Experts at the Anand Agriculture University (AAU) are materialising the concept of surrogacy to achieve a high yield of milk among cows,buffaloes and goats.
They are doing this by planting embryos of high yield animals into the uterus of low-yield milch animals.
In its recent project,the Veterinary College of AAU,along with the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB),has produced around 60 cows of Holstein Firesian (HF) breed through surrogacy.
Dr M M Pathak,Associate Director (Research),AAU,said: Generally,a genetically fertile cow like HF can give birth to around 10-11 calves during its lifetime.
Otherwise,all of its fertile ova will be wasted. But,by introducing the concept of surrogacy,we can get around 400-500 genetically potential calves from this cow.
According to experts at AAUs Veterinary College,compared to the cows in the region,which yield around 5 to 7 litres of milk per day,HF cows yield around 15-20 litres.
J V Solanki,principal of the Veterinary College,said: Generally,an HF cow will produce only one ovum in a month. But this number can be increased by giving it a hormonal treatment,following which the ova can be used to create 4-6 embryos by artificial insemination of a genetically proven males semen.
He added: These 4-6 embryos can be later planted in the uterus of low-milk-yielding cows,which will act as the surrogate mothers. So,despite being low milk producing,these cows will give birth to a good quality calf after the gestation period of nine months.
The HF cow will then be rested for 60 days,after which it can be used to get another set of genetically potential embryos.
Scientists at AAU have produced buffaloes of Surti breed and goats of Marwadi breed through surrogacy in the past.
This will help us increase the population of genetically potential animals in the state as well as the milk production. So,what we are doing is exploiting the genetic potential of a good animal, said Dr Pathak.