Small Scale Dairy Farming:
The following write up is all about small scale dairy farming.
Introduction to Small Scale Dairy Farming – The Best source of Income
One of the best sources of income for farmers is dairy farming. Dairy farming can give a good support for farming and manures from animals are the best organic matter that improves soil fertility and crop density. Anima waste i.e. dung that is used generate goober gas that can be used for household purposes and to run some small electronic machines used in agriculture. And the crop fodder and by-products can be used to feed the animals in the dairy. Bullocks are used in the farm for farm operations like transportation, plowing etc. And dairy can be the best source of income for the farmers during their unseasoned time. Dairy earns you money throughout the year. So, this dairy can generate best financial support for small farmers and agricultural labors. Profits margin depends on the animal breed. Small and agriculture labors play a major in milk production in the nation. Small scale dairy farming can opt as main source income in rural and urban where there is a huge demand for the milk.
Major Requirements to Start a Small-Scale Dairy Farm
Starting a dairy farm by implementing the latest and modern methods and techniques can earn you the best profits. Basic infrastructure and machinery and other formalities required to start a farm are listed below:
Small Scale Dairy Infrastructure Requirements
- At the initial step, construct a strong shed in the area where you planning to start the dairy farm.
- The area you select should be dry, don’t go for an area that has more waterlogging and rain prone.
- Construct the shed walls about 1.5 to 2 meters high. Walls should be plastered and waterproofed.
- Construct the roof of the shed about 3 to 4 meter-high, and the shed should have good cross ventilation as well.
- Shed flooring should be hard and rough. The floor should be well sloped so that water can be drained easily.
- A standing space of 2-meter x 1.05 meter for each animal should be provided.
- Buildup a manager space area with 1.05 meter with a front height of 0.5 meters and depth of 0.25 meter.
- Corners in manager, troughs, drains, and walls should be rounded for easy cleaning.
- Each animal should have loaf space of 5 to 10 square meter.
- The shed should be maintained in a cool condition and sprinkle cool water in summer.
- Animals should be kept warm in winter and rainy seasons.
- Each animal should have separate bedding in the shed. Should maintain a good sanitary condition around the shed.
- Keep away insects and flies by using sprays and cleaning shed with Malathion or Copper sulphate solutions,
- Cow / Buffellow urine can be drained into the fields using irrigation channels.
- The animal matter should be decomposed properly, Dung can be used in gobar gas plant. Or dung and bedding material and other farm wasted can be turned into a compost.
- The animal should be given comfortable space in the house. for free movement.
Select the Animal for Small Scale Dairy Farming
- Once you are ready with investment, purchase the stock from a reliable breeder or livestock market.
- Select the animals that are healthy, for this you take the help of the veterinary officer or other technical officers.
- It is preferable to purchase the calved animals in their second or third lactation.
- Check the milk yielding more than three times before purchasing the animals.
- New animals should be given identification marks.
- Newly purchased animals should be vaccinated.
- New animals should be under observation for certain period then you can join them in general herd.
- The minimum number of animals for a dairy farm is two. Purchasing of animals should be done for every 5 to 6 months.
- Buffalos are seasonal so purchase them only in winter July to February.
- It is preferable to purchase the second animal when the first animals are in its last stage lactation and it is about to dry.
- You should plan your funds for even maintaining dry animals.
- Follow judicious and replacement of animals in a herd.
- You should cull the old animals after 6 to lactations.
Feeding the Animals in Small Scale Dairy Farming
- Animals should be fed with feeds and fodders.
- They should be fed with green fodder in the ratio.
- It is recommended to grow green fodder on your land itself (homegrown).
- Cut the Green fodder at the right stage of its growth.
- Chaff roughage before feeding.
- Crush the grains and concentrates.
- Use flaky and crumbly oil cakes.
- Moisten the concentrate mixture before feeding.
- The food you should have complete minerals and vitamins. Use salt licks besides the addition of mineral to the concentrating ratio.
- Animals should be given clean and clean water.
- Animals should be given proper exercise by wallowing daily.
- Sprinkle water on them in summer to reduce their suffocation in summer.
- Daily feeds should be 2 to 3 percent of their body weight of the animal.
- You can prepare silage from green fodder crops for feeding animals in dry periods. This can drastically reduce feed cost.
Milking in Small Scale Dairy Farming
- You should collect the milk in two to 3 times a day.
- Milking should be done at fixed timings.
- Milking should be done in 8 minutes at every time.
- Milking should be done in the clean area.
- Clean udder with antiseptic water and dry before cleaning,
- The person who milks the animals should be disease free and should wash his hands completely.
- Milking should be done with full hands, quickly and completely followed by stripping.
- You should milk the sick animals at the end to reduce the infection or avoid milking the sick cows.
How to Protect Animals Against Diseases in Small Scale Dairy Farming
- Should keep eye on each and every animal and should be alert diseases like fever, abnormal discharge.
- You should consult the nearby Veterinary officer.
- You should protect animals from common diseases and flues.
- In the case of house break of contagious diseases, keep them always from the healthy animals. Take necessary disease control measures.
- Animals should be given periodic tests for Tuberculosis, Johne’s diseases, Mastitis etc.
- Deworm the animals regularly.
- Examine the feces of adult animals to detect eggs of internal parasite and treat the animals with suitable drugs.
- Keep the animals neat and hygienic by giving them regular washes.
Some of the Common Diseases Observed in Small Scale Dairy Farming
- Anthrax disease.
- Black leg.
- Foot and mouth disease (FMD).
- Rinder pest.
- Milk fever.
For symptoms and control measures of above-said diseases, contact local animal husbandry or veternary professional.
Breeding in Small Scale Dairy Farming
- Make record on of coming in heat, duration of heat, insemination, conception, and calving.
- Breed animals at fixed and regular times.
- After calving the onset oestrus will be within 60-80 days.
- Breeding at regular intervals with cause conception within 2 to3 hours.
- Heat period is the best time to breed animals.
- Frozen semen will give your sires and bulls.
Signs of Oestrus or Heat Cycle in the Small Scale Dairy Farming
- You can observe frequent urination in cattle.
- Animals are found restless.
- You can also observe mounted standing from other animals on the farm.
- You can observe mucus from the vulva.
- Usually, they take less feed/fodder than usual.
- Milk production is decreased.
- Cattles usually raise their tails frequently and try to get to close to breeding cows/buffaloes.
Caring for Animals During Pregnancy in Small Scale Dairy Farming
Pregnant cows and buffalos should be given good care before two months of calving. You should provide them adequate space, feed, and water.
Marketing the Milk in Small Scale Dairy Farming Business
- You should sell the milk immediately after it is drawn. You get very less time for marketing the milk form production.
- Milk should be collected in fully cleaned pails, utensils, cans etc.
- Avoid too much agitation of milk during transit.
- Milk should be transported only during cool hours.
How to Care Calves in Small Scale Dairy Farming Business
- You should take good care of newborn calf.
- Treat/disinfect navel cord with the tincture, once it is cut with a new knife.
- Feed colostrum to the calf.
- Assist the calf to suckle if it too weak to suck on its own within 30 minutes of calving.
- Feed the colostrum in the bucket if the animal is desired to wean the calf immediately after the birth.
- The calf should be taken care of weather changes for first two months.
- The calf should be vaccinated, consult veterinary officer for vaccination information.
- You should Dehorn the calf after 4 to 5 days of birth.
- Dispose of extra calves not be reared/maintained for any specific purpose as early as possible, particularly the male calves.
- Female calves should be properly reared.
Technical Requirements for Small Scale Dairy Farming
- Store Room.
- Milk room.
- Labor Quarters.
Machinery and Types of equipment in Small Scale Dairy Farming
- Chaff Cutter.
- Silo Pit.
- Feed grinder and mixer.
- Milking pails/milk cans.
- Biogas plant.
- Bulk coolers.
- Necessary equipment’s to manufacture products.
- Van for transportation.
Feeding required for Small Scale Dairy Farming
- Source of fodder and feed: Green Fodder, Dry fodder, concentrates.
- Fodder crop rotations: Kharif, Rabi, Summer.
Cost and Profits in Small Scale Dairy Farming
The cost and profit of small scale dairy farming depend on a number of milch and breeding animals, Infrastructure, labor cost, feed and other dairy management practices. Profitable dairy farming requires good dairy business plan along with hard work and dedication.