5 reasons why you are not making money from dairy farming
Why you are making losses from dairy farming
Large scale dairy farming in Kenya accounts for 20 per cent of national milk production whereas small scale farming comprises 80 per cent.
There are more than enough examples of people making a more than good living from dairy farming.However, starting such a farm without extensive knowledge may lead to huge losses.
Below is a list of reasons why many new dairy farms end up failing:
Big bang formula
Most people rush into dairy farming by constructing huge sheds and buying large herds of cows in what is best described as the 'big bang formula.'
Some even purchase high end processing plants when their farm did not even produce a single drop of milk.
Doing so makes it difficult to manage problems on the long-term.
The procurement of animals should be done steadily in order to maintain consistent monthly milk yield.
Dairy farming is more of a passion than a business. It requires extensive knowledge and tons of patience.
A good number of people who run dairy farming comprise the highly-educated lot who used excel sheets and project management principles when starting out.
It is worth noting that one is dealing with live animals and not some machines.
Lack of knowledge on the reproductive cycle
Many new farmers only focus on milking after buying the cows forgetting that the animal should conceive by 4th or 5th month after calving.
The farmers are unable to detect heat and depend on local government veterinary doctors for artificial insemination which makes the animals miss their heat cycles.
By the time one realises the mistake, the animals are already in their 8th or 9th month of milking.
If you have 50 animals which are not pregnant and are in 8th month of milking, it means they have to feed 50 non-milking animals for next 9 to 10 months which obviously results in huge losses.
Not taking care of calves
Proper care of female calves is very very important for being successful in the long term.
Successful dairy farmers will tell you the value of female calves because these will start giving milk in 3 to 4 years.
Improper feed and fodder management
Some farmers cut down on the feed and fodder a few months after the initial phase, even after the milk yield reduces.
This makes the cowsdevelop health and reproductive issues due to nutritional imbalances.
Feeding should be done according to body weight and yield of the animal. During dry months you can cut down feed a bit but should not reduce it drastically.
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