IMPROVING INDIAN COWS
1. AI as Breeding Practices:-
AI (Artificial Insemination) is indeed a marvel of modern veterinary science. In US success rates of AI exceeding 80% are common, as also same cows delivering by AI more than ten calves in good Dairy farms is not an exception.
1.1.1 AI Experience in India
With best of our efforts in last 60 years, it has not been possible to achieve overall AI success rates better than 25% in India. Economic hardship of farmers due to extended dry period on account of deficient AI delivery has never been assessed by anybody in India.
1.1.2. Repeatedly failed AI cattle become infertile. Fibroids caused by lack of professional expertise of the AI provider staff, after a few calving renders good fertile cows incapable of future conception. Loss of good milk yielding cows due to infertility has also never been assessed in the Indian Animal Husbandry practice. By poor AI delivery apart from tremendous burden on farmers in feeding cows for the extended dry period, excellent milk cattle is being turned infertile.
In this way AI is helping the cow slaughter industry.
1.1.3. Inbreeding with AI is a well recognized problem in developed world Dairies also. In India as it is we have a lot of inbreeding trouble, AI is being performed for better cattle. But big potential loss of good cattle by inbreeding is inherent in AI.
1.1.4 - Spread of IBR by AI is a well established fact.
IBR (Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis) has been an uncontrollable Zoonotic disease. Indian veterinary experts have the data of 20000 animals from Military Farms, Gaushala, Two Coordinated projects and 50 PG studies on this disease from India in support of this observation. It is reaching human population in the form of Swine Flu, Dengue fever, H1N1 infection, Common Cold and Cough spreading like epidemics in colder seasons.
1.1.5. A more practical approach to AI in Indian context is not to overlook the advantages of Natural breeding methods. Normally when cost advantage of AI is demonstrated, the added cost born by the society to find resources for extended dry periods of cattle due to failed AI attempts, cost of cows rendered infertile due to improper AI operations are not taken in to calculations.
Overall total cost of natural breeding service under Indian conditions is far more advantageous than AI.
1.1.6. AI and ET –Embryo Transfer – techniques can be practiced under controlled expert institutions and larger Goshalas as support for the Field Services.
1.1.7. Govt. should consider shrinking its present infrastructure on AI straw production centers, and AI services, by taking a very pragmatic view of their performance in the last many decades under Indian conditions. Saving to the national exchequer and hardships being faced by poor cattle owning farmers will be very significant. Large number of good cows that become infertile due to poor AI delivery practice will also be saved.
2. Cross Breeding
In India large number of identifiable phenotypes of Indian breeds of cows had evolved to suit the natural conditions, over the last thousands of years. Let us not consciously loose this nature’s precious gift to our country.
2.1 Advantage of Indian Breeds.
It is in every veterinarians knowledge that our cows particularly Sindi, Sahiwal, Tharparkar have very heavy sweat glands,large dewlaps and very prominent humps. These physical attributes have evolved over the millennia and endow our cows to have very high ambient temperature sustainability compared to exotic HF and such cows. With global warming trends the entire world will be looking eagerly to import Indian breeds of cows. The existing trends to go in for Indian breeds of Cows for milk in Brazil, Israel and Australia are not mere accidents.
2.2. A2 Milk Advantage
In view of the modern researches about A2 milk, it will be prudent on the part of our Government to stop cross breeding with A1 type mainly HF semen.
3.1 Supply of Natural Breeding Bulls.
Government cattle research institutions should be encouraged to share with Goshalas and similar institutions , better pedigree A2 milk producing calves to be raised as good natural service Bulls.
The present practice of culling the unpromising Cows, Heifers, Male calves and Bulls by periodic disposal by Govt. institutions, should be reformed to share good young male and female stock with range and extension services for promoting breed improvement in the country.
3.2 Involve Goshalas.
It is our experience that there is great shortage of good natural service providing bulls in India. This can be met by providing good pedigree male calves for being raised as Natural Service Bulls. Goshalas and Gosadans should be actively involved in this Bull development work.
4. Feed Strategies
4.1 Green Fodder, Pasture is best
Modern veterinary research has been devoting great efforts to the subject of animal nutrition. Development of various concentrated feed formulations has been propelled by Dairy Industry interests. In Indian context hardly 15% of Indian Milk is in the organized Dairy Sector. It is not logical to let this 15% interest dictate the 85% . Modern Veterinary science can also benefit by understanding traditional cattle rearing practices of India. Hardly any attention is paid to the fact that Indians have the world’s oldest continuous animal husbandry tradition.
4.2 EFA Advantage
Green Fodder and self fed pasture practice results in the lowest cost of milk production and at the same time healthiest milk for human nutrition – low in total fats and high in EFA contents.
4.3 Concentrated Feed Formulations
A very cautious approach is also required to develop alternative cattle feed formulations based on preparing artificially extracted and developed cattle feed constituents. It is very difficult to assess the long term usage effects that may prove harmful in the long run. Very minute quantities of toxins such as HCN carried forward from GM seeds are known to cause immense damage to cattle health and milk productivity. Even the best of commercial enterprises are known to overlook such minute details in their supplies. Thus the traditional Indian self prepared formulations always prove more reliable.
4.4 Indian Traditional Knowledge
Indian knowledge based on thousands of years of practice has always advocated pasture based green fodder. This results in higher milk yields and reduced total fat content of milk, but at the same time enhancing the EFF.The latest researches and practices in NZ, Lipgene project in EU, and researches of Prof. William A. Albrecht of University of Missouri, Columbia are there to support this proposition.
4.5 Low Milk yield Green Fodder Connection.
Experts have been advising about effects of Heat Stress and exotic cross bred cattle as the main reason for wide annual fluctuation in milk productivity of cattle in India. But even the Indian breeds of Milk cows have been observed to show very similar annual milk production variation. A study of our closely monitored herd over last ten years indicates that loss in milk production of Cattle in India is very closely related to non availability of adequate good Fresh Green Fodder throughout the year. Just by making green fodder available throughout the year a minimum 20% increase of milk production can be achieved.
4.6 Enhancing Green Fodder Availability
Problem- Pastures: Develop Waste land Pastures.
This indeed is the greatest challenge for multidiscipline innovative research intervention for experts and business houses to take up, and develop a well managed pasture system in India. This also presents a win win opportunity for everybody. Tremendous social, political and commercial advantages that will also result from success of this strategy can hardly be exaggerated. Lot of research in traditional fodder crops and grasses has been going on in many research institutions. But pressure on cultivable land to produce food and horticulture crops for human consumption makes green fodder cultivation very uneconomical use of cultivable land. Almost total loss of Pastures makes it very difficult to depend on grasses. Vagaries of weather, shortage of irrigation water also affect green fodder availability.
4.7 Development of perennial leaf Fodder Trees for harvesting by pollarding/coppicing should be paid more attention, in different climate zones of India.
4.8 Development of Blue Green Algae such Azolla should also form an important constituent of green fodder for cattle.
4.9 Hydroponics Fodder:-
Indian experience with Hydroponics fodder with imported Fometa devices nearly twenty years ago due to inept handling, was given up as a bad dream. World over Hydroponics fodder is considered a very important Green highly nutritive, high digestibility cattle feed alternative strategy. By vertical growing it improves land use nearly 200 times and reduces irrigation water requirement to mere 5% of normal cultivation and completely immune from vagaries of weather.
We can develop our own Hydroponics Fodder device designs in India to suit various climate zones. As practiced abroad, for India it is not necessary to use air-conditioning and artificial lighting to grow Hydroponics Fodder. It is also possible to avoid use of chlorine as sanitizing agent against fungus problems. Combined with a Biogas plant a Hydroponics Fodder system is a completely green energy based fodder production method for Indian conditions. Just two kg/day of any coarse grain can provide a complete highly digestible & nutritious balanced cattle feed for an average Indian cow, throughout the year.
5. Drinking Water for Cattle
On drinking water Rig Veda in 10.169.1 says
" पीवस्वतीर्जीवधन्या: पिबन्त्ववसाय" Provide drinking water for cows drinking that will be thankfully received even by humans.
Although with problems of good clean drinking water availability for humans, the requirements of good quality drinking water hardly ever receives any attention.
But considering the fact that low productivity and poor fertility are severely faced problems with our cattle, attention is being increasingly given to this subject.
By making changes in water quality alone up to 27% increase in Milk production has been demonstrated in the case studies cited below.
For the Organized Dairy sector that can not only afford but is willing to go an extra mile to achieve better health and productivity , following information will be found very educative.
There are also possibilities of developing more cost effective strategies to provide better drinking water for our cows. This can be a subject for a specialized, India specific, subgroup to research and work upon.
Use of Alkaline Water on Dairy Farms
Reports from 27 Dairy farms using alkali water.
As prepared for IonLife International
With the advent of electrolysis water treatment in the Japanese marketplace, electrolysis alkaline water was introduced into the dairy farms.
This is now beginning to impact on dairy farms in the USA and other countries (See IonLife's Dairy Farm Proposal).
In Japan, knowing the positive health benefits and results that were acquired through human consumption, alkaline water was used in place of tap water as the sole source of water for dairy cows.
The results of this water usage is reported in the subsequent findings. The information was obtained through 27 dairy farms along with a report from a group of veterinarians. The source of each report is identified at the beginning of each report.
In general, the following measurable conditions were noted:
1. An increase in milk output by 18% - 28%.
2. A notable improvement in the quality of milk.
3. Elimination of strong feces and urine odors.
4. Healthier skin condition.
5. Minimized injury to the udder.
6. Decrease in diarrhea cases.
7. Strengthening of the legs.
8. Increased appetite.
9. Able to reduce mineral supplements normally added to the feed.
10. Due to an improved health condition coupled with stronger legs,
extended the productive life span of the cows.
11. Improved the fertility rate and reduced still births in new-born calves.
Aside from the above, the following opinions were noted by the veterinarians:
1. A noticeably increased appetite; no new supplements were added to their diet.
Increase in appetite noted in older cows also.
2. Well digested foods.
3. A beautiful sheen on the cows' hair.
4. Higher fertility rate; higher pregnancy rate.
5. A new-born calf exposed to alkali water matures quicker.
6. A dramatic increase in milk production.
7. Improved liver condition.
8. Strengthened legs.
9. Minimizing of sicknesses; tremendously improved health condition.
10. No adverse conditions noted with the consumption of alkali water. Lesser visits made by veterinarians.
The following are individual findings that have been noted by each dairy farmer that have replaced tap water with alkali water.
A. Dairy Farm: Kasahara Ranch
Location: Nomura, Hokkaido
Spokesperson: Mr. G. Kasahara
1. The milk output had increase from 7,000kg o 8,900kg or an increase of 27%.
2. The use of the alkali water had instilled a preventive approach to the overall health condition of the dairy cow in lieu of reactive medical means.
The overall health condition of the herd had improved dramatically.
B. Dairy Farm: Shikawa Ranch
Location: Momembetsu, Hokkaido
Spokesperson: Mr. T. Shikawa
1. There was a noticeable improvement in the quality of the milk.
2. Despite the high temperature during the Summer months, the milk output had increased dramatically.
During the previous Summer months, milk output had declined.
C. Dairy Farm: Sudo Ranch
Location: Munetani, Hokkaido
Spokesperson: Mr. M. Sudo
NOTE: Unlike other dairy farms, this farmer had discontinued the use of alkali water to measure the effects of returning to normal tap water.
The following were the effects that were noted:
1.The strong odors associated with cow excrements had returned after a period of time when the foul odor had been eliminated through the consumption of alkali water.
2.The sheen that was once present on the cows had disappeared and the hair had returned to a lackluster condition.
3.The frequency of diarrhea had increased.
4.Weakness was noticed in the cows legs as opposed to the strengthening of the cows' legs during the use of alkali water.
D. Dairy Farm: Takahashi Ranch
Location: Notsuke, Hokkaido
Spokesperson: Mr. Takahashi.
1.The sickness rate was considerably reduced.
E. Dairy Farm: Hamanasu Ranch
Location: Mombetsu, Hokkaido
Spokesperson: Mr. S. Nakagawa.
1. The coloring of the udder became extremely healthy.
2. Due to the alkali consumption and it's natural healing ability, the amount of injury to the udder had diminished.
3. The milk output has increased by 800 kg per cow.
(NOTE: since there was no "before and after" numbers provided the percentage of increase could not be determined.)
F. Dairy Farm: Karita Ranch
Location: Notsuke, Hokkaido
Spokesperson: Mr. H. Karita
1. The results were excellent in every manner.
Milk production was considerably higher, the sickness rate was down, problems associated with diarrhea were minimized, the foul odor from the excrement was gone, the cow's appetite was up, the sheen on the cows' hair was considerably higher and the overall quality of the milk was up.
G. Dairy Farm: Sunnydale Ranch
Location: Hyotsu, Hokkaido
Spokesperson: Mr. M. Danshora
1. In prior years, in an effort to increase milk production, increased feed was given to cows.
With the use of alkali water, the need of increasing feed was minimized.
2. Despite the pregnancy of the cow, the amount of milk production has not decreased.
In prior pregnancies, the amount of milk production had decreased. This was noted in 9 out of 10 cows.
3. The improved health condition of the cows along with the stronger legs have reduced the turnover of cows.
This has considerably improved the productivity life span of each cow.
H. Dairy Farm: No Name Given
Location: Mombetsu, Hokkaido
Spokesperson: Mr. T. Yamaguchi
1. The overall skin condition of each cow had improved dramatically.
2. The foul odors associated with excrements and urine were eliminated with the consumption of alkali water.
3. The farm was able to reduce the amount of mineral supplements that were being added to the diet on account of the alkali water.
4. The newly born calves have experienced no diarrhea.
I. Dairy Farm: Koizumi Ranch
Location: Kamikawa, Hokkaido
Spokesperson: Mr. T. Koizumi
1. The recovery period for cows giving birth had improved noticeably with the consumption of alkali water.
2. The cows have experienced increased appetite.
3. Despite the higher temperature during the Summer months, the milk output had increased dramatically.
4. The consumption of alkali water had stabilized the pH factor for each cow.
J. Dairy Farm: Honami MBB Ranch
Location: Joro, Hokkaido
Spokesperson: Mr. Y. Takigawa
1. There was a remarkable improvement in the quality of milk.
2. The cows increased their water intake which resulted in increased milk production.
3. The cows experienced reduced diarrhea conditions.
4. There was a remarkable improvement in the hair and skin texture of every cow.
K. Dairy Farm: Aneshi Ranch
Location: Esachi, Hokkaido
Spokesperson: Mr. K. Aneshi
1. Due to the consumption of alkali water and the improved immunity levels, there was lesser injuries to the cows' udders during the milking process.
2. The milk output had increased from 282 tons to 360 tons or a 28% increase.
3. It was a financially and economically-wise decision to use electrolysis alkali water.
L. Dairy Farm: Royal Farm
Location: Kamikawa, Hokkaido
Spokesperson: Mr. T. Sawamoto
1.The milk output had increased from a range of 7,000 to 7,300 kg to a higher output of 9,000 kg or a 28% increase.
2.Due to the unstable water condition, the farm had gone to electrolysis water. This decision ended up being a financially-wise decision.
M. Dairy Farm: Nogyo Kyosai Dairy Association
Location: Kushiro, Hokkaido
Spokesperson: Mr. M. Sugiyama
1. The use of alkali water has considerably reduced the number of sick cows and dramatically improved the health condition.
2. The farm has not measured all the positive effects brought about by the alkali water but on the other hand have not experienced any negative effects.
3. One noticeable difference was their improved digestion.
N. Dairy Farm: Okura Ranch
Location: Asahi-kawa, Hokkaido
Spokesperson: Mr. Y. Okura
1. The alkaline water has produced healthier cows.
There were no changes to the diet or the environment but the cows became healthier.
2. Increased their monthly sales by $20,000.00 through increased milk output.
(NOTE: There were no other comparative numbers provided to determine the actual increase in productivity levels.)
O. Dairy Farm: Aikawa Ranch
Location: Akan, Hokkaido
Spokesperson: Mr. M. Aikawa
1. The odors that are normally present in the urine and excrements were dramatically reduced.
2. The birthrate was considerably increased by the increase in fertility rate and the minimizing of stillborn calves.
3. There was a dramatic increase in milk production.
4. This farm is utilized as a model ranch in the use of alkali water.
P. Dairy Farm: Mitani Ranch
Location: Yubari, Hokkaido
Spokesperson: Mr. K. Mitani
1. Experienced 100% fertility and birth rates through artificial insemination.
Q. Dairy Farm: Ueda Ranch
Location: Akan, Hokkaido
Spokesperson: Mr. T. Ueda
1. The fortified calcium through the electrolysis water has strengthened the legs of the cows.
2. Due to the dramatically-improved health conditions, the quality of the milk has improved.
3. In the long run, the use of alkali water is a totally economical approach to the dairy industry.
R. Dairy Farm: Yamatani Ranch
Location: Kamikawa, Hokkaido
Spokesperson: Mr. M. Yamatani
1. The quality and quantity of the milk has improved considerably.
2. Considerably minimized the sickness rate of each cow.
3. Minimized diarrhea conditions.
4. An overall improvement was noted in every aspect of the dairy cow equating to better economic conditions.
S. Dairy Farm: Yamamoto Ranch
Location: Amashio, Hokkaido
Spokesperson: Mr. M. Yamatani
1. The milk output had increased from 317 tons to 393 tons or an increase of 24%
2. The cow became fertile with one month of giving birth.
3. There was a substantial reduction to the number of veterinary visits.
4. There was a noticeable increase in their appetites.
T. Dairy Farm: Saida Ranch
Location: Shirahata, Hokkaido
Spokesperson: Mr. K. Saida
1The milk output had increased from 8,641 kg to 10,1 77kg or an increase of 1 7.8%.
U. Dairy Farm: Fukagawa Ranch
Location: Joro, Hokkaido
Spokesperson: Mr. E. Fukagawa
1. There was a substantial reduction to the number of veterinary visits.
2. Reduced the swelling rate of the cows' legs.
3. Reduced the rate of external wounds caused by suction cups.