Improving production by optimizing reproduction: Phytogenic Approach


During the past 20 years, there have been significant improvements in animal nutrition, housing, waste management, and mechanization, but little progress has been made in increasing reproduction. Unfortunately, there are no quick and easy solutions for improving reproductive performance. Livestock farmers generally appreciate the time and input costs required to grow animals from birth to market weight. What is sometimes overlooked is the substantial expense involved with maintaining the mature breeding animals that are necessary to produce any stock for subsequent growing and finishing.

Profitability in any commercial livestock- breeding unit is related closely to reproductive efficiency. Unfortunately some producers and even many of their expert advisers pay insufficient attention to this aspect.

The fact that milk, meat, eggs and all other consumable foods of animal origin are obtained entirely through reproductive processes. If mature male did not follow their inherent urge to mate with female and similarly if mature females did not follow their inherent urge to reproduce, we would be without eggs, dairy products, meat, many associated by-products, and even less obvious commodities such as honey or caviar. Thus, enhancements of fertility and prolificacy are reasonable approaches to provide more marketable output at lower cost from less breeding stock. Practical and humanely acceptable methods to improve reproductive efficiency should not only enhance profits, but yield current or even increased production from fewer mature animals, thereby reducing potential for environmental degradation. Although most domesticated animals never reproduce, anyone associated with livestock should realize that, obtaining and maintaining the breeding heard or flock, with all of the associated expenses for housing and feeding, represents a substantial proportion of total production costs. Adequate reproductive efficiency is essential to justify this investment. In a typical animal farming, one male mates to multiple females so better fertility of the male is very important to reduce the production loss and improve the economy of the farm.

Although the reasons for infertility may be various and undetermined, oligozoospermia (decreased sperm concentration) and asthenozoospermia (Decreased sperm motility) are considered the most important causes of male infertility. Factors affecting fertility in male are endocrine disruptions, toxic pollutants, sexually transmitted infections, mineral deficiency, stress, ionizing radiations etc.

Important conditions related to lower fertility in male:

  • Low sperm count (Hypozoospermia).
  • Decreased semen volume (Hypospermia) & Viscosity.
  • Poor sperm motility (Asthenospermia) & Viability.
  • Low libido and potency.
  • Different defects of the sperm cells.

Economic losses due to lower fertility:

  • Reduced productivity
  • Reduced litter size
  • Increases cost input for breeding practices.
  • Loss due to investment in the treatment of infertility.

Present solution and challenges

  • Diagnosis of actual cause of infertility/ reduced fertility.
  • Use of synthetic hormones and chemicals which are having negative impact on other body functions.
  • High cost of the available solutions.
  • Gap in the demand and supply of the nutrients and trace minerals.

Present solutions are not enough to cure the problem and it is also having lots of shortcomings. Usage of synthetic hormones and chemicals to improve fertility have lots of side effects. Synthetic hormones disrupt the hormonal balance in the body which leads to abnormal body function. Gap in demand and supply and cost of these solutions also put very negative impact on the economy of the farmer and the farm.

Our nature had provided us with abundance of natural herbs which have potency to potentiate the vigor and fertility of male to improve reproduction. Herbal remedies help men address low testosterone levels, toxicity affecting low sperm count and poor sperm motility. Some of the herbs are Withania somnifera, Mucuna pruriens, Leptadenia reticulate, Asparagus racemosus, Hemidesmus indicus, Piper longum, Pueraria tuberosa, Zingiber officinale, Tribulus terrestris etc.

Withania somnifera and Tribulus terrestris are having active component like Sitoindosides, Withaferin A and...

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