls are added, they are enrolled under the concerned bull families. (predetermined by their parentage) The state is divided into 3 breeding zones for the purpose of bull rotation and one group of bulls is employed under a zone for a period of 3 years and then allotted to next.It could be seen that the procedure helps in the distribution of the genetic materials more or less in an uniform pattern throughout the state, thereby minimising the chances of inbreeding.

The semen doses are utilized mainly by the Department of Animal Husbandry. The Department of Animal Husbandry, which was receiving about 84% of the total doses consumed in the state during 1992-93, still continues to be the major consumer with an equal percentage of intake. Meanwhile, there has been considerable reduction in the number of doses utilized by the Dairy Development Department and a two fold increase in the number of doses consumed by the Co-operatives and private agencies.

The Board regularly maintains a buffer stock of frozen semen to meet the requirements for a period of six months so that any emerging exigency could be met with. Apart from the sale of frozen semen within the state, the Board has also been selling frozen semen to agencies outside the state.

Frozen semen sale outside state

 

Year

Cattle

Buffalo

Total

1993-94

845189

153395

998584

1994-95

951713

145590

1097303

1995-96

686825

760

687585

1996-97

754770

28475

783245

1997-98

726735

67800

794535

1998-99

701075

68985

770060

1999-00

650395

29415

679810

2000-01

731236

30940

762176

2001-02

547192

2000

549192

2002-03

592920

52995

645915

2003-04

142387

7054

149441