PRODUCTION AND MAINTENANCE OF SUPERIOR GERMPLASM DISSEMINATION OF NILI RAVI BULLS
Murrah and Nili-Ravi bulls of high genetic potential are bred at the Institute and its Sub Campus, Nabha. Young bull calves are selected on the basis of dam's milk yield and reared under intensive management system. The production potential of bulls is evaluated through progeny testing. The Institute has so far sold more than 415 Murrah bulls and 226 Nili-Ravi bulls of high genetic merit to village Panchayats and developmental agencies. These are expected to contribute towards overall improvement.
IMPROVED PROTOCOL FOR FREEZING OF BUFFALO SEMEN
A simple, reliable and economical method for freezing of buffalo semen has been developed. The improved procedure has been shown to be effective even to freeze the static ejaculates successfully a phenomenon specific to buffaloes which greatly reduces the efficiency of utilization of buffalo semen for artificial insemination.
EMBRYO TRANSFER TECHNOLOGY FOR BUFFALOES
Efforts have been made in developing and improving the embryo transfer technology for buffaloes which has resulted in the production of 16 calves at this Institute. Technology for large scale production of in-vitro matured and in-vitro fertilized embryos using slaughter house ovaries has been developed. Future projections include production of calves out of IVM/IVF embryos and embryo micromanipulation. The embryo cryopreservation technique has also been standardized.
TECHNIQUE FOR IN-VITRO MATURATION AND FERTILIZATION OF BUFFALO OOCYTES
For rapid multiplication of superior female germplasm in buffaloes, the technique of in-vitro fertilization has the potential. This technique has been standardized for in-vitro maturation of oocytes obtained from abattoir ovaries followed by their in-vitro fertilization and culture of the resulting embryos to transferable stage. The technique will be of immense use for faster multiplication of elite germplasm and progeny testing of bulls after collecting oocytes from live animals.
SEXING OF IVF PRODUCED BUBALINE EMBRYOS USING PCR METHOD
Sexing of in-vitro produced embryos was successfully done with PCR technique using bovine primers. Micromanipulation of the embryos was done for obtaining biopsy for sexing.
APPLICATION OF ULTRASONOGRAPHY FOR DIAGNOSIS AND MONITORING OF OVARIAN ACTIVITY
The non-invasive technique of ultrasonographic scanning was used for diagnosis of ovarian activity in pre-pubertal heifers, peripubertal heifers and parous buffaloes. The technique is very useful for detecting follicular dynamics and luteal structures in ovaries.With the use of this technique, time of ovulation following estrus induction and synchronization therapy can be predicted very precisely to allow fixed time insemination without the need for estrus detection. This resulted in high fertility at induced estrus in anoestrus buffaloes and buffalo heifers. The technique proved very useful in modifying the conventional treatment protocols according to the pre-treatment ovarian picture for obtaining maximum success rates for induction of estrus.
SONOGRAPHY TECHNIQUE FOR EARLY PREGNANCY DIAGNOSIS AND FETAL SEX DETERMINATION IN BUFFALOES
Sonographic technique was used for confirmatory diagnosis of pregnancy in buffaloes as early as 25 days post-insemination. Furthermore, fetal sex determination was made at day 55 postinsemination based on the location of the genital tubercle.
ESTIMATION OF GESTATIONAL AGE IN BUFFALO
By ultrasonography fetal age can also be assessed accurately that is useful in better management of pregnant buffalo at the time of calving. The length of gestation in buffalo can be estimated by the following standard chart that is plotted for crownrump length of buffalo fetus on different days postinsemination. When this plot was used for determining the age of fetus in pregnant buffaloes of unknown mating, the exact date of mating (±2 days) could be predicted using this chart.
OVSYNCH PLUS PROTOCOL FOR OESTRUS INDUCTION IN BUFFALOES
Anestrus, either in pubertal heifers or in postpartum buffaloes, is the primary cause for low reproductive output of buffaloes. Anestrus is the state of ovarian acyclicity, reflected by complete absence of sexual activity, with no manifestation of estrus signs. The condition is associated with the presence of static ovaries, and though follicular development may occur, none of the ovarian follicles becomes mature enough to ovulate. In anestrus animals, dominant follicles (DF) underwent atresia instead of ovulations, possibly due to inadequacy of preovulatory LH surge. Analysis of ovarian response of anestrus buffaloes to 'Ovsynch' protocol revealed that only the buffaloes with a large DF (>9mm) at the time of first GnRH injection respond well to this treatment.However, such an accurate assessment of follicular size is difficult under field conditions with routine per-rectal palpation. Hence, to ensure consistently similar ovarian follicular picture of all anestrus buffaloes at the time of first GnRH injection, we developed a new protocol and named it 'Ovsynch Plus'. In this protocol, an injection of PMSG is administered 72 h prior to first GnRH injection of Ovsynch treatment, in order to support ovarian follicular development so that at least one large follicle is available 72 h later for responding to the first GnRH injection with ovulation/ luteinization. Resulting luteal structure in the ovary is subjected to luteolysis by PGF given 7 days later. Further PGF 2 administration of GnRH ensures synchronous ovulations of preovulatory follicles to allow fixed time insemination of treated animals.
INDUCTION OF LACTATION IN INFERTILE BUFFALOES
Farmers rear the dairy animal for milk production and livelihood are commonly facing the problems of conception failure, long calving interval, anoestrous, cystic ovaries, non specific abortions and repeat breeding. They can benefit from the technique by inducing such animals into lactation and reduce herd culling losses and replacement costs by this therapy. The buffalo is weighed and appropriate dose of hormones, Estradiol-17β and progesterone (Sigma Chemicals Company, USA), each @0.1mg/ kg body weight / day is calculated for seven days therapy. The hormones are dissolved in 7 ml absolute ethanol each and stored in separate tubes. On the day of treatment, 1 ml of each hormone solution is mixed together and 1ml of this mixture is administered in the morning and evening at an interval of 12 hours subcutaneously. Site of injection is kept alternating from left to right side in the prescapular region. The injection schedule is repeated for seven consecutive days. Thereafter, on day 17, 19 and 21 of treatment, 10 ml Largectil injection and on day 16, 18 and 20, injection of 20 mg of Dexamethasone are also given intramuscularly. From 15th day onwards upto 21st day of the start of treatment, udder massage is given for fifteen minutes each in the morning and evening daily to simulate milk let-down. This practice is followed till the udder is turgid with milk, which is usually around 21st day of treatment, when milking is started. The milk becomes normal in physical and chemical properties within 10 – 15 days of start of milking and the amount of milk yield increases with time. Almost 60-75 percent of the buffalo’s milk yield potential can be achieved following induced lactation.
COLOSTRUM FEEDING FOR HIGHER GROWTH AND BETTER CALF SURVIVABILITY
Higher levels of absorbed immunoglobulins within 16 h of birth reduce the mortality in calves and result in faster growth rate by 20-22%. High titre of circulating immunoglobulins in calves at an early age of 24 h showed the association with weight gain upto the age of 2 years. Status of immunoglobulin levels at such an early age could also predict the health status of calves. A critical level of these blood proteins required for the survival of calves has been assessed.
TECHNOLOGY FOR IMPROVING THE NUTRITIVE VALUE OF POOR QUALITY STRAWS
The nutritive value of low-grade roughages and straws available in the country can be improved if these straws are given 4% urea treatment at 35% DM and 65% moisture and are ensiled / stacked for a minimum period of 30 days. These can become a complete maintenance ration when fed ad-lib alongwith 3-5 kg green fodder, 50 g mineral mixtureand salt each to the adult buffaloes. Protein content of straw is raised from 3.0 to 7.0 % and energy content in terms of TDN (Total Digestible Nutrients) is raised from 40 to 50%. The technique involves : 4 kg urea dissolve it in 200 liters of water and spray it on one quintal of wheat straw and mix it thoroughly just like Sanni is prepared by the farmers. In this way urea treated straw can be ensiled for 30 days. Open the pit after 40 days or stack after 10 days and straw is ready for feeding to adult animals. By feeding ammoniated wheat straw ad-lib + green berseem ad-lib + 1.5-2.0 kg available grinded cereals like wheat/barley/maize, a body weight gain of 500-600g/h/d can be obtained in growing buffalo calves (6-12 months) and this technology can easily be adopted by the farmers.
CONSERVATION OF GREEN FORAGES AS HAY OR SILAGE
The commonly grown fodders in India are legumes like berseem, lucerne or cowpea and non-legumes i.e. maize, bajra (pearl-millet), sorghum, oats, barley, guinea grass, rye grass, napier grass etc. Legumes are recommended for hay making, whereas, nonlegumes are preferred for silage making.
The available legume crops have sufficient protein content and they can be conserved by drying carefully into good quality hay which can replace the costly concentrate mixture in the growing and lactating buffaloes. The main legume crop is the berseem, which is surplus with the farmers in the month of March and April particularly in Northern India.
Silage is generally prepared by wilting non-legume forage crops in the field and then chaffing (if required) the material at 35% DM. The fodder is pressed thoroughly and covered properly to create anaerobic environment. The silage is ready after 40 days and has the same nutritive value as the green crop.
Uromol is a compound prepared by heating urea and molasses in the ratio of 1:3 and then mixing it with equal amount of wheat bran/deoiled rice bran. Four kg urea along with 12 kg molasses is slowly heated in a container for 30 minutes. Then equal amount (16 kg) of wheat bran or deoiled rice bran is mixed in it and the mixture is cooled to room temperature. This material contains 36% DCP and 72% TDN and can replace conventional compound feeds in the ration of buffaloes yielding 8-10 litres milk/day.
UREA MOLASSES MINERAL BLOCKS (UMMB)
Urea molasses mineral blocks are prepared in the same way as Uromol, except with the addition of mineral mixture, salt and binder. By ad-lib feeding these blocks along with other feed ingredients, about 20% of the conventional concentrate mixture can be saved. UMMB prepared by the 'cold process' technology has yielded even better results. AREA SPECIFIC MINERAL MIXTURE Surveys of feeding practices carried out in the villages of Hisar district revealed deficiencies of essential minerals like calcium, phosphorus, zinc and manganese in 70% buffaloes. These buffaloes were given specially developed mineral mixture in their ration. Seventy per cent of the buffaloes conceived within a period of 2-4 weeks after feeding area specific mineral mixture.
SUPERIOR ISOLATES OF ANAEROBIC FUNGUS
Superior isolates of anaerobic fungus isolated and evaluated for ability to increase in vitro digestibility of straw by buffalo rumen micro flora when added to buffalo rumen liquor.Such isolates have potential for use as feed additives