The Department of Animal Science Education, Faculty of Agriculture Education of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) has instituted a programme on synchronization of oestrus and artificial insemination (AI) for interested cattle farmers willing to acquire improved breed of cows with higher milk production potential, and for its own cattle. Friesian semen is being used for the AI after synchronization of oestrus (Plate 1) using Estrumate (Prostaglandin F2α), and heat detection (Plate 2). The programme is being carried out under the Edulink II project, in collaboration with the Amrahia Diary Farm of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
The synchronization programme is meant to permit the use of AI through reducing time and labour required for heat detection in the absence of heat control. It reduces days to conception, shorter breeding and calving season thereby giving a more uniform and valuable calf crop. The intended purpose of the AI programme is to provide a uniform replacement stock of improved breed of higher milk production potential for smallholder farmers who are tired of being in long queue wishing to obtain Friesian-Local cattle crossbreds from Amrahia Dairy Farm of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
One-injection and two-injection protocols have been followed. Cows are expected to show signs of overt heat (oestrus—usually about 70% of cyclic cows) from first to fifth day after the injection of the Estrumate. Cows that do not exhibit signs of heat are then given a second chance where another injection (two-injection protocol) is administered at the eleventh or the fourteenth day to elicit oestrus in the next five days after the treatment for the AI.