Tamil Nadu: Nilgiris lab produces 61K sex-sorted semen doses

Veterinary centres have administered over 13,000 doses of sex-sorted semen to cows.
The project intends to boost Tamil Nadu's  milk production
The project intends to boost Tamil Nadu's milk production(Representative image)

CHENNAI: The state’s first sex-sorted semen production facility, set up in the Nilgiris last year, produced about 61,000 doses of semen in its first year. The use of sexed semen during artificial insemination (AI) for cows ensures that the cattle deliver only female calves. The success rate of the initiative will be known in the coming months after the actual number of calf births.

Official sources from the department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences (AH&VS) said the use of sexed semen for insemination is being implemented in Krishnagiri, Erode, Theni, and 12 other districts. “Unlike conventional semen doses used for AI, sexed semen doses have a lower calving rate due to their reduced sperm count.

Veterinary centres have administered over 13,000 doses of sex-sorted semen to cows. The actual number of female and male offspring born through the use of sexed semen will be known in the coming months,” said an official.

The project to selectively produce cows using sexed semen was intended to boost the state’s milk production. Besides bringing down the dairy farmers’ expenses in farming bulls, the scheme is aimed at increasing the farmers’ income by enhancing cow production.

Experiments conducted by the Animal Husbandry Department during 2019-2020 utilising sex-sorted frozen semen procured from private labs proved successful. In this backdrop, a dedicated laboratory was established at the district livestock farm complex in Udagamandalam for a large-scale production of sex-sorted semen for dairy farmers. This initiative was funded by both the state and union governments and it was proposed to produce 7.2 lakh frozen semen doses between 2023 and 2026.

The sexed semen doses are sourced from high genetic merit bulls of Holstein Friesian, Jersey breeds and crossbreeds of Holstein Friesians and Jerseys as per demand.

The state conducted 49.84 lakh artificial inseminations last year. The semen doses for AI are produced at three frozen semen production stations located at the Exotic Cattle Breeding Farm in Eachankottai (Thanjavur), District Livestock Farms in Hosur (Krishnagiri) and Udhagamandalam (Nilgiris).

An official said, “Veterinarians have been directed to closely monitor cows after administering the sex-sorted semen. We are aiming to produce three lakh doses for 2024-25.”

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