Griffin Kosgei milking his Dairy cow at his farm in Ngata, Nakuru county. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

It’s 4pm at Ngata estate on the outskirts of Nakuru City and 29-year-old Griffin Kosgei and his four farm workers are immersed in a milking exercise under the rhythmic sound of music.

The exercise resonates well with a symphony of sweat, and melodic songs emanating from strategically placed speakers on the ceiling of the shed.

Kosgei ushers us into the shed as he guides his favourite cow - Marion to the milking parlour.

In just a matter of minutes, the skilled team completes the process, measuring and sieving the liquid gold into a large aluminium container.

“My uncle gifted me three dairy cows in 2017 when he was relocating to the United States of America,” says Kosgei, reflecting on his journey to Smart Harvest.

The Maseno University graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science, Kosgei previously worked at a dairy farm in Ruiru, managing over 600 cattle, shortly after he graduated from college.

This experience inspired him to apply the knowledge gained to his farm. 

[Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

“After I graduated, I juggled between my job and managing the three cows gifted to me. Eventually, I decided to resign and dedicate my time to the cows,” he explains.

Kosgei notes that many graduates perceive farming negatively, considering it a ‘dirty and tedious job’ meant for the elderly and uneducated, as they strive for white-collar positions.

The bold move to prioritise farming over a promising career wasn’t well-received by Kosgei’s parents, friends, and former colleagues.

They saw it as a risky venture, labelling it a “suicide mission” and deeming him crazy for walking away from a lucrative career.

At some point, he said that his parents thought he was fired from the internship, criticising that he should look for a job, instead of staying at home looking after cows.

Critics, he said took them positively, challenging himself never to fail and guaranteeing he thrived during the middle of the storm.

“When my peers desired to be pilots, doctors, and teachers, for me, I wanted to be a farmer, so even when picking a course, I knew what I needed, which was easy to explore with the idea of helping myself and the community to improve the state of our livestock in achieving good milk production,” he added.

The cows left behind were emaciated, he explained that he spends time and effort in ensuring that they survive, with one of the cows still surviving and producing milk. 

[Kipsang Joseph, Standard]


With hard work, proper feeding, a good environment, and proper genetics, he stated that the three cows have since sired 29 cattle, thanks to the use of technology-sexed semen, which has helped him predetermine the sex of his cows.

At the time, he approached a veterinarian who supported him in choosing good semen that served his three cows and produced three heifers within a year.

For the continued progression of the generation, he opted for heifers and avoided bulls for the sake of the multiplication of the animals.

Within three years, he was able to produce nine heifers, which was successful for him, but as he progressed in a ratio of 10, he would get one bull, which he would sell when still small.

To avoid mortality among heifers, Kosgei explained that he would ensure that all routine practices and management are followed promptly.

“With calves, we managed them well to avoid mistakes resulting to mortality rate, we don’t assume anything we making things right for the success survival,” he observed.

Within the first five days after birth, he said are crucial for calves as he managed them well to avoid contracting pneumonia and diarrhoea.

He starts feeding the calves with colostrum within eight hours after birth, which he would ration from day three to two litres in the morning, afternoon, and evening.

“After two weeks, the calves are introduced to hay, in development of rumen depending on the speed of the calf, then would later be introduced to water to three months,” he added.

Kosgei has a feeding programme pattern for his cows, which is at 4am, 8am, 2pm, and 6pm, and milks them thrice a day at 3am, 12pm, and 5pm.

He has two breeds, Friesian and Ayrshire, which he said, he said he selected because they can live together comfortably and are compatible when crossing breeding.

The initial cows he had were Fresians, which he illustrated would give quantity milk but the quality became weak, forcing him to introduce Ayrshire to balance the quality, but currently introducing Jersey to beef up the butterfat of the milk. 

A music system strategically placed at Griffin Kosgei Dairy Farm in Ngata. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Playing music

His cows listen to music as a therapeutic way to reduce boredom due to limited space.

“My farm is small, meaning that I need more land to take them for a lap, but instead, I use music which is efficient for me from 9 am -12 pm before milking, if you watch carefully the rhythmic actions with their mouth relaxing,” he added.

He explained that he has songs, which when played, the cows know that it is time for milking and would start lining up systematically.

When milking, he said to have avoided feeding to allow the cows to concentrate on producing milk rather than feeding but would feed them after as a rewarding approach.


Diseases such as pneumonia and mastitis have remained a problem he fights, which he stated he tries to eradicate by putting the required measures to contain.

“For pneumonia, it’s common during the rainy season, but mastitis occurs anytime, which we are trying to avoid by ensuring that all the milk in the udder is dried as a prevention mechanism,” he explained.

He stated that water is another hurdle as his cows consume 8,000 litres within four days bought from a water dealer within Ngata.

Feeding stuff, he says is sold at high prices, hoping that the government would chip in by regulating the price to be affordable for farmers.

Kosgei has currently employed seven employees to support the farm and has a doctor on call, whom he calls when situations arise, but indicated that he would manage some animal conditions.

He produced 296 litres, which he supplies within town and neighbours stating that the market remains a challenge due to pricing.

Every cow in the shed has a name tag, which he says helps for easy identification and monitoring of the growth of the animal.

Michael Kamau, a Vet, said that farmers concentrating on zero grazing experience minimal spread of disease.

Kamau stated that dairy farmers should concentrate on animal nutrition and hygiene to avoid the spread of diseases such as mastitis.

“Animal needs to be given food with high-quality fodder, and should be given fresh food which will help in the production of milk,” he added.