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Dairy Farming in India

Rating: 38 votes, 4.08 average.
by , May 1st, 2008 at 12:21 PM (150851 Views)
It is seen at most places that a Dairy Farmer is not aware of the economics of his day to day business. This is because Dairy has been a traditional form of business, which is being carried on by generations together. The pattern particularly of the feeding & watering has been quite the same for a long time.

It is commonly seen that most of the Farmers who keep animals for Milk have very little or NO idea about the expenses (per day) invloved in raising the animals. It is interesting to note that the farmer is even unaware of the fact that the feeding cost of his animal comprises of more than 80% of the total cost of raising the animals.
Perhaps the main reason for this may be as he grows the majority of the fodder in his own land he has never bothered about its cost.

Pertaining to the feeding & drinking habits many fallacies (misconceptions) exist viz.

1. It is advisable to feed animal with wet/cooked feed.
Scientifically the feed fed to animal should be chewed (& ruminated) so that the saliva mixes with the feed. The saliva contains phosphates & bicarbonates, which help in maintaining the pH of the Rumen, which help in proper digestion of the Feed. Good digestion ensures wellbeing & the production is dependent on the same.
If the feed fed to animal is wet or cooked then chewing does not take place
resulting in imbalance of the Ruminal pH which is very vital for proper digestion.
This will ultimately affect the Milk production (which will be low in this case).

2. Water requirement can be fulfilled with 2/3 times in a day.
To produce one litre of Milk it is essential to drink minimum 5 litres of water thus animal giving about 10 litres of milk daily should drink more than 50 litres of water. This requirement is only for Milk but animal also has to maintain itself as well as reproduce thus an animal giving 10 litres of milk has to consume at least 75 litres of water daily ; which is just not possible by offering animal water only about 2/3 times during the day.
The animal should be giving clean water as many times as possible. If this is done then automatically increase in milk production is seen.
It should be noted that milk contains about 83 - 87% of water.

3. Animal should be fed continuously throughout the day.
If the animal is fed round the clock then it will not get any time to ruminate. If there is no time to ruminate then the digestion will not be proper as the feed mixing with saliva (due to rumination) will not take place. Thus the milk production will be decreased due to impaired digestion.

4. Animal gives more milk with more concentrate feed.
The animalís stomach is a complex structure containing 4 parts. Unlike simple stomach it requires more fibre for complete & balanced feeding. It has been made in such a way that animal has to consume green & dry grasses for efficient digestion & conversation into Milk. (The concentrates are being fed as the grasses in India are poor in general quality as regards CP/EE/Energy value etc). Feeding animal more concentrates will lead to decrease in salivary output upon which ruminal pH is dependent. This will lead to acidosis by which depression in milk fat will be seen. For getting more milk with better Fat% it is essential to give grasses (dry as well as green) which help proper digestion as this will result in maintenance of Ruminal pH due to continual rumination resulting in better production.
It should also be noted that giving more concentrates (more protein & energy) than required will lead into Animal spending more energy to breakdown these proteins which on the contrary should have been utilized for milk production. It is also seen that feeding more protein leads to reproductive problems.

5. The animalís mineral requirement is met totally through the Feed & fodder.
Animal requires certain minerals for their optimum growth / Maintainence / milk production & reproduction. The minerals available in Feed & fodder take care of the Maintainence & production to a certain extent but will not be sufficient to take care of all the requirements. At the same time through every litre of milk animal also loses certain quantities of minerals, which need to be replaced at the soonest. As this is not being followed the animalís productive capacity is greatly reduced & animals have to be replaced at an early stage.
Thus it is very essential to give Mineral Mixture everyday. Every farmer should note that Mineral Mixture is not a medicine (usually thought to be given only during infertility) but a very essential part of the animals daily needs.

6. Natural Service is better than Artificial Insemination.
With the use of same bull everytime we may not be able to improve the genetic potential of the animal. Improvement in genetic potential is primarily responsible for increasing milk production, whereas with A.I this can be very much possible. Secondly the use of same bull being mated with various cows the chances of contracting diseases by the bull is possible.

7. Animal should fed only Grass during the DRY period.
The animal in dry period (especially in the last 2 months of Pregnancy); is not fed properly and is fed only with grasses as it is not giving milk during that period. Actually it is a very crucial time for the animal as its body is undergoing lot of changes w.r.t the growth of foetus (calf) & meeting its requirement.
Usually these animals are fed only with fodder & they become very deficient in mineral status as well as their own energy status leading to various problematic conditions commonly known as Metabolic disorders & lowered milk production.

Dr.Chandrakiran N.Sant
(Dairy Management Advisor)


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  1. ndjsrangel's Avatar
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    This is an excellent article by CN Sant.
    Just that we have a set of 6 very stubborn cows and we've kept them despite that and the financial loss.They insist on being let loose to graze and then come running in as soon as it gets hot.They'll groom each other and suddenly the next thing: lock horns and fight. They get mad every time they smell or see the high protein concentrate: probably a biryani equivalent.Off course we give them the limited grass that we grow or the dry one thats bought.We were thinking of keeping a bull as we have managed to get just 1 pregnant with the AI over the last 6 months....or it could be that the keeper does not call the vet when needed for the this heifer has been known to venture outside the boundaries by jumping over the fence..I won't be surprised that she may have mated with some stray local bull...the rest we are not sure if they are pregnant or not.The 4 milk giving ones just give 12 litres totally every day. All in all, its a loss of about 5-7000 Rs a month.
  2. cnsant's Avatar
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    Thank you very much for your kind words. I have observed all this for almost 2 decades.

    Please feel free to contact if you have any queries on dairy farming.

    Dr.Chandrakiran N.Sant
    (Dairy Management Advisor)
  3. ramky's Avatar
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    hello sir
    i want to start dairy business with 3 or 4 buffallows,before that i wanted to start a groung survey of dairy business.I really got gud info from you in this blog which motivates me to start business.
    Could you please specify ,what type of food and fodder we have to feed them.For ur information , i want to start that in my own land .so can you please tell me how i have to approach from starting.
    I hope you reply

  4. cnsant's Avatar
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    Dear Sir,

    You may please do call me as I also have some questions about your location, raw material availability, marketing setup ( whether supplying to private/Dairy/own marketing ) besides concentrates feeding schedule.

    With warm regards,

    Dr.Chandrakiran N.Sant
    (Dairy management Advisor)
  5. rajinikaul's Avatar
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    Thank you Sir for your informative post . Would you be able to give some idea about the benefits of indigenous indian cows vs the popular hybrids
  6. ssroy72's Avatar
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    dear dr. Sant,
    an eye opening article on dairy management.
    Can u pl. suggest the places where we get pure variety of dairy amimals in bulk.
  7. haamdh's Avatar
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    Hi everybody, this is Haamdh. Just joinned your blog, I want to start a Dairy Farm in around Bangalore. Please suggest me and guide me
    Updated October 5th, 2008 at 03:41 PM by haamdh
  8. green_ revolution's Avatar
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    hello sir,

    I am naveen from jabalpur. ur artical is very good sir. but sir can u expailn me abt feed of animal in her last 2 month of pregnency.
  9. tularamyadava's Avatar
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    sir i want to start dairy kindly suggest
    area is near narnaul haryana
    my e mail id is
    tula ram yadava
  10. sreek82's Avatar
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    Hi Sir!
    I want to start a dairy farm around Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. I don't know ABC of this area. But I am planning to
    start with 50 to 100 cows. I want some good advise and
    suggetions on this. Some Pro's & Con's about this project. My E-mail ID: Hoping to receive something from you guys soon...
  11. laxmiraj's Avatar
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    Good article n am also doing same kind of research on cows and bufflows.
  12. sukhji_12's Avatar
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    hallo sir, I stared new dairy farming plz advise ,
    mail id
  13. chandra4usekhar's Avatar
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    hallo sir
    This is Chandra Sekhar from Hyderabad sir u r articel is very good sir i want to satart Dairy neair visakhapatnam pl send u r valubul information actuvaly i am doing Telecom Business but i want to start Dairy pl send sir
  14. mehboobwaseem's Avatar
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    Hello Sir,
    i am a software engineer by profession and intrested in starting my own business. I found Animal Husbandary to be a good business so can u please provide me some information on that.
    1) TO start the business i need some money to invest. can u let me know if any Govt organization is helping on this.
    2) How much of initial money is required if i want to start animal husbandary.

    I am from karnataka, Hubli city.
  15. tnjagadeesh's Avatar
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    Dairy farming enterprise can be started with an initial investment of Rs. 5-10 lakhs, provided you have sufficint land for fodder cultivation and water source for irrigation. It should be profitable in Karnataka. The number of animals that can be kept depends on the funds available and the area of land available, especially for grazing the cattle.
    The nearest office of NABARD should be able to give you advice about loans, subsidies and even project reports.
    Best wishes
    Dr Jagadeesh Kumar
  16. balsak08's Avatar
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    Dear Sir,
    This one is a very informative and useful article Sir.

    Keep posting like such articles Sir.

    Could you please give me your mail id and contact number. I want to discuss something with you Sir.

    With Thanks,
  17. mmdmohan's Avatar
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    Dear Sir,

    I'm proposed to start a Dairy farm to produce 500Lpd in Erode district,Tamilnadu.I've experience in marketing milk for 10 years.I've 5 acres of land with sufficient water facilities.Kindly drop your contact details,so that we can discuss more about this.

  18. narendrasm's Avatar
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    I am very new for dairy business. I wanted to start dairy business. Can you tell me
    1.From How much cows or Baffalowes should I start.
    2. How much land (coverd and open) is required for that herd.
    3. How much capital I have to invest for that no. of animals.
  19. manbirsingh's Avatar
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    I am working as a sales executive in Kores India Ltd. My father is in organic farming profession. We produce bio organic manure. Along side i want to start dairy farming. Please guide me about the requirements for the same i.e,
    availability of water and other essentials
    Which breed of cows give high yeild
    how much i have to invest.

    i want to start it on a small scale initially then increase the no of animals.

    . we have 3 acres of land near chd. please guide me sir.

    Updated November 28th, 2009 at 04:08 PM by manbirsingh
  20. elumalai's Avatar
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    Hello Dr.Chandrakiran N.Sant,
    I am interested to start a dairy farm near Arakkonam, Tamilnadu. Basically my father is a farmer/milk supplier to hotels in chennai. I have a masters in mechanical engineering and currently working as a quality engineer in USA.

    Its my passion to start up dairy farm on my own. Please advise me how shoud I proceed.
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