Dairy farming is profitable when done right. Many farmers have been writing to ask how to increase their milk production. Here are a few useful tips.
1. Feed The Animals Well
If you are satisfied with your cow eating grass alone, you need to think twice. For better milk yields, you need to lay great emphasis on feed quality and quantity. Vets and vet paraprofessionals can help you formulate a feeding plan. For more milk production, there should be more input beyond satisfying the physiological needs of the cow.
2 . Adopt Modern Breeding
To many farmers, the bull is still the preferred method of serving their cows on heat. Initially, bull service may seem cheaper than getting artificial insemination (AI) from a registered provider. By not using proven semen, you lose potential productivity over years. A vet can assist you to choose proven semen as a strategy towards improved milk production.
3. Manage Animal Health
A subclinical disease can be a great deterrent to productivity. A subclinical disease is one that does not show full-brown symptoms. To an observant eye, the cow may not be ‘its normal self.’ Sub-clinical mastitis has been known to seriously reduce milk production. Put in place a regular health monitoring programme to ensure that any illness is captured and treated as soon as the infection is noted.
4. Quality housing
Animals need to be housed comfortably so that they spend their energy on production and not struggle to survive. Leaving animals in the open and exposed to the elements is common and it takes something from production. Investing in good housing is good for production.
5. Access to clean water
This may seem obvious but you may have no idea how much your cows need each day. It is estimated that a normal cow living in temperatures of about 200 degrees Celsius requires about 30 – 40 litres of drinking water daily. Without it, cows cannot produce high amounts of milk. It is estimated that 85 per cent of milk is water. Invest in Supplementation
The grass the cows feed on has been exhausted of the nutritional richness over the years. Supplements are especially useful in supplying vitamins, minerals, and trace elements.
Some of these micro-nutrients may be required in small quantities per day but they control very important processes in the cows’ metabolism. The lack of these trace elements may mean that even the feed the cow eats cannot be properly processed in the body.
6. Adopt Good Milking Routines
Animals are creatures of routine. Routine is particularly important in the process of milking to get optimum production. You should therefore make effort to ensure that your cows are milked at the same time daily and in the same familiar parlour.
7. Hire and Maintain Right Personnel
The input resources in any commercial enterprise are critical for productivity and these include human resources. Established companies take a lot of care when hiring because they realise they can only be successful as their employees make them. Unfortunately, many farmers go for the cheapest and most available help forgetting that ‘cheap is expensive.’ Such help may not have the right aptitude to run a dairy operation successfully. You need to take much care to hire the right people, train them regularly and pay them an attractive salary.