Our main responsibility here at farmer.co.ke is to assist farmers to know the reality of various farming project before venturing into. This information helps farmers makes the right decisions. Therefore on this post i am going to discuss in detail about dairy farming.
What is dairy farming?
Dairy farming is basically keeping of cows that produces milk. It is a type of agriculture for long term production of milk. The milk can be used to produce products like cheese and yogurt for human consumption.
Types of dairy farming.
There are three main types of dairy farming. They include;
- Zero grazing – This a where you keep your dairy cows in a well constructed shade and you feed them there. They are not allowed to move around the field.
- Semi zero grazing – This is where you keep keep your dairy cows in a shade for some part of the day and release them to the field to continue grazing.
- Open range – This is where you allow your dairy cows to graze in the field the whole day.
Requirements to start dairy farming.
You can not wake up the following morning and start dairy farm. You need enough time to do research. You need to know the requirements before you think of buying dairy cows if indeed you want to succeed in your project.
In anything that you do, knowledge is very important. You need to understand what you are doing to be successful.
Below are some of the requirements you need to enable you start successful dairy farm.
Space is the most important element when it comes to dairy farming. Your dairy cows will need a space to stay and also a space where you will be able to plant their feeds.
The space that you need depend on the number of dairy cows that you are planning to keep and also may be the type of dairy cows that you want to keep.
The space also depend on the way that you want to keep your cows. Do you want to keep zero grazing, semi grazing or open range? This determined the space you want.
Before you think of buying your dairy cow, make sure that you are able to provide cow feeds. You can decide to plant cow feeds if you have enough space or you can source from outside.
There are a lot of business men and women out there selling cow feeds. But to save your money consider planting them yourself.
3. Cow shade.
Cow shade id very important in this project. Even if you are going to do open range, you still need a shade.
Remember sometimes it can rain heavily and it is not advisable to have your cows rained on. Especially dairy cows. This can increase the chances of your cows getting sick.
Do not forget that the main reason of keeping dairy cows is to produce milk. Therefore, you can not milk the cows everywhere in the field. You need to construct a descend place to do milking.
4. Veterinary doctor and medication.
If you want to succeed in dairy farming, make sure that you have a veterinary doctor near you because your cows at sometimes, your cows needs to be treated and this can be done by a professional person.
For better results make sure to avoid doing things in your farm the local way. Professionalism is very important here.
5. Dairy cow.
Now after you have all the above requirements, it is now time to buy dairy cow of your choice. But remember to buy the type of dairy cow that you can manage in term of feeds. The number of dairy cows you can get will depend on the following;
- Your finance
- Available space
- Market for dairy product
Note: Never keep what you can not afford and never produce what you can not sell.
Popular types of dairy cows.
There are various types of dairy cows in the world. In our discussion i am going to pick only five types which are famous in Kenya and Africa since they are favored by African climate.
The five types of dairy cows include;
- Ayrshire breed
- Friesian breed
- The jersey
- The short horn breed.
1. Ayrshire breed.
Ayrshire is one of the most popular dairy cows. This dairy cows got the name ‘Ayrshire’ since they were first discovered in the Southern Western part of Scotland in a county called Ary. They most have white and brown skin color.
This breed is good for milk production . One Ayrshire cow can produce up to 35 liters of milk per day.
Ayrshire milk is considered to be the ideal milk for drinking since it has good amount of proteins and enough fat.
Most farmers like this breed because it does well in various climatic zones. Ayrshire breed is also resistant to many diseases.
2. Friesian breed.
Friesian breed is popular for high milk production. This breed can produce 45 litres to 60 litres of milk per day.
Many farmers especially in Kenya likes this breed following high demand of milk in the country. Most of the friesian dairy cows can be identified by their black and white skin color.
3. The jersey cow.
The jersey cows are also famous in Kenya. They are also good in milk production and many farmers like this cows because of the quality of their milk. This type of dairy cow can also adapt various climates. This make this cows suitable to be kept in various parts of the country.
When it comes to the quantity of milk production per day, they are average. When fed well, one jersey cow can produce up to 25 litres of milk per day. Their body size and feeding habit contributes to less production of milk in terms of quantity.
4. Guernsey cow.
This is another good cow for milk production. This type of dairy cow can produce up to 25 litres of milk per day.
This type is good for young farmers since they do not eat much feeds compared to the other breeds. They also adapt various climatic zones.
Another good thing about this breed is that at the age of two years they are ready to produce calves. This is what makes this type of dairy cow suitable for those farmer doing dairy farming for commercial purposes since you can make money early.
5. Short horn breed.
This is also a good dairy cow which is good for young farmers. This breed is suitable both for milk production and meat production.
Many farmers likes this breed because of its life span. This will enable you to produce milk for a longer time without having to worry about replacing your herds.
They are also good in diseases resistance since they have excellent immune system.
Dairy farming is a good project is done well. With this project you will never go wrong because there is endless market far dairy products.
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