Bhutan Journal of Animal Science <p>The Bhutan Journal of Animal Science (BJAS), founded in 2016, is an English-language double-blind peer reviewed journal on livestock science. BJAS is supervised by the Department of Livestock, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, and financed by the Royal Government of Bhutan. BJAS publishes research, reviews, reports on all aspects of small and large ruminants, equine, poultry, aquaculture, and apiculture. BJAS also accepts livestock associated research reports on climate change, sustainable development, and rural livelihood. BJAS requires academic papers and research reports to display universal, strategic and innovative characteristics in both theory and practice. BJAS acts as a forum for sharing information between researchers, policy makers and practitioners. BJAS is published annually.</p> Department of Livestock en-US Bhutan Journal of Animal Science 2520-0194 EXPLORING USE OF AZOLLA AS THE POTENTIAL LIVESTOCK FEED RESOURCES <p>Azolla is considered a wonder fern with multiple benefits. It is adopted as a high-quality livestock feed supplement, and as a bio-fertilizer by farmers in several countries across the world, despite being considered it as an invasive species. This paper reviewed literatures on the factors contributing to the invasiveness of Azolla in a controlled environment. &nbsp;In total 53 references were referred which includes 11 books, 26 peer reviewed journal papers and 16 grey literatures from 1997 to 2022. It is synthesized that Azolla becomes invasive if allowed to escape into water bodies that are favorable for its growth. It grows faster in conducive environments such as favorable light intensity and temperature with easily available nutrients, leading to problem of clogging drainage system, reduces light penetration to the deeper part of the water bodies and reduces oxygen for other aquatic organisms. Conversely, Azolla can be easily cultivated in a controlled environment and reap its benefits as livestock feed supplement. It has high protein and mineral content which is vital for livestock feeding, and help reduce feed cost and enhance productivity.</p> Aita Bhujel Ganga Rizal Copyright (c) 2022 Bhutan Journal of Animal Science 2022-10-31 2022-10-31 40 47 POST-MONSOON COMPOSITION OF ICHTHYOFAUNA ALONG THE PUNATSHANGCHHU AND ITS TRIBUTARIES AT THE HYDROPOWER PROJECTS AREA <p>Hydropower promotors in Bhutan are mandated to address impacts on aquatic biodiversity through proper conservation and management plans formulated through regular monitoring of impacted areas. This assessment presents findings from post-monsoon monitoring of mainstem Punatshangchhu and its tributaries within the Punatshangchhu Hydropower Project area (PHPP – I &amp; II) from November 22<sup>nd</sup> – 26<sup>th</sup>, 2021. Though Kruskal-Wallis test and multiple pairwise comparison the study recorded significant differences (p&lt;.05) in physiochemical properties such as pH, dissolved oxygen (DO) and total dissolved solids (TDS) within the mainstem Punatshangchhu and its tributaries, all accessed variables were found within the permissible limits for fisheries and surface water. The differences in catch per unit effort (CPUE) among the downstream, impacted (future dewatered) and upstream zones of Punatshangchhu were not statistically significant. Lower CPUE, abundance and size observed during present monitoring compared to the post-monsoon monitoring conducted in 2018 and 2019 indicated possible changes in population structure of <em>Schizothorax richardsonii</em>, the dominant fish along the Punatshangchhu. However, nonstandard sampling adopted over years makes comparison among years unreliable requiring adoption of consistent assessment approaches during the subsequent monitoring for comprehensive realization of conservation goals.</p> Gopal Prasad Khanal Changlu Pemo Pema Gyelpo Pema Tshering Sangay Dolma Tashi Dorji Dawa Doli Sherpa Copyright (c) 2022 Bhutan Journal of Animal Science 2022-10-31 2022-10-31 1 10 DIGITAL FARMER FIELD SCHOOL (DFFS): EXPLORING ALTERNATIVE COMMUNICATION AND EXTENSION OPTION FOR DAIRY FARMERS OF BHUTAN <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p><span style="font-size: 10.000000pt; font-family: 'TimesNewRomanPSMT';">The study was conducted to explore DFFS as an alternative innovative communication and extension option for dairy farming communities in Yoeseltse gewog (block) under Samtse Dzongkhag (District), applying a perspective of responsible innovation to enhance extension policies and strategy of the Department of Livestock. A case study approach was adopted to gain in-depth insight into how the three multi-level stakeholders conceive the present situation of dairy extension service, the dairy extension problems and constraints, and what the </span><span style="font-size: 10.000000pt; font-family: 'TimesNewRomanPSMT';">farmers’ and the extension agents expect from the dairy ext</span><span style="font-size: 10.000000pt; font-family: 'TimesNewRomanPSMT';">ension. The case study was operationalised through (a) open prototype trial of DFFS in groups and individual prototype trial &amp; discovery (b) free discovery exercise and (c) semi-structured individual interview. The findings showed that DFFS is feasible in Bhutan. The operational skills shown by the farmers in operating the prototype was commendable. Hardware wise, all the respondents owned mobile phones, but the issue of access in terms of mobile and internet connectivity was still a concern in some pockets. A broader policy support for ICT development in the country exists but policy focus for use of ICT in rural agriculture extension system is needed to give impetus to the conventional extension system. There is a need to upgrade the ICT skills of the extension agents. In order for DFFS to become successful, it needs close collaboration among media designers, developers, and film makers. A longer-term solution would be to include DFFS in the extension and communication course curriculum at the College of Natural Resources (CNR). DFFS could be a highly effective means of service delivery during lockdown situations in the future. </span></p> </div> </div> </div> Tashi Dhendup Copyright (c) 2022 Bhutan Journal of Animal Science 2022-10-31 2022-10-31 11 20 PERFORMANCE OF COMMERCIAL BROILER ROSS 308 FED DIFFERENT BRANDS OF COMMERCIAL FEEDS <p><span class="fontstyle0">A study was conducted at the National Poultry Research and Development Centre, Sarpang to evaluate the growth performance of commercial broiler Ross 308 fed with two different brands of broiler feed. A total of 330 unsexed Day-Old Chicks (DoCs) were randomly allocated into two groups with three replicates of 55 birds each. Two concentrate feeds labeled as Feed A and Feed B were used</span><span class="fontstyle2">. </span><span class="fontstyle0">The broiler birds were fed ad libitum at day zero and twice daily from day one to 56 days of age. The data were tested for normality using Shapiro-Wilk test and independent t-test was administered to evaluate the effects of feed on FCR and growth</span><span class="fontstyle2">. </span><span class="fontstyle0">The result indicated a significant differences (p &lt;.05) in the Average Daily Gain (ADG), final body weight and Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) of the birds fed with two different feeds. The live body weight of birds fed with Feed A was comparatively higher than the birds fed with Feed B. Further, the birds fed with Feed A had better growth and FCR when compared to the birds fed with Feed B. In this research Feed A was conclusively superior to Feed B in terms of broiler birds’ performance. The slower ADG in birds after 42 days of experimental period suggested that the broiler birds should not be fed and reared beyond the recommended duration for a viable farming business. A need is felt to advocate farmers on the recommended rearing period of broiler for better farm profitability and high returns</span><span class="fontstyle2">.</span></p> Tashi Jamtsho M. P Timsina Chencho Tshering Kinley Dema Pema Lhaki Nidup Dorji Copyright (c) 2022 Bhutan Journal of Animal Science 2022-10-31 2022-10-31 21 26 CATTLE FEED RESOURCES ASSESSMENT AND COPING STRATEGIES ADOPTED DURING FEED SCARCITY IN EASTERN BHUTAN <p>The study was undertaken to identify and assess cattle feed resources, feeding practices, and coping strategies adopted during the feed scarcity among dairy farmer groups of six eastern districts in Bhutan from October 2021 to February 2022. A total of 405 dairy farmers were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire comprising both open and closed-ended questions. Descriptive statistics, one-way ANOVA, and Chi-square tests were administered to analyze the data. The study findings revealed improved pasture, fodder trees, non-conventional feeds, crop residues, natural grazing, and commercial concentrate feed as the major feed resources available in decreasing order. Amongst the feed resources, improved pasture is recorded as an important forage resource by the majority of respondents. The stall feeding and semi-grazing system dominated the dairy feeding system, and green grasses are the main basal diet of dairy cattle in eastern Bhutan. It is alarming to note that none of the dairy farmers have adopted TMR and UMMB technology even these days. However, most farmers conserved crop residues but maintaining their quality remains a challenge due to a lack of good storage facilities. Significant differences in feeding practices across different farm sizes were observed, χ2 (4, 405) =13.810, p&lt;.05. About 76% of the respondents reported experiencing critical feed scarcity, especially during the dry season. Collection of forages from the forest was the most important strategy adopted by dairy farmers to mitigate against feed scarcity followed by roadside grazing. The study concluded that the pressing issues of feed scarcity particularly during the dry season can be alleviated through the adoption of improved forage technologies, effective feeding strategies, and building the capacity of farmers. </p> Kezang Wangdi Tashi Zangmo Khandu Wangchuk Norbu Copyright (c) 2022 Bhutan Journal of Animal Science 2022-10-31 2022-10-31 27 34 AQUAPONIC FISH PRODUCTION TRIAL IN THE WARM WATER FISHERY FARM <p>The trial was initiated to establish baseline on aquaponics fish production and to transfer the technology to farmer’s field following the study trial success. A total of 340 numbers, 220 numbers of Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio) and 120 numbers of Grass Carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) were randomly selected as experimental fish along with onion for this trial. The growth performances of fish of four tanks (Treatment (T2), Treatment (T3), and Treatment (T4) &amp; Treatment (T5) were recorded monthly through sampling 30 fish (each species) from each treatment tank. The feeding at the rate of 2% of the body weight of the fish were followed during the trail. Data gathered were analysed for descriptive statistics using SPSS. The initial weight and length of C. carpio and C. idella were 7.43g, &amp; 7.55 cm and 4.81g, &amp; 6.94cm respectively. The final average weight gained and length of C. carpio and C. idella were 11.83 g, &amp; 9.5 cm and 9.86 g &amp; 8.6 cm respectively. The C. carpio has revealed the highest survival rate of 62% and C. idella at about 36%. Although, there was no significant difference in performances of both fish species in all tank. The highest average weight and length of leaves (onion) of 189.55g &amp; 38cm was recorded in Tank (T2) where the stocking density of common carp was 100 fish/tank, whereas the lowest 59.7g &amp; 26 cm were found in treatment (T1) where there is no fish in the tank. However, the yield of plant was double the times higher in new technology aquaponics. Nevertheless, aquaponics can be a promising opportunity to reconceptualise the traditional fish farming, to fetch in more money from both fish and plant simultaneously at the farm.<br /><br /></p> Renchen Lhamo Pema Thinley Copyright (c) 2022 Bhutan Journal of Animal Science 2022-10-31 2022-10-31 35 39 PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENT OF COMMUNITY ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION TECHNICIANS IN THE EASTERN REGION OF BHUTAN <p>The study assessed the performance of Community Artificial Insemination Technicians (CAIT) in eastern region of Bhutan. All Gewogs engaging CAIT to deliver Artificial Insemination (AI) Services were sampled along with equivalent number of beneficiaries. Data were collected through face-to-face interview, using semi-structured questionnaire. Results showed that Pemagatshel Dzongkhag had the highest 22 CAITs (27%) out of 83 trained in eastern region. Among 25 CAIT interviewed, 46% are providing active AI services. Most of CAITs providing AI services were youth in their prime age of 18-30 years, with about 56% having secondary school level education. CAITs have supported AI services delivery with 1105 calves born out of 2569 AI performed resulting in calving rate of 43%. The Service per Conception (SPC) was 1.8. The calving rate and SPC is reasonably good in view of precision required in technology application vis a vis limited knowledge of beneficiaries on heat detection for timely AI service. Average inseminations/month and service charge was six and Nu.400 respectively, which however differed significantly among CAITs (p&lt;0.000). With gradual transformation of herd structure of beneficiary households in favor of Jersey crossbred cattle (72%), contribution of CAIT towards breed improvement is eminent. This gives reason for about 80% of beneficiaries interviewed to be contended with the AI services received from CAIT. Similarly, over 57% of the CAITs were satisfied with their vocation and wish to continue it. However, income earned from the vocation is reportedly inadequate to meet financial needs. In addition, mobility problem faced, limited provision for equipment storage shed and lack of safety gears were the factors prompting discontinuations of services by other CAITs. Developing an understanding between beneficiaries to remunerate the CAITs adequately could affirm continuity of their services. Further to improve delivery of AI services by CAIT, it is recommended to address mobility problem faced, provide AI gears and other needed facilities. Besides, advocacy to the farmers on AI services and estrus detection, providing timely refresher course to CAITs would enhance efficiency of AI services delivery.</p> Khandu Wangchuk Nar Bdr Tamang Tashi Zangmo Kezang Wangdi Copyright (c) 2022 Bhutan Journal of Animal Science 2022-10-31 2022-10-31 48 54 EFFECT OF AQUA BIOTA-P SUPPLEMENTATION ON EGG QUALITY PARAMETERS OF COMMERCIAL LAYER HENS <p>The effect of Aqua Biota-P supplementation on egg quality of commercial layer hens was assessed. A total of 300 Hy-Line Brown layer birds of 33 weeks age were used for the study. Treatment and control groups had 150 hens each that were further divided into three replicates of 50 birds each. Layers in treatment group were fed Aqua Biota-P @ 1g/kg feed for 10 days and 0.4g/kg feed for the next 32 days. The egg variables; egg weight, eggshell thickness, albumen height, shell discoloration, egg production and ammonia gas emission from the urine and feces were assessed. A t-test was used to determine difference between the means of control and treatment groups. Correlation test was performed to find the association between Haugh Unit and albumen height. At the end of 42 days trial period, the findings revealed highly significant (p &lt; .003) differences between groups in all the test parameters as a result of feeding Aqua Biota-P. The most significant finding obtained was in improved Haugh Index indicating better-quality egg with higher protein content. Further, a 6% increase in egg production was observed in treatment group. Also, the bedding material in the treatment group had lesser amount of odour and maintained dryness. Thus, the study concludes that Aqua Biota-P supplementation in commercial layers had positive impact on egg quality parameters and health of the birds.</p> Surya Bdr. Chamiling Anup Sharma Wangchuk Copyright (c) 2022 Bhutan Journal of Animal Science 2022-10-31 2022-10-31 55 58 BIOSECURITY SURVEY OF PIG FARMS IN THE DISTRICTS OF SOUTHERN BHUTAN IN RELATION TO RISK OF ASF OUTBREAK <p>African Swine Fever (ASF) is a viral disease of pigs traditionally localized in African countries but have spread into many continents in recent years. Bhutan experienced two outbreaks since 2021 both of which were effectively controlled by stamping out the susceptible population of pigs. Since there isn’t any study conducted to understand the on-farm biosecurity practices of pig farmers in the country, a rapid cross-sectional biosecurity survey among the pig farmers in the six southern districts of the country was carried out. The objectives of this study were to generate baseline information about pig farm characteristics, understand on-farm biosecurity practices and the risk of possible ASF outbreaks in future, and understand the level of pig farmers’ knowledge and awareness on ASF. Using a structured questionnaire, a door-to-door survey was conducted among 527 pig farmers of six districts viz. Samtse, Chukha, Tsirang, Dagana, Sarpang and Samdrup Jongkhar in Southern Bhutan from 14 – 30th May 2022. Data was consolidated, cleaned and analyzed using descriptive statistics, Pearson’s and Yetes’s Chi-squared tests in Microsoft Excel 2016. The study observed that about 67% of the farmers have less than three years of pig farming experience. About 97% of the pigs owned are exotic breeds and their crossbreeds. More than 39% of the farmers do not restrict visitors to their pig farms, and as many as 39% practice swill feeding of which more than 50% feed without boiling. While about 14% share feeds and farm equipment with other farms, only 4% disinfect incoming farm equipment before entering the farm, and as many as 74% do not maintain any records at the farm. Nearly 91% and 81% of the farms do not have perimeter fencing and footbath respectively. Similarly, 58% do not have designated foot wear in the farms. More than 50% of the farmers do not know anything about the ASF, while 26% and 55% are not aware of ASF outbreak at Sampheling and in the North-east India respectively. The level of ASF awareness or biosecurity compliance is directly proportional to the number of pigs the farmers owned. The outcome of the study suggests that there is a low level of ASF awareness and biosecurity compliance amongst pig farmers, especially among the subsistence farmers. There is a clear need for government authorities to educate the pig farmers using appropriate approaches that allow active participation of farmers in the design, planning and implementation of biosecurity practices to enable enhanced adoption. Further, the current situation demands active enforcement of the biosecurity requirements as immediate intervention considering the potential risk of the disease outbreaks.</p> Chador Wangdi Gyem Bidha Copyright (c) 2022 Bhutan Journal of Animal Science 2022-10-31 2022-10-31 59 68 OUTBREAK OF NEWCASTLE DISEASE IN BACKYARD POULTRY FARMS IN PEMAGATSHEL DISTRICT, EASTERN BHUTAN <p>New castle Disease (ND) is very important diseases of poultry and wild birds. Using a case control study design, we identified farm level risk factors for ND outbreaks in Pemagatshel district, Eastern Bhutan. Thirty households that experienced an ND outbreak in 2016 were identified as case whilst those nearest households from same village that had not reported ND outbreaks in the same year were selected as controls. The data were collected using structured questionnaires, and univariable and multivariable logistic regression model were built to identify risk factors related to ND outbreaks. The odd of NCD occurrences in the farms that mixed with the wild birds was 13.08 times (95% confidence interval: 2.96-57.78) higher than those farms that were not mixed with the wild birds. Significant higher odds (adjusted odd ratio: 10.66; 95%CI: 2.3-49.5) of the ND outbreaks were reported in the farms that were having larger flock size (&gt;10) comparing to smaller farm (≤10 birds). Similarly, those farms that were located near the roads were 3.85 times (95% CI: 0.95-15.63) more likely to report ND outbreaks than those farms that were located far from the road. However, regular cleaning of the poultry shed were found to be protective factors with those farms that practiced regular cleaning likely to encountered 0.16 times (0.04-0.66) less outbreaks comparing to those farms that don’t practice regular cleaning. Therefore, improving farm biosecurity and management practices with location of farms away from the road networks had potential to reduce the incidences of ND outbreaks in the future.</p> Lungten Lungten Tenzin Karoon Chanachai Tshewang Rabjay Copyright (c) 2022 Bhutan Journal of Animal Science 2022-10-31 2022-10-31 69 75 PERFORMANCE REVIEW OF ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION IN BHUTAN <p>Artificial Insemination coverage and performance trends in cattle was assessed over the years using annual repository data maintained on AI performance at the national level from 2011 to 2020. One sample T-test was applied and the results are interpreted based on the number of inseminations, progeny born and available breedable cattle population (BCP) in different communities. The total number of AI performance recorded for the 10 years was 83,357, with average AI coverage in total BCP of 8.7±1.1% at the national level. BCP inGewogs with AI facility and BCP accessible to AI facilities stand at 14.5±4.4% and 35.3±7.1%, respectively. Among the BCP accessible to AI facility, the maximum AI coverage was recorded in west-central region with 43.7±8.7%, followed by east-central, eastern and western region with34.9±5.5%, 34.6±9.1% and 33.8±3.5%, respectively. A total of 30,172 progenies born were recorded with estimated national average AI success rate (AISR) of 36.1%. The average number of AI services rendered was estimated at 75/centre/year at the national level. The average number of AI recorded at the regional level was 69±8, 74±10, 84±37 and 78±16 AI/AIC/year forthe western, west-central, east-central and eastern region, respectively. The annual average AISR recorded were 37.7±5.8%, 36.6±5.7%, 37.2±6.4% and 34.5±4.0% for the western, west-central, east-central and eastern region, respectively. At the Dzongkhag level, only Tsirang Dzongkhaghad achieved the national average AI and AISR. Among the operational AICs, only 21% of AICs had achieved both the national average AI and AISR. Up-scaling and engagement of Community AI Technician to deliver AI services, wider application of sexed semen technology, building human resource capacity, creation of awareness on AI among farming communities and regular monitoring of AI performance remains crucial for the success of AI technology. Further, clustering of AICs is suggested to reduce wastage of scarce breeding inputs such as Liquid Nitrogen and imported frozen semen to ensure resource efficient AI services delivery for accelerated breed improvement and rural livelihood enhancement.</p> Dhan B Rai Basant Sharma Nar B. Tamang Min P Timsina Copyright (c) 2022 Bhutan Journal of Animal Science 2022-10-31 2022-10-31 76 86