Dairy farming may require slightly high investment in the initial stages, but the profits at the end of it all, suffice to make up for it wonderfully well! You may go in for pure breeds or cross breeds. In fact, rearing of cross breeds (via artificial insemination) has generally proved to be more profitable. In this article you will get information on how to start profitable dairy farming business in India.
Dairy Farming Business Plan
Location for Housing
Elevated land prevents stagnation of rainwater and wastes in the area. Ensure that the foundation soils are not heavily desiccated or dehydrated, since they become prone to fissures and cracks during the rainy season. Do not use fertile land for housing cattle.
Allow mangers, platforms and gutters within the shed to soak in direct sunlight. This becomes possible if the animals’ residence considers the north-south direction. It should also have maximum protection from overly hot or overly cold winds.
Make sure that the structure is durable, located near scenic vistas and closer to the main road. It is important that your animals remain safe from thieves, wild animals and hazards (protruding nails, highly polished floors, loose hinges, narrow gates, high manger curbs, etc).
Different Kinds of Housing
Two types of barns are popular amongst dairy farmers.
This system helps you to become a more efficient manager.
- You will not have to spend too much on construction of buildings.
- The animals have the freedom to move around, and therefore grant you profits, even with minimal grazing.
- They are able to exercise well and stay healthy.
- You will need to tie up a cow only during milking, or if it requires treatment.
- You will be able to detect an animal in heat, quite easily.
- There is room for further expansion.
What kind of a cowshed will you construct?
- The boundary wall should reach five feet in height, on all three sides.
- Keep the fourth side open for the manger, water trough, etc.
- Every cow should have a couple of feet or so of manger space to call her own. This is for feeding.
- Ensure that there is a water trough with a width of ten inches, all along the manger.
- As for the 5-feet wide and slightly sloping flooring under the roofed portion, have it paved with bricks.
- The remaining area of 40 x 35 feet with its boundary wall should be unpaved and possess a gate.
- Whenever the weather is cold, your cows will automatically settle down to protect themselves.
- It would be good if the animals face north while feeding, for they will receive shade.
How will you look after the calves?
- Construct a completely enclosed shed measuring 10 x 15 feet, on one side of the main building.
- This will serve as the calving pen too, when climatic conditions are not favourable.
- Provide the young ones with 50 x 50 feet of open area with a boundary wall.
Conventional System of Shed Construction
They are rather expensive, and not so popular, but perfectly marvellous for regions suffering majorly from adverse climatic conditions
What kind of barns will you construct?
- Ideally, you may house around 80 to 100 cows in a large building.
- You may opt for a single row or a double row arrangement.
- The cows may reside in a face-to-face tail-to-tail manner, if placed in double rows.
- When placed face-to-face, you will find it easier to feed all your animals and help them get into their stalls easily, as well as, be able to ensure that direct sunlight reaches the gutter.
- When placed tail-to-tail, you will have more space to milk the cows; be able to ensure that your animals receive plenty of fresh air; and be able to prevent spread of disease from one animal to another.
What considerations should you keep in mind, while constructing the roof, floor and walls?
- Use tiles or asbestos sheets to construct the roof.
- You may use corrugated iron sheets, only if they have painted aluminium surfaces and wooden insulation underneath, for easy reflection of sunlight.
- If the roof’s height is eight feet on all the sides and 15 feet at the ridge, your cows will receive healthy ventilation.
- With regard to the floor, you may pave it with bricks.
- Alternatively, you may use grooved cement concrete, or any other impervious material.
- The idea is to keep the 65 to 70 sq. ft. of space per cow dry and non-slippery.
- It would be good to have a slight gradient in the flooring, from the manger to the excreta channel.
- If you use cement for the walls and award them a smooth and hard finish, you may rest assured that the cowshed will remain free of moisture and dust.
- Keep the corners round.
- If you live in the plains, you may go in for walls measuring just about 4/5 feet in height. The roof may receive support from iron pillars or masonry work, thereby ensuring great circulation of air and light.
Keep the following tips in mind while constructing doors, alleys, manger and manure gutter.
- If your cowshed comprises of single row stalls, keep the doors 7 feet high and 5 inches wide.
- If your cowshed has double row stalls, the measurements must be 9 feet and 8 inches.
- Every door should be able to flatten itself against the external wall.
- If your cows face in, the central walk must measure 5 feet in width.
- If they face out, the width must be a foot more, with the alley sloping towards the two gutters on either side.
- Even the feed alley must be four feet in width, if your cows are in a tail-to-tail position.
- If your manger needs to be high in the front, in order to prevent wastage of fodder, go in for measurements of one foot (height) and four inches (width).
- If your manger needs to be low in front, six to nine inches should suffice.
- The back of the manger may be 2 feet x 3 to 6 inches.
- As for the width, go for two feet or more.
- Keep the manure gutter sufficiently wide and sloping, for easy flow and cleaning.
Here are some tips with regard to housing calves, bulls/bullocks, young stock and diseased animals.
- When cows go into labour, send them to enclosed sheds with doors, windows, ridge vents, ample space and plenty of soft bedding.
- House bulls/bullocks in loose boxes (each measuring 15 x 10 feet) having rough cement concrete floors, mangers and water troughs.
- Provide a door for each box, measuring 7 feet in height and 4 feet in width.
- Prepare a difficult-to-jump-over yard with a swing gate, such that every bull/bullock may exercise in peace!
- Ensure that it is able to keep other animals in view, and not feel isolated.
- With regard to young stock, categorise them in accordance with gender and age (three groups).
- Place each group in a separate house with good ventilation, dry floor, water trough, manger and exercise yard.
- If any animal is diseased, isolate it in a separate box, away from the other barns. Ensure that its wastes drain off into a separate drainage disposal system.
Miscellaneous Tips For Profitable Dairy Farming
You will need the following, to keep every cowshed clean and well sanitised – 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/iodophores, 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 prior to 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.