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«Dairy cattle husbandry Agrodok 14 - Dairy cattle husbandry More milk through better management Agrodok 14 Dairy cattle husbandry More milk through ...»

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64 Dairy cattle husbandry Milking time Most cows are milked twice a day and the interval should be as regular as possible, for instance, 6 am and 5 pm. Milking times also depend on the time the milk can be delivered or is collected. If there is no afternoon collection you may consider milking as late as possible in the morning, say 7.30 am and as early as possible in the afternoon, say 2 pm. This will increase the amount of saleable milk. The afternoon milk can be used for local sales, home consumption and calf rearing. Usually boiling milk to mix it with the morning milk when delivering to a processing plant is not allowed.

8.3 Milking procedure ? Before milking, rinse the utensils and drain them properly. The noises will already stimulate the cows.

? Offer some tasty concentrates or roughage just before milking. Dry meal concentrates can be mixed with some water to make it easier to eat and to prevent dust.

? If really necessary, tie the hind legs and the tail of the cow. Prevent wounding the hocks by not tying too tight and use soft ropes or a leather strap.

? Wash hands.

? Clean the udder and the teats, preferably by rubbing gently with a dry coarse cloth. Only use water if the udder and teats are very dirty and take care to dry well with a cloth. If available, some udder disinfectant may be added to the water for cleaning. Follow the instructions for dilution carefully.

? Check the first squirts of milk of each teat in the strip cup for mastitis.

? Milk quickly paying full attention.

? Massage udder and extract the last milk.

? After milking, dip teats in a teat dip solution to prevent mastitis.

? Record the milk yield and pour milk into the can.

? Offer some roughage to the cow immediately after milking to keep her standing for about one hour. The opening of the teat will then Clean milk production dry and close and largely prevent the entry of mastitis-causing bacteria and dirt.

? After milking all the cows, rinse and clean the utensils.

? Clean the dairy shed and milking place.

? Deliver the milk as quickly as possible or cool it.

8.4 Handling of the milk Keep the milk can in the shade, preferably in the wind, during and after milking. The lid of the can should not be completely closed before transporting it. Stir the milk a couple of times with a metal spoon to let the warmth escape. The lower the temperature, the slower the bacteria will multiply. Deliver the milk as quickly as possible to the receiver or collector, making use of the coolness of the early morning. If necessary, for example, during afternoon delivery, cover the can with a white cloth to protect it against direct sunshine during transport. Do not mix evening and morning milk at the farm until delivery. Never allow milk to stand in the sun! If the evening milk is not collected, cool it down, either by putting the can in cool water, or in the wind, with a moist cloth around it.

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Records don’t lie, recorders do.

Farmers may remember important events and data but often the exact information is easily forgotten. However, information about animals, inputs and prices are very useful management tools.

Recording and administration on the farm are important but should be kept simple and effective. It should provide information on the farm’s economic situation, production aspects and cash flow. Technical information, like amount of concentrates fed, gives important management information when combined with prices and costs. Records about fertility, calving interval and disease are the basis for management decisions. Technical and economic records can be combined and provide both the farmer and the extension officer with the required information about the actual situation on the farm and possible developments.

9.1 Diary In the daily routine of work it is convenient to use a diary to make

note of all the events, transferring the information to the proper records at a more appropriate time. Recorded data should include: purchase of inputs and sales, price per unit and total value. Examples are:

feeds, fertilizers, equipment, animals, hired labour, veterinary service and A.I. Dates of events should also be recorded. Most important are milk yield, heats, services, births, diseases and treatments of animals as well as harvests and yields of crops. Be as precise as possible with such basic data.

9.2 Animal records On a dairy farm the animals are the most important so relevant information about them should be collected. This information will help you Records with taking action like servicing and drying off and making decisions about keeping the animal or the disposal of it. The best thing is to keep

individual records of each animal. A card is usually used to record:

births, services, production data, drying off dates, calving intervals, vaccinations and treatments. Table 9.1 shows the front-side of such a card, Table 9.2 the reverse, containing data about health.

Based on the date of the successful service, the moment the animal has to be dried off and expected date of calving can be set.

Table 11: Example of an individual cow record: FERTILITY

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Remarks The frequency of recording the daily milk yield of the individual cows can vary. On most small farms measuring the daily milk yield twice a month will be sufficient.

Figure 19: Recording the milk yield of individual cows

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*: Monthly total = 15 x (daily total 1 + daily total 2) An incorrect impression about production may be created if no records are kept. Peak yields, lactation lengths and calving intervals can vary a lot. See the example in Table 14.

Table 14: Comparison of two cows

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Although cow A has a higher peak yield she has also a shorter lactation and a longer calving interval. This results in a much lower production than cow B. Probably cow A consumed more concentrates during the peak period. Cow B is a much better producer, in spite of her lower peak yield.

9.3 Financial records All activities on a farm are geared to raising an income for the farmer and his family. It is crucial to keep track of the money coming in and going out, so a simple system of income and expenditure will give much insight into the situation and will enable the farmer to make the right decisions.

70 Dairy cattle husbandry The information from the diary can best be transferred to the records weekly and analysed at the end of each month. This will often give enough details and missing pieces of the jigsaw may still be remembered. The monthly overview provides good information for a situation analysis. Moreover this can be used later for the yearly records and analysis.

Table 15: Financial records

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Herd size The herd on a farm is always bigger than the number of productive cows and includes young stock, calves and heifers and there may also be a bull. The cost of rearing and maintaining these animals is also borne by the productive animals. The cost of rearing young stock is regarded as an investment for the future, with the hope that these animals will be efficient producers in the future, replacing old and less productive cows. Part of this investment may be recovered by the sale of culled cows. So all the costs and efforts related to young stock, including labour, feed, housing and health care, are part of the farm and should be included in the records and analysis.

Cost price To be able to calculate the cost price of the milk, all the direct costs have to be taken into account. These include concentrates, fertilizers used for fodder, chemicals, drugs, minerals and hired labour. The cost of calf rearing is often offset against the income from culled cows.

The costs of long-term investments, like building and fodder improvement can be estimated. This total cost can be divided by the total amount of milk produced thus arriving at the cost price per kg of the Records milk. The difference between the cost price and the received price is the reward for farmer.

9.4 Use of records Record keeping only makes sense if the information is used to evaluate the performance of the dairy farm and as a basis for decisionmaking. The local extension officer can help with the analysis of the records and the economics of it. An annual cost-benefit analysis can be obtained by subtracting the total costs from the total income of the dairy. All of this can help plans for further developments of the dairy farm.

72 Dairy cattle husbandry Further reading Animal Breeding, Ruminant Nutrition, Dairying, Animal Health Vol. 1 & 2, Forage production, Livestock production systems. The Tropical Agriculturalist Series. CTA/MacMillan, Netherlands/ UK Cow Signals, a practical guide for dairy farm management. Jan

Hulsen. (2006) Roodbont B.V., Zutphen, the Netherlands. 96 p. ISBN:

978-90-75280-65-4 East Africa’s Grasses and Fodders: Their Ecology and Husbandry. Boonman J.G. (1993) Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, Netherlands.

Guide to Good Farming Practice, International Dairy Federation and Food &Agriculture Organization of the UN, 2004, Rome.

ISBN: 92-5-105094-5 Intensive forage production for smallholder dairying in East Africa.Orodho A.B. (2006) Intermediate Tropical Agriculture Series. Longman group, U.K.

? Disease and parasites of livestock in the tropics.Hall, H.T.B.


? Milk production in the Tropics. Chamberlain, A. 1989.

? Tropical pastures and fodder crops. Humphreys, L.R. 1978.

Livestock Research for Rural Development (LRRD) papers:

? On Farm dairy Cattle feeding experience in eastern zone of Tanzania, P.Y. Kavana & B.S. Msangi ? Milk production in Cameroon, A Review; P.H. Bayemi, M.J.

Bryant, B.M.A.O Peira, J.N. Mbanya, D. Caveslany, E.C. Webb.

Available from: www.cipav.org.co/lrrd/lrrdhome.html

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Tropical Cattle: origins, breeds and breeding policies, W.J.A.

Payne; J. Hodges, 1998, ISBN: 0 632 032 04048 3, Blackwell Science, 108 Cowley road, Oxford OX4 1JF, UK Tropical Forage Plants: Developments and Use. A. SotomayorRios and W.D. Pitman (2000) CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida, USA.

VEEPRO Manuals (15 topics). www.veepro.nl 74 Dairy cattle husbandry Useful addresses DIO, Veterinary Medicine in Development Co-operation DIO is a non-profit organization whose objectives include giving support and advice in the field of animal health and production to individuals and organizations in developing countries: healthy animals, healthy people. A participant in the Vétérinaires sans FrontièresEuropa-network, DIO specializes in answering questions in the field of veterinary medicine, through the Veterinary Information Service.

DIO foundation, Yalelaan 1, 3584 CL Utrecht, The Netherlands T: +31(0)30 – 2532032, W: dio@dio.nl FAO, Food and Agricultural Organization Via delle Terme di Caracalla. 00153 Rome, Italy. W: www.fao.org ILEIA Centre for Information on Low External Input and Sustainable Agriculture. Promotes exchange of information for small-scale farmers in the South through identifying promising technologies. Information about these technologies is exchanged mainly through the LEISA Magazine. All articles accessible online.

ILEIA, Zuidsingel 16, 3811 HA Amersfoort, The Netherlands T: +31(0)33-4673870, F: +31(0)33-4632410 E: ileia@ileia.nl, W: www.leisa.info ILRI, International Livestock and Research Institute The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) works at the crossroads of livestock and poverty, bringing high-quality science and capacity building to bear on poverty reduction and sustainable development for poor livestock keepers and their communities. ILRI works in the tropical developing regions of Africa, Asia and Latin America

and the Caribbean. Addresses of offices can be found at the website:

www.ilri.cgiar.org Useful addresses Practical Action Practical Action (the former Intermediate Technology Development Group, ITDG) helps people to use technology in the fight against poverty. Keywords are: practical answers to poverty, sustainable solutions

and people focused. Addresses of offices can be found at the website:

www.practicalaction.org PTC+ is an international training institute that focuses on all the links in the production chain, plant and animal commodities, (agricultural) technology, (food) technology and natural areas. Training programmes are practice-oriented and mix theory with practical classes. PTC+ offers open entry programmes, tailor-made programmes and consultancy. Programmes are offered in the Netherlands and/or on location.

It is the policy of PTC+ to search for partnerships and co-operation programmes with national and international institutions abroad. PTC+ Head Office, P.O. Box 64, 3770 AB Barneveld, The Netherlands T: +31 342 - 40 69 51, F: +31 342 - 40 69 69 E: internationaloffice@ptcplus.com, W: www.ptcplus.com Veepro Information centre for Dutch Cattle.

PO Box 454, 6800 AL Arnhem, Netherlands. www.veepro.nl


Cattle www.thecattlesite.com, www.thedairysite.com Legumes www.ildis.org Tropical forages/grasses www.tropicalgrasslands.asn.au, www.tropicalforages.info www.internationalgrasslands.org, www.csiro.au 76 Dairy cattle husbandry About Heifer Nederland Stichting Heifer Nederland was established on the 1st of July 1999 as a non-governmental, non-profit organisation. Heifer devotes itself to development cooperation by facilitating sustainable, smallholder animal husbandry projects as an entry point for community development in Africa and Eastern Europe. In practical terms Heifer provides appropriate training, livestock, planting material and other resources to help poor families become self-reliant.

Animals from Heifer provide milk, eggs, plowing power and other benefits that for families across the planet can mean improved nutrition, education for children, health care, improved housing and literally a new way of life.

All Heifer projects are local initiatives, but what makes Heifer unique is the practice known as “passing on the gift.” Families receiving animals agree to pass on the first offspring – or an appropriate equivalent – to another family in need, starting a chain of giving that often touches thousands of lives.

But Heifer’s most striking qualities are its simplicity and effectiveness. In short, Heifer’s common sense approach to sustainable development works – one family at a time.

Heifer Nederland is a member of the Heifer International network.

Since the work of Heifer International began in 1944, Heifer has worked directly with 9.2 million families in more than 125 countries world wide.

Contact info:

Heifer Nederland Kade 23, 4703 GA Roosendaal The Netherlands T: +31-(0)165-520123, E: info@heifer.nl W: www.heifer.nl (Dutch), www.heifer.org (English)

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