Dairy Farming Set Up Guide For Beginners
Dairy farming from being a traditional family-run business, 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 helps 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 villages 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 good knowledge about all aspects of scientific management of dairy animals as well as management of the 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 traditional 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 takes care of the effects of dairy farms on environments and animals for a longer period. Dairy farming set up needs some requirements well before establishing it.
Space/Shelter Requirements of Dairy Farming Animals:
All the animals require shelter for protection and comfort. They can perform better under favorable environmental conditions. The 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, ectoparasite, and endoparasites. The comfortable temperature range for dairy breeds of cattle, buffaloes, and goats is 15°C to 27°C. 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 causes stress in the 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, the 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 of India:
As part of dairy farming set up, you must be careful while selecting the quality dairy breed for the purpose.
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 million However many of these breeds cannot be strictly considered as breeds/
Fodder Management of the Dairy Farm:
Following the main Feed Contents:
Read: Importance of Salt in Livestock Feed.
Daily Dairy Farm 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:
Tick infestation is one of the major constraints in the tropical environment for dairy, Goat, Sheep & other domestic animals. Tick also spread many parasitic diseases in animals & human beings. Including that it sucks blood from animals, so the animal may not able to produce well (Milk, Meat, etc). It also produces skin diseases. There are major things to be considered while controlling ticks- Farmers used to chemical control against ticks but it is unidirectional means they spray insecticide on the body of animals, this will kill ticks or other ectoparasites but could not control ticks or another ectoparasite in hiding surrounding/vicinity. Eg: ticks may hide in cracks, Crevices in animals shed. It also hides under the 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 the following things:
- Clean animals shed & surrounding prior to controlling animal shed. Remove the stubble or waste material which may act as a hiding ground for ticks.
- Remove or plaster the cracks & crevices of the wall of animals shed.
- Remove weeds & stubbles 15 to 20 feet around the animals shed.
- If possible burn the walls as well as hiding grounds of ticks with a flame gun with proper precaution.
- Spray recommended insecticides under the supervision of veterinarian on the animal body as well as an animal shed on the same day.
- If the 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. Especially prior to monsoon & after September month (Initiation of winter season).
Read: Dairy subsidy information.
There are few chemical insecticides which are used in controlling ticks
|Trade Name||Content||Class||Concentration in Water|
|Spraying on Animal Body||Spraying in Shed|
|Butox (15, 50, 250, 1 Ltr)||Deltamethrin 12.5 mg/ml||Pyrethroid||2-3 ml/lit||5 ml/lit|
|Ektomin (15, 50, 1 Ltr)||Cypermethrin 100 EC||Pyrethroid||1 ml/lit||20 ml/lit|
|Clinar (15, 50, 1 Ltr)||Cypermethrin 100 EC||Pyrethroid||1 ml/lit||20 ml/lit|
|Tik Kill||Cypermethrin 100 EC||Pyrethroid||1 ml/lit||20 ml/lit|
|Taktik (50, 250 ml)||Amitraz 12.5% w/v||Pyrethroid||2 ml/lit||4 ml/lit|
|Cythion (250, 500, 1, 5 Ltr)||Malathion 50% w/v||Organo Phosphate||5 ml/lit||10 ml/lit|
Do not use Benzene Hexachloride powder (BHC), DDT for control of ectoparasite as it is banned & not disintegrated for many years in the environment.
In an organic way, a highly concentrated solution of common salt is used to control ticks but it has limited success.
Dairy Farming Reproduction/Breeding Management:
Reproductive characteristics of cattle and buffaloes:
|Age at puberty (months)|
|Oestrus cycle length (Days)|
|Oestrus signs duration (hrs|
|Gestation length ( Days)|
|Age at first calving (months)|
|Calving intervals ( Months)|
Signs of oestrus in cattle and buffaloes:
- Standing to be mounted by other cows
- Attempt to mount other cows
- Stringy mucus hanging from the 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 the breeding of cattle and buffaloes:
- Animal body weight below 250 kgs – not suitable for breeding.
- Animal body weight above 250 kgs – fit for breeding.
- If oestrus signs observed in morning-breed the animal in the evening.
- If oestrus signs observed in the evening- breed the animal on next day morning.
Importance of pregnancy diagnosis in cattle and buffaloes:
- Pregnancy diagnosis should be done after 45-60 days of breeding by a qualified veterinary doctor.
- This facilitates optimal feeding and care of pregnant animals in positive animals.
- This provides a clear way to breed the animal in the next oestrus in negative animals.
Knowing the reproductive status of dairy animals:
- 18 hours (an average of 12-30 hours) of oestrus signs—Normal
- Less than 12 hours/absence of oestrus signs-abnormal (anoestrus)
- 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, Cu, I, Mn and Vitamin A
- Failure to recognize that an animal is pregnant.
- Anoestrus due to uterine pathology such as pyometra, mummified fetus, fetal maceration, mucometra, and hydrometra and
- Insufficient hormonal stimuli.
- Unobserved oestrum may be due to managerial deficiencies and a short period of oestrus.
- The dairy animals should be observed for heat signs at least three times a day.
- Wall charts, breeding wheels, herd monitors and individual cow records may be used to identify the oestrus.
- Teaser bulls (vasectomized or by applying apron) are useful in identifying heat in a large number of animals especially buffalo cows.
- Provision of adequate lighting to improve oestrus detection.
- Silent / weak / Suboestrus are most common in buffalo cows and common in the postpartum period. In this cyclical changes in the genital organs occurs but the signs of heat are not exhibited or not observed. This requires a rectal examination by a qualified veterinary doctor.
- Extra feeding of a concentrated mixture or grains like maize, Cholam, kambu. Etc., and at least a small amount of green fodder along with other roughages.
- The mineral mixture should be properly supplemented
- After breeding the animals should be checked for pregnancy within 45-60 days by a qualified veterinary doctor.
- Uterine pathology and hormonal stimuli should be handled by a qualified veterinary doctor.
Read: NFT Farming in India.
Care and management immediately after calving:
- Cleaning the udder and hindquarters 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 the cow for placenta expulsion.
Essential requirements in calf housing:
- Dry bedding
- Well ventilated environment
- A specific minimum cubic air capacity per calf
- A draught free environment at calf level
Floor space requirement for calves:
|Age of calves (months)||Covered area( m2)||Open area(m2)||No. of calves/pen|
Feeding and watering space requirements of calves:
|Feeding space (cm)||Watering space (cm)|
A feeding schedule of calves:
|Age of calf||Body weight (kg)||Quantity of milk(kg)||Concentrates||Green fodder|
|From birth to 4th week||25||2.5||Smaller rate||Smaller rate|
|4 to 6th week||30||3.0||50 to 100 grams||Smaller rate|
|6 to 8th week||35||2.5||100 to 250 grams||500 grams|
|8 to the 10th week||40||2.0||250 to 350 grams||750 grams|
|10 to the 12th week||45||1.5||350 to 500 grams||1.0 kg|
|12 to the 16th week||50||–||500 to 750 grams||1.5 kg|
|16 to the 20th week||55||–||750 to 1000 grams||2 kg|
|20 to the 24th week||60||–||1 to 1.25 kg||3 kg|
|6 to 9th month||70 to 100||–||1.25 to 1.5 kg||5 to 8 kg|
|9 to 15th month||100 to 150||–||1.5 to 2.0 kg||8 to 15 kg|
|15 to 20th month||150 to 200||–||2.00 to 2.25 kg||15 to 20 kg|
|Above 20 months||200 to 300||–||2.25 to 2.50 kg||20 to 25 kg|
Vaccination particulars for calves:
|8 weeks before weaning||A black quarter (1st vaccine)|
|2-4 months||FMD first vaccine|
|6-8 months||FMD booster vaccine|
|6 months||AnthraxBlack quarter (2nd vaccine)Hemorrhagic septicemia vaccine|
|4-8 months||Brucella vaccine|
|Early once||FMD vaccine|
Milking Practices in the Dairy Farm:
- Training of milkers should be done by a person from the milking machine company. This person has good knowledge about the biology of milking, machine milking as well as with the design, function, and maintenance of the milking equipment. The train
- 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.
- ing should include introduction procedures, milking routine, handling of the machine, cleaning and maintenance as well as certain aspects of the day-to-day service of the machine.
- 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.
- It is most appropriate to start with heifers since it is easier to habituate heifers than older cattle to machine milking.
- Calm animals that are comfortable with hand milking should be selected. The udders and teats of the animals should be uniform with respect to confirmation and size. Cattle in heat or unhealthy animals or animals with previous let-down-problems should not be selected.
- 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 Set Up in India:
As the most of the states in India, as well as Central government of India, 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. You can also contact your local banks for the required loan amount and other procedures to avail subsidies for your planned dairy farming set up in India.
Note: Please, contact your Veterinary doctor or animal husbandry technical officer before using any information.
That’s all folks about Dairy Farming Set Up In India.