EAAPP end of project conference

Kihurani D, Mburu J., Kosgei I., Mbuku S., Ngigi M.; Katiku P. and Wambulwa, L. 2015. The Use of assisted reproductive techniques in breeding of small EA Zebu cattle at KALRO, Kiboko.Paper Presented at the EAAPP end of project conference held on 2015, Naivasha, Kenya.


The use of Assisted Reproductive Techniques in multiplication of Small East African Zebu cattle in Makueni County, Kenya.

Kihurani, D; Mburu, J.; Kosgei, I; Mbuku, S.; Ngigi M.; Katiku, P. and Wambulwa, L.


The use of modern technologies in rapid multiplication of livestock germplasm is important in availing breeding stock, particularly cattle which have a long generation interval. Two such technologies are Multiple Ovulation and Embryo Transfer (MOET) as well as Estrous synchronization and Artificial Insemination (ES & AI).They are Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ARTs) that were used for genetic improvement in a Small East African Zebu (SEAZ) herd at the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), Kiboko, Makueni County. The cattle were selected on the basis of a relatively high milk yield, fertility as shown by regularity of oestrus and calvings, adaptability to the semi-arid environment, and good health. Four MOET programs were performed, each with 4 donors and 16 recipient cattle. In addition, one ES & AI program was done using 30 SEAZ. From the MOET programs 23 transferable embryos were obtained and implanted into suitable recipients. Pregnancy diagnosis was thereafter done using ultrasound, out of which 8 were confirmed pregnant. Of this lot, several calves have already been born. The cattle on the ES & AI program have also been examined and a further 6 confirmed pregnant. Challenges encountered during these programs included drought periods with inadequate pasture and water, competition for the available pasture with illegal cattle and camel grazers, irregular concentrate supplementation due to funding constraints, and a Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak. Nevertheless, these results demonstrate that ARTs, particularly MOET which is being performed for the first time in SEAZ in Kenya, can be utilised with some success. This exercise is also creating a SEAZ nucleus herd with heifer and bull offspring which can be availed to local farmers for breeding.

Key words:Donors, Estrous Synchronization, Kenya, Multiple Ovulation and Embryo Transfer, Recipients,

Small EA Zebu.