What is dairy farming?
Dairy farming is a type of agri-business involved in the production of milk from domestic animals. The plant which processes milk and produces milk products are called dairy plant or dairy. Animals which are used for milk production in the dairy farm are called dairy animals. In India cows, she-buffaloes and female goats are generally used for milk production on a dairy farm. Success in dairy farm business depends on several factors. Some important information for dairy farming business is given below
Advantages of dairy farming
- The initial investment in dairy farming is low in comparison to other Industry.
- It is environment-friendly. Pollution risk from dairy industry is very low.
- The demand for milk product is increasing rapidly.
- Cow dung is good organic manure it increases soil fertility.
- Cow dung can be used for the production of biogas. Slurry from biogas can be used for vermi -composting
- The risk from animal death can be reduced by insuring cows.
Constraints of dairy farming
1-Milk is a perishable product need early marketing/preservation.
2- Trained and experienced manager is needed for management. The success of the dairy farm depends on early heat detection, timely breeding, and proper feeding and disease control.
3- Cost of milk production is increasing in recent years due to the increase in the cost of feed ingredients.
3-Proper bio-security measure is essential to keep animals free from disease.
Land selection for dairy farm
- Select a land for dairy farm which is elevated from the surrounding.
- Avoid low land and water logging area.
- The soil of the selected land should be fertile as the major portion of land will be utilized for fodder cultivation.
- There should be a good supply of fresh, clean and soft water.
- There should be good communication to farm
- The site should be nearer to Veterinary hospital /Artificial insemination center.
- There should be electricity supply to the proposed dairy farm site.
- Training of the farmer/entrepreneur:- Success of dairy farm depends upon scientific management of dairy animals. Proper training on dairy farming is highly essential before starting a dairy farm. Animal husbandry department regularly conducts training on dairy farming. An entrepreneur can contact KVK, veterinary college, Local veterinary Officer for training on dairy farming.
- Selection of dairy animal Species:-In India both cows and buffaloes are used for milk production. Each species has its own merits and demerits as a dairy animal. The entrepreneur should take a decision about animal species depending upon merits and demerits of the animal. One can also start a dairy farm with 50% cows and 50% buffaloes.
CHOOSING PROPER DAIRY ANIMAL (COW OR BUFFALO?)
Merits of a crossbred cow versus Buffalo
1:-Crossbred cow gives more milk than buffalo(4000-5000Kg/lactation)
2:- Calving interval between two calving is less in comparison to Buffalo(about one year)
3:-Crossbred heifer attains maturity at an early age (one year to 18 months)
4:- Crossbred cows are quiet, can be handled easily
5: Can be milked easily with a milking machine
5:-Cost of Crossbred cow is less in comparison to Buffalo of the same yield
6:- It is easy to detect heat and artificially inseminate a cow
Demerits of crossbred cows
1-Fat content in milk is low only 3.5-6%
2-Sale price of cow milk is less in comparison to buffalo milk
3- Crossbred animals are not suited to our environmental condition
4-CB animals are more prone to mastitis, milk fever & other diseases
5- Cost of male CB animal is negligible
Advantages of Dairy buffaloes
1-Buffaloes are best adapted to our local environment
2-Buffaloes are disease resistant
3-Fat content of buffalo milk is more in comparison to CB Cows (6-9%)
4-Buffalo milk fetches more price
5-Male buffalo fetch a good price
6-Buffalo Can survive well with crop residue during drought.
Disadvantages of Buffalo as a dairy animal:-
1-Buffalo heifer Mature at an age of 2- 3 years
2-Calving interval is 3-5 months more in comparison to CB Cows
3-Most of the buffaloes come to silent heat which is difficult to detect
4-High yielding buffaloes are not easily available
5-It is difficult to handle buffaloes since they are vicious
Selection of Dairy animal
How to select a cow for the dairy farm?
Selection of cow is moist important step in dairy farming Success of the dairy farm business depends upon the appropriate selection of dairy animal. Given below are some important points which may help in the selection of a good dairy animal.
1- It is better to purchase an animal from the organized farm as they maintain a pedigree record of the animals.
2- Check the pedigree record of animal and choose a suitable animal based upon production record.
3-If purchasing from market/fair give stress on breed characteristics
4- Select dairy animal in first or second lactation and in the second month of calving.
5- Body of the animal should be angular.
6-Skin of the animal should be thin, pliable, hairs smooth, fine and soft.
7- cow should be should be docile. and allow anybody to milk.
8-Nostril of the cow should be large and muzzle wide and moist.
9-Horns should be smooth and typical of the breed.
10-Neck should be slender and of medium length.
11-Eyes should be Large, bright and prominent.
12- Dewlap should be thin, light with graceful folds.
13- Chest should be wide with the well-arced thorax.
14-Hip bones should be prominent and wide apart.
15-Pin bones should be prominent and wide apart.
16-Hind legs should be prominent and wide apart.
17-Udder should be well developed, pliable, Free from fat and fibrous tissue.
18- Milk Veins should be long, tortuous.
19-Teats should be medium and uniform.
20- Cow must have a healthy calf.
21-Check 3-4 consecutive milk yield before purchase.
Here are some links to the dairy farming business plan/project report and government subsidy/assistance schemes.