How is artificial insemination done in cattle? When is the right time?
Artificial insemination (AI) in cattle is a process of introducing semen, collected separately from a bull, into the reproductive tract of the cow, allowing pregnancy to occur without physical mating. It has been used extensively throughout the world on many other species of animals besides cattle. Not only does it avail the opportunity of making use of genetically superior bulls in their absence and easy introduction of new breeds into a herd, AI also reduces the risk of spreading venereal diseases to females from males and vice versa.
Success of AI is dependent on heat detection. Proper heat detection is the single most important factor limiting artificial insemination success.
Heat period occurs every 18 to 24 days in sexually mature cows and non- pregnant female cattle when they are receptive to mounting activity by bulls. In cattle operations where artificial insemination is the means of breeding females, the herdsmen or care takers must be able to recognise and interpret a cow’s heat signals.
Proper timing of the artificial insemination is necessary to accomplish a high percentage of conceptions in the cows that are bred artificially. For the exercise to be successful, we use the Am to Pm rule. Animals that show signs of heat in the morning are inseminated in the afternoon. Those that show in the afternoon, will be inseminated the next morning.
Qn. How can we store harvests,/ especially cereal crops?
Cereals can be stored in a number of ways: in containers such as baskets, sacks, drums in well fumigated stores, in cribs, granaries and grain silos after they have been thoroughly dried.
Use all weather dryers for drying maize. Do not dry maize on bare floors before storing.
Source: Agricultural Research Extension Network (www.arenet.or.ug)
Is it okay to feed pigs on boiled food? What should be included in the food?
Pigs can generally eat boiled or raw feed materials. This has been the norm for many years. Boiled feed has been common in traditional small scale pig production. The feed, if boiled, must be cooked well like one would for a human meal. What is important though is what the pig can obtain from the feed being given.
Feed being provided must be good. And by good, we mean it must be balanced enough with; carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and water. It is this balance that provides for; growth, body function maintenance, production (meat, milk) and reproduction (new borns or piglets). Feeds should always be from locally available materials that are affordable and nutritionally rich. Feed can be from;
•Commercial sources where it is grain based and made from specialised recipes we commonly call formulations. This is usually specialised with different categories of pigs catered for with their own feed types. This can be in form of; Creep feed for piglets, weaner feeds, sow and weaner feeds and fattener feeds.
•Vegetables, fruits and factory waste like bread or biscuit scraps that have not had any contact with animal products or by-products.
•Waste food from food processing industries, restaurants, food transporters that have been properly cooked.
•Forest Products, wild bananas, yam, forage grasses that are fresh or properly cooked.
•Residues from alcohol distillation. These can be from; barley, millet, rice, maize, sweet potatoes and bananas.
It is worth noting however, that feeding pigs with meat industry waste could pose a risk to fatal diseases in pigs like African swine fever. So, precaution must be taken when feeding pigs with such materials.
What do I need to farm silk worms?
The requirements/inputs are: Land at least one acre for establishment of mulberry trees; A rearing house 30 ft x 20 ft fitted with rearing beds; silkworm eggs; spinning frames (Mabushi); spray pumps; disinfectants; herbicides; fertilisers/manure; polythene paper; secateurs and pruning saws.
Mulberry plants are grown for the production of leaves required for feeding the silkworms.
Source: Agricultural Research Extension Network