In Summary
  • Most successful businesses rely on records to influence their decisions.
  • Get the breeding right.
  • Quality feeds help improve milk production and reproduction efficiency.
  • Educate workers on animal management issues and farm operations, and attend farm exchange tours as frequently as possible, to learn new ideas.

Initially, most dairy farms only focused on maintaining healthy cows by proper feeding and disease-control, routine milking and getting calves for future generation.

However, this is changing as nowadays, building a thriving farm starts with having a solid investment plan, sourcing the right breeds, recordkeeping, disease management, handling fertility-related issues and perfecting all things that make one a good dairy farmer.

To run a model farm, however, does not require magic because every farmer, however, small has the ingredients.

To begin with, recordkeeping is key. The most successful businesses rely on records to influence their decisions. Do your budgeting, manage operation costs, record milk and animal sales, feed

purchases and calculate your income, in short, be financially prudent.

Model dairy farms thrive on good calves as they give a proper foundation. Good calves that can be served as early as 15 months of age are not born, they are made. It all starts with feeding them on

high quality feed sources soon after birth and intensifying management for fast weight gain, remarkable growth rate and later, for early service. Such animals turn out to be the very expensive heifers everyone wants to have.

RIGHT BREEDING

Get the breeding right. More dairy farms are becoming breeder units, with milk becoming their secondary produce. How does this work? Embracing the latest breeding technologies has made this a

success. Some like embryo transfer may be expensive but at least go for artificial insemination.

Semen from high-producing sires and sexed semen may also be expensive, but to get there, you should try them out. With sexed semen, you will lock out the gamble of hoping to get a female calf. Do the timing correctly to avoid extra costs of inseminations.

The Kenya Animal Genetic Resources Centre (KAGRC) formerly CAIS, provides high quality disease-free semen, most of which is extracted from top-producing animals, well-adapted for the local

setting. Private but licensed inseminators are also alternatives, some of whom use imported semen.

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