Decision making

Traits to consider when buying a Dairy cow.

While it is true you can mint millions selling milk produced by your dairy animals, farmers fail to attain this lack of good planning at the foundation level. At the very core of any good dairy farming, breed selection and subsequent animal husbandry are of paramount importance.

There are many traits to consider when buying a Dairy cow. However, Milk production is a factor of the generic make up and the environment like housing, feed and health management.

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It is important to consider the following factors before deciding on the dairy cow to purchase.

1.Production traits

These traits refer to milk volume and the contents ie percentage of butterfat level, protein and other non-fat solids. Milk volume should be considered relative to amount of feeds consumed since more produce from relatively lesser fodder is proof of a high feed conversion efficiency. More solid in milk generally increase the quality.

2.Conformation traits

These traits give an indication of the performance of the dairy animals and include the udder structure, nature of feet or legs, and general dairy character.

The udder should be pliable, silky in texture, sack like in nature and non pendulous but firmly attached with strong suspensory ligaments high up the vulva region. A huge udder is not necessarily a sign of high milk production. The teats should be average sized and evenly placed and pointing straight down on the udder.

Good feet and strong legs lead to longevity of a Dairy cow and facilitates it to be able to feed comfortably especially when in-calf.

Observed from the behind, a Dairy cow’s hind legs should stand straight and wide apart while the side view should show a slightly set back sickled ending with slightly angled feet.

3.Fertility traits

The number of inseminations per conception will always determine the success of a breeding programme. The fewer the inseminations per conception, the better the fertility of a particular.

4.Longevity traits

This determine the amount of total lifetime milk production of a cow but it is usually influenced greatly by other traits such as health and fertility. Choose heifers or bull semen from families with a history of cows that can maintain high production ability across many lactations as well as have as many normal calvings as possible in their lifetime.

5.Health traits

Emphasis should be laid on choosing disease resistant and Hardy animals to remain in production for long.

6.Calving ease traits

Physical traits that facilitate easy calving include a wide pelvic diameter and a gentle slope from pin to hip bone. A cow’s body frame should portray a strong straight back or loin which is essential during gestation in enabling the animal to comfortably feed as well as carry the foetus to term.

KUHN machines

Factors to consider when buying a tractor 

Are you interested in buying a farm tractor? Given that tractors come in different sizes, have different power ratings and are produced by a host of manufacturers, you need to do some homework before you buy one to avoid future regrets. 

Some factors you need to consider before purchasing your tractor are listed below. 



The heart of the tractor, the engine provides the power to do heavy work. Most tractors run on gasoline or diesel fuel, with diesel engines usually offering more power than the gas counter parts. The strength of the engine is measured in horsepower, a higher number means more power, so large tractor with high horsepower is needed for intense farming tasks. 


The type of transmission is a key feature to consider, because it will make a big difference in the way the tractor performs. Some tractors such as those with hydrostatic transmissions, are driven with foot pedals, and increasing the speed of the tractor is as simple as pushing harder on the pedal, making these types of tractors very easy to drive. 

Power Take-off 

One of the most important parts of your machine, the PTO is a spinning shaft commonly located at the rear of the tractor. It provides power to attachments such as mowers and hay balers, and often has its own horsepower rating separate from the tractors engine. 


For the tractor to be used with other equipment, it has to have at least one type of attachment hitch. One of the most useful is the three points hitch, which includes a hydraulic lift for raising and lowering attached equipment: simple drawbar hitches are also common, as well as specialized hitches for attachments such as front-ended loaders and forklifts. 


Hydraulic power can be used in several ways. Hydraulic power steering can make turning easier, while power is also used for lifting attachments and power implements such as backhoes and front end loaders. 


The tires of a tractor are designed to provide lots of tractions so that the tractor can do heavy work. The tyres are traditionally filled with air, but it’s also popular to fill them with heavy fluid, such as automotive antifreeze or windshield washer fluid, that will give more weight to the tires and provide even better traction. 

Availability of spares 

When considering to buy a tractor, it is important to also consider availability of parts and servicing. It is better to buy a tractor from a known brand dealership that’s been in business for long time. 

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KUHN machines

Kuhn Feed Mixer Wagons-The Largest Capacity with the Lowest Height. 

The new single auger feed mixer offers a new solution for all farmers with difficult-to-acces buildings and/or who need a variety of distribution configurations.

Feed mixer wagon

With capacities of 4 to 18 metre cubic the vertical auger mixers epitomise Kuhn’s expertise mixed rations. This new range has many advantages that will make it your best assistant in your farm.

Compact– the body geometry provides for large capacities at low heights e.g 13 cubic meters for less than 3.00m

Wide choice of capacities- depending on your ration and size of your herd, you can choose from 4 models with capacities ranging from 4 to 18 cubic meters.

Vertical Auger concept- this machine is extra versatile. Whether you are working with silage-based rations or fibrous rations, the auger calibrates the strands on demand and produces an excellent quality mix.

Designed to last- the new single auger range is designed based on the double auger machines: integrated chassis, oversized angle gearbox etc.

A highly accurate weighing system helps guarantees efficient management of fodder stocks and rational feeding. The electronic weighing system supplied as standard on the KUHN mixer range let’s you know exactly how much fodder is loaded into the machine and ingested by the animals.

KUHN machines

Kuhn Rotary Rakes 

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The second operation after hay mowing is raking, which has the purpose of collecting your mowed grass in line for easy baling. 

Kuhn rotary rakes produce fluffy, well-informed windrows to help you dry your hay faster. This allows you to harvest your crops at at their peak nutritional value with less reliance on the weather. 

Kuhn rotary rake

Long flexible tines touch the crop just once, lifting and depositing it neatly into the windrow. The gentle raking action ensures that the leaves remain intact for maximum quality. 

Kuhn rotary rakes are available either as multi rotor system or single rotor with the latter featuring a reliable grease filled gearbox and double bent tine arms for superior raking quality and gentle crop handling. 

The three points mounted rakes with working widths not less than 3.20m will give you a superior raking performance, while keeping the leaves of your crop intact and allowing you to harvest at peak nutritional value. 

Fully Enclosed Gear case 

They have a fully enclosed single-stage gearbox which is greased filled and sealed to be maintenance free ensuring a long life. For additional security, the tine arms holders are fixed on both the upper and lower gearcase covers. 

Heavy Duty Tines 

Kuhn tines, rake the crop gently, yet thoroughly, even in dense heavy crops. Their heat treated steel construction helps ensure a longer service life and maximum resistance. 

Rotor wheels 

The rotor wheels on Kuhn rotary rakes are positioned extremely close to the tines, this is to allow the tines to follow ground contours minimizing contact with the ground to avoid incorporating impurities into the windows. 


5 Maintenance Tips to extend your  Equipment Life. 


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Small, medium and large size machines especially farming equipment requires constant maintenance to keep them in good working condition. Poor handling and maintanance results into poor performance of the equipment, costly breakdown and ungaranteed safety of the operator and persons nearby. 

Here are five top tips for machinery and equipment maintenance

  1. Stay on top of machinery operator trainings 

Many farms have multiple operators, operating one machine. One of the ongoing inspection on any checklist should be overseeing the correct operation of the equipment at any given time. 

Farming equipment should be inspected as soon as it is purchased. Operator training is usually and should be done at that particular point, but training should be kept up considering the fact that employees come and go, skills become rusty and poor operations results into breakdown. 

Machines are provided with operator manuals which should be revised for the specific work situations. A short manual can be provided to each operator for easy reference.

 2. Add and Test lubricants frequently. 

Lubricants reduce friction around any moving parts.  Good lubrication in a scheduled time extends the life of any machinery equipment and parts. 

Lubrication is one of the most important checks for maintenance. Look for any signs of excess oil or grease build up, check for leaks around oil seals etc. 

Make sure you use the right lubricant, there are specific oil and grease to be used in every equipment and component, check this with the manufacturer. 

3.Check for signs of Wear. 

Wear may result from, vibration, shock, high temperatures and age. All these contributes to breakdown of parts in machines. 

  • Vibration may result from gears and belts which are out of alignment. 
  • Shock can come from accidents and from poor operator techniques. 
  • Extended use, friction, poor lubrication, worn out parts etc may cause high temperatures. 
  • Age affects many components like seals will dry and crack, bolts will loosen and stretch out of shape etc. Age is a factor to monitor in every equipment. 

4. Keep equipment clean and maintain clean Environment. 

There are many seals and filters in place on agricultural machines to keep working parts clean and free from contamination. Seals ought to be inspected regularly to make sure they are in good condition. 

Farm machines should be stored in a shed, or other building free from dust, wind and bad weather failure to which it will result to rust and rot. The machine should also be run regularly if it is not in use. 

5.Have a maintenance and repair schedule. 

The cost of regular maintenance is very small when it is compared to the cost of a major breakdown at which time there is no production. The importance of regular maintenance is to ensure that all  your equipment is at 100 percent operating efficiency. 

The operators manual provided with the machine elaborates frequency of maintenance in every part of the machine. Check out on lubrication schedule, parts to be replaced, check tightening of bolts and nuts etc. 

  • Regular maintenance has the benefits of:
  • Fixing big problems is expensive 
  • Boosting your resale value of your machine 
  • Reduces injuries and fatalities 
  • Extending equipment life. Etc 

To conclude, following the above 5 steps, can significantly extend the useful life of your machine, improving the return on investment, improve safety of the operator and any other third party. 

Maintenance of a Kuhn mower