Dairy practice

HOW TO START DAIRY GOAT FARMING BUSINESS

Raising dairy goats has already been recognized as a very profitable business idea throughout the world. Because, goat milk has a great demand worldwide. Goat milk and many dairy products prepared by goats milk are very popular. Goat milk is highly nutritious and easily digestible than cow’s milk. It also has a unique taste and flavor.

Goat’s milk is also highly enriched with many necessary vitamins and mineral supplements. Along with producing milk, dairy goats also produce meat, mohair, hide, leather and manure (used as fertilizer in crop fields). As a result dairy goat farming for profit can be a great income source for the people who are interested in this business. You can sell other products and earn money if your goats produce less milk.

Photo/courtesy

How to Start Dairy Goat Farming Business

The steps for starting dairy goat farming business are shortly described below. Follow these steps carefully.

Select Breeds

Choosing the suitable goat breeds for your business is one of the most important factors of starting dairy goat farming business. Because, choosing right breeds according to your area plays an important role in their production. Choose those breeds for your business which are easily maintained and will produce highly in your area.

On an average Saanen, Anglo Nubian, Alpine, Jamunapari, LaMancha, Oberhasli and Toggenburg are popular and highly productive dairy goat breeds.

Feeding

Good food always keeps the amimal healthy and productive. In case of dairy goat good feeding practices increase the milk production. You can do the feeding processes of your dairy goats in many ways. You can feed your goats forages including corn silage, haylage, hay and many types of by products like beet pulp and brewers grain. You can feed them dry hay in round bale feeders or along the feed alley. In case of ensilaged feed you can set up newer and bigger operations. You can also feed your dairy goats purchased or homemade supplementary feed with grain. Be very careful while providing supplementary feed for your goats. Ensure all nutrition elements and necessary vitamins are available in their food. Along with providing good quality food for your goats, provide them sufficient amount of fresh and clean water.

Housing

Being small sized animal goats require less place for living than cow. You can easily keep many goat in the place required for one cow. You also can keep your goats with your other livestock animals. For commercial dairy goat farming many different buildings will be very suitable for housing them.

Breeding

Naturally dairy goats are fall breeders and produce kids in the spring. But by using different techniques and modern farming methods, many dairy goat producers are kidding throughout the year. And by applying those methods producers are producing milk over the whole year. In traditional breeding system producers use bucks for breeding. But in modern system producers are applying artificial insemination to improve their genetics. For commercial dairy goat farming artificial insemination is very effective than using bucks for breeding purposes.

Keeping Kids

Most of the dairy goats give birth of multiple kids only once every year. And raising the kids is an intense job for the producers. Most of the dairy goat producers keep the female goats and sell the bucks after a few months. You can also keep the female kids for milk production and sell the bucks when they reach slaughter age. Feed the kids nanny for a few days after their birth and after that you can feed them cow colostrum. After that, feed the kids milk replacer with bottles, nipple pails or with automatic kid feeder. At their age of 1-2 months, you cal let them to go with their mother and have some food from the grazing place.

Milking

Milking goats is very easy and simple. You can milk your goats manually or by using milking equipment and parlours like cow. See this guide on how to milk a goat & how to milk a goat by hand.

Dairy Goat Farming Tips

  • Make a suitable shelter and house for your goats.
  • Make a fence around your farm area.
  • Always feed them nutritious, fresh and healthy food.
  • If possible, make a pasture for your goats.
  • Make a separate room for milking your goats.
  • Take extra care to the kids and pregnant goats.
  • Make a to do list before starting dairy goat farming business.
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Dairy practice

FOUR MODERN MILKING PARLOUR DESIGNS

We all know milk comes from cows. Some of us even think chocolate milk comes from brown cows. All jokes aside, how does the milk get from cows to our table?

“That’s easy!” you say. “You squeeze the udder and milk comes out!” And while milk is released from the udder by a gentle squeezing motion, the days of pulling up a stool and breathing on your hands to warm them up before embarking on a tedious, yet rewarding task are long behind us.

Photo/courtesy

These days, more efficient machines and sometimes robots provide relief to the hands of farmers around the country. Dairy farmers use different milking equipment depending on how many cows they milk, how many times a day they milk, the cost of machinery and their personal preference. It’s not just the equipment that has changed either; the way dairies are designed has also changed since the days when each farmer had just one cow.

On a dairy farm, the place where the milking magic happens is called a “parlor.” Milking parlors, like cows, come in all different shapes and sizes. Farmers put a lot of thought and effort into the design of this space, and it’s not so much about feng shui as it is about functionality.

Here are the four main designs of milking parlors used by dairy farmers.

1. Parallel

As the name suggests, cows stand parallel to each other in this design. So, if the cows are standing side to side, that only leaves one access point for the milker to reach the udder: the rear end! In parallel parlors, milking doesn’t begin until all cows are in their stalls, and they are all released from the parlor at one time.

2. Tandem

Tandem parlor designs are not all that dissimilar to tandem bikes, in that the cows stand nose-to-tail inside individual stalls. This gives the milker a side-on vantage point of the udder. Cows can be released one at a time, too, so if one cow is moving a little slowly, all her friends don’t have to wait for her to finish.

3. Herringbone

Herringbone parlors are the most common design used on dairy farms with smaller herds. The cattle stand at a 45-degree angle. This design offers the milker a different access point to the udder than the parallel or tandem designs, and also allows access for different types of equipment to be used.

4. Rotary

Rotary parlors are like carousel rides for dairy cows. The milking stalls are arranged in a large circle on a platform that rotates slowly. Cows can walk in, and depending on the size of the platform, finish milking by the time they’ve completed a lap or two. Rather than the milker having to walk around the parlor to attach the milking equipment to each udder, they can stay in one place and let the cows come to them!

Sometimes people think cows are milked 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While a dairy operates 24/7, cows are milked two or three times every day, and it only takes about 7 to15 minutes each milking, depending on the cow and the system.

No matter which parlor design, rest assured the cow’s udder is always washed clean before the milking machine is attached. That wholesome, nutrient-rich milk is never touched by human hands, is tested multiple times for impurities, is safely pasteurized at a processor, and reaches you safe and cold within two days.

Decision making

How to construct an ideal zero grazing unit

Zero grazing is a form of centralising all your cow husbandry activities such as feeding, watering, milking and health management.

Proper planing is therefore, necessary before starting a zero grazing system.

Generally, the benefits of this system includes cows being confined, therefore using the most energy from feeds for growth and milk production, enabling clean milk production, encouraging good calf rearing, proper manure collection, animals are protected against diseases and predators and it allows for closer observations of the animals.

The difficult part is that much more labour and capital for construction is required and the animals can be easily stressed due to their close confinement.

Picture /courtesy

The standard zero grazing unit system has various essential areas. Each cow has a resting place known as the cubicle, which should be high enough and spacious. It should not be too small or too big to allow the cow to turn around inside. An ideal cubicle should have a length of 7ft and a width of 4ft that is separated from each other by two timbers.

The floor should be raised and filled with murram, or you could provide a cow mattress if you can afford it, but not made of concrete

Walking area is about 3 metres wide between the resting place and where the feed and water troughs are located. This area is known as the dunging and sunning area. There should be no roofing here but the floor should be made of concrete for easy collection of urine and manure. The surface of the floor should be rough so that animals cannot slip, and it should slope from the milking place towards urine and dung collection pit.

Along one end of the walking area are the feed troughs with water trough in the middle. The inside measurements of the feed trough should be 2ft wide at the bottom and be raised at least 1/2ft above the ground level of the walking area. Shallow feed troughs allows for feed spillage hence wastage.

Next to the cubicle is the milking parlour. The floor should be made of concrete sloping towards the walking area. A feed trough should be fitted at the of the milking parlour for feeding the cows during milking. A head yoke should be constructed to restrain the animal during milking.

The calf pen is normally constructed opposite the milking place with 4 by 5 ft floor.

All the measurements here are subject to change depending on the size of breed you intend to keep. The above measurements is construction of zero grazing unit for 6 cows.

We recommend construction to be supervised by a livestock extension officer because mistake made can be very costly.

Disc mowers

The Master piece of Kuhn Mowers, simple Design, Superb Cutting 

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Due to the high reliability, excellent crop cutting, and overall adaptability to varrying terrains, the 100 series cutterbar is a staple in the premium series. 

See for yourself by taking a closer look at what the 100 series cutterbar has to offer.

Protection should an obstacle be struck: the PROTECTADRIVE system is designed to protect the cutter bar gear train and minimizes the risk of downtime. 

High wear resistance: knife attachment hardware is fully protected. For added safety, heat treated steel cups are welded to the disc. 

Increased service life: disc pinion shaft bearings endure radial forces for maximum bearing life. This optimum position improves the load balance 

Withstands the highest loads: special high-capacity bearings fitted in a one-piece sealed housing are not subject to distortion. 

Minimum wear or distortion risk: idler gear fasteners are located in heat treated steel cups. Correct alignment is ensured without the risk of distortion. 

Long term reliability: large-diameter gearwheels in high tensile forged steel with reinforced teeth. 

Perfect sealing: top-quality o-rings used on cutter bar Bearing housings for a perfect, leak free seal. 

Repair
Kuhn cutter bar repair
Disc mowers

KUHN MOUNTED DISC MOWERS

Today, all high-perfomance farms are aware of the importance of basic forage for their herds. All the extra energy available in the forage is reflected in high productivity and hence high revenues.

Hay mower
Picture of a Kuhn four disc mower

How to achieve top quality forage

With KUHN mowers you can count on several features, which helps keeping the forage clean, avoid it is chopped and preserve the swath. Features for an optimized ground pressure and travel range have been put into action on both series.

Important parts, as the attachment frame have been reinforced to enhance the machine’s stability even more.

Grass must be cut not chopped

The crop should be quickly ejected into the swath and only cut once. Double cutting causes higher crop losses, delays regrowth and increases the power requirement on the tractor.

Mow at the right time

Especially for silage, harvesting at the right stage means gaining the full value of forage plants : sugars, proteins, minerals and dry matter. Therefore, capitalizing on tight weather windows at the stage when the forage is ready, is an important building block to preserve the forage quality.

Specific Design of the Cutting Unit.

The disc mower’s bevelled knives ensure a high quality clean and even cut.The oval shaped disc as well as the compact and streamlined profile of the cutter reduce soil and crop residue accumulation.

Cutting Height

An ideal and constant cutting height is obtained by simple adjustment of the top link.

Lifting skids are optionally available, if higher cutting heights are required.

Converging Disc Rotation

On KUHN mowers, each pair of discs is driven with a converging rotation. Be sure, No double cutting will degrade your forage.

Perfect Ground Contouring

The cutter bar is positioned close to the tractor wheels, ensuring a quick adaptation when driving over rough terrain.

An optional mounting of the suspension ensures an optimal balance of the cutter bar.

The disc mower flotation, which also allows appropriate working speeds.

Safety Breakaway Mechanism

Should an obstacle be struck, the safety breakaway causes the mower unit to swing slightly backwards. The impact is significantly reduced. You can reset the device simply by reversing.