Although you might not know this, embryo transfer technology in Kenya has been developing and evolving over the years. Thanks to this technology, cows can now produce close to or over 10 calves a year.
The technology uses multiple ovulation and embryo transfers. However, despite its benefits, it is not as developed in the country as it is in the agricultural world. This is due to the high costs and lack of ready availability of the technology to many farmers.
In fact, only big farms and a couple of individuals in the country can easily afford embryo transfer technology. However, due to an increase in demand and more farmers looking to improve the productivity of their animal husbandry, the technology might soon be commonplace.
Understanding Embryo Transfer Technology
At its most basic, this technology involves techniques in which the fertilized embryo of donor females is transferred to other females. The recipient thereafter carries the embryo all through to the end of the pregnancy. All cattle breeds can be used as surrogates. This allows farmers to use poor quality breeds to create higher quality livestock.
Embryo transfer technology is easy to understand. First, the donor is prepared and placed under anesthesia. The perineum is then cleaned and scrubbed using an antiseptic solution before the transfer begins.
There are two main methods of embryo collection involved: surgical and non-surgical. For surgical collections, the vet will flush a suitable medium through the oviduct and into the upper part of the uterus using a blunt needle and a syringe. These flushings are thereafter collected in a small glass tube through insertion into the uterine lumen.
In non-surgical collections, the vet will use a cervical dilator to dilate the cervix and allow for the manual insertion of a catheter into the uterus. The uterine horn is thereafter irrigated using a suitable flushing media. The horn is then sealed off using a plastic balloon, and vets flush embryos out using culture media before collecting them in Petri dishes.
Embryo transfer technology in Kenya is effective when done correctly. Farmers who use the resulting embryos are required to prepare the surrogate cows for implantation. The surrogates ought to be sexually mature or regular good breeders and free of genital tract infection.
In case the surrogate recently gave birth, the farmer should give it an allowance of 90 days after the post partum period. Similarly, the recipient should be recycling optimally, with relatively low fat content, and in great physical shape.
Every super-ovulation yields an average of 3 to 4 calves. Additionally, you can induce the cow to super-ovulate between 4 and 5 times a year. This means that cows can give birth to about 10 calves in a single year.
Overall, embryo transfer technology in Kenya is one of the best ways to increase stock size and improve productivity in your flock. Although it is still expensive (ranging in cost from KES 25000 to 30000), the technology is the right solution for complementing existing breeding efforts and practices, as well as for providing additional incentives and incomes to farmers.