Pros and Cons of Artificial Insemination as a method of breeding dairy cows in Kenya
Artificial Insemination popularly referred to as AI is one of the breeding methods that has contributed to the development of the dairy sector in the last sixty years in Kenya and also worldwide. The process of artificial insemination starts with a healthy bull, that is disease free and producing ample quantities of high quality semen.
The fertility of the cow is also important, the competency of the inseminator and a clean environment. Farmers are encouraged to use semen from proven bulls which is obtained from AI centres and registered service providers.
Benefits of Artificial Insemination
- Prevention of venereal diseases
- Indefinite preservation of genetic materials of low cost enabling wide testing and selection of bulls
- Enhances genetic progress as best bulls are used widely nationally and internationally
- Small scale farmers through AI can access good bulls cheaply
- One is able to select the bull of interest
- When handled properly, there is no chance of spread of breeding
- It is easy to control inbreeding
- A. I. is the best method of improving the genetic make-up of local breeds because it enables semen from the very best bulls to be widely available.
- It is cost effective since the farmer does not have to rear a bull.
Disadvantages of A.I.
- It requires very accurate heat detection and proper timing of insemination for greater chances of conception
- The inseminator must be trained on the technique
- It requires high investment in equipments
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