Anyone can start a dairy farm by having a little knowledge. In this article, I am going to give you some tips which will help you to start a successful dairy farming business. When you are planning to start your dairy farm, which is an excellent idea. Milk and milk products play a vital role in human food consumption. Before starting any business, the business plan is very important and there are certain things you need to remember before you entering into this business. Dairy farm business has fabulous opportunities. In these recent years, India is showing rapid progress in the field of dairy farming. The given information will help you start your dairy farm with complete confidence.
1. Make a Business Plan
It is the most important thing to do before starting a dairy farm. Creating a detailed business plan is the key to the successful business of dairy farming. How many animals you are going to keep on your farm? Which market you are going to capture to sell milk? How many employees you need to hire? What is your budget for this business and how much profit you need to earn from this business? Clearing all these doubts and making a business plan according will help you to understand the total expenses and investment you need to do for the business.
2. Take the advice of professionals
It is advisable to consult and take advice from the experienced people in this field. They can give your idea about the business plans and help to set up the initial structure of your business. Try to visit the other dairy farms to see how they are managing the business. While giving this type of field trip watch the plus and the minus points of every particular farm. While building your business, this experience will prove helpful for you. While visiting others try to achieve more and more knowledge from these experienced people about animal doctors, nutritionists, investors, bankers, etc.
3. Think About Initial Investment
successful Dairy farming is the business with big investment. The basic requirements are the land, the buildings, the cows and some other equipment. If you are in rural areas or an agricultural family then no need to worry about cow shed or feed. In the initial stage, many farmers prefer to purchase cows by investing money and they select the option of renting farms and the land required. As the business grows and settles, you can purchase your land for farming. Bank loans are available for farmers to start their agriculture-based industries.
4. Animal Feed Used in Dairy Farming
When you are planning for a dairy farm, you need to graze your cattle with nutritious feed. This is very important for the healthy production of milk and even for the healthy growth of the calf. Take advice from an animal nutritionist about the feed to be given for lactating cows and even for dry cows. On many farms, it is seen that they produce their animal feed. Producing own farms and harvesting crops to feed animals or cattle graze can save a very good amount of your investment. But as it needs sufficient place and time, you can hire operators who can help you with planting and harvesting crops. If you have your land then the double-cropping techniques can be beneficial for the dairy farming business.
5. Waste Management Program
Cattle in the daily farm produce a very big amount of manure. Thought this manure is generally considered as waste, it can be utilized in farms as a natural fertilizer. Those who are harvesting plants in their places can take advantage of this manure in fields. Using more manure will help you to produce more crops that can be sold to make more money. The other important uses of cattle manure are the preparation of organic manure by dumping cow dung, earthworms, and dead plant materials. This organic manure can be used by the farmer or you can pack and sell. Biogas produced from this waste product is used as a cooking fire.
6. Selection of Good Quality of Breed
While dairy farming one of important point is the selection of animals which having good breed character. This perspective mainly for those farmers who want to do commercial dairy farming. The animals which shows true breed characters are to be selected. The main production points like milking and reproductive ability have the most concern in this criterion. eg- Crossbred of Holstein Friesian has more feed intake ability as well as give good milking than other breeds but it requires high quality balanced feed & fodder and if rearer has no capacity to cadre the need then ultimately he is in loss due to low production, as well as imbalanced feeding, causes deficiency diseases which requires longer time to recovers.
While selection of animal parental history is required but in the field in the regional market, you will not get that kind of records so most dependency is on physical characters of animals as well as direct milking of animals gives your ideas about animals. Also, it is good if you take the help of Veterinarian while the selection animals. Do the necessary testing of animals like California Mastitis test for mastitis, Plate agglutination test for Brucellosis. If it is not possible to provide high-quality fodders throughout the year to animals then it’s better to select animals that can survive in critical conditions. According to market demand, if you want to prefer to sale the milk with high-fat content or want to produce a by-product of milk then it is better to select Sahiwal breeds.
If you want to rear good kinds of animals then there should be provision of good kind of animal shed, feeding facilities, Watering facilities, Health provisions as well as the owner should know about it (It means he should also undergo training on dairy farming). In many circumstances, to reduce expenditure on the production cost of milk, dairy farmers must adopt recent techniques to decrease cost on feed and labors by enhancing the quality of feed residues as well as mechanization and less labor-consuming practices in successful dairy farming.
Many times the owner of the dairy farm could not pay attention to the daily schedule of dairy farms and always dependent on subordinates or give authorities to labors and you will always find that this kind of dairy farmers are always in the loss.
8. Market for Dairy Farming
One important factor in Successful dairy farming is the market. If you sell milk to dairy collection unit then you will get less profit but if you sell it directly to customers with having quality (without adding water) then you will catch market within very few times. It is better to create a market on your own than ordinary selling milk to dairy collection plants.
9. Value Addition in Dairy Farming
By making Milk by-products or by making vermicompost or by strengthening value-added practices of Calf rearing, care and management of each stage of animals you will be finally in profit (This also require training as well as exposure to different modern farms).
10. Maintaining Records of Dairy Farming
Dairy farmers should know the condition of the farm at any stage and is only possible through records. For one liter of milk production how much was, the expenditure should be known to owners. In records Pedigree, Reproduction, Calf, Health, Daily milk production, Feed and fodder registers, etc are to be made. Nowadays, our dairy farmers are lacking in this aspect. Records are helpful to assess loss related points so that afterward he can able to correct it and avoid future losses.
11. Risks for Successful Dairy Farming
In each business, there are risks, it is to be known that this business is 24-hour service and need individual attention, then & then you will get profit. Natural calamities like floods, Earthquakes are not avoidable but health-related factors like communicable diseases are to be avoided as it has preventive vaccinations. If the dairy farmer is careless then he will suffer ultimately as his carelessness. So, for that appoint a veterinary consultant so that he can judge the situation regularly as well as be in touch with that expert so that he can clarify the problematic points that you arise in front of him. Veterinarians should have at least B.V.Sc & A.H. or M.V.sc degree and should have experience in dairy farm management. It is better to ensure animals per three years. If there is Boarding water then test it as if the pH of water is high then it is not suitable for the watering of animals as well as not suitable for the fodder farm. Fodders and other feeds in the balanced state will provide Protein, Energy and other constituents that are needed for milk production and daily activities of animals. Soil testing is also necessary because it may give the exact status of soil as it gives clear ideas of fertilizer doses and also minimizes the cost of fertilizer which is higher in traditional fertilizer application.
Regarding sanitation and health practice, you may approach your local veterinary practitioner so that he will give your ideas about various practices followed in your locality. Calf mortality in cattle & buffaloes should not be more than 4%. In the initial stage, if you maintain feed and fodder requirement of animals in a balanced stage & according to demand, milk yield is not affected too much. As in the new environment, animals are in stress so certain effects are seen on milk production at least for two months. So, for that consult the veterinarian for diet as well as stress-relieving practices for animals. Labors who are engaged in Successful dairy farming should also be trained so that it will help to improve the productivity of the farm but even if they get trained, you fully don’t rely on them.
12. Other things to consider
Works with Professionals in Dairy Farming:
Experts empower you with dairy standard operational procedures to support you up to the last production goals. Identify and build trust to get the best out of them.
Herd fertility and calf rearing: Future of any dairy enterprise heavily relies on these; using the right breeding techniques and managing your calves well are steps forward in achieving these.
Labor efficiency: Good rapport and mutual working relationship with the farm assistants.
Waste management: Manure from dairy animals is not environmentally friendly if left to accumulate or when not properly disposed of. Develop a system to allow for easy removal of manure from the barns. Other useful options include the construction of biogas.
Pedigree of the cows (importance of the breed & or health of cattle at the time of purchase).
Availability of sufficient green fodder/ drinking water (can the cattle be fed boring water if fresh drinking water not available?). what is the importance of quality of feed in the survival of the cattle & it’s newborn?
Soil/water analysis of the land where green fodder has to be grown.
Sanitation & environment of the cattle sheds.
The health of lactating cattle (vaccination & medicines).
What is the importance of quality/knowledge/experience of labor involved in milking/cattle care in the success of the project?
First of all, you have to visit some of the old dairy farms to know how things will go on in the successful dairy farming business.
You should attend some workshops which will help you to give the exact and precise knowledge about the successful dairy farming business.
You should take good advice from the experts. They can either be the old dairy farmers or Animal husbandry department or from the KVKs.
You should select high yielding Cows for your Dairy Farming Business.
Try to know all the management practices in the Dairy Farming Business.
Have a better understanding of the Daily Operations of Cow Dairy Farming Business.
Get to know all the diseases that will attack the Cows. You should also know the management practices of those
diseases. Apart from that, you should have a veterinarian available all the time.
You should place your cow dairy farm business, near to the market.
Your Cow Dairy Farm should have better transportation facilities.
Make sure that you provide good fodder and water facilities to the Cows.
13. Tips For Successful Dairy Farming
You will need the following, to keep every cowshed clean and well sanitized-shovel, iron basket and wheelbarrow (removing dung, leftovers and used bedding); floor brush (cleaning the water trough and floor); wall brush (removing cobwebs); broom (sweeping the floor); lime mixture (whitewash walls and water trough); and disinfectants (cleansing walls, stanchions, railings, etc.).
Request an experienced dairy farmer to help you select your disinfectants, germicides, fungicides, and insecticides wisely, such that your animals face no harm from their usage, insects, plant growth or microbes. You may go in for iodine/iodophors, sodium carbonate, quick lime, slaked lime, bleaching powder, phenol, etc. Food must comprise of dry fodder (paddy straw, wheat hay, etc.), green fodder (protein-rich leguminous Rabi crops) for good milk yield, and mineral mixture for supplementation.
Provide your animals with plenty of fresh and clean water, during all seasons. Consult a veterinarian for advice on timely vaccinations, care of pregnant cows, mating and insemination, management of newborn calves, etc. Examine your cows every day, preferably every morning, to check if they are ruminating well. If a cow is not ruminating, it indicates that it is unwell. Feed the cow before milking, and lubricate its udder with mustard oil.
A cow must not sit down immediately after milking (at least for half-an-hour), since its udder may become infected. Feed it, such that it remains standing. Avoid giving raw rice, raw wheat, etc, for an animal’s metabolism is different. Feed it twice, once in the morning and evening, and allow it to graze too. If winter is too severe, place jute bags over the cowsheds and light a fire in a safe place for providing heat.
All these coupled with high-level standards hygiene and best management practices will make dairy cows work for you, not vice versa!