Ethiopia maintains an extensive livestock population, however reproductive performance of cattle and their breeding management are unsatisfactory. Currently, the sole diagnostic tool in the country is rectal palpation, which is inaccurate for early pregnancy, and causes embryonic and fetal loss. This study assessed major reproductive problems using questionnaire survey, and trialled simple, cost-effective alternative monitoring approaches using on-farm diagnostic tools to determine milk and serum progesterone and evaluate reproductive status. 177 dairy farms (range 1–115 cattle per farm) were included in the questionnaire survey. Of these, 47 participated in the on-farm diagnostic trial, and reproductive status of 319 crossbred (Holstein Friesian X Zebu) dairy cattle was assessed. Progesterone was measured by qualitative (Target P4) and Dip-stick (P4 Rapid) ELISA tests. Questionnaires indicated anestrus (37.8%), repeat-breeder (21.0%), dystocia (11.6%), retained fetal membranes (11.5%), endometritis (6.6%) and abortion (6.4%) as the major reproductive problems in the area. Together, progesterone ELISA and rectal palpation indicated in-heat 10 (3.1%), anestrus 77 (24.2%), repeat-breeder (follicular cyst) 9 (2.8%), normally cycling 69 (21.6%) and pregnant 154 (48.3%). Of 118 animals reported by farmers (questionnaire) as anestrus, only 72 (61.0%) had true anestrus (P<0.05) while the remaining 1 (0.9%), 39 (33.0%) and 6 (5.1) were repeat-breeder, normally cycling and pregnant, respectively. Of 171 animals reported by farmers as pregnant, the progesterone test showed 4 (2.3%) anestrus, 1 (0.6%) repeat breeder, 19 (11.1%) normally cycling and 147 (86%) pregnant. Target P4 ELISA and Dipstick are equally effective methods to assess reproductive status. Application of these tests by veterinarians, artificial insemination (AI) technicians and low-income smallholder farmers offers practical means to monitor reproductive status in cattle and improve breeding management to the benefit of the sector.
|Publication status||Published - 20 Jul 2015|
|Event||Society for Reproduction and Fertility Annual Conference 2015 - Oxford, United Kingdom|
Duration: 20 Jul 2015 → 22 Jul 2015
|Conference||Society for Reproduction and Fertility Annual Conference 2015|
|Period||20/07/15 → 22/07/15|
- Breeding, Cattle, Dipstick, Mekelle, Reproductive problems, Target P4 ELISA