Himachal records birth of first sexed semen calf
Himachal Pradesh on Monday achieved a rare feat as the state recorded the first female calf birth using the sexed semen (gender selected) technique.
The birth has been reported by Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Agriculture (HPAU), Palampur. The HPAU introduced the technique in April last year after.
The university authorities have named the calf ‘Ambika’.The HPAU had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Genus ABS India Private Limited, Pune, on the use of sexed semen for genetic gain in cattle.
HPAU vice-chancellor while congratulating the veterinary scientists said that the experiment to produce female calves using sexed semen technique has been successful as a Sahiwal breed cow has delivered a healthy female calf.
Now onwards, the farmers of Himachal Pradesh engaged in cattle rearing and dairy farming could rely on technology to produce only female calves from their cows, said Prof Chaudhary.
The new research project has proved its immense value in genetic up-gradation of the exotic as well as indigenous breed of cattle being reared in Himachal, said Prof Chaudhary adding that the new technology will also help curb the stray cattle menace.
The vice-chancellor said that rapid farm mechanisation has undermined the utility of bulls hence male calves are discarded after birth. They either die or end up abandoned and add to the stray cattle menace.
“It was a very unique project scientifically as it has started giving results about important parameters like milk production and genetic potential in the progeny. As the sex of calves is selected at the time of Artificial Insemination,” he said.
At present, 74 Jersey and Sahiwal cattle are in the advanced stage of pregnancy and all these were artificially inseminated with sexed semen received from ABS India Private Limited, Pune.