Dairy practice

MOST EFFECTIVE PRACTICES FOR PROFITABLE ZERO-GRAZING ENTERPRISE

Many dairy farmers have raised inquiries concerning the most effective practices for a profitable zero-grazing enterprise. Dairy farmers ought to perceive that zero-grazing is different from zero feeding.

Many farmers have incurred huge prices in putting in place zero-grazing enterprises however have ended up failing miserably. Influential leaders haven’t been spared either. And all this is often because of an absence of understanding of the pertinent needs for a profitable zero-grazing investment.

Zero-grazing or stall feeding is essentially confining animals in an exceedingly stall and feeding them there. There’s minimum movement of cows because they’re not allowed to graze within the fields and so the term zero grazing. Several dairy farmers in Kenya hold the zero-grazing model of farm production attributable to the various advantages accruing from it. Issues like shortage of pasture, low productivity of dairy cows, caliber fodder, prevalence of diseases and lack of cash are handled during this system of farm production.

The zero-grazing unit

Zero-grazing unit aspect elevation

Zero-grazing
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Cows are unbroken and fed within the stall all year. The positioning where the unit is constructed determines the potency of operations throughout the zero-grazing enterprise. It ought to be close to as potential to the supply of forage to scale back labor prices of carrying the cut grass to the cows and carrying manure back to the farm. Zero-grazing needs an increased level of labor input, due to the requirement to chop grass daily. The time demand is about three-man hours/cow/day. Proximity to the homestead in respect to the biogas plant is additionally a very important thought.

The quality and amount of construction material ought to be assessed completely to work out the smallest amount potential value whereas maintaining quality of the house. Quality materials that are regionally accessible will greatly scale back prices. The cow shed should be practical, low cost and long lasting. The selection of a skilled worker is vital as a result of plenty of high-priced material may be wasted by hiring a foul skilled worker. Note that the foremost expensively engineered stable isn’t perpetually the most effective and most economical one. Farmers are advised to use recommended zero-grazing housing plans.

Improved dairy breeds

In order to extend milk production, you would like to target fewer, higher fed and higher quality animals. Stock the units with dairy cows that are bred specifically for milk yield. Vital dairy breeds of cows in Kenya for high-milk yield are Jersey, Ayrshire, Guernsey, milk cow and Sahiwal.

Maintain the farm breeds by upgrading your stock through AI exploitation tested dairy-bull semen. choosing sensible cows and culling non-playacting ones let alone sensible calf rearing for replacement stock ought to be an integral part of the system.

Adequate forage resource base

Grassland management and adaptability are the keys to the effectiveness of this method. Planning is vital to confirm there’s perpetually adequate forage accessible for the animals. Zero-grazing will offer opportunities for herd growth by increased forage utilization or through accessing land on the far side cow walking distance for grazing. Assume commercially and recognize the most forage production potential of your farm holding and therefore the potential quantity of off farm forage accessible to your herd in an exceedingly given year. This may change you to work out the most range of animals your zero-grazing enterprise can support. The quantity of forage, if obtained inside or outside the farm, is really the one most resource that determines the quantity of cows or animals which will be sustained within the unit because of.

  • In feeding the cows the forage to concentrate quantitative relation cannot surpass 60:40 %. A quantitative relation of 70:30 is suggested.
  • Forages take time to ascertain as hostile concentrates which might be purchased on demand.

Elephant (nappier) grass (penisetum puperum) grass is most well-liked because the main fodder crop as a result of it’s advantage of being comparatively simple to grow and re-grows apace when cutting. Different helpful crops or grasses are fodder maize and fodder sorghum. Opt for the foremost appropriate fodder to your section.

Replenish soil fertility by utilization of all manure on the Napier crop each two to three days. Apply four luggage of fifty kg of fertilizer NPK fertilizer (20-10-10) per acre per annum. This could additionally apply once establishing different quite fodder. Harvest the mature Napier grass when it’s mature to 60-90cm tall. The aim should be to supply the best quantity of dry matter (DM) per unit area of fodder.

Plant 0.75 – one acre of Napier grass per mature cow and her offspring. A daily intake of 75-100kg of recent grass/cow may be achieved with sensible management to give a dry matter intake of 14-16kg/day. A recent weight intake of 100kg/cow/day would be needed for 15kg DM of grass.

Become brilliant at manufacturing and preserving feed for the season to confirm that milk production is maintained at a gentle rate throughout the year. one in all the best issues is providing sensible quality feed to the herd throughout the season. Dig a silage pit to store and preserve animal feed. Learn to store grass to be used throughout the season by creating your own silage and fodder. The increased utilization of off farm fodder will provide a rise of stocking rate on the farm. You’ll be able to get or rent additional land for animal feed or purchase feed from neighbors.

Feeding

Cows fed to capability on grasses alone have the potential to supply up to a most of seven kilos of milk per day. Extra milk is supported by concentrates. Keep in mind that it’s pointless to feed supplements once forage needs don’t seem to be met.

Give concentrate supplement because the main supply of energy and energy. Most farmers like giving farm meal to the cows at milking time. Supplement at a rate of one kilo for every 1.5 liters of milk the cow produces on prime of the seven kilos of milk contributed by grass. Different concentrates like edible seed cake, cotton seed cake and bran are accessible. For instance, farmers say that the employment of brewer’s waste as a feeding supplement, ad lib, will increase milk production by seven liters per day.

But the foremost vital factor is to own your ration formula right. Ration formulation could be an advanced method and any farmer cannot simply bed. You may want the talents of skilled professional to return up with the proper mixture of the feeds accessible to your cows. Invest in an exceedingly chaff-cutter to mill crop residues for feed so nothing goes to waste. Cows should have adequate feeding house, and wastage should be monitored, to confirm feed intake is maximized. Wastage ought to be but five-hitter, and refused material should be far away from the feeding space daily, as this can decompose rapidly.

Innovative dairy farmers have come back up with home-mix farm rations. An example composition of a one hundred kilo of home-mix farm ration is forty kilo flower cake, forty kilo maize grain, ten kilo sorghums, five kilo Glycine max beans and five kilo dried cassava chips. The mixture is dried and processed. Farmers who use this home-mix state that they get double as much milk from their home combine as they are doing for constant amount of purchased business dairy meal.

Mineral lick ought to be offered to the cows ad libitum within the mineral box. Water ought to be accessible throughout the day because it makes most of the milk.

Stable manure production

Manure ought to be treated rigorously to reap most get benefit from it. Manure contain high content of organic matter and minerals that improve soil fertility so forage yields and is supply of material for biogas production. Cover the manure pit to stop nitrogen losses.

One cow will produce up to twenty tons of compost per year depending on accessibility of crop residues. Twenty tons of compost contains close to eighty kilos of nitrogen, forty kilos of phosphate and ten kilos of hydroxide.

The manure made from three cows is comfortable to supply thequantity of gas required for cooking and lighting within the farm.

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Mobile Milking machines

DAILY CHECKS, MAINTENANCE AND ALL ABOUT MILKING MACHINE

More farms are adopting milking machines due to for health and hygiene reasons.

Good milking techniques require that the cow remains comfortable and relaxed. This is a plus that farms who use milking machines have over hand-milking.

The effectiveness of a milking machine lies in its efficient functioning, cleaning and correct application and removal.

Photo/courtesy

CHECKING COMPONENTS

Proper management of milking machines requires that all the parts are understood well. Routine maintenance or cleaning of mechanical parts and rubber components form the basis of their being effective.

This calls for constant examination of the machine. Daily checks require that the air vents are inspected for blockages. Blocked vents eventually lead to slow or incomplete milking and makes the removal of clusters difficult. Carefully remove dirt but avoid using equipment that may enlarge teat holes.

The milk vacuum must be checked and listened to ensure all pulsators have regular and intermittent sounds. The milk entering the enclosed receiving churn should flow evenly.

The cow’s behaviour must be checked. Does she feel nervous or comfortable when teat cups are applied or removed? Try to feel for any swellings at the top, middle or end of the teats.

Search for cracking or sores made on the teat canals by the machine. Also check for completeness of the milking. Weekly checks mainly lie on examining the filters, pulsator airlines and liners.

Check for mouthpiece cracks, splits or distortion.

Additional regular checks require monitoring the teat cup slips from teats regardless of the udder conformation. More teat cup slips means incorrect mounting. Note the average time of milking; a milking machines adjusted correctly takes seven minutes, but this may vary depending on the amount of milk a cow produces.

A routine maintenance demands that teat cup liners be changed after every four to six months as recommended by manufactures. Since liners are the parts of the machine that get into direct contact with the cow during flexing and squeezing of the teat, they lose tension, absorb milk fat and hold bacteria with time.

The tension lost with time is sufficient enough to cause incomplete milking, expose the cow to increased teat end damage and spread bacteria.

EQUIPMENT CLEANING AND SANITISING

Cleaning ensures milk residue and dirt are removed from the equipment while sanitising removes bacteria from already cleaned surfaces. Both practices minimise bacterial contamination and spread in the machines. To clean, first detach the parts then remove all loose dirt and rinse the machine with warm water.

Follow by hot cleaning using a detergent to clear surface deposits, then rinse with cold water. Finally, apply a sanitiser, especially to surfaces that come into contact with the cow and allow to dry under shade with sufficient flow of air.

APPLICATION AND REMOVAL

First, clean and dry the teats of the cow before attaching any part of the machine. Dirty and wet teats increase the risk of mastitis infection and contaminate milk with bacteria. Then just before you mount the teat cups, check for mastitis.

Gently squeeze each teat for the first milk squirts and check against a strip cup for clots or abnormal milk colour. Ideally, teat disinfection before attaching the milking machine can be done to help reduce mastitis.

When the teats appear filled with milk, gently mount the teat cups. This appearance results from stimulation of milk let-down effect and is the best time to fix the machine. During milking, monitor for any air leakage through the teat cups.

Adjust the cups to hang over the claw correctly to arrest leakages. Less flow of milk into the collection churn is an indication of milk let-down coming to an end. At this time, cut the vacuum to the cluster to release the teat cup. Pulling off without cutting the vacuum is not advised as it encourages the damage of teats.

After completely detaching the machine from the animal, follow by hand-milking to ensure milking is completely done.

To conclude, be warned that cleaning these machines may not be easy and careless detaching of parts may cause damage. If not sure, always contact where you sourced the machine for help in maintenance and cleaning services.

With machines, there is little milk spillage, no environmental contamination and guaranteed cleanliness provided the equipment is thoroughly cleaned.

There is also less or no damage on teats. Sometimes use of hand milking can be painful depending on the milk man.

Long nails also cause cuts on teats. Milking machines make the cows feel more confident, calm and relaxed for free milk let-down.

Milking machines make dairy farming easy and enjoyable.

Dairy practice

How to become a successful Goat Farmer

In order to be a successful goat farmer, there are basics you must consider or know before you start a goat farm. These include but not limited to the following:

Location: The most important consideration you must first make is location. Common goats generally survive in warm areas that are well drained. Apart from temperature, space is necessary. Goats live in groups, so individual pens are not effective. A large field is needed if you want your animals to roam freely. Freely roaming goats usually have better resistance to sickness and infection. The best locations for a goat farm are those that are far from towns because urban pollution is dangerous to animal health. Goats are known to eat a lot of grass on a daily basis. So make sure their food source is highly accessible and not too far from the rearing area.

Land requirement: Goats can be reared intensively on small acreage by using supplemental feed. If using an extensive system, 2 to 10 goats per acre is a rough guide depending on the supply of grass and brush. Goats are top down grazers and will select from weeds, leaves and grasses to meet their own requirements. They can also help to improve marginal areas encouraging re-establishment of grassy species so providing low-cost environmental management.

The type of goat breed: The type of goat breed is the next important thing to consider when you start keeping goats. Depending on your purpose, there are breeds that produce more milk while there are also those that grow quickly. You can farm both types of breeds and you will be harvesting both meat and milk. Different breeds also require different levels of care. Make your research and consult an expert so he can help you decide what will be best for your farm.

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Access to a veterinarian is another important thing to consider. When starting a goat farm, you expect many of your animals to contract diseases. A veterinarian can help you in disease control and management to avoid losses. Vets can also help you diagnose diseases or recommend vitamins and supplements to keep your animals in good health especially during stressful situations such as weaning.

Health: You must keep your goats healthy and strong. Build a big barn because goats live in groups. They must also be allowed to roam, run around and have fun. If the goats are bred well, they become rarely sick and they usually produce better milk and meat. Keeping them healthy by making them happy is not a hard task. Goats are very picky with food. They don’t eat dried or soiled grass. Make sure you have enough clean, fresh grass for them so they don’t go hungry.

Housing: With a well-designed barn or shed and good management, you are sure to reap all the profit you want from goat farming.

Dairy practice

HOW TO CHOOSE A GOOD DAIRY COW BREED

Whether you are seeking a family dairy cow (for your own use) or a cow to use on a dairy farm, there are several factors to consider. To choose the right breed, begin by determining your needs and limitations, such as your budget and how you will use the cow (and milk). Next, spend some time learning about common dairy breeds, such as Holsteins and Jerseys. Ultimately, with careful consideration, you will be able to select the best dairy cow for you.

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Consider the cost of feed. The bigger the cow is, the more you have to feed her. Although, a bigger cow may produce more milk, you don’t want a monthly feed bill that exceeds what you’re able to spend.

Holsteins are the biggest eaters and will cost the most.

Brown Swiss cows are somewhere in the middle.

Jerseys are the smallest and need the least amount to eat.

Gauge the cow’s temperament.

What kind of cow do you think you can handle? Can you deal with nervous cows or would you need to have very docile ones? Take this into consideration when selecting a breed.

Brown Swiss cows are the most docile dairy cows.

Holsteins tend to be a bit nervous.

Jerseys can be notorious kickers

Decide what you’ll use this cow for.

If you are raising a cow to be part of a dairy farm, obviously milk production will be a crucial factor. On the other hand, if you only need enough milk for your family, you may not need such a high-production breed. You may wish to mix your herd if it’s for commercial reasons, such as adding a few Jerseys to a predominantly Holstein herd to increase the Holstein’s butterfat content.

    • If you’re looking to maximize milk production, Holsteins are the way to go.
    • If you’re only wanting milk for you and your family, you may want to consider a cow that doesn’t give as much milk (such as a Jersey).
    • Breeds that are dual-purpose (produce both milk and meat) may be ideal, but this will produce less milk overall.
    • You may also want a dairy cow for butter and cheese making. Jerseys and Brown Swiss produce milk higher in butterfat and protein content, making them ideal for cheese and butter making.

    Look at cull cows.
    Dairy cows that have been culled from conventional dairy operations are cheaper. However, such cows may have injuries, illnesses, or inability to breed back.

    • If you are a dairy farmer just starting out, avoid these cull animals.
    • As a hobby farmer you may not mind the time, money and feed invested in rescuing and caring for one or two cull dairy cows.
Dairy practice

Seven Surprising Dairy Cow Facts.

Dairy farmers take great pride in caring for their dairy cows and keeping them healthy and comfortable.

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Here are seven facts about dairy cows that might surprise you.

Dairy cows have four stomachs. Technically, cows only have one stomach, but it has four distinct compartments. It is very difficult than a human stomach, so that’s why people often say cows have stomachs. The first three compartments process feed in a way that people cannot. Due to this unique digestive system, cows have the ability to convert plants human can’t into nutritious milk.

A cow that is milking eats about 100 pounds of feed each day. The feed is typically a combination of grass, grain and mixture of other ingredients like citrus pulp and cotton seeds. These are items that may otherwise be thrown away. We like to think of cows as the ultimate recyclers. The ingredients that we cannot eat can often be nutritious to them.

A cow that is milking drinks about 30 to 50 gallons of water each day. That’s enough water to fill a bathtub. During periods of heat stress, water intake may double.

There are six main breeds of dairy cows. The main breeds are Ayrshire, brown Swiss, Guernsey, holstein, Jersey, and milking shorthorn. A seventh, red and white, is a variation of the holstein breed.

An average Holstein dairy cow weighs about 1,500 pounds. That’s nearly one tonne. A cows size depends on a variety of factors like age, breed, feeding, genetic potential and other factors.

An average dairy cow produces 7 to 9 gallons of milk a day. That’s about 128 glasses of great tasting, nutrient packed goodness.

Cows like it cool. Due to their thick skin, hair and natural insulation, dairy cows prefer temperatures between 40 and 65 F. Farmers in cooler climates have several ways to take care of their cows in the winter, such as closing the barn doors or hanging plastic curtains over the open sides of the barn. During summer, farmers keep their cows cool by turning on their barns fans and water misters