Critical Principles in Dairy Herd Management

Critical Principles in Dairy Herd Management:-

Dairy Herd Management is important for farmers who are looking to go into dairy farming for the long haul.

There are a couple of things that they need to know like : cow nutrition, reproduction, comfort, and milking.

We understand that it can be a lot to balance, but proper planning and thoughtful utilization of the latest dairy farm training and technology makes it all possible.

Nutrition and Feeding

The first step of planning nutrition is to know how much to feed your cows. Remember, your cows always need to be taking in more nutrients than they are producing in milk.

The principle of cow nutrition is to ensure that cows are getting sufficient energy, which they’ll get through starch and fats. Depending on what kind of feed is available to the farmer, starch may come in the form of wheat, maize, barley, sorghum, or other grains.

Cows also need a regular intake of vitamins. Most fresh forage naturally contains the vitamins and minerals that cows need at sufficient levels.

Breeding and Reproduction

Farmers are to keep a detailed record for when cows will be on heat, cows should be monitored closely to notice possible changes in their physiology.

This practices ensures that you always know which cows are in heat, are pregnant, or are showing signs of disease.

Calf Health

The biggest factor that affects calf health in the first few weeks is whether they are kept in a clean environment. When calves are first born, they should be placed within a clean, dry pen. Afterwards, they can be kept either in individual pens or in small groups.

The key is to minimize access to manure, which harbors pathogens that can cause scours, the most common calf disease.

It’s also important to note that all equipment for calf feeding is kept clean, and all staff should wash their hands between handling adult cows and calves.


Milking Tips

Milking is not just about connecting cows to the milking equipment there are a whole lot of other factors involved that can contribute to the efficient production of milk and reduce stress in the cows.

  • Cows are susceptible to stress – farm staff should try to maintain a calm, quiet environment
  • When moving into the milking parlor, keep cows moving slowly to avoid slipping
  • Teats should be clean and dry before being connected to milking equipment
  • Teats should be treated with an antiseptic after milking to prevent disease
  • Milking equipment should be checked daily by looking for vent blocks and watching milk flow
  • Milking equipment should be cleaned with water and sanitizer.

Managing Milk Quality

Immediately after milking, the milk needs to be chilled. For large farms, this might be in your own refrigeration units.

Cow Welfare

Cows need to be comfortable in order to have high production. A comfortable environment must provide the following:

  • Clean, dry bedding
  • Room to lie down
  • Shade in the heat
  • Non-slip flooring indoors

Veterinary Care

A veterinarian will be essential for providing medication, addressing medical emergencies, performing testing, and certifying necessary slaughters.

Dairy herd management is quite intensive and important in having a successful dairy farm, If you wish to learn more or you’re looking to start a dairy farm, send us a mail

If you made it to the end of this article, don’t forget to check out our other post on “For the love of all farm animals” here.