What is sexed semen technology ? How can it help solve the stray cattle problem in various parts of the country?
Sexed semen is a specially processed semen of bulls from which ‘Y’ chromosomes in sperms has been removed through a sorting process and ‘X’ has been retained to ensure a female calf is born. The reproduction system of cattle is similar to humans . Cows carry XX chromosomes while bulls semen has both X & Y.
There are two techniques to produce it. One is the Sorting process where X & Y chromosomes are separated, while Y is discarded, X is retained. George E.Seidel , a reproductive physiologist is credited for his research in the sorting process.
The other one is where Y chromosomes are killed altogether. These technologies have their source in the US and use an instrument called ‘Flow Cytometer’.
Cows are impregnated thorough artificial insemination process with consumption of one straw per cow.
Though the guarantee of a female calf being born is never 100 percent, it can be unto 90 percent.
Usage of this method
Male calves being considered a financial burden are either killed or abandoned on roads by farmers as they don’t give milk. This is a cause of concern with cattle roaming the streets leading to fatal road accidents. If this method is used for breeding, the problem can be solved to some extent.
Cost of sexed semen
High quality conventional semen straws are available for around Rs 20-40 per straw ,while sexed semen costs at least Rs 1200 per straw subsidy. The Government now looks to provide dairy farmers with sexed semen for cattle at Rs. 100 per straw by 2020.
Topics: 070 - Technology Missions
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