Genetic Improvement In Animals

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Genetic Improvement In Animals

Genetic Improvement In Animals

The application of laws of animal health and reproduction genetics has contributed towards increase in milk, egg and meat productivity. The increase in egg production brought about the silver revolution in the area of animal husbandry. The methods being widely used are artificial insemination and embryo transplant.

(i) Artificial insemination

Artificial insemination involves collection of semen from a healthy bull of the desired breed, its storage at low temperatures and introduction into the females of cattle of other breeds for bringing about fertilisation using sterilised (germ free) equipment. Advantages of this method are: (a) Up to 3000 females can be fertilised from semen collected from one bull. (b) The semen can be stored for a long period and transported over long distances. (c) Economical and high success rates of fertilisation.

(ii) Embryo transplant

This method of breed improvement has been quite successful in sheep and goat. In this method, embryos (depending on their period of development) from superior breeds are removed during the early stages of pregnancy and are transferred to the other female with inferior characters, in whose body the gestation period is completed. By this technique, quality and productivity in the livestock can be improved. Unlike artificial insemination, this method has low success rate due to greater chances of contamination.

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