Endometritis In Rwanda, fertility performance is suboptimal in

Endometritis
is a prevalent uterine disease in cows that may occur as clinical (CLE) or
subclinical (SCLE). In positive cows, it interrupts reproductive cycles
resulting in sub optimal fertility, reduced performance and profitability of
the herd. In Rwanda, fertility performance is suboptimal in smallholder dairy
herds. It is characterized by high proportion of anoestrus postpartum cows
(44%), low artificial insemination service success rates (35%), high number of
services per conception (3±1.3) and days-open (191.5±70.6) resulting in long calving intervals (14-18 months). Different
interventions have been directed to improving management of herd fertility but
have ignored the possibility of prevalence of SCLE and CLE because of lacking
empirical evidence of the presence or absence and their risk factors and
associated influence on reproductive and productive performance. This study
targets smallholder zero-grazed cow to estimate observed and perceived
prevalence of endometritis, determine their risk factors and influence on fertility
and productive performance, and finally determine the association of risk
factors with production loss. A total of three hundred sixty six (366)
cows within 20-60 days postpartum in zero-grazing system are targeted for examination
for CLE and SCLE in Gasabo District using, respectively, vaginal examination
with the aid of Metricheck device and endometrial cytological sample with
cytotape. On each sample farm, all cows will be examined for CLE, SCLE and
cow-level risk factors whereas the farm will be examined for status of
farm-level risk factors. Farm records availed by farmers and cow history will
be traced to determine associated production losses. Fertility
data will be collected within 5 months for each cow sampled without any
interventions on breeding services. Data analysis will apply
descriptive statistics, generalized linear model, path model
analysis, system thinking approach (STELLA software), and Chi-square test
statistics SAS version 9.2. The study will provide empirical evidence to inform
management interventions for endometritis in smallholder zero-grazed cows. This
may result in better management of endometritis and thus will improve breed
quality and productivity for food, nutrition and income security.