Vaikom: Creating history, a calf of Gir breed of cow was born through a challenging assisted reproductive technology for the first time in Kerala.
The calf, named ‘Adikesh’, was born at the Aaro Dairy at Arattukulangara here in Kottayam district after In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) using embryo transfer method.
Its male parent, named Soberano hails from Brazil, while the mother Godavari is from Pune.
For the IVF procedure, Godavari’s egg was fertilised by Soberano’s sperm in the lab and implanted in the former’s uterus.
Veterinarian Dr Jayadevan Namboodiri said that IVF is a costly method with small success rate. Twenty eight eggs could be fertilized at the farm only after 93 attempts, he said. Apart from Godavari, fertilised eggs were implanted in 27 others cows at the farm.
(In the IVF procedure eggs and sperm are combined outside the body in a laboratory. The embryo or embryos formed are then placed in the uterus.)
The ‘A2’ milk produced by Gir breed cow has immunity-boosting nutritional aspects. Moreover, the Brazilian variety has extra quality. “So, we expect a new generation of cows starting from Adikesh to spark a milk revolution in the state,” said Muraleedharan, owner of the farm.
A native of Gujarat, Gir breed can give 3,500 litres of milk in 305 days. They are well-known for their elegant physical features as well as good behaviour. The breed was later taken to Brazil and subjected to genetic improvement. In fact, the advanced Brazilian variety can produce up to 9,000 litres of milk.