Easy-to-use pregnancy diagnosis kit for cows

The long wait to know whether or not your cow is pregnant after insemination is almost over, following the unveiling of a test kit that can detect pregnancy and embryo mortality 20 days after it is served.
The kit, which has been developed by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), in Nairobi, will save dairy farmers time in ascertaining the accuracy of their breeding programmes.
This effective early pregnancy detection technology that farmers can use on their own is key to improving dairy cattle reproduction and profitability. Delayed pregnancy diagnosis lengthens calving intervals and reduces reproduction performance.
Through testing, farmers are able to re-inseminate their cows if they fail to conceive. The test involves six milk samples at a time and it takes 15 minutes to get the results. It has an accuracy of up to 91percent.
“The test saves time in confirming whether a cow conceived or not, allowing farmers to plan their breeding programme,” says Mr Solomon Gizaw, a researcher at ILRI.
Successful demonstrations of the kit known as Hormonost Micro-Lab have been carried out in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, and it is now a matter of time before it is made available in East Africa. In Kenya, rectal palpation is the most common method of pregnancy checking.
However, it is not only intrusive, but can also be performed only after two or five months into the cow’s gestation period by experienced technicians.
The method’s accuracy also varies depending on a technician’s experience. A few farmers have also embraced the ultra sound scanning for pregnancy diagnosis that helps to confirm conception within 30 days. The scanning identifies pregnant and barren cows with 99 per cent accuracy.
READ FULL STORY IN ISSUE 34 Here http://smartfarmerkenya.com/magazine/

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