Dairy Farming

Off-Topic & Non-Gardening chat goes in here, a friendly hangout area.

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Farhan Ahmed
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Re: Hello Fela's

Post by Farhan Ahmed » August 13th, 2013, 9:13 pm

1- I see people importing Australian cows for dairy but why not our local breeds like Sahiwal and Cholistani?
For Various reasons. Such as superior breed which is further genetically modified. Our local breeds are untouched genetically, moreover pure breeds are now rare due to mixed breeding. Australian Cows can produce more than 25 liters/day on average.
2- What is the average milk production of high-quality Australian cows and our superior local breeds?
Milk production varies on many aspects. In general average for Australian is 20+, whereas for our local breeds 14+.
3- Do buffalos produce less but high-fat milk? What is the viability of having a buffalo-only farm?
Yes buffalo milk has reasonably high fat content than cows. There is no problem in having buffalo only farm. Infact, this is in vogue at many places.
4- What are prices of imported cows, local cows (Sahiwal, Cholistani) and Neeli Ravi Buffaloes?
No generalization can be made, and will depend on individual animal health etc. however Imported cows now a days are costing minimum 2.5-3 Lac.
Local Breeds minimum 1.8-2 Lac (Healthy)
Neeli Bar Minimum 1.5-1.8

Market is slightly lower these days.
5- I'm hoping to start a farm near Lahore. My friend/partner has land for farm but its not enough to grow cattle feed. Would it be viable to purchase green fodder from others? Or should we lease land to grow our own fodder?
Own fodder will mean more profit. Less feeding cost. However if you don't own enough land, this is no big issue and you can still go with the project. You can lease land if you want. But than you will require certain agricultural facilities as well such as water source, manpower etc.
6- What is the minimum number of animals should I plan to purchase to make this business sustainable? 10, 25, or 50?
Depends. How much investment you have. What level of business you are looking at. Efforts/space available etc etc. You can start with a moderate size herd such as 15-20.

Farhan Ahmed
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Joined: February 5th, 2012, 9:38 pm
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Re: Hello Fela's

Post by Farhan Ahmed » August 13th, 2013, 9:15 pm

One last thing. Buffaloes are hardy animals and can endure lot of abuse and are more suited to our harsh climate especially if kept well. On the other hand cow is a delicate animal and any maltreat will spoil it.

Australian cows might not offer future breeding programs unless you import a bull also.
Other option is artificial through injection.

Vegalinks
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Re: Hello Fela's

Post by Vegalinks » August 14th, 2013, 2:08 pm

Great and detailed input from Farhan :)

I will add few things (consider it as added recipe :) )

First of all farming is not like a traditional business where you spent few hours managing and you will reap the benefits, Its a full time repeat full time job for owners ( in a traditional setup like we have here). Farming is a passion not a profession, so if you have passion and love for animals then go for it but if you are planning it like a normal business venture then don't ever go near to it.

In Pakistan, 70% farmers quit or farms closed or faced loss just because the owners / partners won't able to give full time to this setup.
30% farms closed due to unavailability of skilled and unskilled labor.

Now comes to your points :
1. If you have high investment and budget then imported stock will do the job for you (minimum investment in this case is 20 million PKR.) and if you are planning to invest in 3-5 million then go for cross breed cows mixed with high producing buffaloes to target for local consumer.
Pure Sahiwal and Cholistani are not for commercial dairy farmer, they are worth for a breeding farm unless / until you are planning to opt for that ;)

2. Imported cows on average is producing 22 as a herd average and 5000-7000 as an lactation average while their cost of maintenance is around 11-15 liters a day (due to different managerial and operational circumstances). While on the other hand local breeds (most cross) are producing 16 liters as a herd average and 3000-4500 as an lactation average and their cost of maintenance is 05-08 liters a day.

You can calculate the economics your self :)

point no. 3 and 4 : answers giving by Farhan bhai and I don't have any single word to say in this regard :O

5. For a commercial dairy farm, there must be some advanced feeding and management protocols to be successful in a modern dairy business. You have to plan for a long term storage of silage (ensiled fodder crop for better and safe use), TMR (total mixed ration) feeding to your stock, no or less fresh fodder, free access of water, enough feed supplements like balanced ration, DCP, salts, mineral mixture etc. I would recommend purchasing silage ready made in shape of bales from market or make it yourself by either purchasing maize crop from market or planting it yourself. Just concentrate on your business (farming) and outsource all other related tasks to their respective producers to ease the tension.

Good luck in your future setup and welcome to farming community :)

Bilal Aslam
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Re: Hello Fela's

Post by Bilal Aslam » August 14th, 2013, 3:45 pm

Thank you so much Farhan Bhai and Vegalinks for such detailed responses. Its really great to see educated people in this field who are always ready to lend a hand. My budget was almost 4 million PKR and proposed farm location was near Sagghiaan (Across River Ravi), Lahore. But I think I'll wait for some time and accumulate more funds before jumping in. Love for livestock is in my blood. I'll InshaAllah fulfill this dream one day. Our country has so much potential in livestock related industry.

P.S. How do you guys sell milk? To some multinational or door to door? What about value added products on dairy farm like vegetables, goats & desi chicken? Do you guys do it as well?

newton
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Re: Hello Fela's

Post by newton » August 14th, 2013, 4:50 pm

A fascinating topic, thank you to all for the informative and considered replies.

It is my understanding that the Holstein is in fact the best cow in the world for commercial dairy farming but it has its problems of fertility, mastitis and lameness as well as only being economically viable if you are keeping 20+ cows. The cows are designed for pasture based feeding systems where they also smash many world records for milk production.

Do any of our readers have experience with the relatively new concept of genetically 3way cross breeds of dairy cows, specifically the ones that use the Holstein as the base, which other two would be ideal for our own Pakistan climate. somebody mentioned the Australian or Jersey but with which other? There is also scientific data from Ethiopia indicating that first generation of Friesian x Zebu produced a lot of milk but when these were crossed back to either Friesian/Holstein or zebu the milk production declined dramatically, hence the threeway crossbreeding formula for a high production dairy herd in hot climates. Most people would not be able to facilitate dairy herds like these in the middle east

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22812005

Did you know though that the water buffalo has the natural ability to convert very very poor feedstuff into adequate milk production and that water buffalo milk is extraordinarily low in cholesterol. It is also good for people with some milk allergies. It is a far more intelligent animal with the ability to bond with its owner whereas the cow never will.

Farhan Bhai. I just want to keep one buffalo for in house domestic milk production, which breed would you recommend and where am I best purchasing. How would I visually identify the differences in the breed and good or bad qualities in the animal?

Farhan Ahmed
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Re: Hello Fela's

Post by Farhan Ahmed » August 14th, 2013, 5:42 pm

Well to be true its very difficult to correctly identify Neeli which is the best Bet. So many crosses and false claim, only a very seasoned Dairy farmer can distinguish Neeli. As a layman Neeli is way Bulky with drooping skin, unlike others which have skin fittings :-). You may see pictures on internet.

I would recommend to you not to specifically go for any breed rather while purchasing the animal ask the seller to sale it under guarantee of atleast one week when you will observe it for milk production check and any other disease. Before purchasing also atleast observe two milking times, that what is the milk production which should be around 15 Liters. Make sure that the buffalo you purchase is milking for the second time/second calf. That is when it will give max milk production which will subsequently decrease next year. Milk production is also dependent on quality of feed being provided. Remember no animal will give a constant supply. As time passes after calfing, milk will gradually decrease throughout the year. Best markets are in Vihari, Okara, Multan etc. However regional markets also have good breed animals.

Above qty milking animal should cost 1.3-1.5 Lac

Vegalinks
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Re: Hello Fela's

Post by Vegalinks » August 14th, 2013, 8:51 pm

When migrant European tribes settled the Netherlands close to 2,000 years ago, they wanted animals that would make the best use of the land. The black cattle of the Batavians and white cows of Friesians were bred and strictly culled to produce animals that were the most efficient, producing the most milk with limited feed resources. These animals genetically evolved into the efficient, high producing black-and-white dairy cow, known as the Holstein-Friesian.

The three way cross you are mentioning here is HF x Jersey cross which enjoys the highest demand in countries like India, Pakistan, UAE, KSA and other hotter areas.

Home Tract of Nili Ravi breed ranges in the belt between the Sutluj and Ravi rivers of the Punjab province. Actually Nili and Ravi were two different breeds long before, but due to the passage of time and with intensive crossbreeding the two breeds converted into single breed. Some typical specimen of Nili and Ravi are still found in the rural areas of the province. The main areas where this breed is found are Lahore, Sheikhupura, Faisalabad, Okara, Sahiwal, Multan, Bahawalpur and Bahwalnagar. However due to its good dairy characteristics, it is now found in all over the country and even imported by several other countries of the world.

The body of the animal is massive and wedge shaped with black color but often has white markings on the muzzle, lower parts of the legs, fore head and switch of the tail. Due to these typical markings, animals of this breed are often termed as Punjkalian. They have small curly horns, wall eye and a large, strong udder. Males attain maturity at 30 months of age and female at 36 months of age.

Milk yield is 1800-2500 liters with a 6.5% fat. Due to these remarkable milk production abilities it is called as The Black Gold of Asia. Body weight of the males reaches to 550-650 Kg; while that of the females is 350-450Kg.

Farhan Ahmed
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Re: Hello Fela's

Post by Farhan Ahmed » August 14th, 2013, 9:34 pm

Bilal Aslam wrote: P.S. How do you guys sell milk? To some multinational or door to door? What about value added products on dairy farm like vegetables, goats & desi chicken? Do you guys do it as well?
The Farms i am looking after are not mine. These are Government Farms which i am administrating as a secondary duty. All the milk is supplied to Messes. You have various options to sell milk including yourself, firms such a milkpak, contractors and local vendors. Whatever suits you.

Yes i am also dealing with other farms such as poultry, agro and fish.

Vegalinks
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Re: Hello Fela's

Post by Vegalinks » August 14th, 2013, 10:03 pm

Bilal Aslam wrote:Thank you so much Farhan Bhai and Vegalinks for such detailed responses. Its really great to see educated people in this field who are always ready to lend a hand. My budget was almost 4 million PKR and proposed farm location was near Sagghiaan (Across River Ravi), Lahore. But I think I'll wait for some time and accumulate more funds before jumping in. Love for livestock is in my blood. I'll InshaAllah fulfill this dream one day. Our country has so much potential in livestock related industry.

P.S. How do you guys sell milk? To some multinational or door to door? What about value added products on dairy farm like vegetables, goats & desi chicken? Do you guys do it as well?

You are more than welcome Bilal Bhai :)

The best option is to have your own milk point in city or have your milk packed (by investing more funds) and market your milk under your brand name like many big guns doing currently (an-haar, Hala, Gala, Ever Fresh etc) or have a contractor who can pick all the milk from your farm.
Farming is a business best suited with agriculture enterprise where one can enjoy full advantage of his/her presence on farm and availability of land by cultivating traditional / untraditional crops along with fodder for animals and YES goats and hens are MUST for a proper farmer :)

Bilal Aslam
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Re: Hello Fela's

Post by Bilal Aslam » August 14th, 2013, 10:51 pm

Thank you so much again guys. Please keep up the good work of educating others. I'd even suggest both of you to start a blog with lots of images and maybe videos specifically aimed at newbies. I'm sure it will benefit a lot of people and may also inspire them to get into this business.

Jazak-Allah

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