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Hindawi International Journal of Zoology Volume 2021, Article ID 9914095, 6 pages https://doi.org/10.1155/2021/9914095 Review Article Challenges and Opportunities on Estrus Synchronization and Mass Artificial Insemination in Dairy Cows for Smallholders in Ethiopia Belete Abebe and Mulugeta Alemayehu Department of Animal Science, Werabe University, P.O. Box 46, Werabe, Ethiopia Correspondence should be addressed to Belete Abebe; email@example.com Received 16 March 2021; Revised 2 May 2021; Accepted 20 May 2021; Published 28 May 2021 Academic Editor: Joao Pedro Barreiros Copyright © 2021 Belete Abebe and Mulugeta Alemayehu. %is is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. In this paper, the potentials and constraints on estrus synchronization (ES) and artiﬁcial insemination (AI) practice for dairy cattle producers were overviewed. Compared to other African countries, Ethiopia has large numbers of dairy cattle population. However, the self-suﬃciency in milk production is not yet attained due to the presence of a lot of limitations that hamper the success of ES and mass AI practice in many parts of the country such as improper selection of cows/heifers, inseminating a large number of cows/heifers in one day at a speciﬁc place (which creates stress for both AI technicians and female animals), absence of a data recording system, lack of clearly deﬁned share of responsibilities among stakeholders, poor communication and col- laboration among stakeholders, lack of motivations and skills of AI technicians, lack of support and readily available inputs, feed shortages, improper heat detection by smallholders and time of insemination, and lower reproductive performances of both indigenous and crossbred cows which consequently contributed to the unsuccessfulness of the technology. reproductive management, and breeding their cows ap- 1. Introduction proximately at the same time . It also requires a good Dairy cattle production plays a key role in socioeconomic management, cows with regular estrous cycles, and a good and cultural value of Ethiopia via generation of income and body condition, and if the service could be undertaken by AI the satisfaction of the people as a source of food . Al- technicians at smallholder’s district, these technologies can though Ethiopia has a high number of cattle populations in work very well . Africa, the self-suﬃciency in milk production is not yet Nevertheless, AI technicians are mainly providing the attained [2, 3]. %is is mainly due to low number of im- services for dairy cows in urban or periurban areas; rather, proved breeds and lower reproductive performances of both little or no AI services are available for the smallholders in rural areas of Ethiopia. %e smallholders usually bring their local and crossbred cows. Despite the past three decades’ cross breeding program exercised in the country, there are cows to AI sites or the district oﬃces to get service; this leads no good sources of breeding stock in our country . to perform poor ﬁeld practice, and it could be associated However, the application of reproductive biotechnology with several factors since the conception rate of the cows/ such as estrus synchronization (ES) and mass artiﬁcial in- heifers is dependent on time of insemination . semination (AI) in dairy cows of smallholders can greatly In spite of the wide application of ES and mass AI, the enhance the rate of desirable characteristics . rate of success in our country is still low [1, 9–17]. Fertility in Although implementation of these technologies requires dairy cows may be expected towards of ES  which is one controlling female animals’ estrus cycle, ES and mass AI of the alternatives for the control and manipulation of re- remain the most prominent technologies available to production . Generally, eﬀectiveness of ES followed by smallholder dairy cattle producers for genetic improvement, mass AI service/practice is below expectation of smallholder 2 International Journal of Zoology farmers in Ethiopia [1, 2, 9–17, 20–31]. %e aim of the paper lack of motivations and skills of AI technicians due to lack of was, therefore, to overview the challenges and opportunities on career training, improper selection of cows/heifers, in- seminating large number cows/heifers in one day by one or on ES and AI practice in dairy cows for smallholders in Ethiopia with the following speciﬁc objectives: two AI technicians, and lack of support and readily available inputs (car or motor bicycle); all these cumulative of factors (i) To outline the opportunities of estrus synchroniza- consequently contributed to the unsuccessfulness of the tion and mass artiﬁcial insemination practice in service [9, 10, 17, 19–24, 33–38]. Also, almost in all areas of dairy cows for smallholders the country, most smallholders must travel with their cows a (ii) To identify the challenges on estrus synchronization long distance to get AI service since AI technicians are and mass artiﬁcial insemination practice in dairy unable to get transport facilities (motor bicycles, fuel, etc.) to cows for smallholders go to each smallholder’s site having scattered cattle pop- ulation over a large area [5, 8, 27, 31, 39–45]. However, AI is 2. Opportunities for Estrus Synchronization known to be a time-dependent activity, while such a long and Mass Artificial Insemination Practice in journey/waiting time leads to past the correct heat period before the service have been delivered . Dairy Cows for Smallholders %e existence of synthetic hormones for ES, veterinary 3.1. Competence of Artiﬁcial Insemination Technicians. service and experts, availability of large dairy cattle pop- Most of the time, there has been a tendency to ignore AI ulation, interest of smallholders, and high demands for milk technician’s related factors, but it can dramatically aﬀect the were among the opportunities that were mentioned by many successfulness of ES and mass AI practice in dairy cattle . smallholders of dairy cows in Ethiopia [2, 25–29]. An AI technician who is not well trained is not able to examine the cervix, uterus, and ovaries correctly; this leads 3. Challenges on Estrus Synchronization and to a serious practical challenge to the success of ES and mass Mass Artificial Insemination Practice in Dairy AI program for smallholders . Cows for Smallholders Similarly, Gebremedhin  described that the site of semen deposition has been an important factor in the Many researchers such as Bainesagn , Gizawu and Dima success of AI in dairy cattle. %e deposition of semen in the , Belete et al. , and Fekata et al.  explained that uterine body resulted in a 10% higher nonreturn rate than common challenges linked to ES and mass AI practice for did cervical deposition and an increase in the conception smallholders in Ethiopia are the competence of AI techni- rate . Insemination into the cervix produces a lower cians, the knowledge of farmers on heat detection and time fertilization rate, while insemination deeper into the uterus of insemination, management systems of dairy herds, types has the risks of either inseminating into the uterine horn of breeds, absence of AI technician, and distance of AI contralateral to the ovulation site or scaring the endome- center, even if there was diﬀerence in the magnitude of each trium with the tip of the insemination catheter. Reduced problem. Similarly, Mekonene et al.  noted that re- fertility is the consequence of both latter two errors [37, 48]. productive eﬃciency is poor in most smallholder dairy cattle %ese researchers also noted that failure to understand the production systems, which leads to cows failing to become anatomical and functional relationships among the various pregnant with various factors including management tissues and organs of the reproductive system may lead to problems, nutrition, and semen handling practice. In ad- consistent insemination errors. Regarding the depth and dition, Shiferaw et al.  reported that there are many time of insemination, Arthur  and Morell  recom- factors which aﬀect the duration of the estrus cycle in dairy mend that very deep insemination can enhance sperm de- cows such as age, breed, and body weight, level of nutrition, livery. Morrell  also explained hygiene, thawing season of the year, hormonal imbalance, lactation, suckling, methods, and temperature maintenance between thawing to and level of milk production. insemination do play a role in achieving pregnancy. How- On the other hand, Gebremedhin  and Fekata et al. ever, lack of motivations and skills of AI technicians due to  explained that, in the appropriate season of breeding, the shortage of on-site training and poor collaboration having less feed and water access (i.e., January, February, and among stakeholders might be one the challenges for success March), silent heat, poor management, lack of awareness of of ES and mass AI practice in dairy cows for smallholders in smallholders, poor body condition of dairy cows selected for the country [20, 40]. ES and mass AI program, distance of the AI center from the dairy farmers, and limited number of AI technicians assigned at each district are the major challenges on ES and 3.2. Lack of AI Inputs and Semen Handling Practice. mass AI practice in dairy cows for smallholders. Proper handling, placement, and evaluation of the postthaw In general, the most challenging factors for the success of of semen is necessary to enhance the rate of fertilization and ES and mass AI service delivery in dairy cows for small- embryo quality  since fertility of frozen thawed semen is poorer than that of fresh semen [3, 37]. Conversely, a lot of holders in Ethiopia are the absence of a data recording system, lack of clearly deﬁned share of responsibilities researchers conﬁrmed that there were improper handling and thawing of semen, lack of diﬀerent AI inputs such as among stakeholders, poor communication and collabora- tion among stakeholders from the kebele to national level, liquid nitrogen container, and semen were not accessible on International Journal of Zoology 3 afternoon of the same day, whilst a cow that is ﬁrst seen in time [1–3, 5–8, 10–18, 25–33, 39–62]. %ese can be one of the most hindering factors for successful ES and mass AI estrus in the afternoon is inseminated early the next day . Frequently, where large numbers of cows are inseminated at practice in smallholder dairy cow producers of Ethiopia. the incorrect time, the estrus detection rate is poor, thus generally reﬂecting a poor standard of herd management. In 3.3. Management of Dairy Herds. Haugan et al.  noted such circumstances, some of the methods described above that nutritional management and shelter among others play should be used to improve the estrus detection rate in the key roles in dairy cows for successful pregnancy. However, herd . seasonal ﬂuctuation in tropics (such as Ethiopia) has a negative inﬂuence on the availability of feeds which is linked 4. Smallholders’ Perception on Estrus to high number of services per conception, late age at ﬁrst Synchronization and Mass Artificial calving and ﬁrst service, and longer calving interval . In addition, Mebrate et al.  explained that feed shortage in Insemination Practice terms of quality and quantity is the major challenge in Solomon et al.  noted that, in the highland, regional smallholder dairy producers in Ethiopia. In the same way, states showed that smallholder’s breeding methods have Ulﬁna et al.  also expressed that both roughage and signiﬁcantly shifted to AI, where this service is accessible. concentrate feeds are either too expensive or unavailable in %ey also expressed willingness to pay for AI service. suﬃcient quantity and quality to improve smallholder dairy However, Desalegne et al.  reported that availability, production. In addition, inadequate supply of quality feed regularity, and eﬃciency of the ES and mass AI practice are and low productivity of the indigenous cattle breeds are the below expectation of smallholders and AI service eﬃciency major factors limiting smallholder dairy cow productivity in as low as 27% and low conception rates . On the other the country [14, 20]. As a result, eﬃciency of ES followed by hand, Riyad et al. , Alemayehu et al. , and Fekata AI service is below expectation of smallholders in Ethiopia. et al.  explained that a majority of smallholders having an access for the technology had low perception towards 3.4. Heat Detection and Time of Insemination. Iftikhar et al. synchronization and mass AI since their thoughts were  mentioned that heat detection is one of the major highly determined by the calf born achieved rather than by factors that determine AI practice in smallholders. Heat the rate of response to hormone treatment. Also, Gebre- detection in cows is carried out by experienced herd persons/ medhin  and Bainesagn  described that smallholders inseminators who can identify those animals which would be had low perception towards synchronization and mass AI in in standing heat while being mounted by other female cows Tigray and Oromia regional states, respectively. %is might or vasectomized bulls, since the period is the shortest period be due to wrong procedures used in the campaign and false between two successive estrus cycles. Similarly, Arthur report without doing necessary conditions at grass root level [37, 61] stated that the expression of heat can be inﬂuenced . In addition, Solomon et al.  found that some of the by many factors such as heritability and number of days smallholders seek insemination of their cows in the same postpartum; lactation number, milk production, and health morning the heat signs were observed. Similarly, when heat are known to inﬂuence estrus expression. signs were detected in the afternoon, some others seek AI %e majority type’s dairy herds reared in many parts of service in the same afternoon. %is could indicate lack of the country are indigenous breeds having lower reproduc- awareness among farmers as the right time for eﬀective AI tive performances [22, 35]. Galina et al.  and Barros et al. would be within 8 to 14 hours after standing heat is man-  mentioned that zebu cattle have a shorter (10.7–11.6 hr) ifested. %is is because ovulation occurs 10 to 14 h after the standing heat period and less intense estrus period cessation of behavioral signs of estrus . (10–15 hrs) which occurs later relative to the estrogen As a result of dissatisfaction with delivery of ES and mass stimulus than in taurine cattle. Also, they have low fertility; AI service having low conception rates, 60.6% of the re- this might be due to poor heat detection, poor signs of estrus, spondents preferred to use natural mating rather than AI and irregularity of the estrous cycle . Chaundhari and . Samuel  identiﬁed that heat detection problem and Sabo  addressed that, up to 15% of the cattle presented distance to the AI center were the main reasons for failure of for insemination are really not in heat; this leads to loss of the AI service smallholders of dairy cows in Amhara regional cost to the owners. Usually, detection of heat is known to be state, Ethiopia. On the contrary, most of the smallholders one of the most diﬃcult tasks for successful AI activities . surveyed in Tigray, Ethiopia, were satisﬁed with the current Most of smallholders found in many parts of Ethiopia were AI service . As listed above, we can simplify that the not able to detect the actual heat period of their dairy cows majority of smallholder dairy cow producers’ satisfaction [35, 63]. %is can be the causes of the failure of the ES and with the current ES and AI service is low in Ethiopia. mass AI services. Consequently, ES and mass AI practice in smallholders of the country is less successful as compared to 5. Conclusions many other countries [21, 55]. ES and correct time of mass AI depend on accurate early %e existence of synthetic hormones for ES, interest of heat identiﬁcation of individual animal and informing the smallholders to accept technology, and high demands for inseminator at the correct time . A cow that is ﬁrst seen milk production were among the opportunities of the in estrus in the morning is usually inseminated in the technology in Ethiopia. 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International Journal of Zoology – Hindawi Publishing Corporation
Published: May 28, 2021
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