Dairy Farming Guide For Beginners:-

Dairy Farming from being a traditional family run businesses, today has grown hugely to an organized dairy industry with technological specializations in every part of the process. We have seen tremendous growth in dairy farming equipment that help modern dairy farms to manage thousands of dairy cows and buffaloes. This huge boost in the industry has created a lot of farming jobs for the people. But many of the dairy farms still manage and run organic dairy farms mostly in village and supply the milk to get processed by large companies and finally sell to the retail outlets.

Anyone opting to go in for dairy farming must have a genuine love for the welfare of cows and buffaloes as dairying requires long hours of tiring and harsh work without there being any holiday. Further to be a successful dairy farmer one must have a good knowledge about scientific management of dairy animals as well as management of dairy business. The selection, breeding, feeding, management housing and healthcare requirements of high grade crossbred cows and genetically superior buffaloes are different in many respects from our tradition methods of cattle rearing.

The best approach is to create and run a sustainable dairy farm that gives maximum profits to the firm and also take care of the effects of dairy farms on environments and animals for a longer period.

Space/Shelter requirements of Dairy farming animals

II animals require shelter for protection and comfort. They can perform better under favorable environmental conditions. Housing of animals need initial capital to the extent the dairy farmers can afford. The animals are to be protected from high and low temperature, strong sunlight, heavy rainfall, high humidity, frost, snowfall, strong winds, ecto-parasite and endo-parasites. The comfortable temperature range for dairy breeds of cattle, buffaloes and goats is 150C to 270C. Climatic stress occurs when the temperature goes 50C below or above this range.

High humidity combined with high temperature causes more stress to animals in tropics. Rainfall in cold climate also cause stress in temperate zone. Strong winds further aggravate the conditions both in tropics and temperate climate. Several techniques are available to provide relief from hot weather conditions for lactating dairy cows. In tropical and sub-tropical climates, well-ventilated shed is a necessity at points of high heat stress, such as feed barns, loafing areas, and in holding areas. It is important to provide a sufficient flow of air through the building in which the animals are kept to ensure optimum thermal conditions for dairy animals.

Dairy Breeds:

India is a rich repository of bubaline genetic resources nbsp There are 10 breeds of buffaloes in the country with a vast population of 97 92 millions however many of these breeds cannot be strictly considered as breeds/

  1. Murrah Buffalo
  2. Mili Ravi Buffalo
  3. Bhadawari Buffao
  4. Jaffarabaadi Buffalo
  5. Surti Buffalo
  6. Mehsana Buffalo
  7. Nagpuri Buffalo
  8. Breeding strategies for sustainable buffalo production
  9. Local non descript buffaloes under low to medium input production system

Fodder Management in Dairy Farming:

Following the main feed contents:

  1. Maize
  2. Jowar sorghum bicolor
  3. Bajra or pear millet pennisetum typhoides
  4. Teosinte euchlaena Mexicana schrad
  5. Cowpea vigna unigiculata
  6. Berseem trifolium alexandrinum L
  7. Oats Avena Sativa

Daily Dairy farming management: This should be daily practice at the livestock/dairy farms for proper disposal of farm waste including dung, urine and waste fodder etc, to improve the farm hygiene and to reduce the odour problems on dairy farms, including proper selection of a farm site, general farm management and manure land application techniques, and treatment of manure by chemical or other means.

Disease control and management in dairy farming:

Tick infestation is one of the major constraints in tropical environment for dairy. Goat, sheep & other domestic animals. Tick also spread many parasitic diseases in animals & human beings. Including that it suck blood form animals, so animal may not able to produce well (Milk, Meat etc). It also produce skin diseases. There are major thing to be considered while controlling ticks-Farmers used to chemical control against ticks but it is unidirectional mean they spray insecticide on the body of animals, thi will kill ticks or other ecto parasites but could not control ticks or other ecto parasite in hide surrounding/vicinity. Eg: ticks may hide in cracks, crevices in animals shed. It also hide under stone, boulders, dampened areas, waste material places in & around animals shed.

Ticks are very hardy against harsh climatic situations. It is assumed that one tick may lay 1500 eggs per cycle. So consider these things, farmers should do following things:

  • Clean animals shed & surrounding prior to controlling animal shed. Remove the stubble or waste material which may act a hiding ground for ticks.
  • Remove or plaster the cracks & crevices of wall of animals shed.
  • Remove weeds & stubbles 15 to 20 feets around the animals shed.
  • If possible burn the walls as well as hiding grounds of ticks with flame gun with proper precaution.
  • Spray recommended insecticides under the supervision of veterinarian on animal body as well as animal shed on the same day.
  • If infestation of ticks is severe then do spaying at regular interval like 15 to 29 days up to the control of ticks. Then do these practices of control at regular 3-4 months interval. Specially prior to monsoon & after September month (Initiation of winter season).

Sings of oestrus in cattle and buffaloes:

  • Standing to be mounted by other cows
  • Attempt to mount other cows
  • Stringy mucous hanging from vulva
  • Mucus smeared on buttocks
  • Increased restlessness
  • Drop in milk yield
  • Reduced feed intake
  • Frequent bellowing
  • Chin resting on cow’s rump by other cows, tail raising
  • Vulval oedema
  • Frequent urination

Best time for breeding of cattle and buffaloes:

  • Animals body weight below 250 kgs – not suitable for breeding.
  • Animals body weight above 250 kgs – fit for breeding.
  • If oestrus signs observed in evening – Breed the animal at next day morning.

Importance of pregnancy diagnosis in cattle and buffaloes:

  • Pregnancy diagnosis should be done after 45-60 days of breeding by qualified veterinary
  • This facilitates optimal feeding and care of pregnant animals in positive animals.
  • This provides clear way to breed the animal in next oestrus in negative animals.

Knowing the reproductive status of dairy animals:

  • 18 hours (an average of 12-30 hours) of oestrus sings – Normal
  • Less than 12 hours/absence of oestrus sings abnormal (Anoestrus)

Reasons:

  • Failure to detect oestrus signs.
  • Suboestrus, weak or silent oestrus.
  • A low plane of nutrition lack of energy and protein, deficiency of minerals namely P, CO, FE.
  • Failure to recognize that an animal is pregnant.
  • Anoestrus due to uterine pathology such as pyometra, mummified foetus, foetal maceration
  • Insufficient hormonal stimuli.

Management:

  • Unobserved oestrum may be due to managerial deficiencies and short period of oesstrus.
  • The dairy animals should be observed for heat signs at least three times a day.
  • Wall charts, breeding wheels, herd monitors and individual cow record may be used for id.
  • Teaser bulls (Vasectomized or by applying apron) are useful in identifying heat in large number
  • Provision of adequate lighting to improve oestrus detection.
  • Silent/Weak/Suboestrus are most common in buffalo cows and common in post partum occurs but the signs of heat are not exhibited or not observed. This requires rectal examin.
  • Extra feeding of a concentrate mixture or grain like maize, cholam, kambu, etc., and t leat roughages.
  • Mineral mixture should be properly supplemented
  • After breeding the animal should be checked for pregnancy within 45-60 day by qualified
  • Uterine pathology and hormonal stimuli should be handled by qualified veterinary doctor.

Care and management immediately after

  • Cleaning the udder and hind quarters of cattle.
  • Mucus removal from the face and nostrils of calf and induction of respiration.
  • Allowing the calf to suck the colostrum.
  • Naval cord ligation.
  • Watching of cow for placenta expulsion.

Essential requirements in a calf house in Dairy farming:

  • Dry bedding.
  • Well ventilated environment.
  • A specific minimum cubic air capacity per calf.
  • A draught free environment at calf level.

Milking practices in dairy farming:

  1. Training of milkers should be done by a person from the milking company. This person has good knowledge about biology of milking, machine milking as well as with the design, function and maintenance of the milking equipment.
  2. The concept of machine milking should be introduced slowly and by persons who the cattle are used to and feel comfortable with under the supervision of an expert.
  3. Farming should include introduction procedures, milking routine, and handling of the machine, cleaning and maintenance as well as certain aspect of the day-to-day services of the machine.
  4. Installation of the milking machine and any other modification in the dairy farm should be made well in advance of the changing to machine milking.
  5. It is most appropriate to start with heifers since it is easier to habituate heifer than older catte to machine milking.
  6. Clam animals that are comfortable with hand milking should be selected. The udders and teats of the animals should be uniform with respect to conformation and size. Cattle in heat or unhealthy animals or animals or animal with previous let down problems should not be selected.
  7. Milk the old and selected animals as usual by hand but let the vacuum pump run during milking. This will make the animals accustomed to the noise. Put the pump on before actual milking, but after the cattle have been tied up, otherwise the animals may be startled by the sudden noise. Repeat the procedure (usually 2 to 4 times) until all cattle are accustomed to the noise.

Government schemes for dairy farming:

As the most of the states in India as well as Central government provides financial assistance to set up dairy farms in rural areas, find out with respective state government dairy department or NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and rural Development) for loan facility.