Thursday, April 15, 2010

Embryo Implantation at ATARC and Al Amin Feedlot Visit


Apr. 15th, 2010

Boran cows that were embryo recipients
Abera and I headed to ATARC this morning to implant embryos.  It was overcast when we got ready to leave so I asked Abera if I should get my coat.  He said no it will not rain at Adami Tulu.  It rained much of the drive and was raining in Adami Tulu when we arrived.  We sorted out the animals and began to work.  The rain slowed down and stopped most of the time that we were working. The Ethiopian crew did a very good job working the cows and assisting us.  We transferred eight embryos.  I could not pass through the cervix of one of the recipients but the others went very well.

After we finished Abera and I talked with the two main herdsmen that we worked with.  I gave them each a pocket knife and had Abera explain to them what it meant to me.  I challenged them to take very good care of all of the animals especially the five that were going to calve in May.  They were very happy and agreed to do a very good job.

We had lunch at the American hamburger place in Ziway.  Eddy was there so we talked with him for a little while.  It appears that the business is not doing very well.  For Ethiopia the food was very good but I think the quality of the hamburgers has slipped a little.
Bull fattening for export at Al Amin Feedlot south of Adami Tulu

On our way back we stopped at the Al Amin feedlot and talked with Abe the on site manager.  He gave us a tour of the facility.  It is another USAID project which seems to be working very well.  The animals are fattened and then shipped to slaughter houses near Nazaret.  The meat is exported for international sale.  The export market recognizes the better quality beef and pays more of a premium than the local market does.  We saw a feed that is an oilseed cake mixed with whole cottonseed.  I was very excited to see the cottonseed used as feed.  I hope that I can get some for our cattle too.
Fully Fattened Boran bull ready to go to market

We spent the afternoon in Abera’s store in Arsi Negele.  It appears that he was in the right place at the right time with the right amount of money.  It is a nice medium sized shop on Main Street with two rooms facing the street and a large open area in back.  He hauled in a truckload of the red volcanic gravel to put on top of the mud making it a lot nicer to walk from the road to his shop.  He hasn’t decided what to do with his shop yet so we used it as an office.

I went through the Select Sires DVD with Mulgeta, Gemechu and Abera teaching them the theory of artificial insemination of dairy cattle.  If all goes well I will have them breed a few tomorrow in Kokosa.

For dinner tonight I had a nice salad with a light olive oil and vinegar dressing and some spaghetti with meat sauce.  The spaghetti was slightly overcooked and the sauce was very sweet, a little disappointing after such a great salad.

I had a good long talk with Erika on Skype.  The family has had the flu which in addition to the home repairs is very tiring but she seems to be handling it well.

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