Decision making

Why you are making losses as a dairy farmer who is new to the business. 

According to research, large scale dairy farming in Kenya accounts for 20 per cent of national milk production, whereas small scale farming accounts for the remaining 80 per cent.

More than enough people are making money out of this renown business, however, starting such a farm without extensive and proper knowledge may lead to huge losses and frustrations.

Photo/ courtesy

Listed below are some of the many reasons why new dairy farmers end up failing.

Thirst for money

One needs to come into terms with the fact that dairy farming is more of a passion than business. It requires extensive knowledge and research and tons of patience. Venturing into this field with the aim of getting rich is a huge mistake. You need to appropriately do your research to acquire extensive knowledge on animals and their behavior, feeds etc. It is worth noting that one is dealing with live animals and not some machines.

Lack of knowledge on the reproductive cycle.

Many new farmers only focus on milking after buying the cows forgetting that the animal should conceive by 4th or 5th month after calving.

Many are unable to detect the heat and depend on local government veterinary doctors for artificial insemination which makes the animals miss their heat cycle. By the time one realises the mistake, the animals are already in their 8th or 9th month of milking.

If you have 50 animals, which are not pregnant and are in 8th month of milking, it means they have to feed 50 non-milking animals for next 9 to 10 months which obviously results in huge losses.

Improper feed and fodder management.

Some farmers cut down on the feed and fodder a few months after the initial phase, even after the milk yields reduces. This makes the cow develop health and reproductive issues due to nutritional imbalances. Feeding should be done according to body weight and yield of the animal. During dry months you can cut down feed a bit but should not reduce it drastically.

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