Inputs for Dairy

INPUT

Input in the dairy enterprise include: dairy herd (animals), dairy structures, feeds, fodders & supplements, machinery & equipment, acaricides and drugs. The productivity of a herd depends on the quality of the cows and the replacement heifers. The herd is selected for high milk production and good fertility. Desired Dairy herd composition is;

Milking cows                                      45%

Dry cows                                            9%

Pregnant heifers                                  8%

Heifers (weaning to first service)           14%

Heifers (birth to weaning)                     24%

The housing depends on the farming system where animals under the intensive are confined in a zero grazing unit all the time, semi intensive are partly confined and partly grazed; while in extensive they are left free range. There are several categories of feeds for dairy cattle namely; fodder, commercial feeds, homemade rations and salts/vitamin supplements. 

For hygienic production and handling of milk the farmer is advised to use approved machinery and equipment. This includes; milk cans, milk testers, cooling tanks and even processing plants. This will also help extend the storage life of milk and enable value addition. Other equipment include chaff cutter, pulverizer, weighing band, dehorning gadgets and Branding bar used for routine management of the dairy herd.

The common dairy animal diseases in Kenya are Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), Anthrax, Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP), Rabies, Lumpy Skin disease, Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia (CCPP), East Coast Fever, Rift Valley Fever and Trypanosomiasis.  To prevent and cure the diseases, the farmer is advised to use available and effective acaricides and drugs as recommended by the veterinary practitioner in the locality.

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