The key edge of using Embryo Transfer (ET) technology in Cattle is that it multiplies the success of breeding from elite females by reproducing more offspring. Clearly, ET can increase cow’s reproductive efficiency, allowing it to have numerous calves per year instead of usual 6-7 calves within its lifetime.
More specifically, the technology of Embryo Transfer (ET) is a tool to accelerate genetic improvement of desired traits. The traits attained through embryo transfer are higher milk yield, higher percentage of protein and fat, enhanced longevity and improved body structure as desired. Studies found that the rate of genetic progress using ET technology is consistently higher throughout generations than artificial insemination. As a result, commercialization of Embryo Transfer method is happening in many countries around the world including India. A case in point is “Lucy’’, a heifer born through ET at a dairy farm in Nashik, India. Lucy has a potential milk production capacity of 10,615 Kg in 305 days and the average yield is expected to be 34.8L/day.
Unlike most other breeding programs, the ET method can ensure high genetic potential pregnant heifers, females sexed embryos as well as champion bulls. Subsequently, increased milk production and higher efficiency due to more milk from fewer cows can steer dairy enterprises towards enhanced profitability. Besides, Female-Gender-Selection capability enables radically improved dairy herd management. On the other hand, disease-risk involved in hosting heifers from other farms is eliminated. Most importantly, the technology enables dairy farmers to acquire new herds of champion milk-producing cows within only 32 months, bypassing the decades-long breeding programs.
Dr. F H Ansarey
Managing Director & CEO