Mithun is a domesticated beef bovine species in Himalayan foothills of Southeast Asia. It inhabits at an altitude from 300 to 3000 m MSL, often under extensive grazing system. Mithun is a very fertile animal, able to produce one calf/year. Mithun can interbreed with other bovine species, but male offspring are sterile. This chapter intent is to gather and discuss available information on several aspects of reproduction in female Mithun. The morphology of the reproductive organs is different from cattle and has a longer reproductive tract and pregnancies compared to cattle. Although its estrus period is longer than in cow, Mithun usually displays silent heats, requiring a breeding bull for heat detection. Seasonal fluctuations on reproductive pattern have been reported, which are related to forage availability and quality. Calving in summer takes longer to resumption of cyclic ovarian activity than calving in winter. As Mithun is an important socio-cultural-religious-economic asset in India, to counter some short comings, new breeding strategies have been introduced like multiple ovulation and embryo transfer technology. A good understanding of different aspects of reproduction is crucial to support effective reproductive managements to enhance socio-economic status and cultural importance of tribals to preserve Mithun germplasm to be used in future.
Part of the book: New Insights into Theriogenology