To enhance productivity and upgrade goats in the countryside, DOST-PCAARRD in recent years has invested in the promotion of goat AI as an alternative to natural breeding. To ensure that only dry does are subjected to estrus synchronization and AI, efficient screening of pregnancy must be done, as subjecting already gestating goats may lead to abortion. After AI, pregnancy screening is again needed to confirm if the does indeed conceived; if not, follow-up inseminations need to be conducted. But with the absence of farm records in most smallholder farms, identification of pregnant does is difficult. Although ultrasound and other commercial detection methods are available, the cost and expertise required are issues. This prompted the development of a portable and non-invasive pregnancy detection kit for goats using barium chloride in 2019 by researchers from ISU.
The kit contains a urine collecting bag and a tube holding the barium chloride (BaCl2) solution. In using the kit, 2ml urine is added to the 2ml BaCl2. Precipitation indicates pregnancy, while clarity of the mixture indicates otherwise. Accuracy based on field test is 90% at 60 days post-breeding. This non-invasive pregnancy test has 92% specificity (ability to identify dry does) and 96% sensitivity (precision in diagnosing true pregnancy). The kit and the protocol have been submitted for patent registration at the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL).
For more information, please contact:
Dr. Aubrey Joy Balbin (Technology Generator)
Isabela State University (ISU)