Dairy farming from being a traditional family run businesses, today has grown hugely to an organized dairy industry with technological specializations in every part of the process. We have seen tremendous growth in dairy farming equipment that help modern dairy farms to manage thousands of dairy cows and buffaloes. This huge boost in the industry has created a lot of farming jobs for the people. But many of the dairy farms still manage and run organic dairy farms mostly in villages and supply the milk to get processed by large companies and finally sell to the retail outlets.
The best approach is to create and run a sustainable dairy farm that gives maximum profits to the firm and also takes care of the effects of dairy farms on environments and animals for a longer period
Indigenous dairy breeds of cattle
SELECTION OF DAIRY CATTLE
Proper selection is the first and the most important step to be adopted in dairying. Records are the basis of selection and hence proper identification of animals and record keeping is essential. Cross-breed animals with exotic inheritance of about 50 percent are preferable. This preference is based on comparison of the performance of the animals with different percentage of exotic inheritance. Fifty percent of the native germplasm is helpful to retain the adaptability, heat tolerance and disease resistance traits of local animals, in cross breeds. The utilization of the Zebu (Sahiwal) germplasm in the formation of breeds like Australian Friesian Sahiwal (50% of Holstein and 50% Sahiwal) and its international recognition as a breed for the tropics is an example.
Maintaining animals sustainable to the situation is the best policy. Bringing animals from different agro-climatic conditions causes problems due to non-adjustment in many cases. In case, purchase becomes absolutely essential it should be from similar environmental conditions as far as possible.
General selection procedures for dairy breeds
Selection of dairy cows
Selecting a calf in calf show, a cow in cattle show by judging is an art. A dairy farmer should build up his own herd by breeding his own herd. Following guidelines will be useful for selection of a diary cow.
Breed characteristics of high yielding dairy cows
Floor, Feeding and Water Space Requirement
Floor space requirements
|Type of animal||Floor space requirement (m2)||Maximum no of animals / pen||Height of the shed ( cm)|
|Covered area||Open area|
|Bulls||12.0||24.0||1||175 cm. in medium and heavy rain fall and
220 cm. in dry areas.
|Down – calver||12.0||12.0||1|
|Young – calves||1.0||2.0||30|
|Old – calves||2.0||4.0||30|
Feeding and watering space requirements
|Type of animal||Space per animal (cm)||Total manger length in
a pen for 100 animals(cm)
|Total water tank length in
a pen for 100 animals (cm)
|Adult cattle & buffaloes||60 – 75||6000 – 7500||600 – 750|
|Calves||40 – 50||4000 – 5000||400 – 500|
Feeding of Calves Colostrums
It will vary with the system followed, but whatever system may be practiced, the calf must receive the first milk which the cow gives after calving and is called colostrums. Be sure to feed the calf enough of colostrums between 2 to 2.5 liters daily for the first 3 days following its birth.
Any excess colostrums may be fed to other calves in the herd in amounts equal to the amount of whole milk normally fed. If possible where a cow is milked before calving, freeze some of the colostrums for later feeding to the calf. None of it should be wasted. The digestibility of colostrums increases when it is given at a temperature between 99oF and 102oF. The importance of colostrums can be felt more from the following virtues.
The protein of colostrums consists of a much higher proportion of globulin than doe’s normal milk. The globulins are presumed to be the source of antibodies which aid in protecting the animal from many infections liable to affect it after birth. Gamma - globulin level in blood serum of neonatal calves is only 0.97 mg/ml at birth. It increase to 16.55 mg/ml level after first colostrums feeding at 12 hr and subsequently on the second day shows a peak of 28.18 mg/ml. This level more or less persists till the reti-culoendothelial system of the calf starts functioning to produce antibodies.
Feeding whole milk
In feeding whole milk, calves may be fed as per feeding schedule. While feeding whole milk the following points should be remembered.
Feeding skim milk
On many farms, large quantities of separated milk are available for feeding to calves and other livestock. Excellent dairy calves can be raised by changing them from whole milk gradually after two weeks of their age. Here again the feeding schedule should be followed.
Feeding dried skim milk, whey or buttermilk
The above dried products are mixed with water at the rate of 1 kg to 9 kg of water and then it is fed as skim milk. To avoid digestive troubles the mix should always be fed to calves after warming it up to 100oF.
Feeding calf starters
Calf starter is a mixture consisting of ground farm grains, protein feeds and minerals, vitamins and antibiotics. After a calf attains the age of 2 weeks the amount of whole milk given to it may be cut down. One should then rub a small amount of starter on the calf's mouth, after each milk feeding for a few days when the calf will be accustomed to it. When they reach four months of age, one should then transfer the calves to a "growing" grain ration.
Feeding grain mixture
Better growth and greater resistance to calf ailments result from consumption of grain and milk by the calf then when the calf is fed only on milk. At the age of 7-15 days the feeding of grain mixtures may be started. In order to get calves accustomed to grain mixtures, place a small handful of grain mixture in the used pail. As the calf is finishing its milk it may consume a portion, or one may offer a little in the hand immediately after feeding milk.
Excessive protein rich grain mixture is not desirable as milk is already rich in proteins. A medium protein grain mixture is most suitable when milk is fed freely. A grain mixture of oats - 35 percent, linseed cake - 5 percent, bran - 30 percent, barley - 10 percent, groundnut cake - 20 percent may be fed to the calves. Another good mixture consists of ground maize - 2 parts, wheat bran - 2parts.
Feeding of lactating cow
Proper feeding of dairy cattle should envisage minimum wastage of nutrients and maximum returns in respect of milk produced.
A concentrate mixture made up of protein supplements such as oil cakes, energy sources such as cereal grains (maize, jowar), tapioca chips and laxative feeds such as brans (rice bran, wheat bran, gram husk) is generally used.
Mineral mixture containing major and all the trace elements should be included at a level of 2 percent.
METHODS OF MILKING
Hand milking and machine milking are the two methods of which in India .
Cows are milked from left side. after let down of milk, the milker starts milking teats either cross wise or fore quarters together and then hind quarters together or teats appearing most distended milked first few streams of fore milk from each teat be let on to a strip cup. This removes any dirt from the teat canal and gives the operator a chance to detect mastitis.
Milking is done either by stripping or by full hand method. Stripping is done by firmly holding the teat between the thumb and fore finger and drawing it down the length of the teat and at the same time pressing it to cause the milk to flow down in a stream. Grasping the teat with all the five fingers and pressing it against the palm does fisting or full hand milking. The teat is compressed and relaxed alternatively in quick succession, thus the method removes milk much quicker than stripping as there is no loss of time in changing the position of the hand. Further full hand method is superior to stripping as it stimulates the natural suckling process by calf and moreover the method exerts an equal pressure on the large teats of cows and buffaloes.
Many milkers during milking tend to bend their thumb against the teat. The method is known as knuckling which should always be avoided to prevent injuries of the teat tissues. Thus milking should always be done with full hand unless the teats are too small or towards the completion of milking. The first few strips of milk from each quarter should not be mixed with the rest of the milk as the former contains highest number of bacteria.
CARE AND MANAGEMENT OF DAIRY ANIMAL
Care and management of calf
We must give good feeding and management for the calves so that they develop well and, useful for replacement stock. The feeding and care of the calf being before its birth .The dam should be dried 6-8 weeks before expected calving and should be fed well. Under fed animals will give weak and small calves.
A) Early Management:
B) Feeding of Calves:
ECONOMIC CHARACTER IN DAIRY CATTLE
The various economic characters in Dairy Cattle management are
1. Lactation yield
The lactation yield in a lactation period is known as lactation yield. ‘The lactation yield in Indian breeds is very low compared to exotic breeds. This is dependent on no.. of calving, frequency of milking, persistency of yield .Normally in dairy cattle 30 - 40 % increase in milk production from first lactation to maturity is observed. After 3 or 4 lactation the production starts declining. For comparison of milk yield of different breeds and animals the milk yield should be converted into fat corrected milk (FCM). 4% FCM = 0.4 total milk + 15 total fat. After parturition the milk yield per day will be increased and reaches peak within 2-4 weeks after calving. This yield is known as peak yield. The maintenance of peak yield for more time is importance for better milk production. The lactation period in Indian breeds is low and so the production is also less and conversion.
2. Lactation period
The length of milk producing period after calving is known as lactation period. The optimum lactation period is 305 days. The milk production will Breeding of dairy animals and farm records wil be less, if this period is shortened. Indian breeds will have less lactation period, but in some breeds this period is more with very little milk production.
3. Persistency of Milk Yield
During lactation period the animal reaches maximum milk yield per day with in 2-4 weeks which is called peak yield. For high level of lactation yield, this peak yield should be maintained for longer period as far as possible, The maintenance of peak yield for long period is known as persistency, slow decrease in dairy milk yield after reaching peak yield in necessary. High persistency is necessary to maintain high level of milk production.
4. Age at first calving
The age o the animal at first calving is very important for high life time production. The desirable age at first calving in Indian breeds is 3 years, 2 years in cross breed cattle and 3 1/2 years in Buffaloes. Prolonged age at first calving will have high production in the first lactation) but the life time production will be decreased due to less no of calving. If the age at first calving is below optimum, the calves born are weak, difficulty in calving and less milk production in first lactation.
5. Service period
It is the period between -date of calving and date of successful conception. The optimum service period helps the animal to recover from the stress of calving and also to get back the reproductive organs back to normal For cattle the optimum service period is 60-90 days. If the service period is too prolonged the calving interval prolonged, less no. of calving will be obtained in her life time and ultimately less life time production.’ If the service period is too short, the animal will become weak and persistency of milk production is poor due to immediate pregnancy.
6. Dry Period
It is the period from the date of drying (stop of milk production) to next calving. When the animal in pregnancy, before next calving. The animal should be given rest period to compensate for growth of foctus. A minimum of 2 – 2 ½ months dry period should be allowed) If the dry period is not given or too low dry period, the animals suffer from stress and in next lactation, the milk production drops substantially and also it gives weak calves. On the other hand if the dry period given is too high, it may not have that much effect on increasing milk yield in the next lactation, but it decrease the production in the present lactation.
7. Intercalving period
This is the -period between two successive calving. It is more, profitable to have one calf yearly in cattle and at least one calf for every 15 months in buffaloes. If the calving interval is more, the total no. of carvings in her life time will be decreased and also total life production of milk decrease.
8. Reproductive Efficiency
The reproductive efficiency means the more number of calves during life time, so that total life time production is increased, The reproduction or breeding efficiency is determined by the combined effect of hereditary and environment. Several measures of breeding efficiency like number of services per conception, calving interval, and days from first breeding to conception are useful. Reproductive efficiency has generally a low heritability value indicating that most of the variations in this trait is due to non genetic factors. In adverse environmental conditions, the poor milk producing animals may not be much affected compared to high effect in high milk yield.
9. Efficiency of Feed Utilization and Conversion into Milk
The animal should take the feed more and utilize efficiently to convert into the milk.
10. Disease Resistance
Indian breeds are more resistant to majority of disease compared to exotic cattle. Cross breeding helps to get this character.