Starting a dairy farm is not an easy task, so is any venture not only farming and it’s a million and one divisions. A new dairy farm needs a lot of planning and capital!
Planning, however, is the big word here! You cannot wake up one morning, check your bank account, buy stuff and start a dairy farm. Starting a dairy farm needs more than money…it needs planning and clear goals of where you are going and what you need to achieve. If you add a bit of passion to the mix and you are destined for success.
We are going to focus on two important factors which are the main determinants to milk production; Breed selection and Feeding. Other honourable productivity mentions include; Health, reproduction and housing. If you get these steps right, then you are on the right track to success.
Look for a good breed
You are starting a dairy farm to get milk and make money right? Yes! Knowing the right breed to buy is a priority because it will determine how much milk you get daily (This is assuming you will manage your farm well – and in manage, I mean feeding your cows right and making sure they don’t get sick).
These are some of the main breeds;
Fresian: The Fresian has a milk yield between 25–30 litres per day.
Jersey: The Jersey breed has a milk yield between 15–20 litres per day.
Ayrshire: The Ayrshire has a milk yield of 20 litres per day.
Guernsey: The Guernsey cow can give you up to 25 litres per day.
Fleckvieh: The Fleckvieh breed is a multi-purpose, meaning it can be used for milk and meat. It produces between 18-20 litres per day.
Follow the right breeding programs to ensure your cow gives birth every year. It’s a huge blessing when your cow gives birth every year. It’s a big deal. It ensures you have a constant flow of milk and new cows to replace the old ones.
Always use artificial insemination (AI) to breed your dairy cows. AI gives you imported, superior, disease-free bull semen that will improve your herd.
It is cheaper to buy local breeds and use AI to perfect them over the years. It is time-consuming but it will save you a lot of money as a beginner farmer.
Cows are simple creatures. Give them food and they will give you milk. Give them enough good and nutritious food and they will give you a lot of milk. Food and water should readily be available to your dairy cows.
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