Tips for effective dairy farming and healthy dairy cows
Are you interested in commercial dairy farming? With the right milking equipment and knowledge of dairy cows, it’s possible to enter the agricultural sector successfully. An understanding of the dairy market is also key to your success. While there are plenty of benefits to dairy farming, commercial operations require hard work and dedication. Farmers can find equipment for sale on AgriMag to get their business off to a good start.
Dairy farming fundamentals
Dairy farming is complicated, which means that there is a lot to learn before you set up your business. However, there is fundamental information you need to know before you get started. The important aspects of a successful dairy farm include an in-depth understanding of dairy cows as well as skilled staff. You’ll need to invest in quality milking equipment you can rely on if you want your business to be a success. Another aspect of your business to consider is the expense of transportation in refrigerated vehicles. If you’re entering the industry as a small or medium scale farm, it’s likely that you will sell milk to consumers as well as to dairy processors. Processors create dairy products which they, in turn, sell to retailers. When it comes to equipment, you can choose between herringbone and tandem milking systems. A third option is to install a rotary milking system.
Risks for dairy farmers
Before you invest in a dairy farm and equipment, you need to weigh the risks of this type of business. Unpredictable weather conditions can have a negative impact on dairy cows and the ability of farmers to produce enough feed for their herd. Contagious diseases are also a hazard to the well-being of your cattle. Fluctuating product pricing is another concern you need to be aware of. Understanding the risks that are associated with this type of farming will enable you to implement strategies to reduce the impact these factors have on your business.
Health basics of dairy cows
Understanding how to take proper care of your dairy cows is crucial. You’ll need to know what a healthy cow looks like so that you can spot the signs of a cow that needs extra attention. If you’re able to tell when something’s not right with one of your cows, you can call the vet and address the problem before it’s too late. A healthy cow is observant of its surroundings and it stands with its weight distributed between all four legs. Another sigh that your cow is in good condition is if its movements are fluid and regular. An abrupt walking gait can indicate that your cow is experiencing pain in its legs.
It’s advisable to check your cow’s eyes to ensure that there is no discharge since this is a sign of poor health. Upright ears that are alert to the noises around the cow also show that they are in good condition. Their muzzle should be moist and free from any discharge. Cows should be able to chew their food easily with no dribbling saliva as slow chewing is an indication that they may have issues with their teeth.
Farmers also need to monitor the coat of their cows as healthy cows have shiny coats. If you’re worried about the health of one of your animals, you can check their pulse by holding their tail just underneath the base with your thumb as well as your forefinger. Adults cows should have a pulse rate of 40 to 80 beats per minute. Their breathing needs to be smooth when they’re resting in the shade. Cows should produce soft dung pats and clear urine. If you notice watery dung or that your animal is struggling to defecate, it’s advisable to contact a vet for their advice. Trouble urinating is another indication that there is something not right with the animal. Be vigilant for swollen udders and notice if your cow experiences discomfort when their udder is touch as these symptoms need to be addressed. If you find blood in the cow’s milk, it is likely caused by an udder infection.
Now that you know more about dairy farming, you can look for equipment for sale on AgriMag. Farmers can set a good foundation for their business by investing in quality equipment and ensuring that they take good care of their dairy cows.