Production of dairy

DAIRY PRODUCTION

Milk production in Kenya is concentrated in highland eco-zones with high and bimodal rainfall of central and Rift valley provinces. Dairy farming in the highland eco-zones is favoured by low temperatures (15–240C) moderated by high altitude, lower risk of diseases and a bimodal rainfall pattern that support high biomass production for forage-based dairying.

In dairy production the farmer needs to be knowledgeable on breeds and breeding; production systems; feed, feeding and supplementation; fodder establishment and management; routine management; clean milk production; and pests and disease management.

To start a dairy enterprise one needs to do cost-benefit analysis so as to make informed decision on level of investment and the anticipated benefits.  Owing to the high cost of inputs and desire to maximize profits, it is becoming increasingly necessary for dairy producers to view dairy farming as a business with a view to minimizing the cost of production while increasing yields through use of appropriate management techniques. These include: feeding according to animal maintenance and production requirements, use of quality breeds, good health and ensuring cow comfort as well as rearing heifer to calf at 24months.

It is important that a farmer maintain proper records on the enterprise. The records involved will include; history of the animals, milk production, butter fat content and other historical issues of the animal. Income generated by one animal may differ from the other and the need to keep production records per animal is important.

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