CATTLE BREEDING IN INDIA
In India farmers depend largely on bullocks for ploughing, irrigation and carting. Hence India needs a good number of efficient bullocks. Droppings from cattle constitute the most important source of manure for the soil for maintaining its fertility. India is an important supplier of animal skin to the international market. Horns,hoofs and bones are utilized in industries. Bone-meal is used as mineral supplement in cattle and poultry feeds.
In the villages desirable bulls are selected on the basis of draughtability and permitted to graze with the cows to bring about random animal breeding. Bulls not selected for breeding are castrated when young and converted to bullocks. They are the main source of animal draught power in India.
About 10-60 per cent cows are artificially inseminated by semen collected from high quality bulls. Artificial insemination ensures good quality progeny and is-also economical as semen from a single bull can inseminate several thousand cows.
An average cow or buffalo produces 8 - 10 calves during its productive life time. Generally only one ovum is fertilised at a time. Selective breeding,progenytesting and improvement take longer time in the livestock than in annual food crops. Majority of Indian cattle have been on marginal inputs and are infertile and poor milk yielders. Research on the cause of infertility led to the use of pregnant mare serum gonadotropin, to increase fertility. Stilbesterol tablets are implanted to induce lactation in sterile cows and immature females
To increase the milk yield, Indian cows are cross-bred with European breeds like Holstein, Brown Swiss, Jersey, Red Dane and others. The Karanswiss and Sunandini are the breeds developed through cross breeding at the National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, and in Kerala, respectively.
Super ovulation and Embryo Transplantation
It is a kind of animal breeding method in wich A pedigreed bull and a high production cows are chosen to produce super milch cows. Super ovulation is induced by hormone injection. After artificial insemination, 4-10 embryos are collected at a time. Each embryo is then transplanted into a “carrier” cow (surrogate mother). Such embryo transplants can also be carried out in sheep, goats and other livestock. By deep freezing (—1 96°Cy it is posibIe to preserve seven days old foetuses for several years to be used when needed. An embryo can be cut into two, to obtain homo zygotic twins. The most beneficial outcome of embryo transplantation is the selection of high quality bulls for genetic upgrading.
Breeds of cattle
There are over 24 major breeds of cattle and 6 breeds of buffaloes in India. These can either adapt themselves to local conditions or conditions throughout the country. The quality of the cattle, in general, depends on the environmental conditions, especially on rainfall, temperature and humidity Indian cattle are found to do well in dry areas whereas they tend to be small in areas of heavy rainfall such as the coastal and hilly regions of the country. The important breeds of Indian cattle's for different purposes are as follows:
1. Much breeds: Eq - Gir, Deoni, Sahiwal, Red Sindhi etc.
2. Draught breeds: Eg- Malvi, Nageri, Hallikar, Kangayam etc.
Buffaloes are better than cows because they are more resistant to diseases, give more milk and live longer. Their milk yielding capacity is three times more than cows. Buffalo’s milk is also superior to cow’s milk in fat content and minerals. The number of buffaloes in India is about one third of the cows.