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Vol. 8(1), pp. 1-4, January 2017
Article Number: BAB187562441
Author(s) retain the copyright of this article
International Journal of Livestock
Full Length Research Paper
Evaluation of oestrus synchronization and mass
artificial insemination service of dairy cattle in Mizan
Aman area, Bench Maji zone, South West Ethiopia
Tegegn Fantahun* and Zelalem Admasu
Department of Animal Science, Mizan-Tepi University, P. O. Box 260, Mizan-Teferi, Ethiopia.
Received 7 September, 2016; Accepted 22 December, 2016
The objectives of this study were to assess the hormonal response, conception rate, calving rate and
perception of farmers towards the technology. From 220 cows and heifers brought by farmers for the
services, 65% (143) that fulfilled the selection criteria were selected and injected with 2 ml of
Cloprostenol. Data on the history of each heifers and cows, number of heifers and cows responsive to
hormonal treatment, conception and calving rates were collected. The collected data were analyzed
using descriptive statistics. The results of the finding showed that 91(63.64%) of cows and heifers were
responsive to hormonal treatment. Majority 81(89.01%) of responding cows and heifers were
inseminated. Finally, 11(13.58%) of calves were delivered. Oestrus response rate was relatively high,
but conception rates and calving rates were very low. The lower percentages of conception rate which
was observed in this study were associated with heat detection problems of farmers, distance from
artificial insemination (AI) service centers, timing of insemination and poor husbandry practice of
heifers and cows. To improve the effectiveness of the technology, there is a great need of skilled and
experienced technician, and capacity building of farmers in heat detection and husbandry practices.
Improvements in facilities and management should be necessary before implementing effective estrous
synchronization and mass artificial insemination program.
Key words: Cloprostenol, cow/heifer, artificial insemination, oestrus synchronization.
Livestock systems in developing countries are
characterized by rapid change (Delgado et al., 1999;
Thornton et al., 2007) and currently contributes about
30% of agricultural gross domestic product, with a
projected increase to about 40% by 2030 (FAO, 2010).
The Ethiopian cattle population is estimated to be about
53.4 million, of which 55.2% are females. Out of total
cattle population, 99.26, 0.64 and 0.1 percent are local,
hybrid and exotic breeds, respectively (CSA, 2011). With
an average lactation length of 6 months and an average
*Corresponding author. E-mail: t firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author( s) agree that this article remain permanently open access under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution
License 4.0 Internati onal License
2 Int. J. Livest. Prod.
daily milk production of 1.85 liters per cow, the total milk
produced during the year 2010/11 was recorded to be
4.06 billion liters (CSA, 2011). Due to productivity of
indigenous cattle, the country is still importing a
significant amount of dairy products (Zijlstra et al., 2015).
Cattle breeding are mostly uncontrolled in Ethiopia
making genetic improvement difficult (Azage et al., 1995).
The total number of exotic and hybrid female cattle
produced through the crossbreeding programme for
decades in the country is quite insignificant indicating
unsuccessful crossbreeding through artificial insemination
(AI) (CSA, 2011; Desalegn, 2008; Sinishaw, 2004). Low
pregnancy rate following artificial insemination in most
African countries is attributed to poor semen quality, poor
semen handling procedure, inadequate insemination skill,
poor estrus detection and wrong time of insemination
(Azage et al., 1995). The use of artificial insemination in
Ethiopia is growing but oestrus detection is difficult owing
to poorly expressed estrus of Zebu breeds (Mugerwa and
Azage, 1991). To improve efficiency of artificial
insemination practice in Ethiopia, hormonal
synchronization of oestrus have been available for the
past few years and have enjoyed success as a tool to
make artificial insemination more practical(Azage et al.,
2012; Gizaw et al., 2016). However, farmers expressed
low satisfaction with the service, although evaluation of
the technology by farmers is confounded with low
conception rates (Gizaw et al., 2016).
In Ethiopia, attempts to improve the productivity of
cattle have been made especially in the area of
crossbreeding for the last decades but with little success
(Aynalem, 2006). Hormonal oestrus synchronization
could be used for increasing the probability of oestrus
detection, much calving with feed availability and market
demand for dairy products and increase pregnancy rates
of dairy cattle (Azage et al., 2012; Lucy et al., 2004).
There are different types of protocols available for
synchronizing oestrus in cattle (Gizaw et al., 2016). In
the study area, single injection of Cloprostenol followed
by heat detection and artificial insemination protocol was
used. It is important to evaluate the success and failure of
the hormonal oestrus synchronization and mass artificial
insemination programme so as to provide appropriate
solutions in the future. Therefore, this research was
conducted having as objectives to identify the hormonal
response rate, conception rate and calving rate of cows
and heifers and to assess the perception of farmers
related with the service.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Description of the study area
The study was conducted in Mizan Aman area which is situated in
Bench Maji Zone south w estern part of Ethiopia. It is located at 585
km south west of Addis Ababa the capital of Ethiopia. Regarding
the agro-Ecology of the zone, out of the total land size 28.042% is
lowland, 15.44% midland and 56.74% highland. The annual mean
temperature ranges between 15.1 and 27°C and the annual mean
rain fall ranges from 400 to 2000 mm (BMZFED, 2012).
Selection of experimental animals
From the Mizan Aman area, three sites (Addis Ketema, Kometa and
Aman) were selected based on proximity to animal handling crush
and cattle population. Out of 220 cow s and heifers brought to the
three sites, only 143(65%) (55 from Addis Ketema, 66 from Kometa
and 22 from Aman) w ere selected. Among selected cows and
heifers, 137(95.8%) were Zebu, 4(2.8%) were Sheko and 2(1.4%)
were Cross breed. The average body w eight of cow s/heifer was
208.4 kg (range from 180 to 308). The average age of cow s and
heifer w as 6.36 years range from 4 to 9 years.
The females which were diagnosed to be cycling w ith presence
of a functional CL w as determined through rectal palpation by AI
technician w ere injected (2 ml) PGF2α (Synchromate, Bremer
Pharma GMBH, Germany, 1 ml solution of Synchromate contains
cloprostenol 0.263 mg equal to cloprostenol 0.250 mg)
intramuscular. The protocol used for the experiment w as one single
injection, heat detection and artificial insemination.
The study was conducted from August 2014 to July 2015. Data on
age of the cow and heifers, breed, body weight, date and time of
hormone treatment, date and time of oestrus detection, date and
time of artificial insemination, conception rate (pregnancy diagnosis
was carried out at three months of post artificial insemination by
rectal palpation) and delivery rate w ere recorded. Group discussion
was also conducted at each site to assess the perception of
farmers tow ards the technology.
The data were interred in Microsoft Excel, checked and analyzed by
descriptive statistics using SPSS computer softw are program
(version 17). Oestrus rate (Number of cow show ed oestrus/ Number
of cow s treated multiplied by 100) and conception rate (No. of
cow s/heifers pregnant / No. of cows/heifers inseminated multiplied
by 100) w ere also calculated.
Hormonal response and insemination rate
The result of the finding showed that 91(63.64%) of cows
and heifers were responsive to hormonal treatment.
Majority 81(89.01%) of responding cows and heifers were
inseminated, 2.19% of cows were aborted due to the
drug effect as animal were at early stage of pregnancy
and the remaining cows/heifer which did not show heat
signs were not inseminated as shown in Table 1.
Conception and calving rate
The conception rate of 24.69% (20) was obtained, after
three months pregnancy diagnosis. Finally, the calving
rate was 13.58% (11). A total of 8 females and 3 males
were delivered finally as presented in Table 1.
Fantahun and Admasu 3
Table 1. Oestrus synchronization response, artificial insemination and pregnancy rates of cow s and heifers in the study area.
Perceptions of the farmers towards the technology
After group discussion with farmers in each site, they had
interest to get the services to have improved breed. Cows
and heifers were travelled more than 5 km to get the
service. In the study area, only few AI technicians were
serving large population of cattle and there were no
effective regular AI service. Farmers, in the area, were
not aware of hormonal oestrus synchronization protocols
and AI technology, which contributed in the poor
efficiency of the services. Lack of awareness of
associated with some farmers during group discussion
were immediately mix cows and heifers with other herds
after hormonal injection, long distance trucking of cows
and heifers, cows and heifers were not brought at the
right time for insemination and poor management
practices. In general, farmers’ perceptions with hormonal
oestrus synchronization technology were variable and the
satisfaction of them determined by calving rates.
Therefore, those farmers that got calf develop positive
perception towards the technology and satisfied than
As compared with the current finding, using single
injection of prostaglandin F2α (Lutalyse) protocol different
response rate was reported in different part of the
country, higher oestrus responses rate were reported by
Azage et al. (2012) who reported 97.7% in Hawassa-Dale
milk shade and 100% in Adigrat-Mekelle milk shade
areas. Adebabay et al. (2013) reported an oestrus rate of
89.3% in Bahir Dar milkshed; 72.3 and 92.17% oestrus
rate reported in West Shoa zone by Bainesagn (2015)
and Girmay et al. (2015) in Wukro Kilte Awulaelo district,
in Northern Ethiopia, respectively. Moreover, using the
same protocol with the current study, 84.2% oestrus rate
was reported in eastern zone, of Tigray region, Ethiopia
The conception rate obtained in this study was higher
than 13.7% reported by Adebabay et al. (2013) in Bahir
Dar milk shed area. In contrast to this finding, in
Hawassa-Dale milk shade, 57.7% and in Adigrat- Mekelle
milk shade 61.7% of pregnant animal was reported by
Azage et al. (2012); 32.17% pregnancy rate was reported
in Wukro Kilte Awulaelo district (Girmay et al., 2015);
59.6% conception rate was reported in eastern zone, of
Tigray region, Ethiopia (Tadesse, 2015). Factors
associated with this lower rate of pregnancy might be
related with timing of artificial insemination, feeding
management, efficiency of heat detection, early
embryonic mortality and presence of ovarian cyst which
are all known to negatively affect fertility. Factors
affecting embryonic/fetal loss are numerous and include
genetic abnormalities, fescue toxicosis, plant toxins,
excess protein, heat stress, reproductive diseases, an
effect of the sire, and handling or transportation stress
(Smith et al., 2011)
As revealed by results of this study, using single injection
prostaglandin/Cloprostenol/ was effective to synchronize
cows and heifers. Cows and heifers come to heat within
short period of time which reduces calving interval.
Oestrous response rate was relatively high, but
conception rates and delivery rate were very low. To
improve effectiveness of the technology, skilled and
experienced technicians as well as capacity building of
farmers in heat detection and husbandry practices are of
Conflicts of Interests
The authors have not declared any conflict of interests.
We would like to provide our heartfelt gratitude to farmers
who participated in the study. Finally, they would like to
4 Int. J. Livest. Prod.
extend their thanks to Mizan Tepi University for financial
support to conduct the research project.
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